Posts Tagged ‘cars’
The Incompetent SFMTA Boasts of Traffic Lights “Timed for Your Convenience” – Let’s Take a Look, at Oak, For ExampleTuesday, January 20th, 2015
[UPDATE: Here’s a reply from somebody at the SFMTA:
“The mistiming of Oak and Pierce was due to a malfunction of the intersection controller which should now be repaired. Please call 311 if you see any maintenance issues such as signals that all of the sudden appear to be out of sequence.“]
(I’ll tell you, I’ve been riding bikes around SF on pretty much a daily basis for the past quarter century. So that means that I have more miles, hours, decades than you or anybody else at the SFMTA, you know, on the Streets of San Francisco. Also, I have more miles driving about town than even most SFMTA operators, and I have more miles walking about than 99%+ of the employees of the SFMTA. So that’s my throat-clearing.)
I don’t know where this SFMTA MUNI blog post comes from.
“Green Lights for Muni by Rachel Hyden Friday, January 9, 2015:
No matter how you travel around San Francisco, you’re bound to come across a signal that will make your journey a little easier. As a cyclist, you get the “green wave;” as a driver, traffic lights are often timed for your convenience…”
You know, I’ve never seen a “green wave.” I’ve seen the signs for green waves (like here’s one on a hill – well, 13 MPH seems fast going up a big hill and it seems slow going down, oh well) and I’ve seen cyclists on Market bunched up and sometimes making it through the next signal and the next signal, but I wouldn’t call that no green wave. Moving on, Moving Forward…
To this – back before the incompetent SFMTA even existed, way back then, San Francisco did a better job of maintaining the timed lights on its major corridors, its freeway substitutes. So, for example, you could drive from the Inner Sunset to, say, Reno, Nevada without ever seeing a red. Sure, Lincoln to Kezar to Oak to the Central Freeway to the I-80. And then, after the Loma Prieta, which occurred before certain six figure a year MUNI bloggers were born, drivers would wind through Hayes Valley (which for most people isn’t a destination) and Civic Center and SoMA to whichever freeway on-ramp. All greens, baby.
And even more recently, like three or four years ago, SF did a much better job with the timed lights.
And now we’re in 2015 and it’s the worst ever. You look down Bush from the Western Addition and what you might expect to see is, what, a brown wave(?) of cars cruising along at 25 MPH or so, but what you see instead are cars pretty much randomly distributed.
The same goes for Pine outbound, where there are some stretches that I’d say aren’t really timed at all any more.
The twins Golden Gate and Turk are still more or less timed, as are Franklin and Gough. But lookie here at Oak near Pierce. Would you say that these lights are timed for anybody’s “convenience?”
Why would you set up the lights this way? Even for a day? SF used to have traffic engineers in charge and now I don’t know who’s in charge. Ideologists? Blogger PR-types from Ohio?
I’ll tell you, back a decade ago, the SFMTA wanted to replace four way stops on Page with their trademark horrible traffic circles. The reason being, ostensibly, and I’m srsly, was to reduce greenhouse emissions by not forcing cars to start and stop, and the BAAQMD was going to kick in just for this purpose. This didn’t work out*, but that’s what the SFMTA wanted, right? That was the stated purpose.
But now, here, just a block away on Oak, the SFMTA has/had the opportunity to properly time the lights, to reduce emissions, and it just doesn’t care.
And along comes the official SFMTA blog, which wants citizens to thank the heavens above every time they see a timed light, because the SFMTA labored to “make your journey a little easier.”
Oh, what’s that, SFMTA, give you more money and you’ll time the lights proper again? No, why don’t you use the money you already get more efficiently? I mean, right? I mean, aren’t you the worst big-city transit agency in America? No, well, then which big city has a worser transit system? Oh, what’s that, you just got an award for innovation or something? Well, great, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t the worst big-city transit agency in America. All of the other transit agencies laugh and call you names, SFMTA. (And you aint no Rudolph, with his nose so bright.)
So, why not time traffic lights proper before you pat yourself on the back for timing traffic lights, SFMTA?
