Posts Tagged ‘2015’

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“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic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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Regular San Franciscans Just LOVE Chain Stores, Chapter #1801: Panera Bread, OPENING SOON in the Western Addition

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Well, here it is, “OPENING SOON!” as promised:

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So this chain already has 1800 or so outlets, so let’s call this place at Geary and Masonic Store #1801.

The thing is, regular San Franciscans, not the electeds, you know, just regular people, love chain stores and here’s the test: OPEN ONE UP AND SEE IF PEOPLE SHOP THERE. You dig? That’s why chain stores are banned or are effectively banned in certain areas under certain conditions.

If San Franciscan didn’t like chain stores, then chain stores wouldn’t open up here in the first place, or, if they did, then nobody would shop there and then the chain stores would close up and leave.

Now this particular chain store is hidden away, like a porno shop, and that helped it get approved. you see, we like chain stores but we don’t want to see them all over the place.

On It Goes…

 

“St. Louis Bread” Coming to the Western Addition – 1800-Strong Panera Bakery Chain Now Hiring for New Geary Masonic Location

Monday, November 24th, 2014

I’l tell you, I don’t object to the Panera Bread coming to 2675 Geary at Masonic (but some people do).

Here’s the ad - apply for a job if you want:

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(The Panera will be right next to the new Chipotle. Truly, the City Centre Mall Has It All.)

All the deets about Panera, after the jump

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Instead of Concentrating on the 7th Game of the World Series, Mayor Ed Lee is Playing Ping Pong at a Political Event?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

In the words of the great John MalkovichWTF to that:

“…fundraiser for Evan Low is happening tonight in SoMa from 6-8 PM! With an open bar, amazing food, a live DJ set, and Mayor Ed Lee playing ping pong, this is an event not to be missed.”

And this official fundraiser graphic is odd, certainly, and “500 DOLLAR BUY IN” seems very “off-message.”

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Oh, there’ll be some TVs on that the Mayor Airbnb can glance at, perhaps in between sets with Ron Conway? All right.

(Hey, who’s Evan Low – what does he have to do with San Francisco?)

No wonder Senator Mark Leno is ahead in the polls, already, in next year’s mayoral race…

[UPDATE: And here it is, as advertised, incredibly.]

Corvette Summer, 94117 – The Fastest Way to Get Around SF is in a Brand-New Corvette with Free Parking Privileges

Friday, August 1st, 2014

See? Cause when you get to your destination, you want to park right away, right?

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(415) (628) (650): San Francisco Will Soon Have _Three_ Different Area Codes – Plus, 10-Digit Dialing is Already Here for Some Of Us

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

[UPDATE: I almost forgot – there’s going to be a 628 test number to call:

“A test number has been established to enable business customers to verify that their equipment can complete calls to the new area code.  The test number, (628) 628-1628, will be available beginning Dec. 21 and will be in operation through April 21, 2015.”]

Gentle Reader, do you remember when the East Bay used the 415 area code? Well, I do. The switchover to the nickel-and-dime occurred back in 1991. And in a small way, it divided the East Bay from the West Bay, just how Elaine Benes felt isolated from 212 Manhattan by the 646 area code overlay back in the day.

Well, get ready for some more changes, ’cause the new 628 overlay means that you’ll be dialing the 415 area code even from the 415 – this is called ten-digit dialing.

Anyway, here’s the news – ten-digit dialing has arrived already. By that, I mean that I can no longer dial my 415 land line with my T-Mobile 415 cell phone without first punching in the area code. This change occurred a few weeks back. Welcome to The Future. [But apparently, seven digit dialing is still working for some or most of the rest of San Francisco - see the Comments section. They'll be phasing things in, optionally at first, and then mandatorily.]

Of course we could have handled things differently, but the small-minded people of our Small Business Commission wanted to do things this way, because, you know, business!

Let’s see, what else? Oh, yeah, for some reason, some people in SF have 650 area codes, like down in Ingleside Heights:

So, SF will soon have three area codes for just 46-something square miles. What a country!*

Anyway, enjoy:

In closing:

“No, it’s just like 212 except they multiplied every number by 3… and added 1 to the middle number.”

*In Soviet Russia, phone dial you!

Driving Around the World in a Third-Generation New MINI Hatch (F56) – Sighted on Lombard – Next Stops: Germany, Japan

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Back in the 1990′s, Euros went Around The World via French House.

These days, they use tiny BMW’s:

“Around the World with a MINI F56 2014.
Start, 16. June 2014 in Germany.
7 countries, 2 months, 2 people, MINI takes the States, 22.000 km. Kick-off 16. June 2014″

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It’s Around the World in 60 Days.

Bon Courage, you daft punks.

UPDATE: This just came in, FYI:

“MINI TAKES THE STATES Motors Across The Country With High-Flying Send-Off From Tony Hawk

MINI owners from around the world rally from San Francisco to Boston: 14 states, 18 cities in 15 days

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., July 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Motorers, start your engines!  MINI TAKES THE STATES (MTTS) 2014 is now underway. The rally kicked off early on July 27(th) with fellow MINI owner and partner, Tony Hawk, performing a MINI inspired skateboarding stunt to send off MINI owners itching to hit the road.

