Posts Tagged ‘cars’

If the SFMTA Wants to Ban “Private Vehicles” from Making Most Turns onto Market Between 3rd and 8th, What About Drivers with Handicapped Placards?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Get up to speed here.

So “Safer” Market Street is going to ban “private vehicles” including Lyft and Uber-type vehicles, but does that include rides with properly-displayed handicapped placards?

IDK. It seems our SFMTA doesn’t want to deal with this issue.

(Actually, it seems our SFMTA deals with embarrassing issues discussed on the SFMTA website by simply deleting webpages/URLs as soon as members of The Public link to them. Boy, it sure seems that way lately. But moving on, moving “forward” as they say.)

Oh look info about the SFMTA not located at the official SFMTA site – so here’s a link I cite without worrying that it will go bad within 24 hours:

• Bob Planthold: Taxi drivers say they can travel where Muni goes as stated by City Charter. The City will need investigate this. Also broader phrasing is needed regarding disability because “Red & Blue Placards” cannot be restricted.

Read the whole thing, if you want. It’s about all the plans the SFMTA has for this area.

So, is the SFMTA going to ban drivers of private vehicles with handicapped placards from turning onto Market at most places between 3rd and 8th?

Serious question. I think they are…

The Empire Strikes Back: UBER Does NOT Appreciate Getting Banned from Turning Onto Market from 3rd to 8th Streets – Petition

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Our SFMTA wants to ban TNC’s from turning onto Market at most places between 3rd and 8th, so now UBER, for one, is fighting back with a petition from Uber drivers.

(Man, this is a quick reaction to San Francisco Chronicle writer JK Dineen‘s article from just yesterday.)

Anyway, here’s the nut graf in the Uber petition:

“If the traffic restrictions are imposed, driver partners will be forced to take longer, more complicated routes to pick up or drop off passengers — increasing congestion around Market Street and making it more difficult, more time-consuming, and dangerous for riders to get from place to place.”

I think they’ll get to the goal of 10,000 [UPDATE – now it’s set to 15,000] electronic “signatures” with a quickness, seeing as how they seem to clocking about 50 supporters per minute now.

All the deets:

THE SITUATION

Over the last several years, Uber has become an integral part of San Francisco’s transportation ecosystem — with thousands of residents and visitors relying on ridesharing services to get them to all corners of the city. Ridesharing has been embraced and supported by the California Legislature, Governor Brown, and several State agencies. What’s more, UberPOOL and similar ridesharing services are taking cars off the road, reducing congestion, and making huge strides toward making San Francisco’s roads safer.

But now we need your help. As the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) revisits its rules for the types of vehicles allowed on Market Street — your ability to take an Uber from Market Street is at risk — and we need you to speak up in support of ridesharing services like Uber.

NEW SFMTA RESTRICTIONS THAT WILL IMPACT YOU:

→ Taxis on Market Street – APPROVED
→ Buses on Market Street – APPROVED
→ Ridesharing on Market Street – DENIED

Market Street is a major artery of the city, and shutting off access to ridesharing services, where an overwhelming majority of residents choose to live car-free, is counterproductive and dangerous. Ridesharing services a significant and increasing share of the transportation puzzle here, and cutting off riders and driver partners from this main artery will only increase gridlock around town while forcing you, the riding public, to criss-cross busy streets and corridors to get to your ride or destination.

If the traffic restrictions are imposed, driver partners will be forced to take longer, more complicated routes to pick up or drop off passengers — increasing congestion around Market Street and making it more difficult, more time-consuming, and dangerous for riders to get from place to place.

Sign the petition and tell San Francisco’s leadership that TNCs need to be included in their rules for Market Street!

THE PETITION LETTER

[Your personal message]

[Your first name] [Your last name] from zip code [Zip Code]
[Email]

###

Dear [Recipient’s title] [Recipient’s name],

I urge you to not to single out TNCs like Uber, and ensure that they have the same access as taxis to pick up riders along Market Street. Ridesharing has become a core part of the way people get around the city and I support giving San Franciscans more choice for transportation options along Market Street. Your inclusion of TNCs will give people like me more transportation choices downtown, provide an equal playing field for all transportation options, and improve safety for riders and drivers alike.

Again, thank you for considering the collective voice of thousands of San Franciscans who want more choice in transportation options on Market Street.

