Posts Tagged ‘bike’

The SFMTA’s New “Scott Street Traffic Diversion” Proposal

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Well the SFMTA has a new tack on Scott Street betwixt Page and Fell for this year.

So last year, the SFMTA felt that these particular blocks of Scott were filled with “high speed” drivers “speeding” through the place and the SFMTA felt that the simple four way stop intersection of Page and Scott was “confusing for everyone.” Here we go:

With intersecting bike routes and heavy vehicle volumes, this intersection  is confusing for everyone

In fact, Page and Scott is not “confusing” at all. As stated, it’s a simple four-way stop, about as comprehensible as possible. And in fact, Page and Scott does not experience “heavy vehicle volumes.”

Oh well.

But hey, if you want to say that Hayes and Scott has heavier traffic volume these days, especially during the evening drive, well, we agree on that, SFMTA. Before, this traffic would have been on Divisadero, but recent “improvements” to the DivCo have lessened the DivCo’s capacity.

Here is the result of the “improvements” to Divis:

Anyway

But now it’s 2014 and that was then and this is now. The SFMTA is articulating new rationales for doing what it wants to do. They’re contained in the Scott Street Traffic Diversion.

Let’s check it out:

Motorists who drive through a neighborhood – rather than to a local destination – can cause congestion on residential streets.

WELL GEE, I SUPPOSE THAT’S TRUE. BUT MOTORISTS WHO DRIVE TO A LOCAL DESTINATION – RATHER THAN DRIVING THROUGH – CAN CAUSE CONGESTION AS WELL, RIGHT?

The City proposes restricting traffic on Scott Street to make it more comfortable for residents, bicycle riders and pedestrians.

OK, SFMTA, WHY DON’T WE RESTRICT TRAFFIC ON _ALL_ STREETS TO MAKE _EVERYBODY_ MORE “COMFORTABLE?”

An extra-large bulb-out at Scott and Fell will require all southbound automobile traffic to turn right onto Fell Street; bicycle riders and pedestrians can continue on Scott. This will reduce Scott Street’s appeal as a cross-town route, making it a more pleasant place to walk, bike, and live.

SO YOU WANT DIVISADERO TO BE A _LESS_ “PLEASANT” PLACE?

Access will be maintained to all homes and driveways, and changes will be made to improve Divisadero Street to accommodate diverted traffic.

OH, I SEE, YOU WANT DIVIS TO HAVE MORE GREEN LIGHT TIME AND, LET’S SEE HERE, HAIGHT, PAGE, OAK, FELL, HAYES, ETC TO HAVE LESS GREEN LIGHT TIME. ISN’T THIS KIND OF A ZERO-SUM GAME? WHY SHOULD THE CITY BEND OVER BACKWARDS FOR THE RICH HOMEOWNERS OF SCOTT STREET?

Changes to Scott Street were initially requested by neighborhood residents unhappy with congestion and idling vehicles.

OK, SO WHAT ABOUT EVERY OTHER STREET IN SF? ARE YOU GOING TO POLL RESIDENTS OF ALL THE OTHER STREETS TO MEASURE THEIR “HAPPINESS?”

Restricting southbound traffic would greatly reduce this issue for several blocks both north and south of Fell Street. Residents who live on Scott between Oak and Fell would have to approach their homes from the south when driving, but would still have access to their driveways and would be able to exit the block to either the north or south.

WHY NOT THIS, SFMTA? WHY NOT SAY THAT ONLY SCOTT STREET RESIDENTS CAN PARK ON SCOTT STREET? I’LL BET THAT WOULD INCREASE THE HAPPINESS LEVEL OF THOSE MILLIONAIRES EVEN MORE. ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT NEXT, SFMTA?

With the proposed traffic diverter, drivers would still be able to park on both sides of Scott Street on the block between Oak and Fell with a U-turn required to reach parking spaces on the west side of the street. The traffic diverter would not remove any parking spaces from Scott Street, though bulb-outs at other locations in the project area will each remove 0-3 parking spaces.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST COME OUT AND SAY HOW MANY PARKING SPACES YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE OUT, SFMTA? OH, THAT’S NOT YOUR STYLE, HUH?

