Posts Tagged ‘2003’

The SFMTA’s New “Scott Street Traffic Diversion” Proposal

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Well the SFMTA has a new tack on Scott Street betwixt Page and Fell for this year.

So last year, the SFMTA felt that these particular blocks of Scott were filled with “high speed” drivers “speeding” through the place and the SFMTA felt that the simple four way stop intersection of Page and Scott was “confusing for everyone.” Here we go:

With intersecting bike routes and heavy vehicle volumes, this intersection  is confusing for everyone

In fact, Page and Scott is not “confusing” at all. As stated, it’s a simple four-way stop, about as comprehensible as possible. And in fact, Page and Scott does not experience “heavy vehicle volumes.”

Oh well.

But hey, if you want to say that Hayes and Scott has heavier traffic volume these days, especially during the evening drive, well, we agree on that, SFMTA. Before, this traffic would have been on Divisadero, but recent “improvements” to the DivCo have lessened the DivCo’s capacity.

Here is the result of the “improvements” to Divis:

Anyway

But now it’s 2014 and that was then and this is now. The SFMTA is articulating new rationales for doing what it wants to do. They’re contained in the Scott Street Traffic Diversion.

Let’s check it out:

Motorists who drive through a neighborhood – rather than to a local destination – can cause congestion on residential streets.

WELL GEE, I SUPPOSE THAT’S TRUE. BUT MOTORISTS WHO DRIVE TO A LOCAL DESTINATION – RATHER THAN DRIVING THROUGH – CAN CAUSE CONGESTION AS WELL, RIGHT?

The City proposes restricting traffic on Scott Street to make it more comfortable for residents, bicycle riders and pedestrians.

OK, SFMTA, WHY DON’T WE RESTRICT TRAFFIC ON _ALL_ STREETS TO MAKE _EVERYBODY_ MORE “COMFORTABLE?”

An extra-large bulb-out at Scott and Fell will require all southbound automobile traffic to turn right onto Fell Street; bicycle riders and pedestrians can continue on Scott. This will reduce Scott Street’s appeal as a cross-town route, making it a more pleasant place to walk, bike, and live.

SO YOU WANT DIVISADERO TO BE A _LESS_ “PLEASANT” PLACE?

Access will be maintained to all homes and driveways, and changes will be made to improve Divisadero Street to accommodate diverted traffic.

OH, I SEE, YOU WANT DIVIS TO HAVE MORE GREEN LIGHT TIME AND, LET’S SEE HERE, HAIGHT, PAGE, OAK, FELL, HAYES, ETC TO HAVE LESS GREEN LIGHT TIME. ISN’T THIS KIND OF A ZERO-SUM GAME? WHY SHOULD THE CITY BEND OVER BACKWARDS FOR THE RICH HOMEOWNERS OF SCOTT STREET?

Changes to Scott Street were initially requested by neighborhood residents unhappy with congestion and idling vehicles.

OK, SO WHAT ABOUT EVERY OTHER STREET IN SF? ARE YOU GOING TO POLL RESIDENTS OF ALL THE OTHER STREETS TO MEASURE THEIR “HAPPINESS?”

Restricting southbound traffic would greatly reduce this issue for several blocks both north and south of Fell Street. Residents who live on Scott between Oak and Fell would have to approach their homes from the south when driving, but would still have access to their driveways and would be able to exit the block to either the north or south.

WHY NOT THIS, SFMTA? WHY NOT SAY THAT ONLY SCOTT STREET RESIDENTS CAN PARK ON SCOTT STREET? I’LL BET THAT WOULD INCREASE THE HAPPINESS LEVEL OF THOSE MILLIONAIRES EVEN MORE. ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT NEXT, SFMTA?

With the proposed traffic diverter, drivers would still be able to park on both sides of Scott Street on the block between Oak and Fell with a U-turn required to reach parking spaces on the west side of the street. The traffic diverter would not remove any parking spaces from Scott Street, though bulb-outs at other locations in the project area will each remove 0-3 parking spaces.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST COME OUT AND SAY HOW MANY PARKING SPACES YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE OUT, SFMTA? OH, THAT’S NOT YOUR STYLE, HUH?