THIS LETTER WILL BE DELIVERED TO
TOM NOLAN
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

“SFMTA vs. Lyft and Uber Drivers” Continued – Let’s Hear Why the SFMTA Wants to Stop You From Turning onto Market

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

This was my stab at things yesterday – also coming out yesterday was this:

In safety move, turns onto Market Street to be limited

Let’s take a look to see how “safety sells” pretty much whatever the SFMTA has wanted to do the past quarter-century, with my comments in ALL CAPS, you know, for the benefit of those all-important mobile readers:

“This is focused very clearly on safety,” said Tom Maguire, director of the Sustainable Streets Division of the SFMTA. “This is about how we can get out this summer and find ways to save lives this summer.”

WELL, LET’S SEE HERE. I’LL CONCEDE THAT THIS MOVE WILL HAVE US ENDING UP WITH FEWER CAR VS. PED ACCIDENTS ON MARKET STREET BETWIXT 3RD AND 8TH. BUT IS TOM MAGUIRE SOME KIND OF SUPERHERO, A SPIDERMAN SAVING LIVES (PLURAL!) DURING THE END OF SUMMER 2015? ABSOLUTELY NOT. SORRY. HOW MANY LIVES WILL TOM MAGUIRE ACTUALLY SAVE THIS SUMMER? ZERO. ABSOLUTE ZERO. STATISTICALLY SPEAKING. SORRY.

“…lively and entertaining urban boulevard, it is also dangerous.”

WRITER JK DINEEN HAD THE CHANCE TO USE THE BOGUS PHRASE “HIGH-INJURY CORRIDOR” AND HE DIDN’T GO FOR IT? I’M SURE IT’S IN THE MATERIALS HE HAS AND I’M SURE THE SFTMA WOULD LIKE HIM TO USE THIS NEW CATCH-PHRASE, BUT HE DIDN’T. MMM…

Roughly half of these collisions happened at or near an intersection.

WELL, I SHOULD HOPE THAT MOST ACCIDENTS WITH PEDS GETTING STRUCK HAPPEN NEAR INTERSECTIONS. I MEAN, PEDS GENERALLY DON’T BELONG IN THE STREET OUTSIDE OF INTERSECTIONS, RIGHT? ALSO, NOTE THAT WRITER JK DINEEN IS UNAFRAID TO USE THE TERM “ACCIDENT” – THIS TOO GOES AGAINST THE CURRENT SFMTA PLAYBOOK. “COLLISION” IS THE PREFERRED WORD THESE DAYS. BOTH WORDS WORK, OF COURSE.

The package of traffic improvements, known as Safer Market Street…

THESE MOVES CERTAINLY ARE CHANGES, BUT WE DON’T KNOW YET IF THEY WILL BE ACTUAL “IMPROVEMENTS” RIGHT? WHAT’S A NEUTRAL, NON-ORWELLIAN TERM FOR OUR SFMTA’S “IMPROVEMENTS?”

Vision Zero, an effort to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024.

INSTEAD OF “AN EFFORT,” HOW ABOUT “AN _INSINCERE_ EFFORT,” CAUSE, YOU KNOW, THAT’S CERTAINLY THE CASE HERE?

“Our approach to Vision Zero is not to wait to save lives when we have tools to prevent these collisions and we know how to implement them,” Maguire said.

IF WE’RE TALKING ABOUT PED DEATHS IN SAN FRANCISCO, LET’S SAY, FOR CALENDAR 2014, MOST OF THOSE DEATHS WERE THE FAULT OF THE PEDESTRIANS THEMSELVES, PER THE SFPD, RIGHT? SO, WHY NOT MAKE AN “EFFORT” TO ENFORCE THE CVC UPON THE NOTORIOUSLY ILL-BEHAVED PEDESTRIANS OF MARKET STREET RIGHT NOW? THAT WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE THE EFFECT OF SAVING LIVES OVER TIME, SO WHY IS SFGOV WAITING? OH, BECAUSE OF POLITICS, I SEE. ALL RIGHT. AND OF COURSE, WE’LL NEVER GET TO ZERO TRANSPORTATION DEATHS, ON A STRETCH OF MARKET OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER, BUT PED ENFORCEMENT IS THE LOW-HANGING FRUIT. THE FACT THAT THE SFMTA IS SO AFRAID TO MENTION ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS ISSUE IS TELLING.

The reduction of traffic turning onto Market Street will cut down the chance of someone getting seriously injured or killed by a turning vehicle, say SFMTA officials.

