Archive for the ‘transit’ Category

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

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See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. If you pressure it to plant trees in the middle of the street, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down now so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won't really affect me, myself, I don't think. Seems selfish to think that way, anyway. What happened with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it'll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it's hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project. Then, what will the affects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

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Absurd MUNI 21 Hayes Bus Stop Situation (7 Stops for 6 Short Blocks) is Now Slightly Less Absurd – Thx SFMTA, Srsly

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Well here’s the official notice, seen in the Western Addition just north of the Panhandle and, I might add, just after election time:

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Click to expand

Mind you, these aren’t big big city blocks the likes of which you’ll find in SoMA or out in the Avenues. These are small blocks chock-a-block full of bus stops. Check it, and remember that Ashbury used to have stops as well.

So hurrah for the SFMTA.

Christmas CalTrain, 2014 – Old Engine #920

Monday, December 8th, 2014

(Oh, so that’s what the inside of a CalTrain station looks like. I’d never been.)

Engine 920, dolled up for the holidays, as seen in SoMA:

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An “Urbanist’s” Dream: Here’s Your Chance to Help Plan the Future of the Clipper Card – It’s “FutureOfClipper.Org”

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

I had a Clipper Card once. Well, a TransLink, the Clipper’s predecessor. Turns out it couldn’t handle a little acetone:

And now I have no Clipper Cards, AFAIK

But you, you love the (somewhat racist?) Clipper. So why not help the MTC try to make it better?

All the deets:

“Help Plan the Future of Clipper - MTC and Bay Area Transit Agencies Invite Public Input

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Where would you like to use Clipper, and how would you like to use it? That’s what the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Bay Area transit agencies want to know.

Clipper is the transit fare payment system for the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently accepted for payment on 13 transit agencies. The reloadable card was launched in 2006. Today, the system has more than 1.4 million cards in circulation and is used for more than 700,000 daily trips.

Whether you use Clipper right now or not, you can provide valuable feedback that will help MTC and its partner agencies design the fare payment system that best serves Bay Area transit riders.

Visit futureofclipper.com and click the link to take a survey to provide your feedback. You can also share your experiences with Clipper and what you’d like to see in the future via email at feedback@futureofclipper.com or via voicemail at 510.817.5680.

Clipper is a service provided by Bay Area transit operators and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Note: Clipper is accepted on AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Fairfield-Suisun Transit (FAST), Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, Marin Transit, Muni, SamTrans, San Francisco Bay Ferry, SolTrans, Vacaville City Coach, VINE and VTA.”

$2.99 per Gallon Gasoline has Come to SF – And $1.99 Gas in the Rest of ‘Merica – SFMTA’s Reason to Drive?

Monday, December 1st, 2014

How much is a gallon of gasoline at the Fell Street ARCO station right now? $2.99

And how about the rest of America? Well, some places are at $1.99 and there are more coming soon.

Hey, remember when the SFMTA used to talk about how people should take MUNI because a one-way fare was less than a gallon of gas? I do. Not too forward-looking, huh?

And remember this ad campaign, to teach stupid car drivers about how gasoline actually costs money?

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I do.

The SFMTA has stated that increasing gasoline prices are a reason to take MUNI, so, conversely, would falling gasoline prices be a reason to NOT take MUNI?

Think on that.

IMO, the SFMTA needs to deal with its numerous problems honestly.

IMO, the SFMTA isn’t even coming close to doing this.

IMO, the SFMTA isn’t even close to offering, in its words, EXCELLENT TRANSPORTATION CHOICES.

IMO.

JMO

IMO, MUNI’s service is worse than a quarter-century ago, despite the dramatic growth in its budget and its fare prices.

So, real gas prices are historically low and the SFMTA’s prices are historically high.

Just saying.

Now You Can Protest Your Unfair SFMTA MUNI DPT SFBC Ticket Online – One Weird Trick – Here’s Your Link

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Via SF Bay’s Transportation Writer Jerold Chinn, here’s your link, Baby!

https://wmq.etimspayments.com/pbw/include/sanfrancisco/dispute_request.jsp

It’s New, it’s You. It’s Now, it’s Wow.

