Posts Tagged ‘bicycles’

A Good Turnout for Sunday Streets Mission (#1 of 2), 2018 – Valencia is Now the Flagship Sunday Streets Street

Monday, March 12th, 2018

I suppose that the Embarcadero used to be the flagship location, but that venue isn’t around any more.

Prolly they’re still fine-tuning schedules and locations, as some recent events have looked like fog-enmeshed ghost towns, where it’s literally hard to see another soul.

No no, this is how it‘s supposed to be:

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Ten years ago, people got around on wheels more, it seems. Most of yesterday’s large crowd was on foot, as you can see…

FordGoBike in the Presidio vs. an Electric JUMP! Bike in the Presidio: One Makes Sense, But the Other is a Mystery – Is GoBike Failing?

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Have you seen all the bright neon (orange? red?) JUMP! bikes all over Frisco these days? That’s not surprising since they’re getting used, a lot. A lot more than the clunky, heavy, legacy GoBike “bikeshare” bikes from Ford Motor Company in what’s basically a continuation of Bay Area Bike Share what got started like a half-decade ago and what’s cost us eight figures already.

I’ll tell you, my guess is that most of the FordGoBikes I’ve seen in the Presidio and points north, sometimes way north, like out of the county north, and we’re talking about a lot, like hundreds I myself have seen these past nine months, are being pushed / pedaled by PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW THAT THEIR $10 “DAY PASS” isn’t actually a day-pass and that they’ll soon be met with an unexpected high two-figure or low three-figure bill from the Ford ppl.

How do I know this? Well, I go up and ask them about it.

Of course, some know that they’ll get hit with hours and hours of penalty fees – and they just don’t care. The deal’s worth it for them. Well, that’s fine with me, be my guest.

But this?

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These ppl near the Great San Francisco Bight, let’s call it the Baker Beach area, have a loooooong way to go to get their heavy rides back into even the nearest GoBike rental station.

But look at this, unexpected JUMP bikes up at the Sports Basement. So this makes sense – two ppl pay two dollars to trek from where, SoMA, the Financh, the Twitterloin? All of those places are within range I figure, what with pedal assist and all. Then they’ll pay another two bucks to get home? If so, that makes sense to me as well:

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Now, do I approve of JUMP’s video/photo policy what allows Social Bicycles Inc or whomever to use images of you* and your face, (your pretty face!) however the Hell they feel, with no payment to you? Well Hell no. But that’s the deal our local alphabet soup (SFMTA SFCTA MTC BAAQMD it doesn’t matter) struck. Sorry.

OTOH, people are loving the JUMPs.

And hey, speaking about the alphabet soup, are all those govt ppl pleased with how FordGoBike is doing these days? Oh, Hell no.

And how many stations should have the FoMoCo ppl have had west of Masonic by now? Lots and lots. But how many to they have IRL? Zero. (And the prospects for anything soon look bleak – the more the Ford ppl push on installing rental stations, the more pushback they’ll get from residents. I’ll tell you, I can’t believe how many tens of millions of dollars Ford is going to spend over the next six years compared with what they’ve gotten so far. JMO.)

In conclusion, JUMP good, FORD bad.

We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out when GoBike Goes Electric, you know, a little bit, in April…



Which Inspires More Protest: A 54-Bed “Lockdown Mental Ward” at Hayes and Shrader or a 20-Bike Rental Station from Ford? – See Petition for a 49 Square Block FordGoBike Ban

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Let’s see if I can pay off on that headline, but I’ll tell you, it’s not even close.

There’s this, at St. Mary’s – it inspired nary a peep of any protest, AFAIK.

But then there’s this, a neighborhood petition against a proposed FordGoBike rental station, also at Hayes and Shrader right across the street from St. Mary’s – it would convert five current parking spaces into a leased bike rental station. There are many Martin Luthers in this nabe, with the hammer and the nail at your door. Go ahead and read:

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See that? Petitioners are looking for a DMZ, a DeMotivateinternational* Zone, not less than seven blocks in any direction from Hayes and Shrader. You see? ‘Cause they just chased away another proposed station at Hayes and Clayton just last year, and they don’t want the Ford ppl coming with yet another proposed station anywhere close by.

I’ll tell you a story. Back in the 1990’s, (Old) General Motors went and spent six figures to pay for a playground, pretty close to Hayes and Shrader in Golden Gate Park. Here’s what happened – defacement of the letters forming the name of one of GM’s divisions, with extreme prejudice:


See that – the signage marring was the response to too much corporate advertising for locals to handle, even though all GM did was to buy us a playground.

So that’s the environment that these corporate types from Michigan and New York don’t seem to understand. ‘Cause here they come, and then this happens, on Hayes Street as it happens:

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Do you see the similarity here, the reaction to marketing efforts from America’s #1 and #2 automakers?

Of course, Ford has some supporters, but they tend to be people who think it’d be a great idea to ban cars from Frisco altogether.

Isn’t it ironic?

Dont’cha think?

(‘Cause that’s the whole idea, of FoMoCo marketing cars to young people, who, you know, are hard to market to.)

In conclusion, large new mental ward MEH, small corporate bike rental station HELL NO.

This has been your Hayes and Shrader Update.

As to the future, well, IDK which side will win. As for our SFMTA, it’s all:

“…We (SFMTA) do not issue permits for bike share stations in front of buildings where the residents and/or property owners object.”

Or at least that’s what one of their senior planners said last year.

We’ll see…

*The operators of our local short-term bicycle rental monopoly. They used to be known as Alta Bike Share, but that name got wore out, owing to labor issues, among others. 

JUMP! Rental Bike Riders Don’t Drive Too Good

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

You can’t miss these bright orange rides these days, particularly the past month or so.

Like look at this fellow on Market – like how much a third of a horsepower has helped him to haul him and his buddy up to 20 MPH straddling the MUNI tracks. Talk about making good time.

Anyway, this is just an observation:

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More caution is advised…

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…


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.