Posts Tagged ‘block’

SFMTA Update: New Market Street Turn Restrictions to be “Enforced by SFMTA Parking Control Officers and the SFPD?”

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

1. Well, here’s the news:

“The paint crew began restriping at Hyde Street in preparation for the turn restrictions yesterday (June 23rd), just a week after board approval. The paint crew will continue their work through July along with the sign and meter shops, to install the turn restriction signage and loading zones respectfully. It is expected that the work for the turn restrictions, loading zones, and painted safety zones will be complete by early to mid-August. The signs will be bagged until all are complete, at which time the turn restrictions will go into effect, and will be enforced by SFMTA parking control officers and SFPD.”

I can sort of see how the SFMTA is able to enforce CA’s “block the box” law, as the drivers cited are literally parking in intersections, sometimes for as long as a minute.*

But, I can’t see how the SFMTA is going to be able to “enforce” the coming turn restrictions on Market Street.

What am I missing here?

Is this simply the clumsy SFMTA talking bad agin? We’ll see.

2. And since we’re here at the above link, look at what the SFMTA considers an example of a “news article” – it’s some dude on Medium. What the SFMTA means to say is here are some news articles plus links to fawning supporters, those who’d never pointy out that we operate the slowest, least-efficient big-city transit system in America. I mean how wude for ppl to say that, right?

3. Ah, what else. Hey, SFMTA! Why not now ban SFMTA taxis from making the turns you just banned Uber, Lyft and the other TNC’s from making? Hear me out – we’d be doing it for safety. And actually, the actual position of Uber and Lyft is that taxis should be similarly banned from making these restricted turns. SFMTA board members complaining about the “nightmare” of enforcement should be placated – if you see a taxi making this turn, give it a ticket just like you do with all the other cars. Easy peasy. Oh what’s that, you don’t want to, you’d have to change some rule? Well, then why not do that? Don’t you care about safety?

4. And, what else. Oh yeah, what about handicapped drivers? They’ll be getting four new spaces to park on Market betwixt 3rd and 8th (or between 8th and 3rd, as most people like to phrase it, so I guess my brain’s not hooked up right) but then they won’t be able to make the turn onto Market to get to the spaces? Or, maybe you can make these turns? But then you’d be in a private vehicle, right? I don’t get it. The SFMTA of 2014 wasn’t afraid to discuss this issue, but the SFMTA of 2015 is, apparently.

5. And hey, what about MUNI’s accidents along this stretch of road? Let’s find the stat here, direct from the SFMTA. Oh what’s that, Gentle Reader, is your link busted too. Well, who busted it – the SFMTA itself? Why’s that? In fact, the info on that web page is gone forever from SFMTA.com – it’s down the Memory Hole, Comrade. So let’s go way back, via the Wayback Machine:

“Between 2012 and 2013, there were 162 reported injury collisions on Market between Van Ness Avenue and Steuart Street, including 2 fatalities. 33% of collisions involve Muni.

So, help me out here. What percentage of vehicles on this part of Market are MUNI vehicles? I’m thinking it’s way less than 10%. (You ever wait for the outbound buses? Just count the number of cars and taxis and cyclists what pass you by.) And yet, a third of the collisions involve MUNI? Hey SFMTA, don’t you have a problem here? Hey SFMTA, aren’t you yourselves a part of the problem?

Just asking…

*Now this is kind of stupid, as SFGov is profiting off of an intersection that it’s in control of, an intersection near the foot of Bush Street what’s managed, by SFGov, poorly, IMO. Nevertheless, the oblivious suburbanites heading home shouldn’t be blocking the box light cycle after light cycle.

Our Inefficient, Money-Hungry SFMTA Wants to Start Issuing Speeding Tickets, But Somehow “They Would Not Be Moving Violations?!”

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Oh, this one’s easy  – we’re going to go from zero to Orwellian in ten seconds.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines:

SFMTA Pushing For Speed Cameras In San Francisco To Improve Pedestrian Safety by Cate Cauguiran

And here’s your nut graf:

“SFMTA plans to present their proposal to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority later this week. The agency says the citations would not be moving violations, and therefore not reportable to the DMV.”

Now let’s review – Papa Homer, what’s a “moving violation?

A moving violation is a violation of the law committed by the driver of a vehicle while it is in motion. The term “motion” distinguishes it from other motor vehicle violations, such as paperwork violations (which include violations involving automobile insurance, registration and inspection), parking violations, or equipment violations.”