Biking on Scott Street in the southbound direction will be significantly calmer, with fewer automobiles to share the road with.

FEWER BUSES TOO, RIGHT? IN FACT NO BUSES AT ALL. AND YET, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE RIDE ON BUSES ON SCOTT THROUGH THIS SACRED AREA ON A DAILY BASIS. WHAT ABOUT THEM?

Scott Street will no longer be a convenient route for driving in the southbound direction.

BECAUSE IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT? WELL, WE AGREE ON THAT ON, ANYWAY.

For drivers with destinations within the Alamo Square or Lower Haight neighborhoods, either Divisadero or parallel neighborhood residential streets could be used.

WELL THANKS, CAPTAIN OBV!

For drivers currently using Scott Street for longer stretches, Divisadero will be improved to make it the preferred route through the area.

UH, NO IT WON’T. SIMPLY.

Driving north on Scott Street would not be restricted under the proposal, though raised crosswalks and speed humps will be added.

WHAT’S THE SPEED LIMIT ON SCOTT, SFMTA? HOW MANY PEOPLE “SPEED” ON THESE TWO BLOCKS BETWIXT PAGE AND FELL? OH NONE, ALL RIGHT. BUT YOU’LL PUT IN “SPEED” BUMPS ANYWAY, BECAUSE, BECAUSE…?

Because of improvements the SFMTA will be making to Divisadero in conjunction with this project, neighborhood streets such as Steiner, Pierce and Broderick would not be expected to receive noticeable changes in automobile traffic – in fact, some cross-town traffic on these streets may switch to Divisadero as well.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. IF THE SFMTA WANTS TO FAVOR NORTH-SOUTH TRAFFIC OVER EAST-WEST, IT CAN, OF COURSE, BUT AT THE EXPENSE OF EAST-WEST TRAFFIC, OF COURSE. ISN’T THIS A ZERO-SUM GAME, SFMTA?

Changing the traffic signals on Divisadero Street will ensure that the increase in the number of cars using Divisadero will not slow down the 24-Divisadero, and could even improve Muni service in some stretches.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. OH WELL. HEY SFMTA, WHY NOT CHANGE THE TRAFFIC SIGNALS ON DIVIS RIGHT NOW, IF DOING THAT WOULD BE SO GREAT? SIMPLY, DIVERTING TRAFFIC ON SCOTT WILL NOT IMPROVE BUS SERVICE. SORRY, SFMTA. SORRY TO HARSH YOUR MELLOW, SFMTA.

How San Francisco Works, in a Nutshell – City Commissioners Listed by “Race,” Such as “Caucasian (Gay)”

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Now this is from a decade back, but it shows how SFGov thinks these days as well.

It shows the racial identity of some San Francisco Commissioners:

Click to expand

Look at Alternate Commish Frederick Hobson – his “Race” is “Caucasian (Gay)”

On It Goes….

 

The SFMTA Renames Lower Haight as “The Wiggle Community” – Calls for SFPD Crackdown on Bikes, Return of Hated Traffic Circles

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

[UPDATE: Now let’s hear from famous Jim Ross:

“I lived on Scott Street, between Oak & Fell during the last traffic circle experiment. Was nearly hit four or five times walking to Haight Street for coffee. That is a very residential neighborhood, one reason it is good to bike through. But also, a bunch of pedestrians should not have risk life and limb to cross the street…”

Indeed, Jimbo! Pedestrians wanting to cross Page would hear a car coming from a half-block away. What should they do? Would the drivers slow down? The peds wouldn’t know. Very bad!  All this so that Page could eventually become a “Bicycle Boulevard?” All this so that cyclists wouldn’t have to worry about getting tickets for California stopping? Ridiculoso!]

Here it is, from our incompetent SFMTA:

Wiggle Community Open House

You know what, SFMTA, do you know what you should be “passionate” about? Do you know what your primary function is? It’s to operate the fucking transit system.

