Posts Tagged ‘cars’

Fish in a Barrel: This SFMTA PCO Can Hand Out Multiple $105 “Block the Box” Tickets in One Minute

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Of course, the SFMTA could jigger the lights around the neighborhood of Bush and Sansome in a more efficient way, but then this meter maid wouldn’t be able to park her Cushman and then stand in the intersection to generate so many tickets that she has trouble with all the receipt tape she’s generating. See?

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Her little machine might have a camera built in, and the GPS and the Wi-Fi and all sorts of things to allow her to bag three rides in one cycle of green yellow red.

Check it. All of these drivers on Bush inbound in the Financh are used to crawling across a San Francisco  intersection before the light turns red and then making it out of the intersection before the peds start coming. Except that this is notorious Bush and Sansome, where things don’t work that way.

And then here come the judge – tickets for everybody! It’s like Oprah handing out Pontiacs – YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET!

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(Mind you, this is an intersection where it’s quite safe to loiter about, so fret not.)

(Hey, is she recording the Vehicle Identification Numbers of all these rides? I think not. Is that some sort of technicality that will allow you to get out of your ticket after spending hours and hours of time fighting your ticket? IDK.)

Some drivers get stuck, but I’m thinking, well just make the left up Sansome* while you have the chance and then you’ll avoid a painful three-figure citation. But the drivers, then don’t have respect, they don’t see the danger.

And I’ll bet most of them aren’t even aware that they’re getting a citation.

Eventually, the driving culture at this intersection will change** if this woman makes a habit of harvesting money on the Evening Drive each and every day.

I ask you, Gentle Reader, what if the rest of SFGov were as efficient as this PCO?

*Whether it’s legal or not. In this case, that would be a legal turn but even if it weren’t, the chances of getting a moving violation doing that are virtually nil, as opposed to a parking ticket, where the odds are virtually certain. 

**In the old days, the SFMTA would tell its PCOs to stop handing out tickets during the Evening Drive and start directing traffic at busy intersections. Those days are over. This woman can pay her salary and fund her generous benefits and retirement package in one or two minutes of her shift. Remarkable!

Donuts Served Up Hot in the Western Addition / Alamo Square Historic District

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Mmmm… donuts:

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And on the next block:

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And so on…

Thank goodness these skid marks are black and not some other flavor…

Harsh: USF Labeled the “University of Spoiled Foreigners”

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Our Urban Dictionary gets a little harsh:

University of Spoiled Foreigners

With over eighty countries represented in the student body, children of incomprehensible means from Latin America, Europe, and Asia attend this Jesuit institution, and pay tuition on par with Stanford or an Ivy League school. These students are frequently seen driving Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Porsches, Lotuses, and BMW’s, and carrying purses made by Prada, Jimmy Choo, and D&G. Instead of studying, they can often be found congregating in VIP sections of clubs such as Ruby Skye, running thousand-dollar-plus tabs on a regular basis. Spoiled is interchangeable with snotty or snobby, as in the University of Snotty/Snobby Foreigners.

Also known as the University of San Francisco.

by ajcarm August 26, 2011″

I’m not sure how current the brand names mentioned are, but the reference to Ruby Skye sounds a bit dated. (OTOH, maybe that’s where all the students are planning on going when they’re waiting to mob the #5 Fulton inbound on a Friday night.)

I heard this phrase back in the aughts, from Native Born ‘Mericans. And I’ve seen some exoticars parked around campus. Is that enough to merit this nickname?

I know not.

 

ONLY IN MARIN: Bridgeway Gas Station in Sausalito Charging $8 Per Gallon? Highest Prices in America

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Things were bad before, but I think we’re entering performance art territory here, up in Marin County.

Via Yelper Eddie H:

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The Yelpers, they are not happy.

Suffer Deb:

“I feel like I just got mugged. They are charging $6.97 for regular (other yelpers posted pics). The average price for gas in northern California is $3.43. I will never EVER go here again even though it’s on my way home from work, FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS GO TO BRIDGEWAY GAS.”

