Posts Tagged ‘accidents’

Wow, That was Fast: Here’s the New Bike Lane on the Twitterloin Part of Golden Gate Avenue – Lots of Congestion Already

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

So I heard that the beginning part of Golden Gate in the ‘Loin, the Tender / Twitter -loin, was going to get a bike lane just a few weeks back. And I says to myself, I says, “I better check it out afore things change.” And I did but then I thought, no, neighboring McAllister is a much better way to travel inbound, even though our SFMTA / DPW just recently rejiggered the traffic lights in front of the troubled Hibernia Bank Building most unhelpfully.*

But then a week later, I saw this – it’s just a paint job, for now:

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Speaking of signal timing, I think you’d really need to hustle to make the green lights. I’ll be satisfied to be delayed by just one red light from Polk to Market – prolly the one at Hyde Leavenworth.

Anyway, speaking of that area, drivers turning right from GG onto Hyde just might get in your way. A lot. We’ll see how this works out.

Oh, and here we go – on the same day, just by coincidence, I came through in a car. Lots of backed up traffic, as one might expect, oh well. See the pedestrian timer? The light turned red soon after and it was stop and go at each intersection even though traffic was not backed up at the intersection with Market, oh well:

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So now Golden Gate seems more like the foot of troubled 6th Street, which is the SoMA street what GG feeds into.

IDK, maybe I’ll start using this part of GG every day. The new bike lane is in beta, more or less, so we’re not yet aware of all its issues.

Well see…

*So they take the trouble to make the foot of McAllister a two-way street and things seemed to be working out, but then they make the intersection with Market a mess with blocked #5 Fultons all over. Perhaps this is due to nearby construction? Our SFMTA has a real problem with traffic light timing – it’s like it doesn’t care a whit. The SFMTA isn’t a safety organization, it’s an un-safety organization. This isn’t a money problem, it’s a management problem. Sry.

A Typical San Francisco Pedestrian – This is the Problem – VisionZero “Enhancements” Will Have No Effect Upon This

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Sry.

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The Horrible Pedestrians of San Francisco, Airbnb Edition, Western Addition

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Here’s an interesting contrast. The local is jaywalking on the far side of the intersection, and he’s made it most of the way across, and plus he’s running.

Compare that with the Airbnb-type tourists, who, in this case, were on the near side of the intersection, and had not made it most of the way across when their light turned red and, of course, were not running:

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Oh well.

Debunking the Debunkers: “Charles Vincent, Chris Bucchere, and the SFPD”

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Look what popped up in my inbox:

Saturday, March 28, 2015 Charles Vincent, Chris Bucchere, and SFPD

Take a look and then come back here – that’s how the dedebunking business works.

On March 2nd Charles Vincent, 66 years old, was riding his bike at the intersection of 14th and Folsom in San Francisco when…

When he ran a red light, per the SFPD police report (which I’ve ask to see, but haven’t seen yet), right? The problem with telling the story the way DJ Connel tells things, is that that makes it StreetsBlog-style advocacy journalism. Why not instead tell the story straight? Moving on.

“The DA is not gonna charge that person with a crime because…”

Because the DA would have to get a guilty verdict from a notoriously-slack San Francisco jury. By way of example, you and your GF can have about 14 drinks at the Foodies’ New Favorite Bay Area Restaurant and then run over a Eurpoean visitor and then stop and then move his bicycle off of the street(!) and then switch seats and then make a run for it and then, later on, you get a little bit of jail time, less than a year, perhaps just a few months. So that’s your because. IMO, a different question is whose fault the accident is. (I thought the PR said it was the cyclist’s?)

If someone is in violation of code, it’s sanctionable to kill them with your own violation?

Well maybe, it depends on how the violation relates to the harm. (I’ll point out that sanctionable is a particularly poor word choice here.)

Rewind to the Chris Bucchere case…. Chris rode his bike at approximately 31 mph…

Oh no no no. It was “at least 31 MPH.” If you want to go for “approximately,” then the answer is 35 MPH.

