Posts Tagged ‘bay area’

Wiccan Miata, 94117

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Boy, that’s commitment to witchery from the owner of this Mazda:

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Merry part.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Dishonest Approach to Lauding Props A and B and Decrying Prop L

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Here we go:

Understanding This Year’s Transportation Ballot Measures by Tyler Frisbee

Proposition A, Proposition B and Proposition L present stark contrasts for our city’s future, and the November elections will give voters a chance to weigh in on whether they want to move our transportation system forwards or backwards.

EVERYTHING IN SF WILL BE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME REGARDLESS OF HOW WELL THESE PROPS FARE IN NOVEMBER – THIS IS A FACT. THERE ARE NO “STARK CONTRASTS FOR OUR CITY’S FUTURE.” I CAN SAY THAT BECAUSE I’M NOT TRYING TO RAISE MONEY FROM YOU, GENTLE READER.

Proposition A renews current property bond taxes to fund over $52 million for better bikeways, including $22 million for Better Market Street, in addition to $68 million for pedestrian improvements, $22 million for signal upgrades, and $358 million to improve Muni. Since it’s simply renewing a current property bond, Proposition A won’t raise taxes, and it will result in a markedly better commute for all of us.

PROP A. AUTHORIZES “PASSTHROUGHS” SO IT WILL ALLOW YOUR LANDLORD TO RAISE YOUR RENT TO THE TUNE OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, RIGHT? NEGLECTING TO MENTION THIS POSSIBILITY IS DISHONEST.*

In the first year, Proposition B would mean an extra $6 million for Vision Zero projects and an additional $16 million to improve Muni.

AND IN ITS FIRST YEAR, PROP B WOULD MEAN _LESS_ MONEY FOR SAN FRANCISCO NON-PROFITS, RIGHT? DON’T YOU THINK YOUR MEMBERS SHOULD KNOW THAT? OH WHAT’S THAT, YOU’RE A MONOMANIACAL POLITICAL GROUP SO YOU DON’T CARE? OK FINE.

Proposition L is a policy declaration statement that rolls back San Francisco’s Transit-First policy, and would result in the City having to prioritize car traffic and parking above all other modes.

UH NOPE. ITS PASSAGE WOULD NOT FORCE THE CITY TO DO ANYTHING, IT’S BASICALLY A MEASURE OF HOW VOTERS ARE THINKING.

Proposition L would require the SFMTA to value “free-flowing traffic” as highly as human life when designing streets, and would take money away from Muni to build more parking garages.

AGAIN, THE SFMTA WILL BE “REQUIRED” TO DO NOTHING.

END OF LINE.

As for myself, I’m agin Prop A, as I want a better MUNI. Pouring more money down the SFMTA rat hole doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Hey, shouldn’t the head of MUNI be an elected position ala the DA’s Office? Where’s that proposition?

And I’m for Prop B. Some politically-connected non-profits are hopping mad about it, but I don’t care.

And Prop L doesn’t matter, so I don’t care about it. If it wins by a surprisingly large margin, it will end up being a face-punch to the SFMTA and its needy vassal, the SFBC.

*AND OH YEAH, THE SFMTA AND SFGOV PROVIDE THE SFBC WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR – DID YOU KNOW THAT, GENTLE READER? IT MIGHT BE NICE FOR THE SFBC TO POST A NOTE TO THAT EFFECT ON ITS OP-EDS, YOU KNOW, LIKE THIS ONE…

The SFMTA’s New MUNI Blog Urges You to Raise Your Rent by Voting YES on the Half Billion Dollar Prop A, More or Less

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Why did the people at the SFMTA just happen to start up a PR blog three months before an election that it really, really care$ about, you know, so it can continue to pay its employees their six-figure salaries? Mmmm…

Their latest effort:

“Going Green – SF’s Taxis Can Help You Go Green by Gary Fiset, September 8, 2014″

Isn’t this a headline at least a touch patronizing? I think so. “Oh MUNI, help me go green! Empower us!”

Our occasional “Going Green” feature will focus on the sustainability efforts at the SFMTA. We’ll share fun facts and figures about one of the most sustainable transportation systems, including Muni and the city’s taxi fleet, in the U.S.

Boy, that prose gags, doesn’t it? I think what dude is saying is, “Vote YES on Prop A. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!”

SF taxis come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but the vast majority of the fleet is definitely green.

