Posts Tagged ‘bicycles’

Test Riding the New and “Improved” Masonic Boulevard – It’s Not Going to be a Night-and-Day Difference, Safetywise

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Here you go, heading south, in the downhill direction – you’ve got your new median on the left, your downsized two lanes of traffic, your removed bus stops (so MUNI will just stop in traffic in future), your (slightly) raised cycle track and then your preexisting houses and driveways on the right:

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And here’s your reverse angle:

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So this isn’t much of a difference, safetywise, right?

What else, oh, for the next year or two of construction, we’ll continue to see this kind of half-assed engineering – this is a wheelchair ramp, of sorts:

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Hey, why would bike riders even want to get onto the sidewalks of Masonic? Well, you should try it sometime, as this person ahead of me wisely was doing. (And boy, if you threw in heavy rain and a few epically drunk drivers, the likes of which killed a pedestrian and a bike rider on this stretch of Masonic the past decade or so, well that’d make the sidewalk even more appealing.)

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Those are USF trees you can see on the right in the above photo. This used to be the narrowest sidewalk of Masonic north of Fell, but as you can see it’s quite wide now.

But look, turnabout is fair play, as peds seems to enjoy walking in the new bike path. That’s a bus stop there on the left, complete with a cut out to please Area Residents:

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There are costs and benefits to these changes, of course. It’s too bad that our SFMTA didn’t even try to document them…

Either Ford Rejected Palo Alto or Vice Versa – GoBike Rental Service Cancelled in PA – City is on “a New and Better Path”

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Ouch. This is how it was supposed to be, down StanFORD way:

Palo Alto expands bike share system with Ford’s help

But TWTATIN, see? Here’s the reason why Ford Motor Company ads won’t be rolling all over PA:

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So, not only will Palo Alto’s “bikeshare” rentals not have giant FORD logos on them, Palo Altons will have a newer and better program. Sounds like a win-win, considering all the baggage that comes with making a deal with FoMoCo.

Wonder if Ford Motor’s vaunted GoBike rental program will end up as three islands – SF, SJ and East Bay? (Of course, these blue bikes will continue to travel across bridges and tunnels from county to county, but that’s not allowed, you know, per se.)

(And as far as Frisco is concerned, it seems Ford is having trouble installing stations west of Masonic. Some neighbors are up in arms, mostly over the loss of parking spaces, and they hold a lot of sway in this town. Anyway, planned stations that were already supposed to be a done deal in the Upper Haight and on Hayes have stalled, and some Ford’s already given up on.)

Anyway, Ford and Palo Alto will always have the Ford Research and Innovation Center on Hillview.

Or not, either way.

I’m not sure how much the bay area needs Ford anyway…

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Rec and Park Posts Signage for a Very Short Mountain Bike Singletrack Trail Atop Twin Peaks

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Now what _I’d_ call this trail is a dirt sidewalk on the north side of Twin Peaks Boulevard what takes you from Twin Peaks Reservoir to Christmas Tree Point Road.

Anyway, here’s what RPD is doing these days. This is relatively new, these Jersey barriers connecting the trail to Eureka Peak. Note the post on the right:

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This is new, right?

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Note that it allows bike riding.

Now we’re looking east. The trail is on the other side of the guardrail:

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This trail will take you to the reservoir and/or Mount Sutro / Midtown Terrace. I’m calling it singletrack ’cause it’s kind of narrow. And of course it’s shared with hikers.

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This is noteworthy since singletrack is rare in SF / the bay area.

It’s not much of a trail for bikes, but it’s a trail anyway…

Random Right-Turn-Only Requirement for Drivers and Bike Riders at 9th and California?

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

On 9th Ave looking north:

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I don’t see any other markings or signs, except for some official-looking painted-on arrow and a similar sign / street arrow  for southbound traffic.

One wonders, is this real life? You can’t simply drive north on 9th, or even turn left?

One wonders if these are real SFMTA signs…

Apparently, Some of Our Tourists Have NO PROBLEM Paying MORE THAN $12 Per Hour to Rent Ford Motor Company GoBikes

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Of course, there are still some tourists who misunderstand that they have to check their rental bike back in every 30 minutes and end up getting billed more than $100, after paying $10 or so for a “Daypass.” So yeah, that still happens.

But what also happens is other tourists do the math and say to themselves, well, I can rent this bike for $16 for the first hour and $12 per hour thereafter and goshdarnit, I’m cool with that.

Like this in Golden Gate Park, heading away from the nearest Ford Motor Company bike rental station:

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Now, if you operate an “exclusive” bike rental operation in, say, IDK, Golden Gate Park, well, this just might drive you crazy, as it’s been doing.

One solution to this bike rental competition issue would be to more clearly state what the FordGoBike rental rate is, and perhaps double the late-turn-in rate, the better to be more like a “last mile” “bikeshare” system and less like a traditional bike rental…

Here It Is: Your New, Lower Capacity Masonic Avenue, with a Median and Twee Streetlamps

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

(We’re gonna rock on down to ‘Sonic Avenue, and then we’ll take it higher.)

Looking north from Hayes. The medians will end up with trees, and looks like a few easier-to-see traffic signals as well:

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Looking south from Hayes. The median ends early here, perhaps in deference to the SFFD’s nearby Engine 21 on Grove, IDK:

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IDK if these trees will survive:

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Here are your old-school streetlight amenities. I guess this is meant to please area homeowners. (The similarly brand-new, old-school benches down the hill aren’t really working out, oh well.)

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Here’s what looks to be a bus island with a bike lane on the right side. MUNI buses will simply stop in traffic, leaving this part of Masonic with one lane:

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Here’s your reverse angle, looking towards Fulton:

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Old sidewalk and trees to the right, new sidewalk added in the middle, new bike lane further left, and then the new median:

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And there you have it.

