Posts Tagged ‘carpool’

Know Your Betters: Area Man Becomes Supraman Simply by Piloting a Tesla Model S Electric Car

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

You just don’t know how special you are ’til you own and operate a Tesla Model S.

Why, you’re so special that, in some states, you didn’t even have to pay sales tax to get your new ride. And here in California, your wundercar can go all of its 200-something mile range on the freeway in the carpool / HOV lane even though you’re sitting in your car all by your lonesome!

Now check out Dude here on Masonic. He’s got his official CA HOV stickers on all four corners. Plus, he’s also got a license to jibber jabber on his handheld cell phone while driving. I mean, he must – just look at him: 

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I didn’t check to see if he has special CHP 11-99 Foundation license plate holders (like this fellow Tesla God), but that would mean that Dude has a license to speed as well.

Oh but Dude, don’t speed too much else the maximum range on your $100,000 car will go down to 100-something miles and then you’ll have to get towed, like this:

(Funny story – in the mind of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the driver of this car drove it in circles specifically to make it run so low on juice that it wouldn’t go no mo. That wasn’t true but oh well. And this Model S wouldn’t even allow its needlessly-complicated doors to open for the tow-truck monkey, that child of a Lesser God, so it could be, you know, put into neutral so, you know, it could get towed. Oh, and here’s another funny one. How many kids should you have with 30-something Elon Musk before he trades you in for a newer, sexier model-type model? Five[!] Five kids, srsly. And then the former Mrs. Elon Musk is like, “At least she’s not a blonde.”)

Anywho, the question of the day is why you’d even want such a long, low, and wide big-on-the-outside-yet-small-on-the-inside vehicle such as a Model S? It’s like an electrified Porsche Panamera four-door, right? And compared to my full-sized. eight-passenger motherfucking Land Cruiser, the Model S is longer[!] and wider[!] (How can that be?) And I’ll tell you, my ride, which isn’t exactly known for high MPG, no not at all, has a real-life range of 400-something miles on the freeway.

Oh, what’s that, your Model S is shiny and it has a lot of chrome and it makes you feel special? Well, then carry on with your super important phone call, by all means.

You have become a Supraman.

Congrats.

As far back as Yossarian could recall, he explained to Clevinger with a patient smile, somebody was always hatching a plot to kill him. There were people who cared for him and people who didn’t, and those who hated him were out to get him. They hated him because he was Assyrian. But they couldn’t touch him, he told Clevinger, because he had a sound mind in a pure body and was as strong as an ox. They couldn’t touch him because he was Tarzan, Mandrake, Flash Gordon. He was Bill Shakespeare. He was Cain, Ulysses, the Flying Dutchman; he was Lot in Sodom, Deirdre of the Sorrows, Sweeney in the nightingales among trees. He was miracle ingredient Z-247. He was…
Crazy!” Clevinger interrupted, shrieking. “That’s what you are! Crazy!”
“…immense. I’m a real slam-bang, honest-to-goodness, three-fisted humdinger. I’m a bona fide Supraman.”
“Superman?” Clevinger cried. “Superman?”
Supraman,” Yossarian corrected.”

Yossarian is transcendent man. He is rising above the living dead all around him to find a way to live. He is basically alone in his quest. A real hero.”

I am, I am Supraman, and I can do anything.”

Carpool Lane-Violating BMW Driver Unleashes on KRON 4 Reporter – Another Viral Video – “People Eating Badly”

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Via the essential Uptown Almanac (and ViralViralVideos ultimately), comes word of the latest viral video.

It seems KRON4′s Stanley Roberts went on a sort of carpool-lane-violation-CHP-ridealong the other day only to incur the wrath of a busted driver.

Instead of calling this bit “People Behaving Badly,” Stanley’s calling it “People Eating Badly.”

Let the match begin.

