Posts Tagged ‘accidents’

OMG, New “Leap Transit” Bus is a Replacement for the MUNI 30X – It’s $6 to Ride the Marina Express One-Way to Financh

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

[UPDATE: Kevin Montgomery of Uptown Almanac reacts.]

[UPDATE II: The Twitter-stream of one @kylekirchhoff just went private. C’mon, Bro! You gotta engage with the peeps. Today is your big day. It’s not that incrimernating, is it? Bro discusses how much he doesn’t like Twitter, McAfee Antivirus Inc, and how many people got shot on a MUNI #14 last year. You know, all the usual stuff. But I’ll tell you, withdrawing from Web 2.0 is what criminales do, right? You’re just a bro with a bus. Nothing wrong with that.]

[UPDATE III: Aaron Sankin of Huffington Post San Francisco weighs in.]

[UPDATE IV: And now Ellen Huet of the San Francisco Chronicle:

John Avalos, a supervisor who has fought against private companies use of Muni stops, called Kirchhoff’s comments “very disingenuous.”

“What a crock of s—,” Avalos said. “How does blocking a Muni stop make the city more efficient? You’re trying to make money, and you’re creating a two-tiered transportation system in San Francisco.”]

I’ll tell you, I’ve been waiting years for a MUNI alternative to pop up and look, it’s here.

Now I’m not talking about the corporate buses (like Google, Apple, FaceBook and so on) that have been around for a decade or so, and I’m not talking about Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and the like and I’m not even talking about the private version of the taxpayer-subsidized Twitter Express, the 83X.

No no. I’m talking about Leap Transit duplicating the unpopular MUNI Marina Express 30x with a private shuttle bus that costs $6 one-way.

It looks like this, as seen just yesterday:

Via Gregg Meyer

Here’s what the site looks like:

See that? The bus comes with WiFi and leather seats, but they cost three times as much as MUNI. And I’m supposing you and your wheelchair would be better off on MUNI, just a guess. And, oh yes,  you pretty much need an Apple iPhone (or as close an iOS device as possible) to climb aboard.

Now you’d think the MSM would be all over this new company, but no. So far, Leap has escaped notice, except from this bloke called  from Down Under. (Uh, he’s _not_ a fan. I haven’t seen a booting like this since Bart vs. Australia)

“This little blue bus symbolises everything that is wrong with the current bubble and boom of internet startup culture. It’s in San Francisco. It belongs to Leap Transit. And, on May 13, this “better bus” — OMFG, it has leather seats and wi-fi! — began operating as part of what’s billed as a “shuttle service for San Francisco commuters.”

Bonus bon mot:

“This socialized [x] is slow and unprofitable. Let’s start a [x] for rich people that pays its employees less.”

Leave there be no doubt, Leap Transit is a wannabe MUNI disrupter. See?

So far, reaction around town has been mixed.

To wit:

connie hwong ‏@crh17h This has come to my attention: a $6 shuttle from the Marina to SOMA, with leather seats & wifi. Seriously, SF?”

Check it:

I don’t know, if the 30X just passed you by ’cause it’s raining and you see a Leap bus coming at you and you have an iPhone and you’re already signed up, well then Leap just might be worth the six bucks.

A 28-year-old white man wants you to ride his technicolor submarine.

Will you?

All the deets:

The Stated Objectives of the “Masonic Avenue Street Design Study” vs. Reality

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Hey, it’s the Masonic Avenue Street Design Study:

“About the Project – The primary goal of the Masonic Avenue Street Design Study is to identify how Masonic Avenue between Geary Boulevard and Fell Street can safely and efficiently accommodate the needs of all roadway users, including but not limited to … motorists.”

ALL RIGHT, EXACTLY HOW DOES THIS PROJECT “ACCOMMODATE THE NEEDS” OF “MOTORISTS?” OH, NOT AT ALL? THOUGHT SO. MOVING ON.

