Archive for the ‘transit’ Category

The Happiest Bus in the World: Golden Gate Transit 1522 – #70 Novato – As Seen in SF Civic Center

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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A Case Study of SFMTA’s Controversial “MUNI-COMMUTER” Shuttle Program: The New Stops at Hayes and Clayton

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Here’s what things looked like on August 1, 2014 at a MUNI bus stop that just debuted as a new “commuter shuttle” stop:

I think MUNI meant to say MUNI/COMMUTER SHUTTLES instead of MUNI-COMMUTER SHUTTLES, but who knows.

Note that the small print advises those with Concerns or Complaints to go to Hell call 311.

Here’s the place, on Hayes at Clayton:

Things were pretty sedate around here before the shuttle program began. (Yes, Hayes is a thoroughfare, as it has the 21 Hayes bus line but that bus doesn’t run as much as the nearby #5 Fulton just to the north or the lines on Haight just to the south.)

Anyway, some of the area NIMBYs are upset, so they started a direct mail campaign and they posted fliers about.

Like here on this rather dirty building, which lost some paint when the fliers came down cause the tape they used was extra strong oh well:

So that’s it – life here is pretty much the same as far as I can tell. I’ve jogged past these two stops, the inbound and the outbound right across the street from each other, four times now, during times when I know that there are hundreds of people milling about the 415 / 628 waiting for dozens of shuttles, and I haven’t seen nothing.

Perhaps the NIMBYs were wrong? Perhaps all good and bad points about life in the 94117 will remain unaffected?

We’ll see.

Will This Fall’s Half-Billion Transit Bond Allow Your Landlord to Raise Your Rent, Costing You Thousands? – “Pass-Throughs”

Friday, August 1st, 2014

I don’t know.

But check this out:

“Ordinance calling and providing for a special election to be held in the City and County of San Francisco on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, for the purpose of submitting to San Francisco voters a proposition to incur the following bonded debt of the City and County: $500,000,000 to finance the construction, acquisition, and improvement of certain transportation and transit related improvements, and related costs necessary or convenient for the foregoing purposes; authorizing landlords to pass-through 50% of  the resulting property tax increase to residential tenants under Administrative Code Chapter 37…”

All right kids – you do the math. Start with $850,000,000 and divide that up among the denizens of the 415 / 628.

I don’t know how to do that but when I tried, I came up with a $30 a month rent increase for you, Gentle Reader, for the next 7-10 years.

Would the average landlord take the trouble to do a pass-through? IDK. I’m thinking the typical rent-controlled renter in SF doesn’t have to deal with pass-throughs currently. But maybe this big old honking bond would be the trigger for a wave of passthroughs?

Here’s what former SFGov employee Howard Wong has to say:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The SFMTA wants more money, certainly. But the question is what will the SFMTA do for us in order to get the money, right? Otherwise, we’re just shoveling more coal into a broken-down machine. Why not use the bond as a carrot to get the SFMTA to reform?

Perhaps our SFMTA doesn’t deserve this bond?

Anyway, if I were promoting this bond, I’d figure out what the odds are that landlords would pass through 50% of the burden and also how much rents would be increased, on average, and for how long. And then I’d say, well this is what the SFMTA is going to do with your money and this is how much it will cost you, the renter, or you, the owner.

Is this massive transit bond a good idea?

I don’t know.

Abbey Road, 94115 – Typical San Francisco Pedestrians

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Bros on Geary:

Vision Zero is SFGov’s commitment to having MUNI bus drivers and other SFGov employees* stop killing pedestrians by the year 2024.

Why can’t the SFMTA just simply stop killing pedestrians right now in 2014?

The World Wonders…

*And, of course, everybody else in the world as well, but your odds of getting killed by one of those billions of non-SFGov employees is infinitesimally smaller than getting killed by an SFGov employee. The SFMTA could take steps right now for safety, steps that wouldn’t cost all that much money, but it simply doesn’t want to. 

1000-Yard Stare: Incompetent SFMTA MUNI Abandons #38 Geary Riders During Japantown Ramen Festival

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Look at these poor lost souls on Geary staring towards the west in a futile attempt to spot the next inbound #38 Geary.

You can tell when things get bad at a MUNI stop when people just plop themselves down out on the street on the stop itself.

Is Geary a “livable street?” I have no idea. And actually, it doesn’t matter if this is how the SFMTA does its primary function. Should SFMTA directors be boasting about their junkets to “other cities across the globe?” I don’t think so. Hey, it’s headshot day! Hold it, hold it, hold it, say “cheese!” Snap.

Would SF be better off without the relatively inconsequential “Sunday Streets” program if it could get a functional MUNI in exchange?

I think so.

Would SF be better off without Cheryl Brinkman on the SFMTA board?

As Gil Penalosa*  said, some of the men out there on bikes ride as if they have no family that loves them and no one that they love.

I think so.

Here’s another example, from 2012:

SFMTA director Cheryl Brinkman said that she supported the proposal because she has been considering the reverse situation. “How would we defend making parking free on Sundays if we’ve been paying all these years?” she asked rhetorically.

OK fine, but then in 2014 she voted to make parking free on Sundays. Oh well.

And is this true? I don’t know:

Mayor Ed Lee apparently has no concern over conflicts of interests where Ms. Brinkman is concerned. Her husband’s company benefits directly from the North Beach tunnel project, and she has economic ties to the SFTMA and the SF Bicycle Coalition and the other “non-profits”  that profit from the city’s many contracts from  managing housing to  street calming and car sharing.