Know Better Your Richmond District Bike Thieves – Caught in the Act, Left Tools Behind – A Car Jack Hack

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

I’ll tell you back in the day, bicycle thieves aspired to take your whole bike, so they’d carry around Volvo car jacks the better to pry open your old-school Kyptonite U-locks. Then U-locks got better and the parts market became bigger, so now we’re in the Era of Frankenbikes with people stealing, tearing down, and reassembling bike parts to make untraceable, “new” bikes for sale on the craigslist and at fucking Laney College.

So this recent theft attempt in our Richmond District is old school. Note how the thief has modified the jack for easier concealment:

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One supposes this crime was interrupted.

So now it’s time to break into another car to get another car jack to steal more bikes to sell for $60 each to buy more drugs, one assumes.

Consult this handy chart when considering alternative careers…

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It Begins: Rec and Park Finally Gets Around to Painting Crosswalks onto the Panhandle Bike Path – But Who Has the Right of Way?

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Here you go – this is this morning:

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And here’s the result. Crosswalks are laid out all the intersections this multi-use path has with Shrader, Cole, Clayton, Ashbury, Central, and Lyon, as I was just talking about a couple days back.

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So, who has the right of way at these intersections – is it bike riders or peds? Well, IDK. I know about the arguments, I just don’t know the answers. (Is this bike path a “wilderness trail?” I’ve heard that one, from an in insurance company trying to deny coverage.)

Anyway, I’m thinking that about 25% of the peds have quite deficient situational awareness on this path (including two of the three workers seen above) and about 15% of the bike riders are stereotypical jerkwads who “knows my rights” and go a bit too fast. When these two subsets meet up at these unusual intersections, accidents happen, oh well.

We’ll see how this goes. (One hopes our RPD could put up a little signage about a speed limit and who has the right of way, if that’s not too bold for RPD to consider…)

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Rec and Park’s New Sign in the Panhandle Directs Tourist Pedestrians AWAY from the Multi-Use Path Abutting Fell

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Let’s pay off on that headline right now.

Looking east from Stanyan:

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Enhance!

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Oh here we go: Bikes to the left, peds to the right, see?

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Now I say tourists ’cause locals already know that they can tread upon “the bike path” in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle.

The real solution would be to widen this path what functions as a sidewalk for the south side of Fell, but for some reason, our RPD SFMTA SFCTA DPW alphabet soup don’t want to do that.

(And their next step will be to add painted crosswalk-type lines on the multi-use path where it intersects with what would be the sidewalks of Shrader, Cole, Clayton, Ashbury, Central, and Lyon if it weren’t for the existence of Golden Gate Park, the better to avoid any more bike v. ped accidents.)

Anyway, for better or worse…

Old NISHIKI Mountain Bike from the 1980’s is the Un-FordGoBike: Old, Cheap, Light, Reliable, Sustainable, and NOT an Advertising Vehicle, At All

Monday, September 18th, 2017

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Old: Well, sure, just look at it. (Reminds me of the “MOTIV” “brand” bikes I bought for $199.99 at the South Airport Drive (which is,oddly, located north of SFO) Price Club (loaned it to a bro, told him how to lock it up in the Tenderloin, was ignored, so it got stolen) and at a Costco (road it for 13 weeks, then sold it at the end of summer, then came home). And it also reminds me of the Trek 8000 I bought for $560 (retail was $899 and similarly had a saddle what towered over the handle bars – 4 inches higher in altitude IIRC) that had “luxurious” LX shifters what were two generations newer than this Nishiki. In any event, this Nishiki is old.)

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are new new new.

Cheap: Well, sure.  You could buy one  yourself for less than the $150 it’ll cost you just to get started or just one year with FORD.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals will run you $1200 if you happen to lose one. (IDK if they’ve made people actually pay this amount, as the publicity would be highly negatory, good buddy.)

Light: Oh yes, quite.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are heavy metal, designed to be clunky. (On a lark, some roadies rented some GoBikes to race them across The Bridge and up Conzelman to the top of Hawk Hill. It was treated as a kind of a joke given the design of the Ford Motor rentals. (And even though this speed contest violated some clauses of FoMoCo’s detailed and lengthy agreements, some at Motivate, International promoted it on social media, at least for a while.))

Reliable: Well, sure, just look at it. It’s honest machinery what shows you how it works.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals need a whole crew of workers what get paid just 15% more than the bare minimum wage. (Are they experts on the new-school rear hubs by now? I hope so.)

Sustainable: Well, sure. What’s stopping this Nishiki from going another 40 years on the mean Streets of San Francisco?

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are mostly funded by something like $50 million worth of Ford Motor Company marketing money. Who’s to say that this K(ontract) will make it even the seven years specified? And that brings us to…

Not an Advertising Vehicle, At All. Well, sure, it says NISHIKI on it, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking it off – I mean that wouldn’t violate your Rental Terms or your Rental Agreement, etc. Right? So that’s part of the reason why Ford is paying to buy up parking spaces in Frisco – the advertising placement.

OTOH, Ford Motor Company’s GoBike rentals are Advertising Vehicles. That means that if the Ford Motor / Motivate International people happen to catch you on one of their rental bikes, you know, and then take a picture of you, or make a video of you, well, you’ve already signed your rights away to YOUR image. See what I mean? (Oh what’s that, you don’t care? All right, well I bet I could point out something in the agreements that you wouldn’t cotton to.) Myself, well I’m not worried about my photos rights cause any images of me on a FoMoCoGoBi have gotta be fakes, plus I don’t think there’s any advertising edge to be garnered using my image anyway.

So there you have it, Yet Another Corporation Trying To Make Money Off Something That Oughtta Be Free, 2017 Edition.