Posts Tagged ‘bay area’

An Unusual Traffic Scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell: Left-Turning Cars > Pedestrians? The Planning Gods Must Be Crazy

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

For some reason, the Golden Gods of the Planning Department / the SFMTA, the very same people who clamored for parking meters to operate on Sundays until they got it only to then say that they DIDN’T want it after all, unanimously, have set up an unusual traffic timing scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell. It’s unique.

Southbound drivers turning left get to go first, before car and bus drivers coming north and before peds on the east side of the street.

This is so that southbound drivers can make a U-turn and then a quick right to make into the small lower-level parking lot of the new City Target. About four drivers go left / hang a Louie at the start of each light cycle:

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I approve not.

Now if you want to say that SFGov had a rational basis for doing this after some big study, well then maybe. But having peds wait seven seconds to go after the light turns green is contrary to every impulse every ped has.

For some reason, Planning or the SFMTA or whomever feel that its their responsibility to be at the forefront of experimentation with traffic. Like its their sacred duty or something.

I understand that they would freely admit that this is a kludge fix to accommodate the newly-opened Target store. I understand that they would say that this is temporary until the New Masonic Plan gets going. I understand that there’s a concern about southbound traffic backing up and possibly blocking eastbound and westbound traffic on Geary. BUT EVEN SO, this left arrow scheme at O’Farrell is NOT THE WAY TO GO. There are other ways of doing of what SFGov is trying to accomplish.

There are better ways of doing this.

The Giant Gnomons of The Bayview – Steel is Real – Track This Sundial to Hilltop Park

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Here’s is all I know about the giant sundial:

This sundial is located in Hilltop Park in the Bayview District of San Francisco. The steel gnomon is 78 feet long.”

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Big, isn’t it?

Presenting the Newish Sidewalks of Arguello in the Presidio: The “Arguello Gap Closure Project”

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

I’ll tell you man, at first I didn’t notice this change on Arguello in the Presidio, the Arguello Gap Closure Project.

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Anyway, enjoy.

Improves pedestrian and bicyclist safety by widening road to provide:

• New pedestrian path
• New bike lanes with lane markings and  signage
• Addresses gap in pedestrian and bicycle network between southern portion of the Presidio with the Main Post
• Relocation of street lights
• Updated storm drain infrastructure”

Hot Tub Time Machine! Don’t You Want to Party on this Aging Party Boat / Tech Incubator Tied Up at Pier 50?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Here it is, the Maritol, seen with One Rincon in the background:

And here’s the famed on-deck hot tub, camera right:

I’ll tell you, I can’t imagine a boat like this being a party boat without its hot tub and I can’t imagine any boat like this with a hot tub not being a party boat.

So deny it all you want, party boat owners - nobody believes you.

Can You Name the Extreme Points of San Francisco – North, South, East, and West? It’s Hard!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

[UPDATE: Oh, man, you people are clever:

1. So what about SFO airport as southernmost? Well, that place is “owned and policed by the City and County of San Francisco, but is located in and entirely surrounded by adjacent San Mateo County.“ So that’s why the San Mateo County Coroner was involved in the SFFD’s bungled handling of the Asiana 214 crash landing. Another situation would be with San Francisco’s O’Shaughnessy Dam up in Hetch Hetchy near Yosemite - a murder on top of that dam would be prosecuted by the Tuolumne County DA (or maybe the Feds – you all might be right, IDK), not by the SFDA. Don’t ask me about which DA would handle a stabbing at San Francisco Jails #5 or #6 down in San Bruno, San Mateo County. (Perhaps the counties have an agreement over prosecution? IDK.) OTOH, a crime on the western tip of Alameda Island would be handled by the SFDA.

2. And Candlestick Point (and the entire southern border of mainland SF)? It’s ever just ever north of the southernmost part of the Farallones – that’s a real close call.)

This is hard, this game of identifying the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost points of San Francisco.

If you guess, you’re going to make mistakes.

All right, in no particular order, here are the answers:

Seal Rock, aka Saddle Rock

Red Rock

North Farallon Islands

Alameda Island 

I’m srsly.

1. Northermost: Red Rock Island. It’s about eight miles north of Fisherman’s Wharf. Seems as if it’s always for sale. You can get there by kayak and then hike to the top if you want – put that on your bucket list.

As seen from the mainland of San Francisco. The Richmond San Rafael Bridge and East Brother Island are in the background:

Red Rock at 600mm on a very clear day. Don’t try this with your iPhone camera – your shot might not come out so hot.

2. Southernmost: Seal Rock, South Farallon Islands. It’s south of Southeast Farallon Island. It can be seen on the left side here.

And here it is as seen from Twin Peaks:

840mm, on a very clear day.

3. Westernmost: North Farallon Islands.

Actually, it’s this islet in the upper left here, seen with North Farallon Island and St. James Island in the lower right. (I’m surprised that this unnamed rock hasn’t yet been named for a longtime local political strongman like Willie Brown or Rose Pak):

4, Easternmost: Alameda Island. Surprise! Work out your denial issues here.