Again, that prose gags, doesn’t it? But I think what dude is really saying is, “Vote YES on Prop A. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!”

In the 90s taxis were mostly lumbering Crown Victoria sedans that got 10 miles per gallon. Today’s hybrid taxis get better than 40 miles per gallon, reducing the GHG emissions by 75 percent.

Well, let me call bullshit on that one, Gentle Reader. I’m showing a City MPG of 19 Miles Per Gallon for the oldest of the Crown Vics that the SFMTA is talking about. In fact, those lumbering Crown Vics weighed less than lithe, smallish, current-day BMWs, like an athletic 2.0 litre 5 Series, for example. So, if you throw in an airport run or two during an average shift, then you’re well over 20 MPG. Oh, what’s that, in real life, with the hills and all the passengers and luggage, 1990′s era CVs got less than 20 MPG? All right, well, then that means that, IRL, today’s hybrid taxis aren’t averaging “better than 40 MPG” in San Francisco taxi service, right? I mean I see the point you’re making, SFMTA, but you’re lying about mpg and you know it.

Converting SF’s taxi fleet to hybrid and CNG has resulted in removing more than 60 thousand tons of GHG emission savings, the equivalent of taking 6,890 passenger cars off the road every year.

Again, that prose gags, doesn’t it? And please note how the SFMTA spins the putting of GHG’s into the atmosphere as “removing” GHG’s – those are kind of opposite things, right?

So it’s looking like the SFMTA, San Francisco’s worst public agency and the operator of America’s slowest big-city public transit system, is giving itself an A+ on how it has managed taxis in SF.

I cry foul.

And, oh yes, I’ve learned a bit more about the rent increase, the”passthrough” you’ll be voting for yourself this November if you vote YES, as the SFMTA really wants you to do, on that huge Prop A bond. It’ll be turbo simple for your landlord to raise your rent to pay for Prop A. Other landlords will laugh at your landlord for NOT increasing your rent. So, even if you’ve never had to deal with rent passthroughs before, you’ll get one from Prop A.

So what you say, what’s a few bucks a month in increased rent over the next seven years to pay for a better MUNI? Well fine, Gentle Reader, as long as you know it won’t be just a “few” bucks, then vote AYE, and so long as you know what you’re getting us into. But IMO, the road to a better MUNI starts with a NO vote on Prop A.

And a YES vote tells the SFMTA to carry on, business as usual, you all are doing a great job, gee thanks for all the “EXCELLENT TRANSPORTATION CHOICES” [that's an actual SFMTA corporate catchphrase, I'm srsly.], here, have some more money, build us another Subway to Nowhere why not…

Octavia Boulevard Update: Woman Pokes Head Out of Car to Take Selfies of Bat-Dog Posing in SF

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Do you you think the rise of selfie photos suggests something negative about “today’s generation?”

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I don’t.

Assignment Desk: Q. What was Putin’s Buddy Andrey Melnichenko Doing in SF the Past Week? [A. Nothing Good]

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Evil coming at you:

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Evil hitting the road

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How long would you say this ship is – how about way more than a football field?

It’s so big it takes half a million bucks worth of petroleum to fill up its tanks.

It’s so big it needs a bar pilot to board to guide it out of San Francisco Bay, yesterday evening. See?

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All right, MSM, get up to speed on this recent visit here – just keep reading down.

Who did this guy meet with – corporate and government officials, right? Which ones? Why?

What’s that, what about the Ukraine? Indeed, what about Ukraine?

Hey, speak of the Devil:

Another lawmaker said he had been provided photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Andrey Melnichenko, who owns 92 percent of EuroChem’s shares. Putin even made a well-publicized visit to EuroChem’s potash mine in Gremyachinskoye in 2010.”

Hop on it, MSM.

If You Think This Rec & Park Pickup Moved a Foot and a Half in These Two Photos, Then It Was Speeding in GGP

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Is there a 5 MPH speed limit for RPD vehicles on paved paths in the parks of SF?

I think so.

All right, here are the two photos – they were taken at least a sixth of a second apart, you kids do the math:

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Oh wait, Gentle Reader, I’ll do the math and I’ll do it without Roman numerals. Today’s lesson is brought to you by the numbers Nine, Five and Six:

Nine feet per second > Five miles per hour, right? [Trust me, Gentle Reader.]

And my aging SLR camera takes shots at Six frames per second maximum.

So Nine feet per second divided by Six frames per second equals one point five feet of movement per frame, exactly.