This case brought out a wave of rage against Chris, indeed against cyclists in general, which caused the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to attack him…

Whoa, slow down here. What happened was that he got carried away with Strava, so he’d repeatedly “bomb” down segments of steep streets to see how fast he could complete the “Castro Street Bomb” or the “XXth Street Bomb” and, even though he was experienced with how pedestrians behave on Market street, he crossed over it way over the limit and then he made a bizarre post on the Internet. So if that’s what you want to simply call “the case,” that’s fine, but there’s a reason why this accident became international news. I certainly didn’t feel any “wave of rage” directed at me and I don’t think that the SFBC would have cheered him on absent any purported generalized wave of rage. The people who were really mad were cyclists on SF2G, boards like that, members of various cycling groups, at least one of which had the word “Mission” in its name. Bucchere was way off the scale.

Indeed there’s little question Chris was being reckless…”

Oh, this is quite an admission. The next step after reckless is purposeful, and nobody thinks this accident was purposeful, right? So, yes, pretty reckless. Something I do after I’ve entered an intersection legally, you know, IRL legally, is to stop just before the crosswalk at the far side of the intersection, so as to avoid hitting one or more of SF’s horrible peds. Too bad Bucchere couldn’t have thought of that. Or even slowing down a little bit – that could have helped a lot.

“But the question is here is one of fairness, whether drivers are treated comparably to cyclists…”

Well, let’s look at the case of Randolph Ang. No 35 MPH, no Strava “King of the Hill” aspirations, no internet ode to a bicycle helmet posted five hours later. He got community service, performed at, at least in part, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. No felony conviction, certainly. His post-accident behavior seemed more understandable, right?

The Bucchere case, on the other hand, went something like this: A: “That speeding cyclist blew through the stop sign and hit the pedestrians legally crossing the intersection – throw the book at him!” 

Uh no, for a lot of reasons. The people who voiced emotion against Bucchere, which included, of course, most of the cyclists who commented, (including one who said he’d feel embarrassed to continue wearing a jersey with a certain club name on it) didn’t really get into Sutchi Hui being legally in the crosswalk or not. And this wasn’t a California stop at a stop sign, as this intersection was and is controlled with electronic signals. No no, it was Bucchere’s attorney who talked about Bucchere entering the intersection “legally,” but of course this couldn’t have been true since he was speeding, so oh well to that. And big factors were what he posted online and also his fascination with Strava

“But the video shows he [Bucchere] entered the intersection legally.”

Uh, do you mean on a yellow, DJ Connel? I think that’s what you mean. He was speeding though, right? Is speeding “legal?”

A: “Well, never mind that — he still plowed into those pedestrians legally crossing the intersection!”

Uh no, you’re putting words into peoples’ mouths here.

B: “But if he entered legally, and was near the speed limit, it’s impossible the pedestrians entered the intersection legally…

Whoa, whoa. He didn’t enter legally ’cause he was way over the limit, right?

A: “Well, never mind that — someone says he ran a stop sign during one of the blocks before the intersection.”

Well, stop signs – it looks like he did that too.

I’m not defending Bucchere…

Really? I think you are.

Amelie Le Moullac is just the most egregious of so many tragic cases where cyclists have been killed and blame-the-victim has been the first line of investigation.

Then cite all the many cases then, Dude. I don’t know, what about 2014? All of the deaths in SF were the fault of the cyclists themselves, right? Do you want to get into lessons learned here, DJ Connel? I don’t think you do.

You want to say that Bucchere was reckless but he was at the same time “legal.” You want to debunk myths, but you add some of your own.

So how does that help?

If you want to help, why not pour through all the police reports with at least one transportation-related fatality from last year. I’ll get you started, from a report I can’t link to, after the jump. Maybe you’ll learn something, IDK. Here’s something linkable, from Heather Knight. I’ll tell you, politically, this data proved to be unpopular with SFGov and, for whatever reason, the SFPD commander in charge of traffic got transferred to Timbuktu shortly after this bit came out. [UPDATE: I think he then later got promoted and is now has attained the highest SFPD position possible, outside of being Chief, so I guess things worked out for him after all.] So there might be a bias involved, but not the kind you’re looking for.

All right, hop to it. For whatever reason, your blog is Google-worthy, so anything you write about Chris Bucchere gets sent out as a Google alert to those MSM journalists who haven’t yet cancelled their Bucchere Google Alerts. So, unlike any comments you might post on StreetsBlog, actual real regular people, nonactivists will look at what you have to say…

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How the Magic Word “VisionZero” Has NOT Changed the SFMTA’s Half-Assed Approach to Transportation Safety: “Focus On The Five”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s the SFMTA’s official six-figure-a-year spokesperson on the topic of when pedestrians can cross a street, from just last year:

“They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Of course this is wrong, as even Paul Rose himself would admit now, after being corrected.

