Posts Tagged ‘bicycles’

Mobile Bike Store, Under the Freeway, Frisco

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

How many bike wheels does one person need?


A Crazy New SFMTA Plan to Allow Bike Riders to Run Red Lights on Fell and Oak in the “Panhandle-Adjacent” Area

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Here it is: The “Fell and Oak Streets Panhandle-Adjacent Bikeway Feasibility Study”

The basic idea is to take out one of the four lanes of Fell and one of the four lanes of Oak along the Golden Gate Park Panhandle from the Baker Street DMV to Stanyan and turn them into dedicated bike lanes.

You don’t need to even look at the report to know that this idea is “feasible” – obviously, our SFMTA can do this if it wants to:


But why does the SFMTA want to do this? This is not stated in the report.

As things stand now, you can ride your bike on the left side of the left lanes of Fell and Oak, or on the right sides of the right lanes of Fell and Oak, or in any part of any lane of Fell and Oak if you’re keeping up with traffic (but this is especially hard to do heading uphill on Fell), or on the “multi-use pathway” (what I and most people call the bike path) what winds through the Panhandle.

So, why not widen the bike path again, SFGov? It used to be 8 foot wide and now it’s 12 foot wide, so why not go for 16 foot wide? (Hey, why doesn’t our SFMTA simply take over Rec and Park? You know it wants to.)

My point is that it would also be “feasible” to somehow force RPD to widen the current bike path (and also the extremely bumpy, injury-inducing Panhandle jogging/walking path along Oak) independent of whatever the SFMTA wants to do to the streets.

Anyway, here’s the news – check out page 12 of 13. No bike rider (or what term should I use this year, “person with bikes?” Or “person with bike?” Or “person with a bike?”) is going to want to sit at a red light at a “minor street” when s/he could just use the bike trail the SFTMA figures, so why not just allow them to ride on Fell and Oak without having to worry about traffic lights at all? And the pedestrians? Well, you’ll see:

“Minor Street Intersections

The minor cross-streets in the project area from east to west are Lyon Street, Central Avenue, Ashbury Street, Clayton Street, Cole Street, and Shrader Street. Each is a consistent width of 38’-9” curb-to-curb with 15-foot wide sidewalks. All of these streets are discontinued [Fuck man. How much colledge do you need to start talking like this, just asking] at the park, each forming a pair of “T” intersections at Oak and Fell streets. The preferred control for the protected bike lane at these “T” intersections is to exclude it from the traffic signal, allowing bicyclists to proceed through the intersection without stopping unless a pedestrian is crossing the bikeway. Due to the relatively low pedestrian volumes at these intersections, it is expected that people using the protected bike lane [aka cyclists? aka bike riders?] would routinely violate the signal if required to stop during every pedestrian phase, creating unpredictability and likely conflict between users on foot and on bicycles. This treatment also recognizes that in order to attract many bicycle commuters, the new protected bike lanes would need to be time-competitive with the existing multi-use path that has the advantage of a single traffic control signal for the length of the Panhandle.

Excluding the protected bike lane from the traffic signal requires installing new pedestrian refuge islands in the shadow of the parking strip. The existing vehicle and pedestrian signal heads currently located within the park would also need to be relocated to new poles on the pedestrian refuge islands.

Implementing these changes would cost between $70,000 and $150,000 per intersection, and require the removal of approximately four parking spaces per intersection. Over the eleven minor-street “T” intersections along the Panhandle (excluding Fell Street/Shrader Street which which has been discussed separately), the total cost would be between $0.9 and $1.5 million dollars and approximately 48 parking spaces would be removed.

This design introduces a variety of benefits and compromises [“compromises!” Or maybe “costs,” as in a cost/benefit analysis?] for pedestrians crossing to and from the park at the minor intersections:

Pedestrians would be required to wait for gaps in bicycle traffic to cross the protected bike lane (which may present new challenges to people with low or no vision). Design treatments for the protected bike lanes (e.g., stencil messages, rumble strips, signs) should also be considered to clearly indicate the necessity of yielding to pedestrians to people on bicycles.”

Here’s Where Your Stolen Bike Gets Disassembled, Jumbled Together with Other Bikes, and Reassembled for Resale

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Some of these RVs are live-work space for bikes thieves, oh well:


Four Choices Here on Market Street – How Would You Handle This Parked Bus?

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

You can:

1. Go to the right, as shown, but sometimes there’s not enough room to do so.

2. Go to the left, but sometimes there’s not enough room to do so.

3. Go into the left lane, but there’s a huge wheel-swallowing gap in the road for the huge metal BART/MUNI subway grate, and if you fall down and get run over by a streetcar, a member of the SFPD just might say you weren’t riding “in the bike lane.”

4. Line up behind the stalled bus like you’re a car driver, for 10 to 150 seconds.

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I’ve done all four.

(I understand about where the BART entrances are placed, but I’d widen some lanes here in some places, at the expense of the (sorry, “urbanists”) overly wide sidewalks of Market Street…)

Choose or lose.