See how that works? If this truck can be seen to be moving more than 1.5 feet per frame then that means it was moving more than 9 feet per second and that means it was moving more than 5 MPH and that means that it was speeding per RPD policy, right?

I’ll note that this is the Panhandle “bike path,” which some people don’t even consider a part of Golden Gate Park – perhaps the rules are different here? IDK.

And perhaps “GPS records” would indicate that this truck was merely going 3 MPH. If that were the case, then I’d know that RPD was mistaken. Or lying. Again.

Your pick, Gentle Reader.

Of course, nobody died here and it’s not like this truck was going 15 MPH down the Panhandle bike path on a rainy night. But RPD workers violate RPD rules all the time, right? So, what to do?

Some race car drivers have a speed limiter button to use while pitting. As long as it’s engaged, then a racecar can’t go more than, say, 15 MPH or something, you know, for crew safety, even though the gas pedal is mashed all the way down. Could something like this work for the speeding workers of the RPD? IDK. Implementing a program like this would be expensive, but, of course, letting RPD workers speed along has been expensive and problematic and tragic (in many ways, in many ways) up ’til now, right?

Postcard from Oakland: An Incomprehensible Bicycle Sign – “SLIPPERY WHEN WET?”

Monday, September 8th, 2014

That’s my guess:

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Is it like this one?

Our Long Parochial Nightmare is Over: The Vandalized Slides at Panhandle Playground 94117 have been Replaced by RPD

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Well the slides at the Panhandle Playground have been replaced after three months of absence.

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1. Perhaps the RPD spokesmodel meant that the entire slide complex was being repaired, as opposed to the $2000 plastic slide itself. I don’t think it would have made sense to repair the slide itself, due to liability issues for starters. This is a brand-new slide, one that’s similar enough to the original.

2. So some wealthy, non-profit people came by with clipboards to say that this particular playground currently earns a “D” grade? Well, OK fine, but if you talk to the people who actually use the place, they, more or less, give it an “A” grade, you know, except for the slide that wasn’t there all summer long. Mmmmm… What’s up with that?

3. Supervisor London Breed’s office was unresponsive to the email contact sent by a group of concerned parents, apparently. So she gets an “F,” or an Incomplete perhaps. (I’ve worked at two similar offices, with about ten or one hundred times as many constituents, and if the elected in charge found out about something like this then there’d be a 20-minute yell-fest and/or a passive aggressive note sent to a (lower-case “s”) supervisor to “fix this.”) So, obvs, a “communication issue” occurred, I just don’t know how common this is with her office.

4. RPD has a policy to not repair anything in a playground if it’s due to be revamped in the next two years? That’s my understanding. Does that mean that this playground won’t get revamped anytime soon? That’s my understanding. Why’s that? Read on, Gentle Reader.

5. What RPD really wants is area parents to get together to raise something on the order of [bites right pinkie finger] one million dollars, you know, the way they do things in rich areas of SF, like Sea Cliff (ala the new Mountain Lake) and Presidio Heights. Only then will RPD put your playground at the top of the fix-it list? OK fine. The funny thing is that most of the money that gets used to refurbish existing playgrounds is paid for by the non-rich, from some bond. But all this doesn’t matter for the playground at hand, because:

6. The slide vandalized in May 2014 has been replaced in September 2014 and the users are now satisfied. No $5,000,000 modernization from the RPD is needed, frankly. [Oh what's that, RPD - this old-school playground costs you a lot of coin to maintain? Well, then why don't you fix it up, RPD, you know, using the money we give you?]

And that’s the end of this story.

Brokedown Palace: “Can You Spare a Dollar?” – Sitting on Abandoned Cable Spool All Day Long – Fruitvale, East Oakland, California, USA

Monday, September 8th, 2014

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Click to expand

SFGov’s “Friday Night Market” at UN Plaza is Surprisingly Expensive – But At Least It Has Coors Light “Craft Beer”

Monday, September 8th, 2014

JSpiderSF made it down to the inaugural Friday Night Market down in Civic Center. Here’s his report:

“Friday Night Markets in Civic Center! Because what mid-market needs is $13 cocktails, $8 cans of beer, $6 coors light”

And here’s his photo:

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Of course “craft beer” is defined as either:

1. Beer not brewed by one of the big “mega-brewery” corporations; or

2. Beer that’s been marked up 1000% by middlemen

Mmmmm… crafty.