News for Urbanists: “U.S. Driving at Highest Level Since 2007, New Data Show” – Also, More Cars in SF

February 25th, 2015

So yeah, I think I know what you mean when you urbanists tell me, “Young people aren’t driving anymore,” or “Young people don’t even want a driver license anymore.”

But, IRL, vehicles registered in San Francisco, per the latest stats from our DMV, are up up up the past ten years – currently it’s around 477K. Compare that with 2003.

And you urbanists are telling me that the Great Recession has nothing to do with the decrease in the growth of driving, well that’s turning out to be wrong as well.

Who knows what the future will bring, is what I’m saying.

Enjoy:

“FHWA 12-15
Monday, February 23, 2015
Contact: Doug Hecox
(202) 366-0660

U.S. Driving at Highest Level Since 2007, New Data Show – Nearly Three Trillion Miles Traveled in 2013 Underscores Call for Greater Transportation Investment

WASHINGTON – New data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that Americans drove nearly 3 trillion miles in 2013, the highest level in six years, confirming estimates released last year and supporting calls for greater investment in roads, bridges, transit, and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to accommodate growing traffic volumes…

“According to FHWA’s “Highway Statistics,” an annual compilation of data from state Departments of Transportation, drivers traveled 2.99 trillion miles in 2013, the highest annual total since 2007 and the fourth-highest since such recordkeeping began in 1936.

The new data also show the number of U.S. vehicles increased to 255.9 million from 253.6 million the previous year, the biggest single-year increase since 2011…

Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria Still Refuses to Deliver to the Bad Parts of Northern SF, But Their Delivery Maps are Improving

February 25th, 2015

A little history here first. This was the Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria delivery map from a decade ago:

As you can see, the project-y parts of the Western Addition and Potrero Hill were no-go areas 24-7, while the Uptown Tenderloin / Twitterloin / 6th Street Corridor areas were no-go areas after dark.

Back then and even now, this kind of map is nice and legal, believe it or not. So, in Frisco, if a cabbie refuses to take you to The Projects (or even to The Avenues), s/he is guilty of a misdemeanor called Failure to Convey, but if a pizza deliverer refuses to bring food to the projects, well, that’s A-OK. Moving on….

To this, the map that’s been used for most of the past decade – it’s pretty much the same thing:

And now here are the current maps – first for the Mission Bay location on King Street:

Capturetu copy

Wow, this is much improved. The 6th Street part of the Twitterloin is back on the map as well as Potrero Terrace and Potrero Annex (those are per Jay Barmann – I am not familiar with these terms as I’ve never really been to the Potrero PJ’s area, the place where former Mayor Art Agnos got shot).

Of course it could be that Amici’s never delivers to these places – maybe it’s up to the individual drivers who are working at the time, IDK. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with this map, you know, per se.

And now we come to the current map for the Marina District Amici’s:

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Realize that there are smaller federal housing projects included in this map, but the areas carved out still include a broad swath of the Western Addition and, of course, the SRO-laden Northern Twitterloin containment zone.

So there you have it – redlining in San Francisco circa 2015.

Uh Oh, the SFPD’s Vaunted “Focus on the Five” Enforcement Program Focuses on the Wrong Five

February 24th, 2015

Work with me here, people.

Here you go:

“Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

All right, well let’s look at the stats for last year, via Heather Knight / the District 5 Diary.

And then let’s extract all the five-digit CVC section numbers cited in the official SFPD report, plus let’s also throw in a CVC number for the pedestrian who died last year after getting hit by a MUNI bus on Geary around Baker.

(And let’s ignore all the the lower-case subsections like 21950(b) and the like, treating 21950(a) and 21950(b) as the same violation, for example.)

And then lets throw all the extracted numbers into Excel for a Sorting.

And then let’s eyeball the numbers to separate them out:

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So those are your top “five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking (and bicycle riding, but I don’t think that affects the numbers too much.)

Here they are, in order of frequency:

21950

22350

21456

21954

21955

So how does that compare with this list from politicians?

“Focus on the 23 Five” campaign to target the top five causal factors of pedestrian crashes – running red lights 24 (California Vehicle Code 21453(a)), running stop signs (California Vehicle Code 22450(a)), violating pedestrian right-of-way (California Vehicle Code 21950(a)), failing to yield while 2 turning (California Vehicle Code 21801 (a), and speeding (California Vehicle Code 22350)…

See how that works? 21950 and 22350 are in there, but CVC violations on the part of pedestrians, like 21456, 21954, and 21955 have been omitted from the list.

Is the official “Focus on the Five” about pedestrian safety or “pedestrian rights?”

I’m thinking it’s about pedestrian rights, like the right to jaywalk, that kind of thing.

Is SFGov serious about SF Vision Zero 2024, a “program” that has the goal of ending all transportation deaths in San Francisco long after all the pols who voted for it have termed out?

Well, how can it be if it’s afraid to enforce traffic laws for political reasons?

If you want safety for pedestrians, wouldn’t you want them to be afraid of getting cited for jaywalking?