*The SFMTA made the mistake of allowing people to actually vote on one of the SFMTA’s goofy, thoughtless ideas. The SFMTA ended up losing, big-time, like by a three to one ratio in some cases. Needless to say, the SFMTA doesn’t allow any votes like that any mo…
I guess this is part of San Francisco’s “bikes and transit first policy?”
Click to expand
There was a time when San Francisco would avoid putting up street signs with the number 13 on them. Those times are over…
Out-Of-Town Lowriders Cruise Jefferson in Fisherman’s Wharf – Ignorant of the Efforts of Any Danish Urban PlannersTuesday, January 13th, 2015
Here they come to “activate” our “urban scene,” an endless parade of lowriders:
I don’t think these people are drinking as many cappuccinos as those Danish urban planners expected:
Wheels akimbo, as is the style:
Uh, do locals visit the Fish Wharf more now, after all the changes? IDK.
I don’t think so.
But I hope all the Scandinavians at least got Business Class and frequent flyer’s club miles when we paid them to come over to “fix” the Wharf, which to me, seems exactly the same kind of place as before…
The SFMTA’s Restriping of JFK Drive Has Been a Massive Failure for a 100 Small Reasons – Let’s Take a Short TripFriday, January 9th, 2015
These cyclists stopped for peds at the prior stop sign, and I thought, “These are pretty polite cyclists,” because, you know, most of the time cyclists don’t stop for peds and/or stop signs.
So then here’s the next stop sign, where the peds stutter-stopped for fear of being hit by the very same cyclists:
Moving on, further into the park, with the very same cyclists, to see this woman, who was totally blocking the bike lane with her body and two open passenger doors. She was oblivious. Then she notices what she’s doing so she goes back to shut the rear door…
…and then the front door as the cyclists wait:
This place is a mess. Many long-time cyclists now avoid using JFK. Is this what the all-seeing all-knowing SFMTA wanted? IDK. Oh what’s that, cycling in San Francisco is going to increase six-fold by 2020 (I’m seriously, this was the goal, this was what was “expected” by local pols not too long ago), so we need to accommodate all the new traffic? But what if that huge increase doesn’t materialize and then you lose a significant chunk of the pre-existing riders?
(Any survey from the SFMTA showing broad-based support for these changes isn’t a real survey.)
Moving on, to this. Where else in the world do they put a kink into double yellow lines.
Why do this? Is this “good design?”
Why not have a single dashed line? (I know that the SFMTA has its reasons, but in other locations these double yellows would be seen as a cue that encourages speeding.)
In short, the restriping of JFK is a mess, a continuing mess, one that was spawned by the SFMTA for ideological reasons.
“I cannot imagine that any survey demonstrates that most people like the new lanes. I’ve read dozens and dozens of comments and the vast majority feel the same way as I do, which is that these lanes are dangerous for everyone. And what about emergency vehicles? How do they pass when motorists cannot pull to the right? This past Saturday, 4/20, a fire truck got stuck in traffic at the eastern end of JFK. Traffic backed up in both directions. It was utter chaos. And Jesus, does it make the road look ugly or what?”
“My primary observation on the new bike lanes is that separating them somewhat from the vehicle traffic lanes seems to have been a signal that cyclists should ride a bit faster and ignore the stop signs and pedestrian crossing rules. I find them much more dangerous as a pedestrian. I have taken to holding an arm out when crossing any road in SF to signal my intent, but I am nearly struck daily by cyclists.”
One reason the federally-funded SFPark program failed is that the maximum rate of $6 per hour* was too low to garner the benefits promised.
So, as here on Chestnut Street, it doesn’t really matter all that much if the meters charge $1 or $3 or $6 an hour – during busy times, the metered spaces will be occupied like 98%+ of the time. Times like these:
So why couldn’t a “market” pricing-based experiment charge more than $6 an hour? Well, politics.
Maybe the feds will give us another $20 million worth of pork and then we can do SFPark again?
*Outside of “special event” pricing, when it could/can go up to $72 an hour.
