Posts Tagged ‘2013’

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.

Massive Cowcatcher: The “New Municipal Railway Car” of 1912, As Seen in 1913 and As Seen in 2013

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

As seen in 1913, in a 101-year-old report to the Mayor of San Francisco, cowcatcher down:

As seen just last year on Market, cowcatcher up:

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“FIGURE 44— NEW MUNICIPAL RAILWAY CAR. Embodying the most advanced standards of comfortable seating arrangement, quick loading and unloading, rapid operation and safety m a “California type” prepayment car. This design conforms to the Chicago standard making it possible to save 18 inches from the width of roadways while still preserving ample passenger carrying capacity according to standards that may be properly imposed by the municipality in railway service either on its own lines or those of private companies. This car can comfortably accommodate from 80 to 90 passengers, or 105 in emergencies, without undue crowding. During the first few days of operation loads as high as 14i) passengers per car were carried.”

If You Want to Get From the Panhandle to Downtown Quickly, Forget About the Wiggle and Just Take Oak

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Thusly:

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If you want. There’s really only one block that’s kind of steep, but think of all the stop signs you won’t have to blow through.

They used to have a kind of bike lane on the left side of Oak but it’s gone now.

But the right side looks all right and traffic doesn’t move all that fast so it works.

(Coming back is a different story, much steeper going uphill on neighboring Fell and Page.)

Happy trails.

My Personal Best: Four Tower Cranes in One Shot – “The Crane is Now San Francisco’s Official Bird”

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Find me a recent photo what shows five or more tower cranes in Frisco – I challenge you.

Such cranes!

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INTRODUCTORY NOTES: “I’d like to open my remarks with a humorous anecdote. The official bird of San Francisco isn’t the California Quail! It’s actually the crane. [Pause for gasps and puzzled looks.] The _construction_ crane! “[ Pause to wait for the applause to die down, to enjoy the smiles of onlooking Walter Wong and Rose Pak, to bask in glory of being appointed by that guy who got appointed by that guy who got appointed by Willie Brown, to exult in being an obedient figurehead girl who does exactly what Downtown tells her to do.

SFO Construction Update: New Traffic Control Tower, Tower Crane, Old Traffic Control Tower

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

They’ve made some progress the past five months:

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Asiana Air Crash Update – Reviewing KTVU TV’s “Sum Ting Wong” Fiasco from 2014 – TRIGGER WARNING: Speculation

Friday, January 24th, 2014

1. So KTVU, the way to make up for your error is to disclose what occurred, IMO. The way NOT to do it is to air “Success Makers*” featuring “Survivor” winner Yul Kwon interviewing other notable Korean Americans. This tit-for-tat, Black-Eye vs. Feather-in-the-Cap, yes-but-is-it-good-for-the-Jews accounting system is a big fat joke and everybody knows it. If you all want to air this kind of “aspirational” bullcrap at 7 AM on a Sunday morning, well then be my guest, but you don’t need to commit the U.S. Media Blunder of the Year 2013 first, right? One thing has nothing to do with the other, IRL. You can throw a bone to the Asian American Journalists Association whenever you want, right? Why connect the two?

2. OTOH, KTVU, if you want to go through the pretty much pointless process of sending out take-down notices hither and yon so that certain people, certain older, out of touch people, can see that you’re trying to placate them, well, at least that makes more sense than Success Makers.

3. So, KTVU, what happened? Your viewing public is confused. And rightly so, since you’re hiding your own story from them. Some think that you all got punked by another TV station as payback for all the crowing you were doing about your Asiana coverage up to that point. Others think that some low-level KTVU employee made a joke and then things got out of hand. But that’s not what I heard.

4. My theory. Some aviation buff from the Midwest, let’s say in Illinois or a neighboring state, posts on a regional forum that the names all the pilots have just been revealed: “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.” This joke just sat out there for a day or so and then it started getting repeated on other boards and Twitter and the like. A retired pilot, somebody that KTVU had dealt with in the past, came across the names but didn’t get the joke. So he earnestly passed the names along to a contact at KTVU and that’s what got the ball rolling. Do you want a guess on who that person is? Well, my WAG is a former United Airlines pilot who’s now living in a leafy East Bay suburb. Someone who is older. He’s younger than my grandmother, who would not have gotten the joke either, but old enough to have grown up in a more sober-minded era. (That’s an era where a kind of blue-collar, single-income fam could actually afford to buy a Brady Bunch kind of house on an ironically-named street just before it massively appreciated.)