Biking on Scott Street in the southbound direction will be significantly calmer, with fewer automobiles to share the road with.

FEWER BUSES TOO, RIGHT? IN FACT NO BUSES AT ALL. AND YET, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE RIDE ON BUSES ON SCOTT THROUGH THIS SACRED AREA ON A DAILY BASIS. WHAT ABOUT THEM?

Scott Street will no longer be a convenient route for driving in the southbound direction.

BECAUSE IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT? WELL, WE AGREE ON THAT ON, ANYWAY.

For drivers with destinations within the Alamo Square or Lower Haight neighborhoods, either Divisadero or parallel neighborhood residential streets could be used.

WELL THANKS, CAPTAIN OBV!

For drivers currently using Scott Street for longer stretches, Divisadero will be improved to make it the preferred route through the area.

UH, NO IT WON’T. SIMPLY.

Driving north on Scott Street would not be restricted under the proposal, though raised crosswalks and speed humps will be added.

WHAT’S THE SPEED LIMIT ON SCOTT, SFMTA? HOW MANY PEOPLE “SPEED” ON THESE TWO BLOCKS BETWIXT PAGE AND FELL? OH NONE, ALL RIGHT. BUT YOU’LL PUT IN “SPEED” BUMPS ANYWAY, BECAUSE, BECAUSE…?

Because of improvements the SFMTA will be making to Divisadero in conjunction with this project, neighborhood streets such as Steiner, Pierce and Broderick would not be expected to receive noticeable changes in automobile traffic – in fact, some cross-town traffic on these streets may switch to Divisadero as well.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. IF THE SFMTA WANTS TO FAVOR NORTH-SOUTH TRAFFIC OVER EAST-WEST, IT CAN, OF COURSE, BUT AT THE EXPENSE OF EAST-WEST TRAFFIC, OF COURSE. ISN’T THIS A ZERO-SUM GAME, SFMTA?

Changing the traffic signals on Divisadero Street will ensure that the increase in the number of cars using Divisadero will not slow down the 24-Divisadero, and could even improve Muni service in some stretches.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. OH WELL. HEY SFMTA, WHY NOT CHANGE THE TRAFFIC SIGNALS ON DIVIS RIGHT NOW, IF DOING THAT WOULD BE SO GREAT? SIMPLY, DIVERTING TRAFFIC ON SCOTT WILL NOT IMPROVE BUS SERVICE. SORRY, SFMTA. SORRY TO HARSH YOUR MELLOW, SFMTA.

If You Want to Get From the Panhandle to Downtown Quickly, Forget About the Wiggle and Just Take Oak

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Thusly:

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If you want. There’s really only one block that’s kind of steep, but think of all the stop signs you won’t have to blow through.

They used to have a kind of bike lane on the left side of Oak but it’s gone now.

But the right side looks all right and traffic doesn’t move all that fast so it works.

(Coming back is a different story, much steeper going uphill on neighboring Fell and Page.)

Happy trails.

Eurotrash at “The Chaya Brasserie” Gape in Wonder Upon Seeing Their First Critical Mass Bike Parade – Embarcadero, USA

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

They were delighted:

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“Creators of “La Nouvelle Cuisine Franco-Japanese” located in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, and Venice…”

Dawn Patrol: The SFPD Rousting Bleary-Eyed, Bicycle-Thieving Hippies at 6 AM in Golden Gate Park, 94117

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

This is what it looks like, in the middle of the Panhandle halfway betwixt Fell and Oak, sometimes, when Park Station goes on we-own-the-night Dawn Patrol:

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SFPD Crown Vic radio cars do OK driving on the grass, until it gets too muddy in there.

Look out, sleepy hippies!

If You Ever Wanted to Take Your Stair Climbing Machine Out for a Ride, This ElliptiGO Bike is for You

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Small wheels and it costs $3500.

Maybe this is for runners with bad knees.

As seen in Golden Gate Park:

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OTOH, my daily driver cost ten times less and it has big wheels.

But, if it makes you happy…

San Francisco Cyclist Demonstrates the Correct Way to Head Uphill on Fell by Not “Taking the Lane”

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

So lookie here, here’s a cyclist who appears to understand the laws of CA, you know, quite unlike this other fellow.

