Posts Tagged ‘bike’

Here’s What Bus Drivers, Bike Riders, and Pedestrians Think of the New DOUBLE RIGHT TURN at Fell and Masonic

Friday, February 27th, 2015

This MUNI operator used to be able to pick up at Hayes and Masonic southbound and then easily continue straight on Masonic towards Haight. But now #43 Masonic drivers need to get into the #2 lane as the #3 lane is now a mandatory right turn onto Fell. So click click goes the left turn signal as the bus driver begs the stalled traffic for a little help:

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And if you’re coming from inbound Hayes to southbound Masonic on a bike, you now have two lanes to jink across if you wish to continue on along Masonic:

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This is why some, including those at the SFMTA/SFBC disfavor DOUBLE RIGHT TURNS. Note also the driver who’s improperly cutting across from lane #3 to lane #2.

And of course, now more drivers are blocking the box / sitting on the crosswalk:

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On it goes at Fell and Masonic.

Someday I’ll figure out what the SFMTA is going for here.

Someday.

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Has Lost Thousands of Paid Members Lately

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

[UPDATE: I’ve omitted Stanley Roberts’ video from this post as I mistakenly thought it was new as of this week when in fact it was posted almost two years old now. My apologies, Stanley. As you can see, Mr. Roberts goes after everybody (including fake monks and nuns) and certain people at the SFBC have been irritated by that over the years.]

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has lost thousands of paid members lately.

Now part of that’s due to “churn,” which is something that every organization has to deal with, but most of it has to do with behavior of the SFBC itself. I’ll tell you, I’ve been riding bikes around town longer than the current SFBC has existed – no, I’m not saying that I’ve been here since the “early 70’s,” I’m saying that the SFBC didn’t really exist in the 1980’s when I came to SF. I’m saying that before Critical Mass (and its predecessor, the “Commute Clot”), the SFBC didn’t really exist – they were nowhere, man. What _did_ exist, a little later on, was the car-centric Willie Brown Administration. And all those functionaries working for Willie Brown were trying to find some “bicycle people” to cut a deal with, to tame Critical Mass, to give grant money to. But no, all the Critical Mass leaders were saying stuff like, “Critical Mass doesn’t have leaders, Man.” Eventually, the SFBC managed to practically become a part of the SFMTA, you know, conducting surveys for SFGov, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in taxpayer and feepayer money, forcing companies like Twitter to deal with the SFBC, you know, officially, and, in return, the SFBC stopped promoting Critical Mass, and SFBC now offers pols a nice photo op every year on Bike to Work Day and it actually endorses (without consulting the Members at all) for election Willie Brown protegees like, I don’t know, Ed Lee, for example. So that’s the history, and during this history I’ve seen the SFBC grow in membership, from “over 1000″ to “over 5000″ to “over “10,000” and then “over 11,000″ and then “over 12,000″ and then, uh oh, back down to “over 11,000″ and most recently back down to “over 10,000.” What are the numbers now? IDK, 9000-something? The SFBC isn’t exactly candid about its recent loss in membership. The SFBC certainly doesn’t want people freely looking at its tax forms or its older webpages, so that’s why it recently started suppressing this kind of information. Mmmmm… I’ll tell you, of course, there’s been a huge increase in bicycling in San Francisco since I’ve come here, and for various reasons, fine. (It’s sort of funny about how the big annual jumps in cycling came exactly during the rise of the fixie craze, and exactly when the Bicycle Plan injunction froze all infrastructure changes, but whatevs.) I’ll ask you, why can’t a monomaniacal advocacy organization like the SFBC concede anything? I guarantee you that the SFBC people who went the extra mile to “reach out” to Stanley Roberts of KRON-TV are pissed off about the above video coming out right before the Big Vote on Polk Street, which is supposably [what, no red underlining for a word I purposefully misspelled? Amazing] coming March 3rd, 2015, but who knows how that will work out. I’ll tell you, IMO Polk Street is a triple beam lyrical dream the way it is now. What are the other options to go north south in the area? If I don’t take Polk, then I’d be thinking Stockton, Grant, Kearney or the Embarcadero to the east or, to the west, Steiner (it’s sort of the pass over Pacific Heights, sort of) or Arguello through the Presidio. In your efforts to pursue your goals, SFBC, which I don’t necessarily oppose, you go too far and you end up alienating people like me, a man in his 40’s, and even older people such as Junior the Bike Messenger, and, apparently, THOUSANDS OF OTHER FORMER SFBC MEMBERS.