So, if the parking ticket agency gives a ticket for speeding, it’s issuing moving violations, right? Now tell us more, Wiki:

While some violations, like parking violations, are civil matters involving a vehicle’s owner, moving violations are charged against the actual driver.

Yep. And then there’s this:

The most commonly enforced moving violation, and the overwhelmingly most frequent reason for a vehicle pullover, are violations of the speed limit.

And what’s the motivation for the SFMTA to float this balloon?

Sometimes tickets are used in a speed trap as a form of fundraising

I don’t use the term “speed trap” myself, but, yes, our SFMTA is obsessed with “fundraising,” certainly.

And lastly:

Examples of moving violations: speeding, which can be exceeding a limit or simply driving an unsafe speed…

Thanks Wiki! And actually, a speeding ticket is the prototypical moving violation, in Frisco and everywhere else too.

Now I’ll tell you, I was surprised earlier this year to see the SFMTA issuing “block the box” tickets, because sometimes the SFMTA DPT shows up at an intersection during rush hour to unblock the box, not to make money from block boxing. And yet, here you go:

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This is a DPT PCO in the middle of the intersection of Bush and Sansome shooting fish in a barrel – busting three vehicles, and then she was Gone In 60 Seconds.

And I thought, well, I suppose the drivers here are parked since they’re idling away, motionless, for a long time, so sure, ticket away, SFMTA, even though you’ve timed the lights to exacerbate this situation, but anyway, sure, these are parking tickets, fine.

But if you want to start issuing moving violation tickets, you shouldn’t lie about it. (I’ll tell you, sometimes I can’t tell if the SFMTA lies on purpose or if it just doesn’t know what it’s doing.)

Now, here’s my MODEST PROPOSAL - traffic cameras for pedestrians, mounted over crosswalks. The cameras would record all the peds who jump the light by starting across a second or two early and then a ticket for $100 would get mailed to the offenders after facial recognition ID’s the peds. (Gentle Reader, did you know that most ped deaths last year on the Streets of San Francisco were the fault of the peds themselves? It’s sort of a secret. It wasn’t a blowout or anything, the peds “won” this competition by 50-something percent, vs. the drivers’ 40-something percent, but isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think, that enforcing the vehicle code upon peds, as unpopular as this might be, could reduce traffic deaths more than how SFGov has handled matters up ’til now? Anyway, I’m talking about how the SFPD apportioned ped deaths in SF in 2014. But don’t talk about it, oh no – that might get you transferred to the Airport Detail, srsly. And bonus! Our new ped cams could “also help us as an investigative tool if someone is committing a crime somewhere nearby.” Moving on…)

Of course, the reason why SFGov wants to go Full Orwell is that paying sworn officers to issue tickets is inefficient and expensive. OTOH, an automatic system, backed up by an appeals mechanism to make everything constitutional, could generate tons of money for the SFMTA, like almost as much as its Household Transit Tax fantasy that it would impose on you, Gentle Reader, in a New York minute, if it could. (It’s what Ed Reiskin dreams of at night – your transit tax would be added to your tax returns, easy peasy, what a dream!)

Anyway, I think saying that a moving violation isn’t is worthy of five Orwells, on a scale of zero to five Orwells:

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All the way to the bottom, Maggie SFMTA – you’ve made it!

Oh, So This is Why San Francisco Has a Gigantic, Wasteful, Expensive, Underfunded, Profitable Street-Sweeping Program

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Here’s a block on Laguna:

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Of course most blocks in San Francisco get swept waaaaaay too often, even after the recent relaxation in scheduling that some areas enjoy.

So my conclusion is that street-sweeping isn’t 100% a scam for SFGov to make money, it’s just mostly a scam. And who’s going to pay for health care for street sweeper workers a half decade from now? Well, that’s SEP (Someone Else’s Problem), that’s something for the Next Mayor to work out…

Demockracy: A Full-Blown Political Campaign to “Save” a MUNI Bus Stop, Complete with Paid Signature Gatherers – London Breed Fooled

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Get up to speed here by reading down and take a look at Hoodline and StreetsblogSF and here’s the short version about the campaign to “save” a redundant bus stop what’s nine seconds away from another. (And here’s a parody blog post that has a lot of images on this topic.)

Now take a look at this:

Volunteers Needed to Help Us Save the 21 Hayes Muni Line!