So yeah, he’s not keeping up with traffic but he’s keeping to the right on this slightly uphill stretch and that’s kosher.

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So what happened a few seconds later was a minivan signalled left and went around him, bingo bango, with room to spare since the rider wasn’t TAKING THE LANE, MAN, and all was well.

Victory Lap: Frisco Chopper, FORTY-NINERS, Red and Gold, Ape Hangars

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Seen just after the recent victory over the Carolina Panthers:

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Of course, if you want to head west on Fell on a bike at leisurely pace like 7 MPH, you’re better off on the sidewalk as opposed to the middle of the slow lane. (And, indeed, you’re probably best off on the multi-use path on the south side of Fell.)

But during the current Santa Clara 49ers winning streak, you have carte blanche to do whatever you want whilst showing your true colors on a victory lap.

Make a stand before you fall
Your country needs you to play football

Guess Where I Ride on Fulton Outbound: To the Left of the Bike Lane, In It, or To the RIght?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Here we go, in the Western Addition, outbound, gently uphill.

Note the black lines indicating where the bike lane lines should be, and where they used to be:

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The answer, Gentle Reader, is to the right of the bike lane lines. Which I suppose is in the supposed “door zone.” But I ain’t ever been doored, at least in the conventional* sense, despite the fact that I have much more time on bike in San Francisco than you, yes you, Gentle Reader. I have more time, more miles, more years, more decades on the Streets of San Francisco than you is what I’m saying, sorry.

And I’m leaving plenty of space for others to pass me. So pass me, I don’t care.

New topic: Note the next block, where the SFMTA has decided to allow 90 degree parking to placate the denizens of District 5. I don’t approve of this, for various reasons.

JMO

*Now, I’ve crashed into car doors, sure. Like the time I hit an aging Accord driven by a 16-year-old who thought he could make a turn from McAllister onto Gough at the same time another car was making the same turn. (My left elbow still clicks to this day and it will for the rest of my life oh well.) And I kind of bounced off of a door on McAllister in the PJ’s due to a lady turning into a housing project parking lot from a little bit too far away, IMO, but that was a no harm no foul kind of thing and let’s say that mistakes were made on both sides of that transaction. And I got doored by bouncing off a partially-opened door going uphill on 6th Ave at a very low speed and I’ve gotten doored by passengers getting out of cars on the right side on Market. But I aint ever been doored in the conventional sense.

It’s Buster Bluth’s Bike! – It’s the Faraday Porteur Electronic, Just $3500! – Bamboo Fenders, Two Top Tubes!

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Some people bike as a hobby and others build bikes, sort of as a hobby, it looks like, the way rich Buster Bluth might.

This ride isn’t for everybody, but maybe it’s for you.

(Skirt wearers need not apply. Oh, and the message to the hundreds of semi-professional bike thieves of SF appears to be “Steal Me First!”And be sure to ask yourself, “Is my kickstand sourced from Switzerland and, if so, what does that say about me and my place in the world?)

Deets below

“Faraday Bicycles Announces Shipment Date For Porteur Electronic Bike - Porteur to be exhibited at E Ink booth at CES 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Faraday Bicycles, a San Francisco-based company, is pleased to debut the highly anticipated production version of the Faraday Porteur at the E Ink booth during the 2014 CES show.  The Porteur was launched on Kickstarter in fall 2012, and after a year in development, Faraday Bicycles will begin shipping its entirely pre-sold first production run in early 2014.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140107/NY41808)

Faraday Bicycles created the Porteur to be the first of a new breed of electric bicycles; a purpose-built design combining the speed and exhilaration of a state-of the-art e-bike with the timeless looks of a classic European city bike.  At less than 40 pounds, the Porteur is one of the lightest electric bikes on the market, while still delivering over 20 miles of range from its custom lithium-ion battery pack.  The Porteur’s intuitive and low-profile handlebar controls are complemented by an E Ink display that provides information on the bike’s battery status.  The high-contrast, low power, conformable display is an excellent match to Faraday’s brand attributes of technical sophistication and minimalist aesthetic design.