In any event, the Directors of the SFMTA don’t seem to be concerned at all about making MUNI work better using the money we already give them. The SFMTA doesn’t need more money, the SFMTA needs to manage the money we give it more better. IMO.

*Who?

SFMTA MUNI Clusterfuck, #5 Fulton – Seven Buses in Less Than One City Block – Just Another Wednesday Afternoon, 2013

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Oh well:

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You see, poor buses tend to group in clusters…

A Plea from “NoPa Neighbors” to “Protect” a Solitary 21 Hayes Bus Stop from Being Used by Too Many People

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

[UPDATE: Oh, here you go, NIMBYs:

"Carli Paine, an SFMTA transportation manager, said about 80 percent of shuttles using Muni stops take passengers to destinations within San Francisco, while the other 20 percent take passengers to destinations outside the city."

So I don't know what that means for this particular stop - it could be that only one entity wants to use it. So it could be 100% intra-city, who knows. Oh, what's that, NIMBY. You're still upset? You're all offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, and I decline? OK fine. Have it your way. But keep in mind that most of your "neighbors" aren't up in arms over this issue, most of your "neighbors" disagree with you. And in any event, August 1st, 2014 will not be the End Of The World As We Know It. You'll feel fine.]

Here’s a direct mail campaign to “save” the SFMTA MUNI DPT bus stop at Hayes and Clayton.

It comes from somebody who has a lot of energy to post and mail flyers, but this effort is coming waaaaay too late in the process.

Now I’m probably a little too close to this issue myself, but I’ll point out that UCSF employees could be the biggest beneficiaries of having the corner of Hayes and Clayton included as inbound and outbound stops during the trial. And I’ll note that UCSF simply gives money to the SFMTA by, among other things, using the bus stops of the 21 Hayes for public relations advertising. And actually, there are so many UCSF shuttles on Fell and Oak that the unneighborly “neighbors” of NoPA probably don’t even notice them any more.

In any event, it’s a free country so you’re free to mail anybody anything.

And I’ll say that it would be nice if our slow and expensive MUNI system would itself use these bus stops more often. (And the 21 Hayes, in particular, still has too many stops.)

Reader Note: If you can’t read the above, I took another shot and posted it below. One photo used a smaller lens and the other one, well, it has focus issues owing to the bent paper, oh well. And I amazed by how different the yellow-y colors look using auto white balance from two different cams, oh well.

Lisa: I’d like 25 copies on Goldenrod.

Clerk: Right.

Lisa: 25 on Canary.

Clerk: Mmhmm.

Lisa: 25 on Saffron.

Clerk: All right.

Lisa: And 25 on Paella.

Clerk: Ok, 100 yellow.

Questioning the Wisdom of Adding “Pedestrian Islands” to the Middle of the Street, as Here on McAllister in The Projects

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

See this pedestrian island smack dab in the middle of McAllister at what remains of Octavia?

It didn’t used to be there. Oh, here we go:

Pedestrian islands provide a raised refuge area in the middle of the street for crossing pedestrians.”

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So what this does is bottleneck McAllister traffic by not letting bikes and vehicles easily pass through the Octavia “intersection” at the same time.

I cry foul. IMO, this isn’t good design for pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, bus drivers or firetruck drivers.

So what is this island good for – satisfying the ideological requirements of the sainted SFMTA?

Apparently.

But be my guest, go out there and take a look and see how traffic flows at this particular intersection, say around 5 PM during the evening drive.

Be my guest.

The New MUNI T-Shirt’s Here! The New MUNI T-Shirt’s Here! – Things Are Going To Start Happening To Me Now

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Redolent of The New Phone Book’s Here, the new MUNI T-shirt‘s here.

See?

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By “new” I mean new to me, as they’ve been out for a while now.

Have I mentioned yet that MUNI sucks? Forgive me.*

Bonus: Also included in the delivery was a limited edition of SIDE WALKS:

“The San Francisco Museum at the Mint in collaboration with the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District presents “Neighbors,” fifty environmental portraits by Troy Holden as a photographic essay of the Tenderloin, South of Market, and Mid-Market neighborhoods. “Side Walks” is a collection of photographs made in downtown San Francisco by Bay Area photographers Chris Beale, Brian Reynaldo Cayetano Jr., Brandon Doran, Troy Holden, David Root and Oscar Santos.”

All the deets:

Side Walks” and “Neighbors”: Show is open through Aug. 17; reception (free admission) 6-9 p.m. next Thursday. 1-4 p.m. Sundays. $10. San Francisco Museum at the Mint, 88 Fifth St., S.F. (415) 537-1105. www.sfhistory.orgTo watch a short video go to: http://bit.ly/1ovCiGD.

See you there!

*IMO, it’s important to point out that “MUNI Sucks” (or something similar, you know, something pithy) right at the beginning whenever the SFMTA or MUNI is the topic at hand. Acknowledging this fact from the get-go tends to make the ensuing conversation more productive. Of course, the SFMTA won’t ever shower you with taxpayer money if you even just once point out that MUNI sucks, but at least you’ll avoid being like these people:

“…lately. seriously, we haven’t received many (if any) “muni sucks/fuck muni” posts or emails…”

Now if you really want to cheer lead for MUNI, make sure you’re getting a $200,000 annual pay package first – that’s the way you do it.

Corporate Bus Registered, Sort of, in Florida Plying the Streets of San Francisco

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

As seen working the DivCo, the Divisadero Corridor:

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IDK, maybe this bus is new in town, or just passing through, but it didn’t look that way…