Posting ID : A1050191362
Date Posted : 20 days ago
Category : Volunteers

Help us save the 21 Hayes MUNI line! The San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency (SFMTA) is currently in the process of removing bus stops on the 21 Hayes MUNI line. This will result in an increase in the number of passengers at downstream/upstream bus stops, as well as increased pressure on the already overcrowded 5 Fulton line.

We need a group of volunteers to stand at bus stops in two-hour shifts, and inform passengers about the impending changes. Volunteers will be collecting signatures on a petition to tell the SF District Supervisor, London Breed, that passengers of the 21 Hayes and 5 Fulton want to keep the existing stops, which will prevent an increase in the number of passengers at downstream/upstream bus stops, as well as increased pressure on the already overcrowded 5 Fulton line.

Volunteers SHOULD NOT be shy, SHOULD be morning people, and SHOULD be ready to collect as many signatures as possible. A bonus if volunteers are from the Nopa/Alamo Square/Western Addition/Hayes Valley neighborhoods, and/or live near the 21 Hayes line, and the 5 Fulton MUNI lines.

CASH BONUSES FOR NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES COLLECTED

TIME(S): 7AM-10AM on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings (4/15, 4/16, 4/17)”

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So these hyper-enthusiastic people got paid? So they weren’t volunteers at all?

And who’s the mastermind behind these efforts – who’s paying the cash bonuses?

This kind of thing makes a mockery of district elections, IMO.

Anyway, it appears as if the SFMTA will enshrine this useless bus stop tomorrow, May 5, 2015…

The Dueling Flyers of BLOCK THE TECH COMMUTE 2015 – Teamster Drivers Fighting Back – May Day, Friday May 1st

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Well here you go, it’s BLOCK THE TECH COMMUNTE via IndyBay.

But read on to see the reply from the Teamsters.

On It Goes…

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AN OPEN LETTER TO “BLOCK THE TECH COMMUTE”

We are shuttle bus drivers for bus companies who have contracts with Facebook, Apple, Google, eBay, and more. We are mostly people of color. We live in communities such as East and West Oakland and Bayview/Hunter Point. We share your concerns about gentrification. The Bay Area’s skyrocketing rents and housing prices have pushed many of us out to Antioch, Pittsburg, Tracy, Manteca, and even farther.

Your efforts are hurting us, not helping. We are on the front lines of fighting income inequality in the high tech industry by organizing with the Teamsters union. In the last few months, over 225 of us at two shuttle bus companies won union elections. Those of us who drive for Facebook just won a union contract that includes $9/hour average wage increases, fully paid company health care, 5 weeks paid vacation, sick days, a pension, and higher pay for those of us who work split shifts.

In March, you attacked a Loop Transportation/Facebook bus that one of us was driving at MacArthur BART. You attacked a union bus driver for a good employer who pays good wages and benefits. That did not help our cause – it hurt it.

We call on you to join our efforts to hold high tech accountable to workers. If you want to make the economy work for struggling Bay Area families, then help the other drivers organize a union with us. Help push for affordable housing. But please don’t stop our buses.

May Day is for workers. Respect the shuttle bus workers this May Day.

Word on the Street: “EVICT GOOGLE”

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Oh, two words, actually:

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Bracing for May Day* 2015:

BLOCK THE TECH COMMUTE, etc

*Which is actually not a good day of the week to protest, since buses normally full Tuesday-Thursday are much less full on Fridays, not to go full Trotskyite on you, Comrades. I’m only just saying, Comrades.

Realizing It’s Already Won Its Dispute with MUNI Passengers, Central Coffee Removes Its Now-Redundant #21 Hayes Redundant Bus Stop Flyers

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

The official decision comes May 5, 2015, but the Central Coffee people know they’ve already “won” on this issue so now they’re acting as they aren’t involved. See?

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So if the SFMTA wants to eliminate this redundant stop, it seems as if the easiest way to do that would be to cancel the #21 Hayes entirely. I mean it doesn’t make sense to space bus stops nine seconds apart, does it?

The people of Central Coffee might think they’re clever to unnecessarily slow down the 21 in order to make more money, but they’re not.