So how well do you think you are you doing, SFMTA? Do you think you all are doing a spectacular job? Really?

So why not this, why not say, “We’re the SFMTA, we’re MUNI and we don’t do a very good job these days but we have a pot of money to spend on the Lower Haight and we think this kind of project would be a good use of taxpayer money.” You know, as an introduction, to build credibility with your audience.

Anyway, let’s get to a few of the more glaring issues with the so-called “Wiggle Community,” fka the Lower Haight.

Oh, here we go:

Click to expand

Let’s read the boxes here:

“With intersecting bike routes and heavy vehicle volumes, this intersection  is confusing for everyone”

OMFG, SFMTA, WTF? The intersection of Page and Scott doesn’t have “heavy” vehicle volumes. NOT AT ALL. Also, it’s a simple four way stop. It’s not “confusing for everyone.” WTF are you smoking, you SFMTA hippies?

“Heavy vehicle congestion from drivers using Scott as a cut-through to Fell and Oak.”

OK, as stated, Scott Street just doesn’t have heavy vehicle congestion. Hey, SFMTA! Do you know about the ongoing, daily disaster you all created called Octavia “Boulevard?’ Well guess what. It has “heavy” vehicle congestion. As does Oak, which routinely backs up going all the way up to freaking Alamo Heights. As do other streets intersecting with Octavia due to how the lights are timed. What color is the sky in your world, SFMTA? And what’s a “cut-through?” Is it street? I think it is? How about this, SFMTA, you all name me a street and then I’ll make a up a name for the surrounding area and I’ll call it a “community.” How about the “Ashbury Southern Heights (ASH) Community?” Then, I’ll critercise all those mofos who use the southern part of Ashbury Street to “cut-through” my made-up “community.” And then I’ll blame ALL “congestion” on people who don’t live in the “community.” That’s what you’re trying to do here, SFMTA. Every street in SF is a “cut-through,” using the phrase the way you all use it.

“Haight Street has buses and commercial activity, and is less comfortable for biking.”

Biking isn’t necessarily “comfortable,” SFMTA. And it never will be. I know you all are addicted to spending money, but this rationale is exceptionally weak. It’s right up there with using “transit justice” to justify the wasteful nine-figure Central Subway subway to nowhere project in Chinatown.

“Bicyclists don’t yield to pedestrians, particularly in the downhill direction”

Well, yeah, that’s right. Like Haight and Pierce, for example. I’ll tell you, I’m surprised the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition branch of the SFMTA would allow a publication to come out what talks about enforcement actions and what has a photo of an SFPD officer. I guess this is the SFMTA throwing a bone to the peds?

Anyway, read through the whole seven pages for more SFMTA boners.

Speaking of which, the SFMTA is back with the traffic circles.

All right,about a decade ago, the very same SFMTA was dead-set on putting traffic circles in the Haights, specifically on Page and Waller. The SFMTA said it had numerous studies praising traffic circles. The SFMTA said that “the community” wanted traffic circles. The SFMTA was wrong. The SFMTA had a vote by the neighbors and it lost by about a three to one margin – all 11 proposed traffic circles got voted down. Anyway, the plan was to have them become gardens or whatnot. So, for the SFMTA to list unsightliness as the first reason for the SFMTA’s failure, well, that’s a little disingenuous, IMO. So the reason the SFMTA can now claim it has “installed traffic circles with success and community support” in the Richmond District recently is that the SFMTA didn’t allow a vote. If the SFMTA allowed a vote on any particular traffic circle, the SFMTA would lose. So, no more voting, bingo bango.

This is horse doody:

“Traffic Circles Then & Now
In 2003, the SFMTA experimented with removing stop signs and installing traffic circles at several locations along Page Street. Many residents complained that the circles were unsightly and deprioritized pedestrians, and they were removed. However, in recent years the SFMTA has installed traffic circles with success and  community support, using improved outreach, design, and signage.

Are there places in the Wiggle where you’d like to see traffic circles today?”