Driver in Elmo Shirt Goes Ballistic on KRON 4 Reporter:

This has a little more background/info. I would have thought the driver was talking about owning a BMW X6 or something, since that was the only fastback-style station wagon I could think of that it looked like, but turns out that he has a 3-series wagon (or maybe possibly a 5-series (which isn’t much bigger and, oddly, has less cargo room than the 3)). So whatever. I’m sure Stanley is pulling down six-figures doing a pretty kickback job, right?

Bay Bridge Elmo Guy – People Behaving Badly:

Can you imagine? I’d never go into the HOV lane by myself!*

And leave us never forget the best thing KRON 4 ever aired, the famous Bubb Rubb whistletip bit:

*Without the requisite number of blowup dolls in place…

Our Richmond-San Rafael and Antioch Bridges to get Dedicated Carpool Lanes by Mid-June

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

The news from our Metropolitan Transportation Commission is that you now have yet another reason to get a Fastrak and/or get in on a carpool. Check it out, below.

Don’t forget to look outside your window as you carpool on the Richmond-San Rafael. You won’t want to miss seeing San Francisco’s northernmost point (that private island on the left) or the B&B (can you see it on the right?) that drove Danielle Steele crazy:

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Richmond-San Rafael, Antioch Bridges to Get Dedicated Carpool Lanes

Cash Tollpayers Must Stay Right on Richmond-San Rafael Approach

OAKLAND, Calif., June 1  — Toll plaza changes designed to speed travel for carpoolers are coming this month to the Antioch and Richmond-San Rafael bridges.

Beginning in mid-June, carpoolers who travel across the Antioch and Richmond-San Rafael bridges during peak commute periods will be able for the first time to take advantage of dedicated high-occupancy vehicle lanes at the far left side of the bridges’ toll plazas — eliminating the need to stop at a staffed toll booth. Carpool commuters at these bridges currently use mixed-flow cash/FasTrak lanes, and must stop briefly at a staffed toll booth for occupancy verification.

In addition to the new dedicated carpool lane, work crews will restripe the westbound Interstate 580 approach to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza to add a second FasTrak-only lane. During peak commute periods, carpoolers and other FasTrak customers will share the far left lane, while the center lane will be reserved for drivers who pay their tolls with FasTrak. Drivers who use cash to pay their toll will be restricted to the right lane of the toll plaza approach. Cash tollpayers may experience additional delays as drivers become accustomed to the new configuration.

The carpool lane changes at the Antioch and Richmond-San Rafael toll plazas come several weeks before the July 1 start of a new toll schedule that includes a discounted $2.50 toll on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for carpools at all seven of the Bay Area’s state-owned toll bridges. Carpoolers must use a designated carpool lane and pay their toll with FasTrak® to qualify for the toll discount. FasTrak toll tags are available online at www.511.org or at Walgreens, Safeway and Costco locations around the Bay Area. New customers who pick up a FasTrak toll tag at a participating retailer before July 15 can get up to $10 in free tolls.

The new toll schedule also will include a $5 regular auto toll at six of the state-owned bridges; and “congestion pricing” at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, with auto tolls varying based on the day of the week and/or the time of day. Bay Bridge tolls will be set at $6 during the weekday morning and afternoon peak periods, at $4 during weekday off-peak periods, and at $5 all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven Bay Area toll bridges. BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers toll revenues from the region’s state-owned toll bridges. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

BATA Meeting – Say Hello to Higher Tolls to Cross the Bay Bridge Starting July 1, 2010

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Well the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) came to Market Street last night to ask the public the best way to raise tolls on Bay Area bridges (except the Golden Gate Bridge, an entity unto itself).

Who was at the meeting early and ready to go? None other than BATA Oversight Committee Vice-Chair and San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly avec charming daughter Grace:

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This was the open house part of the meeting early on. Not a huge turnout:

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To see why, let’s look at the numbers on the numerous display boards:

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BATA isn’t asking people if there should be an increase, but rather, which increase plan is the best:

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The seismic safety upgrading for the Dumbarton and Antioch bridges – that’s the primary issues, a billion-dollar issue. How is BATA going to pay for that?

