Posts Tagged ‘cars’

The “WOMEN ONLY” Train Cars of Western Japan, For Better Or Worse

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Imagine something like this in Frisco:

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I can’t.

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The Great Restriping of Oak Street Near Masonic is Now Complete – Let’s Hope for Less Congestion

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Background.

Here’s how she looks with the new striping:

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The leftmost lane allows drivers to turn left or go straight – this seems like a mistake to me, but, then again, lots of things the SFMTA does seem like a mistake.

To me.

Just asking: Does the SFMTA Give Sufficient Notice of Its New Fee / Tax to Credit / Debit Card Users?

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

I don’t really park at parking meters so I don’t know if this photo shows the first notice our SFMTA gives users of it’s new credit card tax:

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(Of course, such surcharges are generally banned under CA law (CCC section 1748.1), except the law has a few loopholes, one of which the SFMTA has taken advantage of.)

Anywho, here’s what the Visa People have to say about credit card surcharges:

“If retailers intend to impose a surcharge on credit card purchases, they are required to notify customers before customers make an actual purchase at the store entrance and at the point of sale – or in an online environment, on the first page that references credit card brands.”

IDK, perhaps the horrible SFMTA is, as per usual, operating under a different set of rules, under rules different those at most places where you use your credit card…

Haight Ashbury’s Urban School Has Done All It Could to Keep Motorists from Parking in This Towaway Zone on Oak

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

That’s the update regarding this sitch on Oak betwixt Masonic and Ashbury.

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The big issue was notice, but notice has been achieved.

Three cheers.

Next comes the lane restriping…

Here’s Why the Rich “Urban School” Should Wait Until Monday to Start Towing Cars Off of Oak near Masonic

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Here’s the situation, via Camden Avery of Hoodline.

And here’s how things looked yesterday, with people continuing to park on the north side of Oak between Ashbury and Masonic, right aside the new NO STOPPING ANY TIME towaway signs. At first I thought the whole block was affected, but really it’s only about 75% of the block. This light pole is the demarcation line:

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Boy, I wouldn’t have the stones to park a car right next to these signs. (A ticket and tow from DPT / SFMTA / MUNI / AutoTakeaway AutoReturn will run you something like $700-$1000, depending on how soon you start the process of getting your ride back.)

But also, if I were running the Urban High School (tuition > $40k per year) I would take effort to ensure actual notice to the people who park here. Of course, the new signs give notice, but human nature being what it is, why not do a little more, Urban School?

That would mean, instead of taking action today, waiting a few days and then putting out sawhorses or posts with signs next to Oak Street in the Panhandle, ala the annual Bay to Breakers Community Party and Fun-Run – let’s do that on Sunday night.

And then, after the streetsweepers sweep through as they do almost every Monday morning, you could put a few cones out there, so drivers won’t be able to miss the signage.

So sure, you’ve put notes under windshields, but that doesn’t really cut it. (You gotta assume that the owners of these cars could be ex-cons with addiction issues.)

What’s that Urban School, it’s not you actually towing away cars? Oh yes it is. All this activity from PLANT and SFGov is for your new building, right?

But fine, do what you want, and then your rep in the hood will start approaching that of the SFMTA’s rep, and that’s no place you want to be.

Mile Rock and a Freighter Full of Japanese Cars – Roll On, Roll Off

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Somehow, it still makes sense to get our cars from high-cost Japan.

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Cars roll on this ugly Chronus Leader ship in Japan and roll off in the east bay or the north bay.

T’was ever thus.

Opposition to SF’s Plan to Destroy 26 Healthy Hardwoods at Geary & Masonic: “SAVE OUR TREES From DEVELOPERS”

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Here’s the word on the street, from fliers posted all over:

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Get up to speed on the coming ARBOR-GEDDON here.

I’m not sure about the reference to “DEVELOPERS.” SFGov is fixing on taking out two lanes of parking / rush-hour lanes betwixt Geary and Masonic. It’s not like they’re cutting down these trees to put up a condo building.

