Posts Tagged ‘avenue’

Four College Degrees (I’m Guessing) Play Frogger with 30 MPH Traffic on Masonic to get to Trader Joe’s #100

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

This crossing was particularly arduous for those involved – it took about 90 seconds of waiting and sprinting.

The speed limit is 30 MPH, but of course some cars might be going faster. If you want to get into mean, median and mode, well, an average speed would be in the single digits, due to all the stalled traffic waiting to get into the notorious TJ’s Masonic parking lot.

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Let’s talk about Human Nature. These humans already know what they’re supposed to do – that’s heading south to Geary, waiting a while for a green and then heading back up north in the sidewalk to get to the gro sto. But once they’ve spent 30 seconds scanning for cars and then starting to run and then stopping to go back and then scanning for traffic again, they are accumulating SUNK COSTS of time and effort. So even if crossing legally would end up taking less time, THESE JAYWALKERS NEVER GIVE UP by walking down to the Geary intersection.

Anyway, there’s a happy ending to this story – the jaywalk back across the street with groceries in tow went much better, as these naughty peds used the stalled southbound traffic to their advantage, and northbound traffic is usually easy to negotiate. Hurrah! For this particular day…

(The reason why people park on the wrong side of Masonic and then go to TJ’s is that it’s much easier than doing things the legal way. It’s human nature to imagine consistent patterns, in this case patterns of traffic, even when they don’t exist IRL. The problem with the deadly game of Frogger on this particular block is that there’s no safety area, there’s no place to hide if you, the ped, make a mistake. Then it’s game over, man.)

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“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic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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Brave, Brave Dallas Cowboys Fan, 94122

Monday, November 24th, 2014

This is a rare sight, in Frisco:

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Better Know Your Middle Richmond District: The All-Brick “First Slavic Baptist Church” at 1300 Balboa Near Park Presidio

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Oh, so that’s what that is:

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A not very Richmond District-looking building…

Remarkable New “KOBE BBQ” Restaurant is The Talk of the Richmond District – Turning Heads at 4112 Geary

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Let’s check YouTube:

“‘Kobe beef’ painted on the wall. Bar-B-que.”

See? It’s stupefying.

And The Yelp is hilarious.

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IMO, the LED “OPEN” sign hanging from the fire alarm is the piece de resistance, pardon my French.

“Let me paint a picture for you.  Kobe BBQ is a one-story half of a building, painted entirely black.  No windows.  The words “Kobe BBQ” are painted in big red letters on the top half of the building with a big red arrow pointing down to the door.  At night, the entrance is lit up with bright lights and there is a lighted “Open” sign next to the entrance on top of a sample menu.”

Ikoo, ikoo, everybody let’s go…

Door to Nowhere, Masonic Avenue – If You Have One of These, the Best Thing to do is to Paint It Red

Monday, October 27th, 2014

I’m sure there’s a reason for this arrangement…

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Sunset District Update: DPW Paints a Special “STOP” Stencil in the Bike Lane at 17th and Kirkham – But the World Fails to Notice

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Photo of Kirkham St. at 17th Avenue – the tiny “STOP” stencil is a recent addition:

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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….

A Minor Rebellion Against the SFMTA’s Plans to Slow Down Masonic

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Our SFMTA has certified that there’s no opposition to its plans to slow down Masonic by putting in a median and a bunch of trees.

And yet, ppl in the area are putting up home-made signs, thusly:

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Something doesn’t add up…

Freeway Bus Stop, 94132

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Your reward for staring at eight lanes of freeway is the occasional bus to take you away – seems fair enough

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To me, this looks like a rural bus stop, something out of a scene out of North by Northwest, except it’s on a divided highway, a freeway with four lanes in each direction…

The SFMTA Gods Must Be Crazy, Masonic Edition: A Green Light for Cars and Bikes, But a Red Upraised Hand for Peds at the Same Time?

Friday, September 12th, 2014

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:

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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…