Is the SFMTA saying that it has “improved” the design of traffic circles the past ten years? Perhaps they’ve done research on the number pi? Perhaps they’re thinking traffic ovals? Traffic ovoids? IDK.

Anyway, just because you lie about stuff, that doesn’t mean people will necessarily believe you, SFMTA.

Ah, mem’ries:

“Subject: Page St. Traffic Circle Hearing TOMORROW
From: joshua@sfbike.org
Date: March 17, 2004 1:30:06 PM PST

“Dear SF bicyclist,

The 9-month long Page and Waller Traffic Circle Pilot program is coming to a
close, and the Department of Parking and Traffic is holding a public hearing
TOMORROW, THURSDAY MARCH 18TH to hear from residents and users of the
street. This is your chance to voice ideas, concerns, and opinions about
this traffic calming experiment. Each of the 11 proposed circles will be
voted on by residents living within a block, and voting will conclude March
25th. The circle receiving the highest percentage of votes (over 50%) will
be installed on a permanent basis, with consideration for others that also
receive 50% or more of the vote.

The meeting will be held:

6:30pm-8pm this Thursday, March 18th
Park Branch Library
1833 Page St. at Cole

The SFBC supports the concept of the traffic calming circles, but shares the
concerns of many other residents and neighborhood groups, including Walk SF
and the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, that:

1) there was not sufficient neighborhood outreach or involvement prior to
circle installation

2) more education and public outreach is needed to users of the street to
convey safe and legal behavior at the circles

3) pedestrian right-of-way is being compromised with the current circle
design

Although we don’t think the current design is perfect, we are encouraging
our members and other residents living along the Page and Waller corridor to
VOTE YES to give the circles a chance to be improved upon.

BICYCLE BOULEVARDS

Given the right education, signage, and enforcement, we believe the circles
will benefit the neighborhood and cyclists by being the first step toward a
true bicycle boulevard on Page St.

A bike boulevard is an innovative bicycle facility that is often applied to
residential streets that parallel major arterials. It consists of three
design elements:

1. stop signs placed only on side streets to give priority to the boulevard

2. traffic circles installed in at least some of the intersections to slow
cars down to 10-15mph while allowing bikes to maintain momentum

3. diverters, barriers or forced turns that prohibit automobile through
access on the bike boulevard while continuing to allow cyclists,
pedestrians, and emergency vehicles through.

A bicycle boulevard treatment applied to Page St. could dramatically reduce
the volume and speed of traffic, and reduce or eliminate stop signs, making
bicycling along Page much easier, safer, more efficient and pleasant. It
would not “close” the street to cars- drivers would still be able to access
every point along Page, but using this neighborhood street as an auto cut
through would be a thing of the past.

Although the DPT is not considering a full bicycle boulevard currently,
Thursday’s meeting will be a good chance to voice your support for this
concept, and build support among local residents.

You can find out more about bicycle boulevards at:
http://www.odot.state.or.us/techserv/bikewalk/planimag/ii1e.htm

DPT’s web page on the circles is at
http://www.sfgov.org/site/dpt_index.asp?id=13573

Because of vocal opposition to the circles, it is particularly important for
people to come and speak at the hearing about the benefits of traffic
calming and a bicycle boulevard along Page St. For more information,
contact me (using the information at the bottom of this e-mail).

TALKING POINTS FOR THURSDAY’S MEETING

- There are problems with the implementation of the circles, but the concept
is good. We need better signage (yield to peds pop-up signs, and stops
where appropriate)

- A full bicycle boulevard (including side street stop signs, circles, and
diverters) will dramatically reduce car traffic on this residential street,
prioritizing the street for cyclists and pedestrians.

- Vote yes on the circles!

Thank you for supporting YOUR Bicycle Coalition and an improved bike
network!”

Commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of KRON-TV’s “Bubb Rubb and Lil Sis” Viral Video – Whistle Tips – Whoo Whoo!

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

At first I just could not believe that this bit would have been aired on a local news channel. I thought I was being punk’d.

But this short video, which is older than YouTube itself, was an actual bit from KRON in 2003:

Will Harper had the follow-up in 2004.

