Posts Tagged ‘boulevard’

How the SFMTA Gave Up Its Experiment at the Deadly Intersection of Yorba and Sunset

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

I’ll tell you, our SFMTA is addicted to crazy new ideas. So like if you have an idea that’s untested, and it’s a little out there, you know, a little crazy, or crazy enough that it just might work, well our SFMTA would just loooooove to hear about it.

As it was at Yorba and Sunset. This place was a mess, with HAWK lights that never turned red – what was the point of having a pedestrian-activated light that never turned red? What other cities do things this way?

Here’s what things looked like last year:

 

And here’s how things look now, with a normal signal, one that’s much more effective than the SMART-whatever experiment that was going on before:

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So who was responsible for the HAWK beacon idea?

Nobody?

Oh, okay.

The Part of the Geary Expressway That Divides the Fillmore from Japantown has Some Interesting Art

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s what you see on the Fillmore side, an African animal:

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And this on the other side of the dividing line, a yin-yang symbol, for Japantown?

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That’s odd

Our “Great Highway” Way Out There at Ocean Beach Now Has It’s Own Closed Sign on Lincoln – Flashing Lights

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

See?

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Is this sign necessary in the coming Age of Waze / Ubiquity of the Google Maps?

I don’t think so…

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.

Entire West Side Wonders When Its Chipotle is Going to Get Here, at Geary and Masonic

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Co-opting The Mission Burrito sure takes a long time, huh?

Artist’s conception of what the mighty sign on Masonic will look like, sooner or later:

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Appears as if Panera Bread will win the race to further chainify the Western Addition

And it looks like not a single soul in the world will raise a voice against the Chipotle chain coming to 2675 Geary.

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this dysfunction, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

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See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. So of course if you pressure it to do things you want done, like planting trees in the middle of the street, which, of course, has nothing to do with safety, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If, later on, you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down after all these changes so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won’t really affect me, myself, I don’t think. Seems selfish to think now-hey-what-about-me, anyway. What ended up happening  with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it’ll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it’s hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project, this tree planting diversion. So, what will the affects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

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Not the Best Name for a Cafe in the Lobby of a Large Hospital in 2014: “SUGAR BOWL Bakery and Cafe”

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Two and half stars on Yelp:

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I don’t think sugar-anything would be a good name these days…

Yelp vs. Lucky River Restaurant at 700 Monterey Boulevard – Rating Drops Due to “Sidewalk Steak” Viral Video

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Via KRON-TV’s Stanley Roberts comes news of this

Here’s the story:

San Francisco Sidewalk Steak – My buddies and I were walking up to the side door to Lucky River Restaurant at 700 Monterey Boulevard in San Francisco for lunch on Friday, November 21, 2014, and we saw this guy tenderizing or trying to break apart frozen meat. Yes, that appears to be frozen, raw meat that he’s slamming on the sidewalk. Maybe it’s what makes their Mongolian beef taste so good? Would you eat here after witnessing this?

And here come the Yelpers with some fresh one-star reviews:

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On It Goes…

Marquee of Historic BRIDGE THEATRE on Geary Repurposed to Promote Area Supervisor Mark Farrell – Meet Your New Baseball Academy

Friday, November 7th, 2014

This is the scene days after our most recent election – one hopes this promotional effort for the incumbent Supervisor won’t stick around* for too much longer.

In any event, you can never be too careful when your Conditional Use authorization is under such scrutiny.

Hey, guess how many NIMBY’s complained about the Bridge being turned into the brand-new San Francisco Baseball Academy? Zero.**

So, PLAY BALL, somehow, inside of an old 1930’s-style movie house:

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On It Goes…

*It was part of my job to change the marquee at this Landmark-owned theatre, back in the day. That was no picnic. (Another part was to console the owners of cars that had been stolen from our parking lot. Back then, criminals wouldn’t  smash and grab – they’d steal the whole car. Ah mem’ries…)

**It’s the West Side, nobody cares. Target? Bring it. Chipotle? Coming soon, just up the street near Masonic. Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell? Maybe someday…

A Minor Rebellion Against the SFMTA’s Plans to Slow Down Masonic

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Our SFMTA has certified that there’s no opposition to its plans to slow down Masonic by putting in a median and a bunch of trees.

And yet, ppl in the area are putting up home-made signs, thusly:

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Something doesn’t add up…