So, why did he say that? Because he, like his employer, has a half-assed approach to safety, and, one supposes, he, like his employer, is mired in politics.

Now do you suppose that Paul Rose was at all interested in examining why he told the peds of San Francisco that it was A-OK for them to violate CA state law? Oh no, not at all. And do you think he checked with anyone before he spouted off? Prolly not.

Like I say, a half-assed approach.

Now we’re in 2015, the era of SF VisionZero 2024, which has the goal, one that nobody actually believes in, but they have to pretend that they do believe in it, of having no more transportation deaths in San Francisco County starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

It’ll look a little something like this, supposedly:

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Now do you see the beauty in this? By the time SFGov fails to achieve this impossible goal, all the people who glibly made the promise will be out of office, right? How convenient.

The big problem with the approach that SFGov is taking is assuming that traffic deaths are a street design issue, as opposed to a human behavior issue. So most of the emphasis appears to be upon SFGov spending more money, which of course SFGov loves to do anyway.

And the part of VisionZero SF that’s focuses on behavior seems misplaced, for political reasons.

For example, there’s this:

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.”

So if the SFPD started handing out tickets for jaywalking, you know, in a big way, that would certainly help with traffic safety, over the long term, to at least a slight degree, but that would take the SFPD away from its “Focus On The Five” goal.

The problem with Focus On The Five is that it ignores Vehicle Code violations on behalf of pedestrians, one supposes for political reasons. In fact, the cause of most pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year in San Francisco was the behavior of the pedestrians and cyclists themselves.

And what’s this talk about “automated enforcement?” How about this, how about hooking up all of the SFMTA’s vehicles to an automated enforcement mechanism that would detect speed limit, stop sign and red light violations using on board sensors and GPS? Then, after Ed Reiskin parks his government-paid SFMTA car or an operator parks her bus, SFPD tickets would be issued, you know, daily. Whoo boy, what are the odds of something like that happening?

So that’s SF VisionZero 2024, a buzz-phrase that means absolutely nothing.

 

 

Here’s Why the SFPD’s “Focus On The Five” Traffic Enforcement Goal is At Least 40% Wrong

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Here’s your set-up, from The StreetsBlog:

“…only one of the 10 police stations is actually meeting its goal of issuing at least 50 percent of traffic citations for the five most common violations that cause pedestrian injuries.”

But, IRL the the five most common violations that cause pedestrian injuries actually  include:

CVC 21456 – Walk, Wait, or Don’t Walk 

CVC 21954 – Pedestrians Outside Crosswalk / CVC 21955 – Crossing Between Controlled Intersections*

Under the CVC, jaywalkers can either be in a crosswalk (or close enough – if you’re one or two feet away, that might be close enough to be considered “in the crosswalk”) (and, of course, these can be marked or unmarked crosswalks) but doing something wrong (like starting too early or too late or going too fast (running) or too slow (just standing in the crosswalk, for ex.) OR crossing in the middle of a block.

If you look at the math, there’s no way that these violations can be out of the top five.

That’s just one reason why there’s not even a prayer of a chance that SFGov’s “Vision Zero” 2024 can “succeed.” (Oh what’s that, Sweden experimented with VisionZero and it succeeded? Well, not really. Oh what’s that, it was good to try anyway, even though they didn’t get to actual absolute zero, they had a big reduction in injuries? Well, France, among others, didn’t implement Vision Zero and yet it had greater success over a similar time period, right? Oh what’s that, Vision Zero is just a “framing” phrase, a meaningless platitude that pours old wine into new bottles? Well, finally we agree.)

Of course you’re never going to beat drivers Failing To Yield for the number of pedestrian deaths in San Francisco County. But do you think lying about things like Focus in The Five helps your cause?

And are there reasons why it’s far easier to comply with the demands of non-profit pressure groups in the Richmond District as opposed to other districts of San Francisco? Yes there are. Take the same Captain and put him/her in another district and then watch your compliance numbers fall. Why’s that? Do you suppose that the SFPD has a mission, has a job not 100% congruent with “urbanists” straight outta Park Slope and pricey prep schools like Punahou?

Something to think about.

*These are twins, basically. 

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 dysfunction, 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. So of course if you pressure it to do things you want done, like planting trees in the middle of the street, which, of course, has nothing to do with safety, 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, later on, 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 after all these changes 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 now-hey-what-about-me, anyway. What ended up happening  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, this tree planting diversion. So, what will the effects 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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Octavia Boulevard Update: Anybody Who Claims This Short Road Has “High-Speed Motor Traffic” is Lying

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Simply.