Back then, all we had was Bubb Rubb and the Dancing Baby as viral videos…

Girl With A Pearl Earring: You’ve Seen the Movie, Now See the Real Thing – Dutch Paintings at the de Young in January!

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Look, it’s the Girl With A Pearl Earring:

Oh, wait a sec, here she is:

Johannes Vermeer (Delft 1632–1675 Delft) Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665. Oil on canvas, 17 1/2 x 15 3/8 in. (44.5 x 39 cm) Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague, Bequest of Arnoldus des Tombe, 1903 (inv. no. 670)

Well, guess what. They’re going to pack her up and send her to Golden Gate Park to be put on display for the first half of 2013 at our de Young Museum.

This is huge.

All the deets:

Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis - At the de Young Museum January 26—June 2, 2013

San Francisco, October 2012–The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to announce that on January 26, 2013, the de Young Museum will be the first North American venue to present Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis, a selection of paintings from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague. The de Young will host 35 paintings from the collection, including the renowned Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, and four works by Rembrandt van Rijn. Highlighting the spectacular artistic achievements of the Dutch Golden Age, these works reflect the culture of artistic, economic, and technological innovation that allowed the Netherlands to prosper in the 17th century.

At the center of this exhibition is one of the world’s most famous paintings, Vermeer’s masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring. This work, sometimes called “the Dutch Mona Lisa,” is one of only 36 known paintings by the artist and rarely travels outside the Netherlands. Though little is known about Vermeer’s life, the quiet grace and virtuoso technique evident in his paintings, and in particular his rendering of light, have placed him among the most important artists of the 17th century. Many of the details of his technique can only be appreciated through close examination of the painting surface, such as the few tiny brushstrokes that indicate the reflection on the pearl, and the broader, more expressive painting of her ultramarine and yellow turban.

Ever more deets, after the jump.

(more…)

Look What the Bicycle Coalition Has in Store: Bringing Back Hated Traffic Circles, Shutting Down Buchanan

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Ah yes, it’s the ThinkBike workshop of September 2011, whatever that was.

Now, remember the traffic circle imperative that was foisted upon us eight years ago? Oh man, did that ever suck. But, there were studies that showed how magical and great traffic circles would be, so the experiment began.

Most considered it a massive failure, but somehow the welcomed death of the Waller and Page Street traffic circles was “sad,” or something, for some people:

“Coalition project manager Josh Hart, however, acknowledges the circles may need some fine-tuning to better protect pedestrians and bicyclists. ‘People should give them a chance,’ he said. ‘It would be really sad to see this experiment fail.’”

No fine tuning was needed as fine tuning wasn’t the problem. The problem was the traffic circles themselves.

Well looky here. They’re ba-ack. Or at least some people somewhere want them to come back in some kind of recent fever dream / workshop.

See?

(That’s Page on the right – imagine a big arrow with an N next to it pointing to the left.)

This plan would ostensibly convert this part of Scott into a “slow shared street” but of course it’s a slow street and a shared street right now already, so I don’t know about that.

I’ll tell you, the San Francisco Fire Department would take a dim view of this plan, but oh well.

IRL back in the day, you’d never know what car drivers would do at traffic circled intersections - sometimes they’d stop anyway at each circle, sometimes they’d treat the circle like a Formula 1 road race chicane and cross over the crosswalks without slowing down. The promised gardens in the middle of the intersections were supposed to make the neighbors happy but that didn’t work.

The graphic also mentions deterring “cut-through traffic” on Scott Street, but isn’t that the whole point of Scott Street? You know, so people can cut-through from one part of town to another?

Oh well.

Now here’s Market, Duboce, Buchanan which is no picnic for cyclists these days, particularly people using the Wiggle route inbound going behind the Church Street Safeway:

You make the call on this one. I’ll just note that the current situation is a mess.

I don’t think I’d favor slowing down Market Street traffic any more than it’s being slowed down now by, among other things, nearby Octavia Boulevard, which for some reason takes the lion’s share of the minute and a half traffic signal cycle.