Objectives:

1. Engage representatives of all constituencies within the community who would be impacted by changes to Masonic Avenue…

ALL RIGHT, WHICH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE “MOTORIST” “CONSTITUENCY” WERE “ENGAGED?” ANY AT ALL? YOU KNOW, THE OCTAVIA BOULEVARD PEOPLE “ENGAGED” MOTORISTS AS FAR AWAY AS MONTEREY BOULEVARD, OUT THERE WITH CLIPBOARDS AND EVERYTHING. DID THE MASONIC AVENUE PEOPLE DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT? OH NO.

2. Improve transit operation.

THIS PROJECT WILL UNIMPROVE TRANSIT OPERATION ON AND AROUND MASONIC – THERE’S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. IT’S GOING TO SLOW DOWN THE BUSES THAT USE MASONIC, INCLUDING THE OCCASIONAL #5 FULTON AND #21 HAYES.

3. Improve pedestrian and non-motorized access to transit.

SO TRANSIT USERS WILL HAVE “BETTER ACCESS” TO REDUCED BUS SERVICE? I DON’T GET THE BETTER ACCESS PART – YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT A BUS STOP? ALSO, WHAT’S “MOTORIZED ACCESS TO TRANSIT?”

4. Increase the safety of pedestrian crossings.

YOU KNOW, THE PRIOR PROJECT MANAGER IS ON THE RECORD AS STATING THAT THIS KIND OF THING IS BAD TO DO LIKE NOW BECAUSE IT WOULD HURT THE CAUSE OF PUSHING THE ENTIRE PROJECT THROUGH. KIND OF SAD, REALLY.

5. Increase motorist compliance with traffic rules and regulations.

UH, WHAT, WITH TREES? IF I WANTED TO INCREASE COMPLIANCE WITH TRAFFIC LAWS, I’D JACK THE SPEED LIMIT UP TO 40 MPH. NOW, THAT WOULD HAVE SOME SIDE EFFECTS, BUT IT CERTAINLY WOULD REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF SPEEDING, RIGHT? OR, HAVING HOURS-LONG TRAFFIC JAM UPS DURING THE MORNING AND EVENING DRIVES WOULD REDUCE SPEEDING, IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE GETTING AT?

6. Reduce the number of vehicular collisions, especially those involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

HOW? BY PLANTING TREES? WE’LL SEE. HEY DIDN’T THE RECENT OCTAVIA BOULEVARD / MEDIAN PROJECT INCREASE THE NUMBER OF VEHICULAR COLLISIONS ON OCTAVIA? YES IT DID. HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN THAT?

7. Support neighborhood vitality by creating a more inviting and accommodating public realm.

BY PUTTING IN A MEDIAN AND PLANTING TREES? SO, LET’S TAX AMERICA, CALIFORNIA, AND SAN FRANCISCO TO CREATE A “REALM” ON 3000 FEET WORTH OF STREET PRIMARILY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WEALTHY PROPERTY OWNERS AND PRIVATE SCHOOL(S) WHAT ARE ON THE STREET? ALL RIGHT.

Poorly-Designed Octavia “Boulevard” Proves Too Much for Mercedes-Driving Mom – Plows into NIMBY Green

Monday, December 31st, 2012

To the right of this accident scene is Octavia Boulevard.

And to the left, a block away, is Octavia Street.

And in the middle, you’ll see NIMBY Green with a newish Mercedes Benz CLS sitting on top.

Via ciprofloxacin – click to expand

You see, Octavia used to be a regular old street until Redevelopment (a bad idea from the 20th century) and the failed Octavia “Boulevard” experiment (a bad idea from the 21st century) came along.

Anyway. this is what results when “activists” are valued more than traffic engineers

Scissor Fight! Dallis Willard Shows Us What an Off-Road Segway X2 Looks Like on a San Francisco Sidewalk

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

It looks like this.

Check out the huge tires, the better for off-roading you at 12 MPH, my dear:

Click to expand

This kind of thing might be legal in some parts of the world, but not in the 415.

Oh well.

You’re too young to remember but the Segway Personal Transporter was supposed to have “changed the world” by now.