The question is, WHY IS THAT, SFBC?

 

The Person I Imagine When I Hear the Word “Urbanist” – Remembering the Car-Inspired Schwinn Stingray Banana Bike

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

I haven’t seen one of these for a while:

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Complete with a five-on-the-floor shifter…

The SFMTA’s New DOUBLE RIGHT TURN is Creating Problems – Getting Used the Great Peninsula at Fell and Masonic

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Here’s the situation and here are a couple new photos.

See how the new peninsula juts into traffic? That means that MUNI buses can no longer use lane #3 on southbound Masonic to get across Fell:

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So here’s the upshot: SFPD cars are getting stuck in the #2 lane of southbound Masonic – they are inadvertently “blocking the box,” as this radio car was doing for about five seconds before it could creep forward. I’ve never seen the cops blocking the box like this here:

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I suppose that it depends on the time of day how many people from southbound Masonic head west at Fell or continue south on Masonic, but this change is creating more “traffic” than there was before.

And if you’re on a bike, then you’d need to merge over a couple lanes in between Hayes and Fell, one supposes…

Uphill Cyclist Sanctimoniously and Improperly “Takes The Lane” on McAllister: Staring Down Drivers While Huffing and Puffing

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Let’s travel all the way over to the left side of the Bell curve to see what the bottom 1% is up to.

Here we go, at about 4 MPH, staying as far to the left as necessary to prevent traffic from passing you too much. And for good measure, be sure to crane your neck around to give the evil eye whenever you can, to tell those drivers that I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE UP TO BACK THERE, MAN!

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Click to expand

OTOH, “taking the lane” would be just fine heading the other way down this block, down Alamo Heights…

Spawning Salmon: The Horrible Pedestrians of the Rather Narrow Golden Gate Panhandle Bike Path

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

(Well, sure it’s not an actual bike-only path, it’s a multipurpose trail, or something. But most call it the bike path cause bike riders are allowed on it, as opposed to the ped-only path near Oak on the other side of the Panhandle.)

I’m a polite ped so I generally stay off the paved part* of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle bike path near Fell. This was my view of an impolite ped as I trod on the grass for a few blocks:

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Click to expand

She spent most of her eastward journey smack dab in the middle of the westbound lane or smack dab in the middle of the trail on the dashed yellow line. This went on for minutes. Westbound cyclists didn’t know how to pass her, on the left or on the right. Occasionally she’d veer to the right side of the right lane, where she belonged, but that phase of her journey didn’t last too long.

So what was this, a cry for help? Yeah, sort of.

Who will hear her?

*Yeah, this bike path is wider (12 feet) than before (8 feet), but it’s still too narrow. 16 feet sounds right, considering. 

NIMBY’s vs. the SFMTA: Local Objections to New Traffic Signals on McAllister at Broderick and Scott for the 5 Fulton

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

This effort appears to be similar to the SFMTA’s attempt to add traffic signals on Haight at Scott and Pierce.

This isn’t the worst example of NIMBYism, but I’d say it’s fairly alarmist, fairly absurd.

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I’ll just say that, generally speaking, it’s generally harder to get around town these days by car, by bike and by MUNI, compared with ten or twenty years ago. Part of this has to do with our newer, absurdly-wide sidewalks, designed for pedestrian “comfort.”

And yet, most ped and cyclist deaths in San Francisco involve fault from the peds and cyclists. Here’s 2014:

The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.” 

(I should do a video on how to be a pedestrian in SF. It might involve some jaywalking but it would also involve extreme alertness on behalf of peds. You see, the way to prevent a lot of ped deaths in SF would be to get inside their heads to see what’s going wrong.)

