Posts Tagged ‘Berkeley’

Bicycle Fatality on the I-80 at University in Berkeley Raises the Question: Can You Ride a Bike on a Freeway?

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Consider this morning’s news:

Katie Utehs ‏@katieutehs2h – All lanes of eastbound 80 blocked for bicycle vs. collision at University. @ktvupic.twitter.com/iIHtmZJ8bw

Is it legal to ride a bike on the freeways  of California?

No, not on the very urbanized part in Berkeley I don’t think.

But bike riding is legal on other certain stretches of freeway.

The details:

“We’re not talking about temporarily closing down a freeway to cars on Father’s Day like they did in Pasadena a while back, to the horror of Rob Anderson.

And we’re not talking about an illegal bicycle romp in traffic the way the Crimanimalz do it on the 405.

We’re talking about you legally riding your bike on the right side of some of California’s 4000 miles of freeway.

Well, according to the California Department of Transportation, maker of melty orange and blue cupcakes, sí, se puede. Yes, you can ride your bike on about 1000 miles of California freeway.

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For proof, check out this white sign in Marin County on the 101 South. You see? It says “BICYCLES MUST EXIT” so that means, assuming you didn’t ignore any “Bicycles Prohibited” sign, it’s all good for you to be on this stretch of freeway. Q.E.D. Res Ipsa Loquitur.

Here’s the CalTrans version:

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

And here’s the Vehicle Code:

21960.  (a) The Department of Transportation and local authorities,
by order, ordinance, or resolution, with respect to freeways,
expressways, or designated portions thereof under their respective
jurisdictions, to which vehicle access is completely or partially
controlled, may prohibit or restrict the use of the freeways,
expressways, or any portion thereof by pedestrians, bicycles or other
nonmotorized traffic or by any person operating a motor-driven
cycle, motorized bicycle, or motorized scooter.  A prohibition or
restriction pertaining to bicycles, motor-driven cycles, or motorized
scooters shall be deemed to include motorized bicycles; and no
person may operate a motorized bicycle wherever that prohibition or
restriction is in force.  Notwithstanding any provisions of any
order, ordinance, or resolution to the contrary, the driver or
passengers of a disabled vehicle stopped on a freeway or expressway
may walk to the nearest exit, in either direction, on that side of
the freeway or expressway upon which the vehicle is disabled, from
which telephone or motor vehicle repair services are available.
(b) The prohibitory regulation authorized by subdivision (a) shall
be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are
erected upon any freeway or expressway and the approaches thereto.
If any portion of a county freeway or expressway is contained within
the limits of a city within the county, the county may erect signs on
that portion as required under this subdivision if the ordinance has
been approved by the city pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section
1730 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(c) No ordinance or resolution of local authorities shall apply to
any state highway until the proposed ordinance or resolution has
been presented to, and approved in writing by, the Department of
Transportation.
(d) An ordinance or resolution adopted under this section on or
after January 1, 2005, to prohibit pedestrian access to a county
freeway or expressway shall not be effective unless it is supported
by a finding by the local authority that the freeway or expressway
does not have pedestrian facilities and pedestrian use would pose a
safety risk to the pedestrian.

Wow: A Different Kind of Golden Gate Bridge Sunset Photo – From Famous photographer David Yu

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

(If I ever see the sky this orange, I’ll be sure to call 911, or at least 311, to find out what in the Sam Hill is going on.)

This is an arresting shot, non? 

San Francisco Photographer David Yu does it again:

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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

27th Annual TIBET DAY Fair & Evening Concert Coming to Berkeley on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Hey, remember this one?

“ONE WORLD, ONE DREAM – FREE TIBET”

Good times.

Anyway, Tibet Day is back in the Bay Area – deets below.

Click to expand
“Tibet Day Info and Buy Tickets online: http://friends-of-tibet.org/tibet-day/tibet-day-2012
 