Here’s the proposal for after these old trees get cut down – it’s another “street art” project, complete with new, transplanted palm trees. Kind of an L.A. look.

Here’s what it looks like now – not an “urban forest” but this stand does have an actual “canopy,” which, of course, is unusual since forests, by definition, aren’t urban.

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I can’t see anything online yet, but the flier says Judgment Day will be on September 2nd, 2015 – 5:00 PM in Room 416 at City Hall.

SFGov and Traders Joe’s Both are In Denial of This Persistent Jaywalking Problem at the First Block of Masonic

Friday, July 31st, 2015

I suppose I’ve been harping on this issue over the years.

Who created this problem? SFGOV, including  the Planning Department, for starters.

Who can do a better job of fixing things? SFGOV, including the SFMTA, for starters. And IDK, SFPD and DPW? And Trader Joe’s as well.

Here’s a recent example, just a couple of Bros on the west side of Masonic wanting to get to a parked car on the east side, just above the SFMTA’s Presidio Yard. (Note that they might not even be TJ’s customers, but their transit across four lanes of traffic is at the same place where shoppers do it.)

All these southbound cars have stopped for the red light at Geary. So far, so good:

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But uh oh, cars are now coming up from Geary in the northbound lanes – it’s time to rethink and try again later:

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Or, in this case, spend 2.5 minutes going down the hill to Geary, wait for the green light, and then ascend back up Masonic.

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This is the choice people face. Sometimes they err and get hit by a car.

I’ll tell you, if you look at the death rate in Frisco due to earthquakes the past century vs. the death rates of Trader Joe’s shoppers jaywalking in front of TJ#100 the past decade or so, they’re about the same.

What can SFGov and TJ’s do now to fix things, to account for Human Nature?

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.

A Hater’s Guide to the San Francisco Geography of Pixar’s “Inside Out” – Realistic Enough, But a Sort of Generic SF

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Did I say “hater?” Nah, that’s not the case, as Inside Out is a fine film. But as far as far as portraying a realistic San Francisco, it’s no Big Hero Six.

Let’s get the Lloyd Bentsen-style sanctimony out of the way – let me school this new movie:

Inside Out, I served with Big Hero Six.

I knew Big Hero Six.

Big Hero Six was a friend of mine.

Inside Out, you are no Big Hero Six.

(Big Hero 6 is awesome – it’s geographically correct, for the most part. Check it.)

Now we’ll deal with IO’s moving-to-Frisco scenes.

1. Golden Gate Bridge seen from Marin County – This view is all kinds of messed up, IIRC, and I do.

2. Looking up at GGB from its roadbed – Perfect, almost photorealistic.

3. Foot of Market Street near the Ferry Building. – Perfectly fine.

4. 1000 block of Lombard Street – Cars are too small – it’s never that crowded, actually.

5. Red cable car #25 on Hyde Street? – A generic view, but pretty good.

6. 21 Royal Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 – Well, if you’re on the unit (000) block of an alley that goes up a hill and across a regular street to continue on to the 100 block of the very same alley, well, I think we’re out of luck.

Here’s the alley. The telephone pole and blue Recology garbage / recycling can are true-to-life:

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Now here’s the real-life 21 Allen – it’s as close as I can find.

(Let’s not get into driving and parking – the driver does about average, considering he just blew into town.)

So that’s it – Inside Out shows SF well, but it’s not up to the level of other efforts.

(And oh, speaker of haters, they unloaded gallons of Hater-Ade upon poor, poor Cars 2:

The (mostly false) narrative after that was that Pixar got sequel happy and the quality dipped. Cars 2 was as much a passion project for John Lasseter as a merchandising cash cow, and the film did earn $559m worldwide despite lousy reviews and a low (for Pixar) $191m domestic total.”

Cars 2 is awesome, compared with what people say about poor poor Cars 2. Oh well.)