Let’s close with an action-packed 90-second clip of classic Segway accidents. I still feel sorry for the face-planting mall Mom who just wanted to have fun with her friends. :(

 

Well, Here They Are: Brand New Red Light Cameras and Signals at Fell and Masonic

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Enjoy.

Will this…

Click to expand

…plus this:

…eliminate this…

…and this?

Well, not actually because this particular car vs. bike from last year happened to be the impatient cyclist’s fault, because he went across against a red, because bike riders don’t have as much time to cross as they used to, owing to the newish dedicated cyclist light Oh well.

Anyway, I would have said that Santa installed all the new hardware, but I was beaten to the punch by Dale Danley / Panhandle Park Stewards, who naively wonder why the Panhandle Bandshell went away despite the fact that the “partners” of PPS are the same people who made the harmless bandshell go away.

(So I don’t know, I’ll consider the Panhandle Park Stewards ranking someplace north of that horribly corrupt Willie Brown S.L.U.G. vehicle for the while. Enjoy your “partnership” with the corrupt RPD, and the NIMBYed-up NoPNA, and the millionaires’ kid’s school as you garden, Deutsches Jungvolk und Bund Deutscher Mädel.)

Anyway, you can look forward to the flashing lights of traffic cams when errant drivers err at Fell and Masonic. (UCSF shuttle van drivers beware, beware!)

A Winning Strategy to Pass Up Stalled Traffic When Getting To Horrible Octavia Boulevard – This Always Works

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Now, it seems absurd, but Oak Street’s bottleneck at horrible Octavia Boulevard shows no sign of ending.

Let’s see here, Lane 1 is (oddly) devoted to parking 24/7, Lane 2 is for through traffic going from the east side to the west side of town, Lane 3 (seen with the pickup truck driver* sitting trying to nose in) is for people who want to park for a bit while waiting to sneak in over to Octavia Boulevard, Lane 4 is for the long line of stalled cars waiting their turn to get to Octavia, and, oddly, Lane 5 is dedicated to parked cars most of the time.

See? 

Click to expand

This is the most dysfunctional block of traffic in San Francisco. Who designed this? (Traffic engineers? Prolly not)

Oh well.

*Oh yes, he made it in eventually, saving himself about three minutes or so compared with queuing up back at Oak and Webster. Hurray!

Octavia Boulevard is Our Fork-Tailed Doctor Killer – “Livable Streets” Gone Awry – What Can We Do?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Let’s see, where to start with horrible Octavia Boulevard.

Oh, here we go, with some bold, confident words from all the way back in 2003:

“The replacement freeway and Boulevard were charged with ensuring a level of service comparable to the previous structure and configuration. This has been achieved…”

In no way, shape, or form does the newish Octavia Boulevard have a level of service comparable to the old Central Freeway.

And, BTW, did the Central Freeway block Fell, Oak, Page, Haight and Market? Nope. Does Octavia Boulevard? Yep, every day, all the time.

(This is an example of misplaced confidence, of the hubris.)

Now, what kind of signal timing does it take to accommodate a 3000-mile-long freeway ending on Market Street. Well, let’s take a look here. Do you notice that Market street peds have about four seconds to begin the journey across Octavia during the 95-second cycle? Why is that? I mean, that means that any given ped on Market has over a 95% chance of having to stop and wait for all those cars on Octavia to go by. Is that fair? Now, what about cars and streetcars and bikes and buses and whatnot heading outbound on Market – do you think it’s much better for them? Well, it’s not. Just 20-something percent of the traffic signal cycle allows traffic to flow uphill on Market at the Octavia Intersection. Why are the lights so biased in favor of the cars driving through on Octavia, you know, as opposed to Market Street?

Check it (oh yeah, that’s some homeless dude coughing at the end there, not me.)

Now, the term “fork-tailed doctor killer” used to be the nickname of the Beechcraft Bonanza, you know, the plane what killed Buddy Holly on the Day That Music Died. But that whole V-Tail sitch got addressed and now, Beech makes those Bonanzas with regular old straight tails. So let’s recycle this phrase and use it for Octavia Boulevard, why not?

