I’m sure there’s a reason for this arrangement…
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Photo of Kirkham St. at 17th Avenue – the tiny “STOP” stencil is a recent addition:
And here’s an on-the-scene report to go with the image:
“Kirkham St.(Sunset District) has a bicycle lane with very few riders. All summer DPW was working on the part of Kirkham St east of 19th Avenue.
When DPW finished at the end of August 2014, they repaved the street, re-striped the lanes, put back the pedestrian islands.
The large STOP painted on the road for vehicle drivers didn’t mean much for bicyclists. They run thru intersections all the time. Now DPW painted a Stop sign in the bicycle lane!
The special Stop for bicyclists hasn’t made any difference. They still blast thru intersections on Kirkham St. and ignore their personal stop sign.”
I don’t know, if I were putting a bike lane on Kirkham, I’d prolly prevent cars from parking so close to the crosswalk. (In “sustainable streets” parlance, this is called “daylighting” an intersection, but I don’t actually know the normal term for maintaining sight lines at intersections so that peds may be seen.)
We’ll just have to wait and see how many people use these new lanes….
So as the SFMTA is gearing up for its big election this fall, let’s take a look at how it’s doing on Masonic at Evergreen Terrace.
This summer, the newly-installed lights were on a 75-second timer that ended up stalling traffic on Masonic about 30% of the time, for no apparent reason.
Here’s the next phase – the crude timing scheme is gone, but what’s this? A solid green for traffic next to a solid red upraised hand for peds? I’ve never seen this kind of thing before:
One assumes that this is the SFMTA just being the SFMTA and this has something to do with the activation of the pedestrian activated crosswalk buttons. (Or is DPW still running the show here? IDK)
But it almost seems that the SFMTA thinks it knows what it’s doing when it strikes out on so many unorthodox traffic experiments.
SFMTA, you suck, don’t you know that by now? Why not simply strive to be competent?
And are you just testing/installing the lights at Ewing? But doesn’t this photo look “wrong” to you? How many days, weeks, months should you set up the lights like this?
Hey SFMTA, what are you going to do when Prop A loses? What’s your Plan B? Let’s hope it doesn’t involve telling even more of the peds of Masonic to stop and go at the same time…
Masonic is a crazy street with a crazy history. Like, 4 Masonic is more than 1000 feet away from 5 Masonic, for instance – what’s up with that? And on the other end of this street, up around the 1000 block, well, that’s where mayoral wives have lived, like Blanche Brown, you know, our First Lady up until ten years ago, the woman that most people in town weren’t aware of, and, more recently, Jennifer Newsom, who moved away to Marin just months after husband Gavin was hectoring families to NOT move to Marin County, oh well.
Anyway, there have been three pedestrian / cyclist deaths on Masonic* in recent memory, so that’s part of the reason why the SFMTA installed a pair of speedometers to tell drivers how fast they’re going.
The problem is that they don’t work very well.
Like here. Moments before, it was indicating 24 MPH, but then it jumped up to 32 MPH all of a sudden for no reason. All the cars were moving about the same pace uphill and there was no traffic traveling down the hill:
Speaking of which, the speedometer for traffic heading downhill is even less accurate. Sometimes it’s spot-on, sometimes it wildly optimistic, and other times it’s blank.
What’s the value in these speedometers if they don’t work?
Oh what’s that, MUNI / SFMTA? You don’t care, because you’ve moved on to other things?
*Two were due to very drunk drivers, who both kept on going (one ended up crashing into St. Mary’s and the other got busted near USF) and the other was due to a Trader Joe’s shopper jaywalking across Masonic north of Geary – this kind of jaywalking still happens hundreds of times a day even now.
Here’s your SFMTA at work.
Before, it wanted timed lights to encourage drivers to go 25 MPH:
Signal Timing Adjustments – Analyzed signal timing along Masonic and expect to be implemented by the end of November
But now, this is what you see southbound from Anza / O’Farrell:
See that? As the light at Anza goes green, the light at Ewing Terrace goes red, so both northbound and southbound traffic backs up at Ewing Terrace whether anybody wants to cross Masonic on foot or enter or leave Ewing Terrace in a car.
I don’t get the SFMTA,
So let’s see here, back in the day a mom living on Ewing Terrace went to an SFMTA meeting complaining about how it took her “20 minutes” to pull out of Ewing Terrace, so because of that a new traffic signal has been installed.
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Now that this signal has been lit, there’s no way you can miss it because it stops traffic on Masonic every 75 seconds these days.
THEY PUT IT ON A TIMER?!
What’s so special about this tiny street?
SFMTA, do you realize that you talk about speeding up MUNI, but how’s this going to help? Actually, it’s going to hurt. This light routinely slows down MUNI for no apparent reason.
Is this a temporary thing?
Anyway, they wanted the support of this mom for the new spending the SFMTA wants to do on Masonic, so they’re all oh, this lady wants a light, so let’s throw her a bone and then she’ll be on our side…
I suppose that worked.
Perhaps eventually, this signal will be pedestrian / user activated?
Perhaps eventually, this signal will be automatically switched to green when a MUNI bus approaches using some kind of transit override function?
But in the meantime, it appears that the SFMTA just spent Target’s money to slow down MUNI…
Here are what these signs look like on Sunset Boulevard way out there in the Parkside / Sunset part of outer San Francisco County:
After the recent deaths in this area, SFGov appears to be highly motivated to make changes.
The signage around here is still a fucking mess, but one assumes that some of the older signals that are there might now be coming down this weekend when the new signals get turned on.
Here’s the tunnel view heading north as it stands now – how many signs and lights and banners has SFGov put up for drivers to look at here? I’m counting about three dozen and, actually, drivers can see even more further to the left and right of this scene, including an SFPD vehicle seemingly permanently parked on Yorba specifically for you bad drivers to see and react to.
IMO, the modified pedestrian-activated HAWK light experiment, signals that would flash yellow but never actually go red to stop traffic, is a massive failure.
IMO, SFGov continues to expect waaaaaay too much from its drivers (particularly elderly drivers, particularly those who shouldn’t be driving anymore) and its pedestrians (particularly elderly pedestrians).