Dear Friends,
On behalf of the Bay Area Friends of Tibet (BAFoT) and Tibetan Association of Northern California (TANC), I would like to warmly invite you to the next edition of Tibet Day “A Celebration of Community, Culture, and Heroic Compassion” at the Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702.
Tibet Day is cosponsored by The Dalai Lama Foundation, Committee of 100 for Tibet, Everest Waterproofing and Restoration,  Sharon Bacon, Dorji Lama of Tibet Shop, and Sierra Friends of Tibet. It will be a wondrous display of all things Tibet and San Francisco Team Tibet unity and love of Tibet and the Tibetan people.
Fair – 9 AM – 6 PM
Evening Concert with Special Guest Star Loten Namling from Switzerland –7-9:30 PM.
ENTRANCE DONATION REDUCED!
FAIR – $5 – Main Auditorium
EVENING CONCERT – $15 – Main Auditorium
Room 21 – Films, Panel, Meditation
Lhamo Tso, wife of the wrongfully-imprisoned Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen will be available all day in Room 21, next to the main auditorium and there will be morning and afternoon screening of her husband’s documentary film work, “Leaving Fear Behind” as well as actions you can take to Free Dhondup Wangchen and his monk-friend Jigme Gyatso (Golog Jigme) who is currently appears to being framed for murder for helping Dhondup Wangchen. Room 21 will also feature Tibet Flame of Truth Film with the Director Lobsang Lhasian. At 5 PM there will be a Panel Discussion on the Self-Immolations and Compassion and at 6 PM there will be a Chenrezi Meditation Puja by the Dharma Bums.
FAIR
We are pleased the following vendors, nonprofit organization, artists and groups expected at the Fair:
THI VAN ANH THACH – YOGA FOR SELF-COMPASSION @ 9 AM
TIBETAN ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
TENZING TIBETAN GIFT SHOP TIBURON
TIBETAN NYINGMA RELIEF FOUNDATION
WELLS FARGO
SIERRA FRIEND OF TIBET
SAN FRANCISO TIBETAN YOUTH CONGRESS
STUDENTS FOR A FREE TIBET
COMMITTEE OF 100 FOR TIBET
SYNERGY ORGANIC CLOTHING
CHEPPU HIMAL
AIDE AU ZANSKAR
BAY AREA FRIENDS OF TIBET
JAMYONG SINGYE – THANGKA PAINTING
LOTEN NAMLING
DHARMA BUMS
TSERING YOUDON
GYURME TETHONG
TSERING LODOE
SEMSHUK PHUNDA BAND
TANC’S CHILDRENS CHOIR
MANDIA – INDIAN FLUTIES
TSERING DORJEE BAWA, TASHI TSERING, AND TSERING KHASHITSANG
TSERINGCHO
PENPA TSERING – TIBETAN WOODCARVER
Evening Rangzen Concert
Semshuk Phunda
Tsering Youdon
Tsering Lodoe
TseringCho
Loten Namling
Dharma Bums
Proceeds help benefit TANC’s Building Restoration Project, the Dhondup Wangchen & Lhamo Tso Freedom Fund, and BAFoT’s celebration of Tibetan culture and struggle for Tibetan independence. Please join us today.
For more information visit: www.tanc.org and www.friends-of-tibet.org
See you at Tibet Day!
Giovanni Vassallo | President | Bay Area Friends of Tibet
www.friends-of-tibet.org

The Resurrection of the Dangerous “SouthParkDrive Descent,” the 54 MPH(!) Strava Segment That Killed Cyclist Kim Flint

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Get up to speed on the issue of the death of former avid Strava user Kim Flint right here:

Did attempt to set speed record cause cyclist’s death?

That was about two years back.

Was that segment “dangerous?”

No matter, it came back, as you can see here:

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Now, it’s flagged for being dangerous (what, just yesterday?), but not before tons of people attempted to beat Kim Flynt’s time, to become “King of the Mountain” (KOM) once again.

Here are the deets from a Reader Just Like You, Brandon:

“BTW, speaking of Strava and the cyclist who died in Berkeley in 2010 trying to reclaim his recently eclipsed “KOM” on the South Park Drive descent in Berkeley’s Tilden Park, the same segment has now reappeared on Strava again:
http://app.strava.com/segments/1243472

The full descent segment was flagged after Kim Flynt’s death, but a Strava user has redrawn the segment now starting it a little below the top and ending it enough before the bottom to get around the software blocking the segment.

Note that Kim Flynt’s once “record” descent is now all the way down in 7 way tie for 16th place:

16 Kim Flint
Jun 06, 2010
66.4km/h 152bpm 300W – 1:56

And the fastest time was set just a few days ago now:

Tim Medina
May 20, 2012
72.6km/h 168bpm 155W – 1:46

That’s over 45 mph avg (with a max. of 54 mph)!”

What’s the speed limit there, 30 MPH?

Does Strava encourage speeding? For example, how fast was Strava fan and cyclist Chris Bucchere going down Castro before hit collided with pedestrian Sutchi Hui? (Has there been a measurement done from the video yet?) Shouldn’t Strava ban segments with speeding in them?

Strava wants new customers, Strava wants to make money, right? This is how they do it, they let riders do what the riders want and then when the media focuses on a particularly dangerous segment, it all of a sudden gets flagged and goes down the memory hole.

Is that how you roll, Strava?

Berkeley Flags Flying in San Francisco’s Civic Center? “Another Planet” Stakes Its Claim at the Bill Graham Auditorium

Friday, January 13th, 2012

See these huge flags? They say, “Berkeley, Another Planet, Entertainment.”

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They’re all over the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium:

Shouldn’t they say “San Francisco, Another Planet, Entertainment,” instead?

I cry foul.

Courage.

OMG, the New Mitsubishi i Cars are Here – All-Electric Fleet Vehicles Come to City CarShare

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Well, here it is:

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All the deets:

“Mitsubishi Motors Makes First Fleet Delivery of the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) to Bay Area’s City CarShare

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8, 2011  — Representatives from Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA), along with San Rafael Mitsubishi, conducted the very first fleet delivery of the all-new 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i to the California Bay Area’s City CarShare in a special ceremony held at the Green Vehicle Showcase located in front of San Francisco City Hall Plaza on Thursday, December 8 at 9:00 a.m.