Now if you want real “high-speed motor traffic,” well then look to the 280 freeway.

But if you want a poorly-designed glorified freeway offramp with lots of slow-moving bumper-to-bumper gridlock, well then Octavia is your bingo.

See? This is typical. Traffic has been jammed up here starting about a week after this road opened. This is exactly what low-speed traffic looks like: 

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A note to advocacy journalists who think it’s their job to lie:

No it’s not!

Lying hurts your case. Lying doesn’t help your case.

 

POINT / COUNTERPOINT: TechCrunch on “AirPooler is Lyft for Private Airplanes”

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

AirPooler is Lyft for Private Airplanes

“Law prohibits private pilots from profiting from passengers so you only pay for your share of the cost of the flight plus a 20 percent fee to AirPooler”

UH, THE PILOTS _ARE_ PROFITING FROM PASSENGERS, ARGUABLY.

The Federal Aviation Administration also bars private plane pilots from advertising flights, which is why AirPooler is careful to never promote any specific flights.

THIS IS STARTING TO READ LIKE A PRESS RELEASE, TECH-CRUNCH!

It’s hired as its general council the former assistant chief council of regulation of the FAA to make sure it doesn’t break the law.

ALTHOUGH OF COURSE IT’S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE THAT AIRPOOLER WILL BE FOUND TO BE OUTSIDE OF THE REGULATIONS – OF COURSE HIRING ANY PARTICULAR PERSON DOESN’T CHANGE THIS FACT. ALSO, “assistant chief council” SHOULD BE “COUNSEL,” AS THE DUDE COUNSELS PEOPLE – THAT’S HOW YOU REMEMBER THE DIFFERENCE

So why the hell would you want to get in a stranger’s airplane? Because the alternatives, namely driving and commercial air travel, can be a nightmare.

OF COURSE CRASHING AND BURNING CAN BE A GENERAL AVIATION “NIGHTMARE” AS WELL, RIGHT?

It says to fly from Palo Alto to Tahoe using AirPooler it would take about an hour and cost $50.

ABOUT AN HOUR _AND SOMETHING_, MORE CORRECTLY, RIGHT?

Fifty-five percent of pilots in a small survey in Boston said they’d even add additional flights to take AirPooler passengers.

UH, THIS IS STARTING TO SOUND LIKE AN AIR TAXI TO ME

Lewis admits the core challenge will be gaining consumer mind share and convincing them AirPooler is safe and simple, which it might not be.

WELL, HOW REFRESHING. YES, GENERAL AVIATION ISN’T ALL THAT SAFE, INDEED. PLUS FIVE FOR GRYFFINDOR!

Luckily, prop planes are relatively safe compared to other transportation methods, and the planes can glide back to the ground in case of an engine failure.

WTF? MINUS 20 FOR GRYFFINDOR HOUSE! PROP PLANES ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT SAFE COMPARED WITH OTHER TRANSPORTATION METHODS. IN MOST GA MISHAPS, THE AIRPLANE AINT “GLIDING” WHEN IT TOUCHES GROUND. GENERAL AVIATION IS AT LEAST AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE _LESS_ SAFE THAN DRIVING ON THE FREEWAY*

Still, accidents are most common with pilots with fewer than 100 hours of experience.

WRONG! IRL, ACCIDENTS ARE MORE COMMON WITH PILOTS WITH _MORE_ THAN 100 HOURS OF EXPERIENCE.

As more of our formerly prized possessions like albums and photos get digitized, society is putting a higher and higher value on experiences.

WHAT?

ALL RIGHT, THAT’S MOST OF IT.

*OF LOVE, IN A PINK CADILLAC.

Wow, the Push to “STOP THE MASONIC PLAN” Seems to be Growing – But It’s Too Late, Right?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I’ll tell you, do you know how many residents put up signs to support using taxpayer money to decrease capacity on Masonic Avenue?

None, zero, nada.

But people on Masonic seem to love putting up signs going against the plan to take out 100-something parking spaces.

I don’t know why the electeds who voted for this project would change their minds now – it seems only a lawsuit* could  have any effect at this point.

The windmill tilting continues – this sign looks homemade:

You can’t fight City Hall, right?

*And even then, I don’t see how you’d win.