Here’s the fork of the tail:

Now, how can I justify blaming the whole “Boulevard Movement” fad of the aughts for an famous accident that killed that UCSF doctor if the UCSF van driver ran a red light? Well, take a look at this:

Click to expand

See? Sometimes half the lanes of Oak have a red light and the other half have a green. Does that make sense? Well, if you’re struggling to make pathetic Octavia work and you don’t want traffic routinely backing up to Golden Gate Park, well then you yourself would be tempted to do whatever you could to help Octavia flow.

Does this unorthodox design factor in human nature, you know, the nut behind the steering wheel? No, it doesn’t. The fact is that car drivers, those sheeple, follow the pack. If the car to the right goes, then they want to go.

Of course, drivers should do better, but we need to factor in their behavior when we design roads, right?

What we shouldn’t do is to let Hayes Valley insiders, that very small but very influential group, to design anything for the rest of us.

And BTW, why on Earth are left turns allowed on inbound Market onto Octavia? Could it be for the convenience of those Hayes Valley insiders?  Check it out. You’d think that Hayes Valley types would be satisfied with being able to make a left at the prior intersection or the next intersection, but no, traffic on Market has to wait on a dedicated signal for a dedicated lane of drivers.

Does that make sense?

Why not this? Why not narrow Octavia dramatically and just give up on the whole boulevard experiment? Just take out the frontage roads and all that on-street parking and those medians and that would be a good start on “completing” the Horrible Octavia Experiment, turning it into a “Complete Street.” Even the Great Designer of Octavia admits now that the boulevard is too wide.

And let’s get rid of that left turn lane that was built just for the NIMBYs of Hayes Valley. Why should Market Street, the more important one, take a back street to Octavia, which is basically a glorified freeway onramp?

And why not give people on Market Street half the time of the light signal and then the people on Octavia the other half? Wouldn’t that be more fair?

Mmmm…

Or, we can continue to value higher condo prices and “trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques” over everything else in this world:

“Before the destruction of the Central Freeway, condominium prices in the Hayes Valley neighborhood were 66% of San Francisco average prices. However, after the demolition and subsequent replacement with the new Octavia Boulevard, prices grew to 91% of city average. Beyond this, the most dramatic increases were seen in the areas nearest to the new boulevard. Furthermore, residents noted a significant change in the nature of the commercial establishments in the area. Where it had been previously populated by liquor stores and mechanic shops, soon the area was teeming with trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques.”

WTH: Huffington Post “Bay Area Street Safety” Blogger is Fronting for a Plaintiff’s Law Firm?

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

All right, work with me here. There’s a new blogger on the HuffPoSF. Check it:

“Ben Buchwalter lives in San Francisco’s Mission District and writes a blog on Bay Area street safety.”

But then you click over to the so-called “Bay Area street safety” blog only to see that, en realidad, it’s an “Accident Attorney’s Blog” for an oddly-named law firm.

R.I.P. Lionel

Now, that blog has some curious entries complete with curious phrases, like “clear safety dilemma” used twice in three paragraphs.

Mmmmm…

At Least Our Poorly-Designed, “Livable Street,” P.O.S. Octavia Boulevard has Traffic Cameras – Do They Run 24-7?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Do you know how painfully cheap it is to record on video a problematic street intersection 24-7 in this day and age?

Well the City & County doesn’t, that’s for sure.

Anyway, here’s your red light camera at Oak and Octavia – perhaps it will prove useful today.

Here’s another view, from back in the day:

Horrible Five-Block Octavia Boulevard Claims Another Victim – Is This the Best Way To End the 3000-Mile Long I-80 Freeway?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Details of today’s accident on hated Octavia Boulevard can be found here, from Henry K. Lee and Nanette Asimov.

Looking south from Fell:

Click to expand

The UCSF shuttle van:

How did Octavia boulevard end up being so gosh darn wide? Even The Creator, who likes wide, says that Octavia ended up being too wide in Her opinion.

Why are there parked cars and trees and medians all over dangerous Octavia Boulevard? Why don’t we get rid of all that and focus on safety instead?

Oh well.