5. So then, the KTVU crew runs the names by a Chinese-American(?) woman who  doesn’t wonder why all the Korean pilots have Chinese-sounding names? (NB: If you don’t have a Kim, a Lee, or a Park in there, then something might very well be suspect.) And the news reader lady, who, after all is pretty much mindlessly reading the Teleprompter, pronounced one of the names as Fook instead of Fuck and boy aren’t we clever to not make that mistake

6. I’ll tell you, it’ll take a long time before a carrier like Asiana has four Chinese national pilots on one of its widebodies. OTOH, there were a heck of a lot of Chinese passengers on the Korean plane. Why’s that? Well, I’ll tell you, one of my former co-workers flew to South Korea last year just before the SFO disaster and this person specifically avoided using the two big Korean carriers even though it cost hundreds more to do so. Why? A strong mistrust of South Korean aviation safety. So, a Chinese carrier, Taiwanese, American? Sure, but not Asiana. One assumes that Asiana had pretty low fares in the summer of 2013…

7. So KTVU, as long as your happy, huh? You had a problem, you dealt with it, you fired some people, you paid off some settlement(s) for firing some people, you aired an aspirational TV show to several thousands of viewers and that’s that. What this all reminds me of is what the San Francisco Chronicle went through after it posted DIARY OF A SEX SLAVE, which was a major investment in time and money.** Boy, that one really hit the fan. After this similar kind of backlash, the Chron agreed not to syndicate the series, which prolly cost the Chron big bucks I’m guessing. Oh well.

8. Anyway, KTVU, that’s what some people might be thinking, but not saying. Try to focus on what’s correct, not what’s confirmed, you old MSM dinosaur you. The way you handled this mess is a bigger problem than the initial mess itself is what I’m saying. Go and sin no more. And I’ll tell you, the FAA / NTSB gets an A+ so far for the accident investigation. It’s like a WHAT WENT WRONG SO WE DON’T DO THIS AGAIN kind of thing. Why doesn’t KTVU do the same kind of thing so we can all benefit?

*”I’ll be hosting a special on KTVU tomorrow night after the 49ers-Seahawks game. The show is called “Success Makers” and I profile/interview four Asian American trailblazers, including Gideon Yu (president of the 49ers and former CFO of Facebook) and Daniel Dae Kim (star of Lost and Hawaii 5-0). Their stories are fascinating, and notwithstanding the painfully rusty host, the show is actually pretty eye-opening.”

**The problem was that the important parts were single-sourced. (“Typical college student?” Please.) IMO, that was the real prob with it. 

A Brief History of the Mavericks Big Wave Surf Contest

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

“I’ll tell you, Mavericks used to be something, man. But now it’s all corporate and shit, man.”

Sort of.

Hey, isn’t the Mavericks surf contest just like the Burning Man festival? Just look where they got started – same beach, different county:

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I’ll you, ten years from now, you’ll hear about some underground event what’s been gaining in popularity and I’ll bet you it will have gotten its start on one of these Bay Area beaches that you can see in the photo.

Anyway, Mavs is on, once again, this coming Friday, January 24th, 2014.

Now back in the day, to see Mavericks you’d just park you ride on the Pacific Coast Highway and then ride your bikes to the beach. Easy peasy.

And then they’d let you climb up on the bluff for a good view (even though people fell off of it all the time).

This big green thing:

(Mmmm… why do these rocks a “breakwater?”)

And then they didn’t want people on the bluff so they put up an “event village” or something on the beach below.

Dangerous hilarity ensued, due to what they called a “sneaker wave,” but really it was just kind of a regular wave

Via dwan.mac click to expand

And then, Mavs went Hollywood:

But, you know, I guess it’s really the same event as it always was.

Fundamentally.

(Just as with Burning Man.)

So, look for all the same thrills chills and spills as back in the day:

Darryl “Flea” Virostko was a tad aggressive in the first round of 2008:

Canon 1D Mark II, Canon EF 300mm 2.8 IS plus Canon 2x II extender at f8.0

And if you’re on a boat with an aggressive Captain, this will be your view on Friday, January 23rd, 2014:

All right, see you there!

But let’s hope we have more lulz than lulls.

‘Cause nobody wants to see too many heats like this:

Tink happy tots!

Uh, San Francisco Chronicle Outdoors Writer Tom Stienstra, the Person Damaging Your Reputation the Most is You Yourself

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Let’s review.

Now let’s add in the news from yesterday, specifically this.

Your position on this matter is incoherent.

Hey, here’s what the Chronicle itself had to say back in 2010:

Chronicle outdoors writer Tom Stienstra and his wife were arrested at their Northern California home on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, and later released with no charges filed pending an investigation, officials said.

Siskiyou County sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said deputies found “a sophisticated marijuana cultivation operation in the barn” at Stienstra’s home in Weed, a small town 30 miles south of Yreka, when they searched it March 25.

Authorities seized 60 marijuana plants, 11.1 pounds of processed marijuana, scales, packaging materials and other paraphernalia from the barn and the home, Gravenkamp said.”

Are you going to sue the Chronicle too?

Weren’t you actually arrested ”on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale?” I mean, that’s the question, right?

And boy, if somebody turned me down for a vacation rental you know what I’d do? I’d find another vacation rental and everything would be rosy.

Hey, here’s an idea. Why not just move on and quit while you’re behind?

US Military Performing Exercises Just Off of Ocean Beach on MLK Day – US Coast Guard 47-Foot Motor Life Boats

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

The smallest branch of our U.S military, the Coast Guard, was out practicing rescues at Ocean Beach on a national holiday, as they are want to do.

One of the $1.2 million Textron Marine 47 foot Motor Life Boats on the scene: 

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Semper Paratus (Always Ready)