Recalling the Time Mayor Gavin Newsom Tried to Pass a Counterfeit $100 Bill

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Well, let’s take local lawyer Rodel Rodis at his word when he recalls a conversation with then-Supervisor Gavin Newsom, excerpted below. And if you want, read Rodel’s whole woe-is-me tale of getting arrested by the SFPD for trying to pass a “counterfeit” $100 bill at a Walgreens. (Turned out that the lawyer’s money was little old school, but 100% genuine.)

Does this $100 bill necessarily look counterfeit to you? It shouldn’t. It’s just a little dated, that’s all – there’s no need to call the cops.

Bill copy

Anyway, as the litigation over this 2003 detention (non-arrest? arrest?) continues to infinity and beyond, here’s a new part of the story. When Mr. Rodis started going around saying how this bad treatment from Walgreens and the SFPD wouldn’t have been inflicted upon lesser-of -color notables such as Gavin Newsom or Tony Hall, he got a response:

“Newsom then related an incident that occurred when he was still in the private sector when he brought the daily earnings of his restaurant (Balboa Café) to the bank to deposit. He said the teller began counting the money and applied a counterfeit detector pen to a $100 bill which she found suspicious. The result confirmed that it was fake– unlike in my case where the pen applied by both the Walgreens cashier and manager showed that my $100 bill was genuine. ‘So what happened next?’ I asked Newsom. ‘Well, she returned the $100 bill to me and told me to be careful next time,’ he answered.”

Now I can pretty much guarantee you that if bank teller spots you trying to (innocently, of course) deposit a fake $100 bill, he or she won’t just hand it back to you! Typically, somebody’ll be on the horn, with a quickness, with the Secret Service - the bankers will immediately confiscate that funny money from you, and thereby ensure that you will be the one “eating the loss,” in industry parlance.

(I mean really, what are you supposed to do with a $100 bill you know is fake? Use it to buy a pack of gum, ending up with 99 real dollars? Deposit it  in an ATM and pray that the people who count the money happen to be on the MDMA that night? That’s a dilly of a pickle to be in.)

Keep in mind this is Rodel’s version of the story, and of course he  might look at the world a little differently than you. For example, this is behavior he describes as “refusing to sign a speeding ticket.” (Well, yes, that great-grandmother pointlessly refused to sign her 60 in a 45 speeding ticket, but that wasn’t exactly why she got (unnecessarily) Tasered, one might think.)

So There You Have It.

The Ferrari Store in Union Square Could Use a Little More Foot Traffic

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The Ferrari Store at 2 Stockton could do with a little more foot traffic these days, as predicted. Of course you can’t buy a real Ferrari there, but you CAN get a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Then you’ll end up looking like this guy. Why not?

Cue tumbleweeds. Click to expand:

Speaking of real Ferraris, check out the 2003 F1 replica racer in 2007 livery. Note the tiny 13″ wheels that are smaller than the ones on your sister’s Corolla. Note mobbed Apple Store just across the street at 1 Stockton. 

I’m not sure what the real color is on this Enzo key, so I can’t fix it. Could be a case of white balance gone wrong. Note ridiculousness of spending 200 clams for the key to a car you don’t own.

Ask them about their Segway

Good luck San Francisco Scuderia Ferrari.

Lonely Restaurant Hostess Looks for Customers in North Beach

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

You tend to see this more outside of San Francisco – restaurant employees out on the curb encouraging customers to come in. But it happened a lot in S.F. just after 9/11. Must not have been a picnic trying to make money in that environment. To help out, the Dine About Town program got started in 2002 trying to coax people back into restaurants.

But this is 2008, so it seems funny that a place on Columbus in North Beach would be looking for more business on a Saturday night, in June, at 8:00 PM.

img_8562-copy.jpg

In nearby Chinatown, the low point for the food service industry was in 2003 when the SARS scare prevented anybody from showing up for the Shirley Fong-Torres Wok Wiz tour one day. You couldn’t make it five feet down Grant Avenue without being propositioned during this time.

It can be a tough way to make a living, the restaurant biz.

Chin up!