(And the office of London Breed seems to be out of touch on this one. Apparently, she’s going to get a left-of-center challenger and it would certainly look funny if there have been political donation$ made by the Central Coffee people to interim Mayor Ed Lee or to London Breed – I mean those are the two I can think of. Obvs, you need money to win elections, but this sitch seems to be going over the line. So this is a kind of corruption, or perhaps the London Breed office is out of touch? I’ll tell you, Ross Mirkarimi knew the same very district on a block-by-block basis. Who’s the energetic, hands-on Ross Mirkarimi of London Breed’s office? There might not be one. One wonders if RM and/or Christina Olague insisted upon this redundant bus stop as well. What this does is make a mockery of corruption-inducing district elections.)

End Of Line.

Our SFMTA “Blocks The Box” – Hey MUNI, Don’t Block The Box – Hey SFMTA, Let’s Teach You How to Not Block The Box

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

This was the scene about halfway through the green phase for traffic to head north from 3rd Street across Market. The MUNI artic got stuck due to peds crossing Market on the east side of the intersection:

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Is this against CA law? Yes. Should the MUNI operator have gotten a ticket? Yes.

Is the SFMTA perfect the way it (apparently) thinks it is? No. And should MUNI operators have better training and a robust carrot and stick program to encourage better behavior? Yes.

Outrageousness: Vaunted SFMTA Powerless to Remove a #21 Hayes Bus Stop That’s 9 Seconds Away from Another

Monday, April 27th, 2015

[UPDATE: James writes in to remind us all that:

….people could still conceivably email the board at MTABoard@sfmta.com or show up at the shitshow on May 5th.]

Word comes from James, see below.

This is fucking bullshit, man. (A few days later, I actually timed a bus – it took nine whole seconds for the driver to pull out of the stop at Masonic and then start pulling into the one by the coffee shop.)

Here’s the nut graf from the head of the SFMTA:

“Based on community feedback at the SFMTA Board of Directors meeting this week, from Supervisor Breed’s office and by email, we are modifying our proposal for the 21 Hayes. We are no longer recommending removal of the inbound bus stop at Central Avenue.”

So, SFMTA, you’re a part of the problem, right? Do you realize that, SFMTA?

One wonders.

“They arent’ removing the stop. I just got this in my email:

Dear sir or madam:

Thank you for reaching out with your concerns about the 21 Hayes. First and foremost, I would like to make it clear that we have no plans to discontinue the route. In fact, we are planning to increase service during both a.m. and p.m. peak periods to provide greater reliability for customers.

We had recommended removing a couple of stops along the corridor with the goal of further improving reliability on the 21 Hayes. As we work to improve Muni citywide, selective bus stop removal is one of many tools in our toolbox to reduce travel times and create a more efficient public transit network. By optimizing the location of bus stops and reducing the number of stops, we can improve service for customers, reduce conflicts between buses and other vehicles, improve safety for people walking and bicycling, and decrease the amount of time buses spend stopped at stoplights.

We are committed to a thoughtful and community-based process when selecting which stops to remove or relocate. Based on community feedback at the SFMTA Board of Directors meeting this week, from Supervisor Breed’s office and by email, we are modifying our proposal for the 21 Hayes. We are no longer recommending removal of the inbound bus stop at Central Avenue. We will move forward with the recommendation to eliminate the outbound stop at Lyon and to lengthen the inbound stop at Lyon.

These items will be heard by the SFMTA Board on May 5. As always, we welcome and invite public comment. You can find out more about the Board meeting online at http://www.sfmta.com/board.

To learn more about how we are improving Muni throughout San Francisco, including major service increases that start tomorrow, visit http://www.muniforward.com. You can also sign up for alerts specific to the lines you ride.

Thank you again for taking the time to write and for participating in the process to improve Muni service in San Francisco.

Sincerely,
Edward D. Reiskin
Director of Transportation
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

Here’s What’s Wrong with MUNI: The SFMTA Can’t Remove a Bus Stop That’s 9 Seconds East and 12 Seconds West from Other Bus Stops

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

The SFMTA simply can’t do it. Or it hasn’t done it, not yet.

Here’s the sitch on Hayes – what do you see?

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I see two active bus stops.

Here we go, pulling out of one…

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And pulling into the next, nine seconds later, per the camera EXIF file:

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And look, you can see the next stop too.

The SFMTA knows this is a ridiculous situation, but it’s afraid to talk about it.

Perhaps 2015 is the year that this gets fixed, we’ll see.

(And then after that, there’ll be other stops to remove. I don’t really get why we need lengthened stops on this line, but perhaps this will become clear with time.)