Posts Tagged ‘boulevard’

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“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic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

7J7C0082 copy

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. If you pressure it to plant trees in the middle of the street, 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 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 now 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 that way, anyway. What happened 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. Then, 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

(more…)

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:

7J7C9898 copy

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:

Capturelr

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:

20141106_115628 copy

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:

7J7C4541 copy

Something doesn’t add up…

Octavia Boulevard Update: Anybody Who Claims This Short Road Has “High-Speed Motor Traffic” is Lying

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Simply.

Now if you want real “high-speed motor traffic,” well then look to the 280 freeway.

But if you want a poorly-designed glorified freeway offramp with lots of slow-moving bumper-to-bumper gridlock, well then Octavia is your bingo.

See? This is typical. Traffic has been jammed up here starting about a week after this road opened. This is exactly what low-speed traffic looks like: 

7J7C6717 copy

A note to advocacy journalists who think it’s their job to lie:

No it’s not!

Lying hurts your case. Lying doesn’t help your case.

 

The SFMTA Gods Must Be Crazy, Masonic Edition: A Green Light for Cars and Bikes, But a Red Upraised Hand for Peds at the Same Time?

Friday, September 12th, 2014

So as the SFMTA is gearing up for its big election this fall, let’s take a look at how it’s doing on Masonic at Evergreen Terrace.

This summer, the newly-installed lights were on a 75-second  timer that ended up stalling traffic on Masonic about 30% of the time, for no apparent reason.

Here’s the next phase – the crude timing scheme is gone, but what’s this? A solid green for traffic next to a solid red upraised hand for peds? I’ve never seen this kind of thing  before:

7J7C6644 copy

One assumes that this is the SFMTA just being the SFMTA and this has something to do with the activation of the pedestrian activated crosswalk buttons. (Or is DPW still running the show here? IDK)

But it almost seems that the SFMTA thinks it knows what it’s doing when it strikes out on so many unorthodox traffic experiments.

SFMTA, you suck, don’t you know that by now? Why not simply strive to be competent?

And are you just testing/installing the lights at Ewing? But doesn’t this photo look “wrong” to you? How many days, weeks, months should you set up the lights like this?

Hey SFMTA, what are you going to do when Prop A loses? What’s your Plan B? Let’s hope it doesn’t involve telling even more of the peds of Masonic to stop and go at the same time…

Octavia Boulevard Update: Woman Pokes Head Out of Car to Take Selfies of Bat-Dog Posing in SF

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Do you you think the rise of selfie photos suggests something negative about “today’s generation?”

7J7C6433 copy

I don’t.

Which Looks More Like a Jail – the New 8 Octavia Condo Building or the Actual San Francisco Jail in SoMA?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Better A…

img_8553-copy.jpg

…or better B?

7J7C6115 copy

Only one of these buildings is a “stunning victory for architectural freedom over bureaucratic stupidity.”

But You Make The Call, Gentle Reader.

In other news, Octavia Boulevard continues to be a failure. What went wrong? What can we do to avoid future mistakes like Octavia Boulevard? IMO, there was waaaay to much input from self-interested millionaires who lived in Hayes Valley.

The Traffic Speedometers the SFMTA Installed on Masonic Don’t Work Very Well

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Masonic is a crazy street with a crazy history. Like, 4 Masonic is more than 1000 feet away from 5 Masonic, for instance – what’s up with that? And on the other end of this street, up around the 1000 block, well, that’s where mayoral wives have lived, like Blanche Brown, you know, our First Lady up until ten years ago, the woman  that most people in town weren’t aware of, and, more recently, Jennifer Newsom, who moved away to Marin just months after husband Gavin was hectoring families to NOT move to Marin County, oh well.

Anyway, there have been three pedestrian / cyclist deaths on Masonic* in recent memory, so that’s part of the reason why the SFMTA installed a pair of speedometers to tell drivers how fast they’re going.

The problem is that they don’t work very well.

Like here. Moments before, it was indicating 24 MPH, but then it jumped up to 32 MPH all of a sudden for no reason. All the cars were moving about the same pace uphill and there was no traffic traveling down the hill:

7J7C5842 copy

Speaking of which, the speedometer for traffic heading downhill is even less accurate. Sometimes it’s spot-on, sometimes it wildly optimistic, and other times it’s blank.

What’s the value in these speedometers if they don’t work?

Oh what’s that, MUNI / SFMTA? You don’t care, because you’ve moved on to other things?

Oh, OK.

*Two were due to very drunk drivers, who both kept on going (one ended up crashing into St. Mary’s and the other got busted near USF) and the other was due to a Trader Joe’s shopper jaywalking across Masonic north of Geary – this kind of jaywalking still happens hundreds of times a day even now.