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Send somebody, anybody up there to ask, “Hey, what’s the deal with the $8 gas?” Before that, buy a few gallons to see what the experience is like. Also, check for the purported dirtiness. Like “can you believe this is the bathroom of a gas station what charges* $200 to fill your** tank?!” And then you say, hey, I gots to fill up my right rear with air, and then see if Dude makes you pay for the privilege – well that’s agin the law, right? (But don’t send CW Nevius – he’d find a way to get rejected on this slam dunk, like he’d tell this story from the poor gas station owner’s ‘sperective, something like that. SPROOOOING off the rim, that’s what I’m talking about.) Anyway, engage, make it so.

*And call your economist buddy and ask about elasticities of demand for low-margin bidnesses. So let’s say the Shell down the street only makes a few pennies per gallon (and possibly makes more money selling high-margin snacks, you know, the way movie theaters do it), well, maybe it makes sense to cut your business by 95% if you can increase your margins by 10,000%, that kind of deal. Who knows, maybe Dude makes money some other way off of the property…

**I can remember the first time I paid $20 for a tank of gas. It was back in the 1990’s for a rusty Audi 5000 I bought from a doctor in Manoa Valley. And then back in the aughts, I remember paying $100 to fill the tank of a Land Cruiser up in, you guessed it, Marin County. I’ll remember the $200 threshold too, if and when I ever achieve it. (And if I filled up at Bridgeway today, I think I could almost, just almost make it to $200.)

Our SFMTA, Which Wants All Cars Off of Eastern Market, Will Impose a Brace of Turn Restrictions in 3 Months – “Safer Market Street”

Friday, March 6th, 2015

IDK, if you asked me what would make a safer Market Street, I’d say, “Well, how about banning all them buses and taxis?” Oh, that’s not practical, huh?

But it would leave us with a safer Market Street though.

The actual SMS plan, I’m not so sure about:

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Anyway, this would seem to slightly improve your north-south flow across Market, but the SFMTA isn’t a mental health agency so there are some issues it’s not equipped to handle…

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Has Lost Thousands of Paid Members Lately

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

[UPDATE: I’ve omitted Stanley Roberts’ video from this post as I mistakenly thought it was new as of this week when in fact it was posted almost two years old now. My apologies, Stanley. As you can see, Mr. Roberts goes after everybody (including fake monks and nuns) and certain people at the SFBC have been irritated by that over the years.]

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has lost thousands of paid members lately.

Now part of that’s due to “churn,” which is something that every organization has to deal with, but most of it has to do with behavior of the SFBC itself. I’ll tell you, I’ve been riding bikes around town longer than the current SFBC has existed – no, I’m not saying that I’ve been here since the “early 70’s,” I’m saying that the SFBC didn’t really exist in the 1980’s when I came to SF. I’m saying that before Critical Mass (and its predecessor, the “Commute Clot”), the SFBC didn’t really exist – they were nowhere, man. What _did_ exist, a little later on, was the car-centric Willie Brown Administration. And all those functionaries working for Willie Brown were trying to find some “bicycle people” to cut a deal with, to tame Critical Mass, to give grant money to. But no, all the Critical Mass leaders were saying stuff like, “Critical Mass doesn’t have leaders, Man.” Eventually, the SFBC managed to practically become a part of the SFMTA, you know, conducting surveys for SFGov, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in taxpayer and feepayer money, forcing companies like Twitter to deal with the SFBC, you know, officially, and, in return, the SFBC stopped promoting Critical Mass, and SFBC now offers pols a nice photo op every year on Bike to Work Day and it actually endorses (without consulting the Members at all) for election Willie Brown protegees like, I don’t know, Ed Lee, for example. So that’s the history, and during this history I’ve seen the SFBC grow in membership, from “over 1000″ to “over 5000″ to “over “10,000” and then “over 11,000″ and then “over 12,000″ and then, uh oh, back down to “over 11,000″ and most recently back down to “over 10,000.” What are the numbers now? IDK, 9000-something? The SFBC isn’t exactly candid about its recent loss in membership. The SFBC certainly doesn’t want people freely looking at its tax forms or its older webpages, so that’s why it recently started suppressing this kind of information. Mmmmm… I’ll tell you, of course, there’s been a huge increase in bicycling in San Francisco since I’ve come here, and for various reasons, fine. (It’s sort of funny about how the big annual jumps in cycling came exactly during the rise of the fixie craze, and exactly when the Bicycle Plan injunction froze all infrastructure changes, but whatevs.) I’ll ask you, why can’t a monomaniacal advocacy organization like the SFBC concede anything? I guarantee you that the SFBC people who went the extra mile to “reach out” to Stanley Roberts of KRON-TV are pissed off about the above video coming out right before the Big Vote on Polk Street, which is supposably [what, no red underlining for a word I purposefully misspelled? Amazing] coming March 3rd, 2015, but who knows how that will work out. I’ll tell you, IMO Polk Street is a triple beam lyrical dream the way it is now. What are the other options to go north south in the area? If I don’t take Polk, then I’d be thinking Stockton, Grant, Kearney or the Embarcadero to the east or, to the west, Steiner (it’s sort of the pass over Pacific Heights, sort of) or Arguello through the Presidio. In your efforts to pursue your goals, SFBC, which I don’t necessarily oppose, you go too far and you end up alienating people like me, a man in his 40’s, and even older people such as Junior the Bike Messenger, and, apparently, THOUSANDS OF OTHER FORMER SFBC MEMBERS.