Frisco Traffic: Historic Streetcars, Bike Riders and Unregistered Ferraris

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

As seen on Market Street:

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Properly registering and insuring a pricey weekend car is prohibitively expensive in California, on a per-mile basis, so that’s why so many people don’t do it. You gotta pay them “use taxes” to get started and then you face annual ad valorem taxes.

Oh well.

Lowrider Biker Gang, Frisco

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

There was three of them, on Webster. That’s my impression, anyway:

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Oh, here are the other two:

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Keep on trucking, man.

The Advisability of Riding Your Bike Through the Bunker Road Tunnel Whether the Light is Green or Not

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Here it is, your Bunker Road Tunnel* to Rodeo Beach and beyond.

The driver of this old Datsun(!) pickup truck seemed to be giving this cyclist a little bit of room, but then a shout came out…

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…from this guy going the other way. So whoops, the Datsun driver moves a yard or two to the right. Thusly:

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Bikes have dedicated lanes in this tunnel but cars don’t. Does that mean that bikes don’t have to wait up to five minutes for a green light the way cars have to? I know not. The surfer dudes in the 4WD pickup could not possibly look more like Marin Locals, like Regulars on this stretch of road, but the driver was surprised to see a cyclist going the other way? Now because it’s a tunnel, shouting works, but what if dudes had had the radio on and couldn’t hear? There could have been an accident.

Seems that waiting for the green would be safer. There’s room for debate, I suppose. (I think I’d want to see a sign saying it’s OK for bikes to proceed afore I ran a red light…)


A single-lane tunnel carries Bunker Road from the Rodeo Valley to U.S. 101. Built in 1918, this tunnel is known as Baker-Berry Tunnel but also known as the Bunker Road Tunnel or the Five Minute Tunnel. A date stamp on the western entrance to the Baker-Barry Tunnel lists 1994, which may have been the year the tunnel was retrofitted for earthquake protection or reconstructed for other reasons. Additional work was completed in 2013 to allow for wider approaches for bicyclists. A traffic signal governs the flow of traffic into the tunnel, since only one direction may proceed at a time.

*Some mock the Yelp for rating a tunnel:

“Solid four-star tunnel… Screw you, Yelp.”

“What can I say, it’s a hole in the”

Years of SFPD Enforcement Have Gotten Through to These Bros – More Respect for Pedestrian Red Lights on Market

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Five or ten years ago, these very same dudes might very well have pretty much ignored this red light for the giant crosswalk connecting Union Square with San Francisco Centre, but now they obey the red, pretty much.

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A Brief History of Division Street’s Homeless People in Tents, 2015-2016 – Plus Theories: El Nino v. Super Bowl 50

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Well, let’s go way back for starters, back when the Bicycle Thieves Of San Francisco aimed to steal your entire bike. They’d sometimes get caught with stolen bikes and car jacks.*

But these days, it’s bike parts thieves seem to settle for, so cyclists need to protect not just the frame but also the wheels, the saddle and the headset, and other bits too, if you can.

So that means that today’s bike thief needs room to store stuff and that’s where Division Street comes in. It’s been a good place to park a vehicle or pitch a tent without being bothered too much, plus it’s close to the action – it’s close to 7th and Market and the Main Library.

This is what things looked like under the I-80 before Fall 2015 as I remember things:


This is how I remember things being for a decade or two.

But then all of a sudden, instead of a few tents here and there, a bunch of tents popped up. They filled up practically every possible space in lines that stretched from Costco #144 all the way to South Van Ness. I’m guessing this occurred  anywhere from mid-to-late November 2015 to early December at the latest.

This is part of the north (aka west) side of Division on Dec. 13th:


Compare that with this shot of the same place on Dec. 9th

And this is the other side of the street closer to 10th Street at the end of December:





I’ll tell you, most of these hundreds of people are NOT bike thieves.

So why did they show up here at the end of 2015?

The Holidays? I could see why the SFPD et al might want to ignore things until after Thanksgiving, Christmas and whatnot.

El Nino? This would be a good place to stay out of most of the rain, of course, and the forecast was for lots of it coming soon.

Super Bowl 50? The corporate party part of Super Bowl 50 had lots of knock-on effects for SFGov – it seemed like each and every SF Department was gearing up. At the time I thought, well, this doesn’t look too good either, if this is the alternative to homeless people hanging out near Super Bowl City in the Financial.

Availability of Tents? I remember seeing truck upon truck delivering stuff here, something like an FM radio station with “Chuy in the Morning” written on the side, something like that. So sure, food, but tents too? IDK.

Those are some ideas, anyway.

I don’t know, if SFGov cleans out all these tents in February 2016, will that end shoplifting at Rainbow Grocery?

We’ll find out soon enough.

Anyway, that’s your brief history of the tents on Division from 2015-2016.

*Stolen from the trunks of boxy Volvos. It was a thing.

A Rational Approach from Sacramento County: “BIKES USE SIDEWALK” – SF Could Allow This in Some Places RIght Now

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Like on Masonic Avenue, for instance:

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Some other places too.

California allows us to make these calls on a case by case basis…