IMO, the SFMTA should leave McAllister alone and then start taking out as many bus stops as politically possible.

I’ll tell you, not that many cyclists pass by Broderick and McAllister compared with Scott and McAllister, it seems, owing to geography. So looking at McAllister and Scott, it seems that the lights will be timed against cyclists using FULTON DIVISADERO MCALLISTER eastbound as an alternative to the already-overcrowded Wiggle route to get from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to the Financh.

So for my own selfish reasons, I’d prefer that MUNI not make these changes, but who am I to stand in their way? What the MUNI people are saying is that we’ll all be better off overall, and 40 seconds each way each day will add up to millions of seconds, eventually.

In conclusion, meh. If MUNI wants to put in lights, we should let them do it.

2015 Hipster Being Chased by His Future Self from 2025

Monday, January 19th, 2015

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Then the minivan sped up to 88 MPH and disappeared…

The SFMTA’s Restriping of JFK Drive Has Been a Massive Failure for a 100 Small Reasons – Let’s Take a Short Trip

Friday, January 9th, 2015

These cyclists stopped for peds at the prior stop sign, and I thought, “These are pretty polite cyclists,” because, you know, most of the time cyclists don’t stop for peds and/or stop signs.

So then here’s the next stop sign, where the peds stutter-stopped for fear of being hit by the very same cyclists:

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Moving on, further into the park, with the very same cyclists, to see this woman, who was totally blocking the bike lane with her body and two open passenger doors. She was oblivious. Then she notices what she’s doing so she goes back to shut the rear door…

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…and then the front door as the cyclists wait:

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This place is a mess. Many long-time cyclists now avoid using JFK. Is this what the all-seeing all-knowing SFMTA wanted? IDK. Oh what’s that, cycling in San Francisco is going to increase six-fold by 2020 (I’m seriously, this was the goal, this was what was “expected” by local pols not too long ago), so we need to accommodate all the new traffic? But what if that huge increase doesn’t materialize and then you lose a significant chunk of the pre-existing riders?

(Any survey from the SFMTA showing broad-based support for these changes isn’t a real survey.)

Moving on, to this. Where else in the world do they put a kink into double yellow lines.

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Why do this? Is this “good design?”

Why not have a single dashed line? (I know that the SFMTA has its reasons, but in other locations these double yellows would be seen as a cue that encourages speeding.)

In short, the restriping of JFK is a mess, a continuing mess, one that was spawned by the SFMTA for ideological reasons.

Oh well.

Vox populi:

“I cannot imagine that any survey demonstrates that most people like the new lanes. I’ve read dozens and dozens of comments and the vast majority feel the same way as I do, which is that these lanes are dangerous for everyone. And what about emergency vehicles? How do they pass when motorists cannot pull to the right? This past Saturday, 4/20, a fire truck got stuck in traffic at the eastern end of JFK. Traffic backed up in both directions. It was utter chaos. And Jesus, does it make the road look ugly or what?”

Redux

“My primary observation on the new bike lanes is that separating them somewhat from the vehicle traffic lanes seems to have been a signal that cyclists should ride a bit faster and ignore the stop signs and pedestrian crossing rules. I find them much more dangerous as a pedestrian. I have taken to holding an arm out when crossing any road in SF to signal my intent, but I am nearly struck daily by cyclists.”

McKinley Statue Graffiti, 2015 Update: Yep, It’s Got Some More – Here It Is, More Evidence for Fence Proponents

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Here’s how things stand now:

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And here’s a little history, complete with an artist’s conception of what the anti-graffiti fence would look like – keep reading down, through the webpages of time.

You know, fundamentally, this is the big landmark at the gateway to Golden Gate Park. I don’t like the fence idea but I also don’t like people coming by to see giant KKK letters on the base of this statue for days, weeks and months. And the Rec and Parks and Arts Commission people say it’s a real expensive PITA to keep the graffiti off.

So I don’t know…