Of course, most of the citations handed out by the SFMTA MUNI DPT SFBC (oddly, the SFMTA/SFGov gives a lot of money to our local San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, so it acts as an arm of the government these days. Oddly) are handed out “fairly.” And I would even go as far as to say that most of the tickets protested as “unfair” were handed out fairly as well.

OTOH, there are some SFMTA employees who do bad things – they steal multiple $6 cable car fares each and every day or they say you parked for more than two hours in an RPP zone when you didn’t. And then the official SFMTA spokesmodels bend over backwards to say that no SFMTA employees ever do anything bad ever. EVER!

(And considering how often these spokesmodels get their facts wrong, well … oh well. Bygones.)

Here’s your screenshot:

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Good luck, Offenders!

“Online Citation Protest

Step 1 of 6

This website allows you to protest one citation at a time.
As part of the review process, you will be allowed to upload 3 documents to help us in our decision-making process.
Do not use your browser’s back arrow to navigate or you will need to start over.

Citation Number: where to find

Per the California Vehicle and Public Utility Code, you may have only one review per citation within the statutory time limits.
While in the process of protesting your citation, additional penalties will not be added to the violation.

Technical Support for Online Services
If you need help or have questions about this service, please complete this form or call 311 (415.701.2311).”

An SFMTA Fantasy for Van Ness – Check Out This Illustration – IRL, Route 101 Will be Filled with Cars, Bumper to Bumper

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Is this a joke?

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This is a joke, right?

School buses in San Francisco? Are we going to have yet another SFUSD consent decree and be busing kids around even more? Actually, SFMTA, the trend is to have less busing and also lots of kids ride on SFMTA buses, as you well know, SFMTA. So why would you show a Van Ness with more school buses than cars?

And also, the number of buses on Van Ness will be greater than the number of people waiting for buses on Van Ness?

What are you smoking, SFMTA?

Sometimes I don’t know.

Telemetry Transceivers, Baker Street, Western Addition, San Francisco

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

No these aren’t brand-new ShotSpotter gunfire detectors, as I initially thought.

They’re telemetry transceivers to give MUNI vehicles signal priority, per the Richmond District Blog:

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Now here’s a shot from 2011 on Scott Street in the Western Addition – I don’t know what all this stuff is:

I don’t think any of them have anything to do with signal priority…

The OTHER West Portal, Sunset Tunnel, 94117

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

I’d never noticed this before, this WEST PORTAL sign near Carl and Cole just outside of the Sunset Tunnel

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Do people drive their bikes and cars through this thing?

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People do.

Here’s Why “Evil Republican Billionaire” Sean Parker is Four Times LESS Evil Than What the SFMTA Crowd is Saying

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Well, here’s the latest from the I HEART THE SFMTA NO MATTER HOW TERRIBLE IT MIGHT BE crowd on Sean Parker and Prop L.

The thing is, poor, sensitive* Sean Parker actually is the number one booster of Prop A, the billion dollar general obligation bond what the I HEART THE SFMTA NO MATTER HOW TERRIBLE IT MIGHT BE crowd really really wants passed.

Check it – he’s listed number one, owing to his $200,000 donation:

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Prop A is real life – it will take tens of millions of property tax dollars and, through “pass-throughs,” it just might raise your rent to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars over the years. By that, I’m not saying that rents will go up generally, I’m saying you the renter will have to pay a surcharge to your landlord on top of the rent you already pay, despite your rent control.

OTOH, Prop L will have no effect whether it gets 49% or 51% of the vote. Of course, if it wins in a landslide, it will make life a bit more difficult for some activists. But if it loses in a landslide, it will be a useful talking point for those very same activists.

IMO, the SFMTA is afraid of any vote where it can’t control the selection of the voters. It’s grown accustomed to claiming widespread “community support” for all of its efforts. The SFMTA uses this sample bias to make itself feel better, and to help it to grow more and more, which is its number one goal.

So, stop abusing poor, sensitive Sean “Park”-er. He’s on your side, you “livable streets” people.

*He canceled his honeymoon after his stupid illegal wedding made the news? What he should have said was, “I’m sorry, I screwed up – I’ll try to make things better.” And then go on and pay the millions and millions he was going to pay anyway. See? Simple. Instead, his billionaire type friends “supported” him by telling him how “wronged” he was. Oh well.