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Well pick your poison. How would you balance charges for carpoolers vs. trucks (with all them axles) and would you be into congestion pricing? (Proposal 2 is called the Homer Simpson Option, due to his practice of charging $10 per axle when he lets people park on his lawn.)

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Speaking of axles, you big rig truck drivers have gotten a free ride over the years, some people think:

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Here are the anticipated impacts of each option:

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How do these proposed tolls campare to what the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority charges people to drive across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, you know, the one with the highest toll in America? Quite nicely, thanks for asking!

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So now, what do YOU think is the best way to raise revenue?

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You can tell your commissioners about your choice:

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Let’s grab a holiday cookie and mull things over:

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It looks like staff is going to make a recomendation tomorrow…

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…and your toll will go up at least a dollar as of July 1, 2010.

Now You Have Another Chance to Ask for a Bay Area Bridge Toll Increase: Dec. 7th, 2009

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Ah, the Powers That Be. They don’t just raise rates on you all of a sudden, oh no. They have meetings first, to tell you how “needed” and “necessary” their proposed “adjustments” are. Then, when the rates go up, they’ll tell you all about the meetings on that very topic that you neglected to attend.

As here, where the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) will send its youngest and cutest staffers straight into San Francisco to hand out papers and pencils for you, the Public, to scribble your appreciation. Or criticism, whatever.

Maybe “Bay Bridge Mike” will be at the meeting on Pearl Harbor Day, 2009. We Can Only Hope:Our broken bridge, more broked than ever, but let’s have fun with it, cause, you know, we’re super-competent at our jobs.

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Oh well.

Paying more to cross our mismanaged bridges – well that’s not a burden, it’s an “OPPORTUNITY.” (Paging George Lakoff…)

“OPPORTUNITIES

Bridge Toll Hike Proposed for Earthquake Safety

Attend a hearing regarding a possible toll increase on the seven state-owned Bay Area toll bridges on November 17, December 3, or December 7, 2009. Can’t attend? Take our online survey!

As promised, the deets – BATA bing, BATA boom!:

Bay Area Toll Authority Schedules San Francisco Hearing on Proposed Toll Hike

Web Survey Also Available for Online Comments

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) has added a fourth public hearing to receive public testimony on options for a proposed toll increase on the seven state-owned Bay Area toll bridges.

The newly scheduled public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, in San Franciscoat the downtown campus of San Francisco State University, 835 Market Street, Room 609. Additional public hearings are scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17, in the City Council Chambers of San Mateo City Hall, 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, and at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Wisteria Room of the Concord Senior Center (located in John F. Baldwin Park), 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. All three public hearings will feature a short open house (from 6:30 to 7 p.m.) and a staff presentation (beginning at 7 p.m.) prior to taking public testimony. The first public hearing took place on Nov. 4 in Oakland.

Bay Area residents who are unable to attend one of the public hearings can make their views known via an online survey at: www.mtc.ca.gov/get_involved. The survey will be available through Dec. 21.

The toll increase, if approved, likely would take effect July 1, 2010. It is needed to raise an additional $160 million in annual revenues, chiefly to finance the estimated $750 million cost of necessaryseismic retrofit projects on the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges. Other factors include a slow but steady decline in toll-paying traffic on the state-owned bridges during each of the past five years, increasing operational expenses, and rising debt (due in part to the upheaval in the municipal bonds markets over the past two years). The proposed toll increase would be in effect on the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Mateo-Hayward and San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridges. (The toll proposal does not affect the Golden Gate Bridge, which is owned and operated by an independent authority.)

The toll options under consideration would all raise the needed $160 million annually. Ideas on the table, detailed below, include raising the base toll on automobiles and motorcycles by $1 (to $5), and in so doing raise the first $100 million of new annual revenues. The remaining funds would be generated by a combination of increasing the per-axle toll for trucks and/or introducing a toll for carpools, which would be collected electronically via FasTrak® toll tags. Also under consideration is the introduction of peak-hour congestion pricing on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Preliminary analysis shows that such pricing could reduce morning peak delay on the Bay Bridge by 15 to 30 percent.