“The Faraday Porteur is in every way first and foremost a bicycle, from the way it looks to the experience of riding it,” said Faraday founder and CEO Adam Vollmer.  ”We chose to use an E Ink display because it lets us clearly convey technical information to the rider without sacrificing Faraday’s ‘retro meets modern’ design philosophy.”

“We are extremely pleased to be part of such an innovative product as the Porteur,” said Giovanni Mancini director of product management for E Ink, “This is an excellent showcase of how E Ink displays enable design by giving designers the ability to display information where you would not think possible.”

Faraday’s limited edition, US-made pilot production run will begin shipping in early 2014, and is entirely sold out.  Pre-orders for Faraday’s second production run, with an expected ship date of Q3 2014, can be placed at www.faradaybikes.com.  For dealer and distributor inquiries, or more information, please contact info@faradaybikes.com, or visit www.faradaybikes.com.

The Faraday Porteur will be featured by E Ink in booth 31646 during the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV, from January 7-11, 2014.

About Faraday Bicycles
Faraday Bicycles was founded by designer and engineer Adam Vollmer and spun out of the renowned design and innovation firm, IDEO.  Originally conceived of as a concept, the brand was brought to life by the overwhelming popular response and enthusiasm for Faraday’s vision of the future of bicycling.  Together, the Faraday team brings together decades of experience designing sophisticated consumer electronics along with a shared passion for cleaner, healthier, and more enjoyable transportation alternatives.

How a Typical San Francisco Cyclist Bikes His Way Up Fell Street, at Night, Without Lights, “Taking the Lane”

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

[UPDATE: FTR, this part of Fell has four lanes and is timed for about 25 MPH and posted for 30 MPH, IIRC. And I'll just say I get all this static nowadays due to my (apparently) quite unpopular views on the Chris Bucchere case. (That's an interesting piece by writer David Darlington, BTW.) I can't tell if people are being sarcastic or not, so forgive me if I don't reply anymore.]

[UPDATE II, Electric Boogaloo: So we have this from another out-of-towner: "SF writer objects to bike riders’ right to take the lane." Well, yeah, the right to take the lane ... at a wobbly 10 MPH during the evening rush hour. Dude should pick up the pace, IMO. Dude was riding slowly on purpose, IMO. Now if you want to talk about a "substandard" lane, you want to talk about the brand new, SFMTA-approved southbound stretch of Divisadero betwixt Geary and McAllister. This is quite an uphill stretch, so the universal bromide of "taking the lane" for seven city blocks doesn't really work. What happens is that cyclists keep to the right and cars and buses sneak around. There used to be more room but the sainted SFMTA decided to put in a big old median. Did the SFMTA intend for cyclists to take the lane? If so, nobody ever does so on this uphill stretch.]

Here we go, heading west on Fell at night:

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Now I say “without lights” because dude is indeed without lights, but you can get away with just one light under CA law just saying. Could have said without “a light” instead. Let’s see, what else – oh, jumping the green, thusly:

This is called running a red light:

And this is called “taking the lane.”

Which you shouldn’t do as it’s agin the law when you’re trucking (slightly) uphill on Fell at about 10 MPH.

Oh well.

Keep in mind that you should view the words “reasonably necessary” and “unsafe” OBJECTIVELY and not SUBJECTIVELY. So like, man, I feel safer riding in the middle of the lane at 10 MPH doesn’t cut it. Similarly, it was like necessary man for me to do what I did also doesn’t cut it. I suppose you don’t need a brake on your bike, because, like, “my legs are my brakes, man.” Like, I don’t need to use the safety on my assault rifle because “this [trigger finger] is my safety.” And, legally, man, I’m a citizen of Hawaii and its not “after sunset” in Hawaii right now, man, so you can’t give me a ticket, man. And on and on.

And keep in mind that it’s not the BICYCLISTS ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE law, it’s the bikes-should-keep-to-the-right-in-at-least-some-situations law.And actually, CVC 21202 takes rights away from cyclists, you dig? That’s why it’s an odd kind of “framing” to celebrate CVC 21202 when it’s CVC 21200 that gives rights to cyclists.

“Operation on Roadway

21202.  (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.”