The question is, WHY IS THAT, SFBC?

 

Uh Oh, the SFPD’s Vaunted “Focus on the Five” Enforcement Program Focuses on the Wrong Five

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Work with me here, people.

Here you go:

“Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

All right, well let’s look at the stats for last year, via Heather Knight / the District 5 Diary.

And then let’s extract all the five-digit CVC section numbers cited in the official SFPD report, plus let’s also throw in a CVC number for the pedestrian who died last year after getting hit by a MUNI bus on Geary around Baker.

(And let’s ignore all the the lower-case subsections like 21950(b) and the like, treating 21950(a) and 21950(b) as the same violation, for example.)

And then lets throw all the extracted numbers into Excel for a Sorting.

And then let’s eyeball the numbers to separate them out:

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So those are your top “five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking (and bicycle riding, but I don’t think that affects the numbers too much.)

Here they are, in order of frequency:

21950

22350

21456

21954

21955

So how does that compare with this list from politicians?

“Focus on the 23 Five” campaign to target the top five causal factors of pedestrian crashes – running red lights 24 (California Vehicle Code 21453(a)), running stop signs (California Vehicle Code 22450(a)), violating pedestrian right-of-way (California Vehicle Code 21950(a)), failing to yield while 2 turning (California Vehicle Code 21801 (a), and speeding (California Vehicle Code 22350)…

See how that works? 21950 and 22350 are in there, but CVC violations on the part of pedestrians, like 21456, 21954, and 21955 have been omitted from the list.

Is the official “Focus on the Five” about pedestrian safety or “pedestrian rights?”

I’m thinking it’s about pedestrian rights, like the right to jaywalk, that kind of thing.

Is SFGov serious about SF Vision Zero 2024, a “program” that has the goal of ending all transportation deaths in San Francisco long after all the pols who voted for it have termed out?

Well, how can it be if it’s afraid to enforce traffic laws for political reasons?

If you want safety for pedestrians, wouldn’t you want them to be afraid of getting cited for jaywalking?

No? All right, well then keep on doing what you’re doing, but you’ll never ever achieve Vision Zero 2024 the way you’re going about it, SFGov.

The Semi-Secret Parking Spaces for Trader Joe’s Masonic Shoppers

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here you go, a place to park on Masonic for free while shopping at TJ’s #100, right in front of the Lucky Penny, assuming it’s not between 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM:

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Sometimes the Great Line of idling cars goes almost all the way back to Euclid, so this option certainly seems preferable.

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Just saying

Market Street Wedding Photos: Strike a Pose Betwixt the Fast Lane and the Slow Lane – White Dress, Oily Street

Friday, February 13th, 2015

As seen on Market inbound:

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This is different:

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Mother of All Double Parkers: The Super Pretzel Truck – Blocking Outbound Market Daily

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

If I were the Super Pretzel pushcart people on Market at the cable car turnaround, I’d push these carts somewhere else before the lengthy loading and unloading process:

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Just saying…

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But these people don’t care – on they go with lifting and the lowering, on they go as westbound traffic backs up behind them…