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The Best Thing Ever: 2014-2015 American Conservatory Theater to Feature “Mr. Burns – A Post Electric Play” – Feb 18th, 2015

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

San Francisco’s Premier Non-Profit Theatre Company announced their 2014-2015 season a while back, but I missed it.

So I’m just finding out about the best idea ever for a play. Presenting “Mr. Burns – A Post Electric Play”

“A.C.T. presents the West Coast debut of the outrageous and enthusiastically acclaimed new comedy by Bay Area–born playwright Anne Washburn. The story begins in a dark dystopia, where a group of surviving strangers bond by recreating from memory an episode of The Simpsons. As the story moves decades later, their recollection becomes an almost religious-like fable, elaborately staged for adoring crowds through live theater and opera. A marvelously meta tribute to the pop-culture phenomenon The Simpsons and a paean to the power of storytelling, Mr. Burns is an ingenious exploration of how we share recollection, memory, and truth.”

There’s no way this can’t be great.

“One of the Top Ten Plays of 2013. Downright brilliant”—The New York Times

“Wonderfully clever”—The Wall Street Journal

See you there!

Oh No, the “628″ Area Code Coming to SF in Just Nine Short Months and the CA CPUC Wants Us to Start Preparing Now!

Monday, June 16th, 2014

OMG, the gov’mint is messing with our good old 415 area code, starting in just two months. The era of ten- or eleven-digit dialing is upon us.

The horror, the horror:

“CPUC Offers Reminder Of New Dialing Procedure For Consumers With 415 Area Code

SAN FRANCISCO, June 16, 2014 –The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today reminded residential and business customers served by the 415 area code that they need to prepare for the introduction of the new 628 area code overlay. The 628 area code will be added, or overlaid, to the 415 regions to ensure businesses and consumers have access to telephone numbers from their wireline and wireless carrier of choice.

With the 415/628 area code overlay, customers must dial “1″ plus the three-digit area code for all calls to and from telephone numbers with the 415 and 628 area codes. Customers may begin to use this new dialing procedure on August 16, 2014, when consumers and businesses with a 415 area code telephone number may begin dialing 1 + area code + seven digit telephone number when making all local calls. The new dialing procedure will become mandatory for all residential and business consumers on February 21, 2015. On March 21, 2015, the new 628 area code may be assigned to those who request a new telephone number or an additional telephone line, as well as any available numbers in the 415 area code.

Residents and businesses with telephone numbers within the 415 area code will retain their current telephone number(s) and area code. Consumers requesting new or additional telephone numbers (or telecommunications services) may be assigned telephone numbers with either the new 628 area code or the original 415 area code, depending on available telephone number inventory. Consumers will still be able to dial three digits to reach 911, 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, and 811.

To prepare for the area code overlay, residents and businesses in the 415 region should:

–  Begin dialing 1 + area code + telephone number for all calls. [NO, I REFUSE!]

–  Notify alarm service providers. [ALL RIGHT, GOOD IDEA, CPUC]

–  Reprogram equipment or features including automatic dialers, speed-dialing, call forwarding, modems for computer or Internet dial-up access, etc. [NO, I REFUSE!]

–  Advise family, friends, and business contacts to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all calls. [AS IF, CPUC. NO, I REFUSE!]

–  Ensure that security door and gate systems are reprogrammed to dial 1 + area code + telephone number.  [ALL RIGHT, GOOD IDEA, CPUC]

–  Test telephone equipment to determine if it can dial and receive 1 + area code + telephone number. Questions regarding changes in telephone equipment should be directed to telephone equipment vendors. [NO, I REFUSE!]

–  Update items such as stationary, checks, business cards, advertisements, promotional items, brochures, Internet web pages, and catalogs to reflect the 1 + area code + telephone number change. [NO, I REFUSE!]   

California and other states have successfully implemented approximately 60 area code overlays throughout the U.S. to meet the continual growing demand for more telephone numbers.

For more information, consumers and businesses should contact their telephone service provider or visit:www.cpuc.ca.gov/areacode415.

For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.

SOURCE  California Public Utilities Commission

California Public Utilities Commission”

Oh Look, a New BMW to Laugh At: Presenting the i8 Plug-In Hybrid – A Small, Impractical Two-Seater for Just $136K!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

OMG, $136K for a “distinctly forward-looking and sustainability-focused sports car” that provides a “revolutionary interpretation of BMW’s hallmark driving pleasure.”

Here it is. I suppose it actually has a couple of rear seats in the back but they’re for like your purse or a dog or something. In mitigation, these rides come with gull-wing doors, just like a Mercedes!

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Say, is this ride going to attract a certain “type” of person? You bet, you’ll see.

And say, should the U.S. or CA government subsidize the sale of these cars? Absolutely not.

That is all.