 –  $5 toll for two-axle vehicles (autos and motorcycles); $3 for carpools
     during peak periods (Monday through Friday); and $6 per each
     additional axle for trucks. Carpools would be charged for the seismic
     retrofit portion of toll charges and would be required to obtain a
     FasTrak® toll tag to qualify for the reduced rate; FasTrak® equipment
     would be required in all carpool lanes.
 –  $5 toll for two-axle vehicles (autos and motorcycles) and $10 per each
     additional axle. There would be no charge for carpools during peak
     periods (Monday through Friday).
 –  Congestion pricing would be introduced on the Bay Bridge; charges
     would be $6 for two-axle vehicles during peak periods (Monday through
     Friday) and $4 for autos and motorcycles during off-peak hours (Monday
     through Friday), with a $5 charge for two-axle vehicles on weekends. A
     $6 charge for each additional axle, at all times and on all days,
     would be in effect with this option, along with a $3 charge for
     carpools during peak periods (Monday through Friday).

Written comments on the proposed toll increase will be accepted until 4 p.m., Dec. 21, 2009; they may be submitted to the BATA Public Information office at 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, CA, 94607-4700, faxed to BATA at 510.817.5848, or sent via e-mail to tolls@mtc.ca.gov. After receipt and review of public comments, the BATA Oversight Committee will consider the adoption of a revised toll schedule in early 2010.

BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers tolls on the region’s seven state-owned bridges. State legislation in 1997 authorized BATA to administer the base $1 toll on the Bay Area state-owned toll bridges.

BATA’s responsibilities were expanded by August 2005 legislation to include administration of all toll revenue and joint oversight of the toll bridge construction program with Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

See you there!*

*Maybe not.

Bay Bridge Enforcement Action – CHP Busts Drivers in “Bus Only” Lane

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

The California Highway Patrol (they’re hiring!) takes a dim view of you trying to save 5, 10, 20 minutes by using this “bus only” flyover westbound to get past the Bay Bridge toll plaza. So much so, they’ll even hang out near the thing on Mother’s Day in order to hand out $271 citations.

Personally, I’ve looked at the signs and I can’t really figure out if 3+ person carpools are allowed on this empty flyover all the time or just during primetime M-F. But oh well.

Now if you’re The Feds, with a tiresome, predictable blacked-out SUV, then you’re in luck. Please drive through. Click to expand:

But if YOU drive past these CHP officers, then you’ll be met by some more on the other side.

Ka ching. That’s how they get you…

Why are Toyota Prius Owners Such Bad Drivers?

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Generally speaking, that is.

Back in the day, old boxy 200-series Volvos had the rep of having drivers that had issues. But these days, it seems the worst motorists on the roads are caged-up in Toyota Priuses. Why’s that?

Could it be that the primary reason most owners bought is that the purchase “makes a statement” about them?

Getting the “what’s a matter you?” Italian-style hand gesture from a perturbed pedestrian on South Van Ness in San Francisco. The driver was blocking a crosswalk for a good 45 seconds while paying attention to something in his right hand. Note body damage from a prior allision.

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Another Prius driver recently caused a stir in town by driving through the streetcar-only Sunset Tunnel and getting stuck for a few hours.  

Things have gotten so bad that some people keep an eye out just for these particular hybrids.

Keep a look out and stay safe out there.

When Good Cars Go Bad – Toyota Prius Gets the Boot in San Francisco

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Toyota Prius owners in California already have some immunity from getting moving violation tickets, but more help is needed.

What about parking tickets? Perhaps we should make Priuseses fully immune from parking tickets as well. That would encourage more people to drive hybrids, right? And then we wouldn’t be forced to witness a sad scene like this, where a car that’s supposed to going 80 miles per in the fast lane with just one occupant is sidelined with a bum leg.

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By the way, parking tickets are going up to $60 soon. Happy motoring!