Fulton Street Tableau: Aggressive Pedestrian, Helpful Driver – A “Freeway Revolt” Pushes The Richmond Farther AwayMonday, January 5th, 2015
Man, you won’t catch me crossing Fulton just hoping that drivers will see me and stop. Oh no.
But this woman took the plunge. See the driver signalling to others? That’s what it takes sometimes:
I don’t know, we had The Freeway Revolt so now we have streets like Fulton acting as substitute freeways.
The SFMTA spends its money inefficiently, so it says it can only afford to install something like five traffic lights per year. (Oh, it’s so hard, it’s so hard to do, they say. No it’s not, but anyway…)
So, we don’t want freeways and we won’t tolerate any transportation-related deaths (or we won’t tolerate any transportation-related deaths starting in 2024). This doesn’t add up.
So, slow down Fulton if you want, but what that does is push the Outer Richmond farther and farther away from San Francisco…
Leaving San Francisco’s Unconstitutional Church Parking Policy Aside, This Isn’t How You Should Park on Bush StreetFriday, January 2nd, 2015
So fine, you have a church and SFGov lets you tell your attendees it’s OK to park on the street out front.
Because this policy is unconstitutional, the SFMTA can’t lay down any official rules to the game. But I can.
So, when you’re completely filling up an entire city block with cars, you churches ought to leave the spaces near crosswalks empty.
You see, this kind of a thing here is a problem:
So, keep your cars at least 30 feet away from any crosswalk, how’s that for a rule?
Oh, what’s that, you don’t care? Well, OK. But following this rule would be the Christian thing to do, right, Christian?
How Would Jesus Park? Well, He wouldn’t double park so close to a crosswalk, that’s for sure…
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What Trader Joe’s #100 Needs is Ocean Beach-Style Warning Signs for Its Shoppers Who Jaywalk on Deadly MasonicWednesday, December 31st, 2014
This is typical, this is routine – people parking on Masonic northbound and then jaywalking across five lanes of traffic to get to Trader Joe’s #100 and then jaywalking again back to their rides
Why do people do this? Well, ’cause getting from northbound Masonic to southbound, which is the only way to get into the parking lot, is a PITA. Drivers are banned from simply turning left into the parking lot because that would end up blocking half of northbound Masonic, and of course Masonic is the Great Connector betwixt The Avenues and the Place Where People Want To Be.
And even if you get yourself facing southbound, you still have to queue up to get into TJ’s ridiculously small parking lot. Hey, couldn’t they have built an underground garage? Well, sure, but you’d have to talk with the Planning Department about that. And hey, couldn’t they have built parking on the roof? Well, sure, and actually they did but you’d have to talk with the Planning Department about that because the average shopper isn’t allowed to park on the roof.
And actually, the current parking situation is better than before. Our vaunted Planning Department did a very poor job with this project and now we’re left with a kludgy fix that commits part of Masonic to TJ’s shoppers idling and parking and waiting.
So that’s the situation, that’s why people say I-don’t-wanna-deal-with-all-that and simply park on northbound Masonic on the east side of the street.
And that’s fine, that’s legal, but then the shoppers see that northbound Masonic has long stretches when it’s empty (because drivers need to wait at a red for a long time to let traffic on Geary go through) and they see a bunch of stalled traffic on southbound Masonic (because of the shoppers queuing up and also to wait at a red for a long time to let traffic on Geary go through). So they march across 30 MPH Masonic to get to the store.
How many TJs shoppers do this on a busy day? IDK, hundreds. It’s their thing, it’s their routine.
So can you die doing this? Sure. Does TJ’s know about this situation? Sure. I don’t see how they couldn’t be aware. I mean, when you have journalists calling up your store asking about how somebody died, I assume that you’re aware of the situation.
What’s the solution? Well, people’d be safer walking down to Geary and crossing legally, but they all already know that.
You see the problem is that they don’t know how dangerous it is to do what they’re doing.
Hey, you know how many people die at Ocean Beach during a typical year? A lot. So many theat they have a special sign:
How about similar signs for shoppers at this unique store:
People Jaywalking Have Died Here
How about that?
Unique situations call for unique signs, right?
Are you going to do anything at all, Trader Joe’s #100?