City CarShare is a Bay Area nonprofit organization founded in 2001 with the help of several other local nonprofits and the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. Their mission is to promote innovative mobility options to improve the environment and the quality of life in the Bay Area. By providing short-term access to cars City CarShare is reducing traffic congestion, parking problems and dependence on oil while promoting cleaner air and quieter streets.

“We are very pleased to introduce the all electric Mitsubishi i into our fleet. This vehicle brings us one step closer toward our goal of having 50% of our fleet run on alternative fuel as part of our mission to decrease carbon emissions in the Bay Area,” said Rick Hutchinson, CEO, City CarShare.

Numerous fleet orders have already been placed for the innovative, environmentally-friendly and fun-to-drive Mitsubishi i by a wide variety of organizations – multinational corporations, municipalities large and small, major utilities and nonprofit organizations – from New York to Hawaii.

“We thank the Bay Area’s City CarShare for being the first fleet recipient of our innovative 100% electric-powered vehicle,” said Yoichi Yokozawa, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA). “City CarShare’s stated goals are to help promote modes of personal transportation that help improve the environment while reducing noise pollution as well as fossil fuel dependence, so the 2012 Mitsubishi i is the perfect vehicle to help achieve this nonprofit’s ambitious mission.”

The 2012 Mitsubishi i is the first of several new advanced, alternative-fuel production vehicles that the Japanese auto manufacturer plans on bringing to the North American market in the next few years.

For more information about the 2012 Mitsubishi i, please visit media.mitsubishicars.com and i.mitsubishicars.com; for fleet sales information on Mitsubishi’s electric vehicle please log on to mitsubishicars.com/iMiEVfleet.

More information on the Bay Area’s City CarShare can be found at citycarshare.org.

SOURCE  Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.”

UC President Mark Yudof Throws Down: Delivers “Baker’s Dozen Myths on Higher Ed” at Cal Chamber of Commerce in SF

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Let’s catch up with University of California President Mark Yudof:

“On Dec. 2, UC President Mark Yudof spoke to the California Chamber of Commerce Board in San Francisco regarding misconceptions about the University of California.”

(Well, that’s the belly of the beast, that’s the Fortress of Reaction right there. Mmmm.)

Anyway, here’s his myth #8, to get you started:

“#8: Only the wealthy can afford to attend UC.

Nothing belies this myth more than the incredible socioeconomic diversity of UC students.

About 40 percent of all UC undergraduates receive Pell grants. Pell grant recipients come from families with an annual household income of $50,000 or less.

To contextualize this percentage, consider this: Four of our campuses — Berkeley, Davis, UCLA and San Diego — each enroll more Pell grant recipients than the entire Ivy League combined.”

O.K. then.

Remembering the time when TIME Magazine caught Mr. Yudof rolling up his sleeves:

Here it is:

” President: ‘Baker’s Dozen Myths on Higher Ed’
  2011-12-05

On Dec. 2, UC President Mark Yudof spoke to the California Chamber of Commerce Board in San Francisco regarding misconceptions about the University of California. The following are his prepared remarks.

“A Baker’s Dozen Myths about Higher Education”

Thank you. It’s a pleasure for me to be here this morning, and to see so many familiar faces.

You know, Mark Twain once said, “Predictions are very hard to make — especially when they deal with the future.”

Unpredictability shapes the job of every university president. And as everyone here knows, much has happened at the University of California in the last few weeks. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about recent events during our Q&A.

Now, with apologies to David Letterman, I’ve come here today with a list. Unfortunately, it’s not very funny.

It’s a list of 13 myths about higher education.

(I should add that because I’m a big fan of Wallace Stevens, I almost called this speech “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a University.” But in deference to the language of commerce, I settled on “A Baker’s Dozen Myths about Higher Education.”)

These are the myths driving the grand narrative about universities — the grand narrative that says students are being priced out of universities like UC, while funding instead goes to new facilities or administrator salaries. So today, I’m here to dispel these myths.

#1: The cost of producing UC degrees and credit hours has gone up over the last decade.

I hear this myth all the time. And it’s frustrating, because this cost has actually dropped by more than 15 percent, in constant dollars, since the 1990s.

This cost has dropped in part due to a broad range of systemwide efficiencies: common IT systems; reduced employee travel; thousands of unfilled faculty and staff positions; one-third fewer employees at the UC Office of the President; a higher student-faculty ratio, and so on.

What has gone up, however, is the student contribution, or co-pay, to these degrees. At the same time, the state’s contribution per student has plummeted — by 60 percent in the last two decades.

To put this see-saw in perspective, UC students now cover roughly 46 percent of general fund support. But 20 years ago, their share hovered around 12 percent.

Now, sometimes I hear a variation on this myth, in the form of #2:

See the rest after the jump\

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