No? All right, well then keep on doing what you’re doing, but you’ll never ever achieve Vision Zero 2024 the way you’re going about it, SFGov.

Heartless SFMTA Meter Maids Cite Poor Woman’s Car Day After Day for a Single Crosswalk Violation

February 24th, 2015

SFMTA PCO’s seem to like citing this car daily, to the tune of $103 a day for the crime of parking too near a crosswalk:

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Presumably, the owner has left it there for a few days, not realizing her mistake.

So, what’s stopping the SFMTA from citing this car every hour for the same violation? There must be some internal policy, one that I’m not aware of.

Mmmm….

What if the rest of the SFMTA operated as effectively as the Parking Control Officer division?

I wonder what that would look like…

SFMTA Bus Stop Ad in the Mission Goes Off-Message: Depicts Chester Cheetah as Jesus Christ – Art Students Likely Culprits

February 24th, 2015

Via fasheezy at Reddit SF:

“HE DIED FOR OUR SNACKS!”

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Prediction: The First Gold Apple Watch Theft/Robbery in San Francisco Will Occur in June 2015

February 24th, 2015

Do you love gold?

Lots of criminals do.

And pretty soon, they’ll realize that the value of the gold in some new watches from Apple is very very high.

Let’s see what the SFPD has to say:

“As with any new technology, of course there is a concern that thieves will prey on victims with the new technology,” San Francisco Police Department public information officer, Albie Esparza said. “Criminals are opportunistic. If there is a demand, there will be supply. It’s simple business economics.”

So, I don’t care what security features your multi-thousand dollar gold iWatch has, there’s nothing stopping somebody from taking your shiny and then melting it down to sell the gold for $1000 an ounce.

We’ll see…

Now here’s a guy at the Original Aple Store at 1 Stockton in Union Square trying and failing to shoplift some $350(!) Beats headphones:

Apple realizes that its new watches will need to be protected just as at any other Union Square jewelry / bling bling store.

But once its on your wrist, security will be YOUR problem.

Choose wisely.

Fixing Apple’s OS-X Emojis: Jaundiced, Simpsons-Esque Yellow Skin Tones Get a One-Click Fix – “Replace Color”

February 23rd, 2015

Here’s the problem, via Gabe Rivera:

“Nice to see Apple finally recognize jaundice victims in OS X 10.10.3’s emoji set”

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And here’s the fix – the Replace Color command’s saturation slider:

B-jaueiCEAAfjv1 copy

Hurray!

SFBARF: Grass Roots or Artificial Turf? Hooh Boy, It’s So Artificial Turf, This Woman Won’t Say Who’s Paying Her

February 23rd, 2015

Let’s see here, San Francisco’s rich homeowners have a right-side-of-the-aisle group to represent them called SF Moderates and it’s giving five figures for some East Bay apartment-dwelling woman to lobby SF for new right-of-center public comment rules?

Apparently:

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Another group/person what funds her is so unpopular she dare not speak its name. It could be the American Nazi Party, who knows. Prolly not, but maybe it’s Sean Parker, or Con Ronway, or sf.citi or some other entity that wants to keep its sock puppetry on the DL.

Oh well.

Pro-development activist group SFBARF agitates for more housing
By Jonah Owen Lamb

Bay Area renters group advocates for more density to solve housing crisis
By Roland Li

How a prep school math teacher has exploded the debate over affordable housing in San Francisco – Rents in cities like San Francisco are soaring. Is it just a matter of building more housing?
By Lydia DePillis

Ginger and Mary Ann Hand Out Free Bibles – All Along the Watchtower at the Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround

February 23rd, 2015

Thought they were Scientologists at first:

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Despite Its “Transit First” Policy, the SFMTA Will Vote to Make Parking Easier for Western Addition Residents on March 3rd – “Area Q”

February 23rd, 2015

Perversely, the less efficient our dull-witted SFMTA becomes, the more money it gets. Case in point is the new Area Q Residential Parking Permit area for the NoPA / Alamo Square part of the Western Addition – the MTA will approve its establishment on March 3rd, 2015.

It’ll go a little something like this:

q copy

Supposedly, the SFMTA doesn’t care about this issue, since it’s “revenue-neutral” for it, but IRL, the SFMTA just loves this idea. The SFMTA wants to “manage” more and more and more always always always, despite its demonstrated incompetence at performing its core function, which is moving people around.

SFMTA “work rules” make the SFMTA inefficient. (I wonder if they have a list of all these rules.) So the less efficient it becomes, the more money it gets, perversely, in annual RPP revenue. (If the SFMTA operated a McDonalds, a Big Mac would cost $20 and take a half-hour to prepare, cause you know, cost-plus pricing, and you know, “work rules.”)

Anyway, the SFMTA wants to makes things easier for certain people to keep cars on the streets of San Francisco, so that’s a big clue on how it’ll vote come March.

What it actually wants is an annual household SFMTA tax levied on everybody, but this will have to do until that time comes…