As seen from the (old) Bay Bridge, the eastern span, the one that was never named for a local political strongman, like Willie Brown or Rose Pak: 

Here are the four points, underlined, to sum up:

Oh, even better is if you let Google Maps highlight the county line in red. (If you zoom in on the linked page, you can also see a couple of places on Angel Island that Google similarly correctly ID’ed as parts of San Francisco.)

Thanks for playing!

Coors Truck Can’t Handle the Rocky Mountains of San Francisco: High-Centered in Nob Hill on a Very Steep Incline

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Adam Derewecki took this shot - he has the deets:

Reddit SF comments here.

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: “Vows Aggressive Defense of the Prop B Waterfront Development Voting Measure”

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

All right, it’s on, the defense of Prop B (2014) is on:

“San Francisco’s participatory waterfront land use decision-making has included voters, elected leaders and appointed commissioners for decades, City Attorney argues

SAN FRANCISCO (July 15, 2014) — The California State Lands Commission today sued San Francisco to invalidate Proposition B, an initiative measure passed in the June 3 election that requires voter approval for waterfront development height increases on property owned or controlled by the Port of San Francisco.  The legal challenge filed in San Francisco Superior Court contends that the California legislature specifically intended to prohibit local voters from exercising authority over bay and coastal public trust lands, strictly limiting management of state tidelands to designated trustees.  In its legal action today, the State Lands Commission argues that the sole trustee responsible for sovereign tidelands in San Francisco is the city’s Port Commission.  The State Lands Commission is additionally seeking a preliminary injunction to bar San Francisco from enforcing Prop B.

In response, City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement:

“For decades, land use decisions involving San Francisco’s waterfront have included voters, elected leaders and appointed members of our Planning and Port Commissions.  It’s a participatory process that enacted a comprehensive Waterfront Land Use Plan in 1990, developed a showplace ballpark for the Giants, and continues to protect an urban waterfront that is the envy of cities worldwide.  San Francisco’s deliberative decision-making process on waterfront land use has never been successfully challenged, and I intend to defend it aggressively.  With today’s lawsuit, the State Lands Commission seems to have embraced the notion that any local initiative — and, by extension, any land use regulation approved by a Board of Supervisors or Planning Commission — affecting port property is barred by state law, and therefore invalid.  That view represents a radical departure in law and practice from land use decision-making in San Francisco and elsewhere.  While the City must certainly honor its obligations as trustee in managing public trust property, it is a legally and practically untenable position to argue that San Francisco’s voters and elected officials have no direct say over how our city’s waterfront is developed.”

(more…)

Here’s the Reason Why Atlantic Writer James Fallows is So Wildly Enthusiastic About High Speed Rail – One Simple Trick!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Back in 2001, James Fallows wrote a stupid book called Free Flight: Inventing the Future of Travel about how we’d soon be flying around on tiny Very Light Jets (VLJ’s)(Actually, the book should have been called Jimmy Likes Planes ’cause that’s basically what’s inside).

Then 9/11 happened (so that’s the current excuse as to why things didn’t work out for the bold predictions in Free Flight).

But in 2002, Jimmy came back to say that, ahora mas que nunca, now more than ever in a post 9/11 world, tiny jets were going to transform the world of commercial aviation. He had an “optimistic vision.”

And then in 2008, Jimmy doubled-down with this wildly enthusiastic tale about people at companies that would soon go bankrupt. Every last one of the companies that Jimmy was so wildly enthusiastic about went BK. Read through the whole thing if you want. It’s like oh yeah, we’re going to do everything better cheaper faster lighter and, oh well, the plane’s engines will be coming two years late BUT THAT”S A GOOD THING!

It wasn’t.

So that’s Jimmy’s undeclared baggage, three trunks full of embarrassing writings on The Coming Transportation Revolution.

Comes now James Fallows to say how great California High Speed Rail is going to be.

IDK, why not instead just be realistic, Jimmy Fallows?

‘Cause I don’t think the whole Jimmy Likes X, where X is the latest big transportation revolution / scheme, is working out for Jimmy.

Or us.

Sidewalk Wagon Train Made From Found Materials: Two Shopping Carts+Wheelchair+Aluminum Crutches+Tennis Racket = ???

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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Hitting the Carshare Trifecta: This Tiny Prius C Sports an Uber Logo, the New Smaller Lyft Mustache and “Local Motion”

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Looks like this Toyota swings both ways – it can work for both Lyft and Uber, apparently. (BTW, that’s the new Lyft on-dash mustache – a big improvement, IMO.)

And up top on the left side of the dash there’s a flashing thingamajob with “Local Motion” written on it.

Throw in a FasTrak and cell phone holder suction-cupped to the windshield and this car is ready to make money money money!

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