AGREE. POINT CONCEDED, CHEERFULLY

It will mean smoother and faster sailing for city buses…

UH OH. _FASTER_ BUSES? IS THAT WHAT WE WANT, SAFETYWISE? IDK. HEY, WHAT PERCENT OF ACCIDENTS ON THIS STRETCH OF MARKET INVOLVE MUNI OR SFMTA-REGULATED TAXICABS? IS IT FORTY-SOMETHING PERCENT ALREADY? LOOK FOR THAT PERCENTAGE TO RISE…

“Motorists would still be free to cross Market Street. Taxis — but not Uber or Lyft”

HERE WE GO – HERE’S THE POINT OF “SAFER” MARKET STREET. IT’S ABOUT FUCKING WITH THE TNC’S. HOW MANY TENS OF MILLIONS HAVE THE SFMTA LOST DUE TO UBER, LYFT AND THE OTHER TNC’S? IDK, BUT A LOT. THERE WILL BE SOME SHORT TRIPS THAT SIMPLY WON’T WORK WITH UBER ANY LONGER. NOT IF YOU WANT TO DRIVE LEGALLY ANYWAY. WHY DOESN’T THE SFMTA ALSO BAN TAXIS FROM MAKING THESE VERY SAME TURNS, IF THE SFMTA IS SO MUCH ABOUT SAFETY? MMM…

Speak of the Devil, here’s some anti-TNC, pro-SFMTA taxi  propaganda, courtesy of your SFMTA:

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“Local opposition subsiding”

WELL, I DON’T KNOW. HAS ANY POLLING BEEN DONE OF THE CURRENT USERS OF MARKET STREET? SO I DON’T KNOW HOW SUBSIDED THE OPPOSITION IS. I’LL TELL YOU, OBJECTIONS TO THE SFMTA’S “DOWNTOWN CORE” TRAFFIC BLOCKADE DURING RUSH HOURS IS STILL PRETTY STRONG, WELL OVER 50%.

Susie McKinnon, executive director of the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District, said at first she was worried that the changes would push more traffic into the Tenderloin…

WELL, OBVIOUSLY IT WILL. VISITORS COMING UP 6TH STREET WON’T BE ABLE TO TURN RIGHT AT MARKET, SO WHERE ELSE ARE THEY GOING TO GO BUT THE TWITTERLOIN, RIGHT?

…force unregulated car services such as Uber and Lyft off of Market Street.

I WOULDN’T CALL TNC’S UNREGULATED, BUT THAT’S JUST ME. _LESS_ REGULATED, CERTAINLY, BUT NOT UNREGULATED, IMO. AND WHAT HAS THIS TO DO WITH SAFETY? FASTER TAXIS AND FEWER UBERS = SAVING LIVES OVERALL? WE’LL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE.

Eva Behrend, a spokeswoman for Uber, disagrees: “Market Street is a major artery of the city…

YEP.

…and cutting off riders and driver-partners from accessing this thoroughfare will increase gridlock around town…

MAYBE.

…with no improvement to safety.

WELL, THE POINT IS TO “SAVE LIVES” “THIS SUMMER” ON FIVE PARTICULAR BLOCKS OF MARKET STREET – WE’LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE THE EFFECT UPON OVERALL SAFETY ON MISSION, HOWARD, FOLSOM, THE REST OF THE TWITTERLOIN, AND ALL THE REST OF SAN FRANCISCO.

AND PLEASE NOTE THAT BOTH TOM MAGUIRE AND EVA BEHREND ARE IN THE SAME BIZ – THEY’RE BOTH IN THE ABUSE-WORDS-ENOUGH-AND-THEN-YOU’LL-GET-COMPENSATED-WITH-SIX-FIGURES-A-YEAR-PLUS-BENEFITS CLUB…

TTFN.

SFMTA vs. Lyft and Uber Drivers: Forget About Turning Left or Right onto Market Betwixt 3rd and 8th – Orwellian SMS

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Let’s see if I can pay off on the headline here.

This is the Safer Market Street proposal, which used to be a part of Better Market Street? Hey, is SFS a kind of “chop shop project,” the likes of which is the SFMTA’s excuse for not doing anything until it gets a more massive project implemented? And it’s to support “Vision Zero” 2024? (That. of course, is the promise of absolute transportation safety. It will fail only after the terming our of our Interim Mayor and all the Members of the Board of Supervisors. Not a single promoter of Vision Zero actually believes we’ll get to zero transportation deaths, / injuries on or near Market Street or anywhere else in town, within nine years, or ever at all…)

Now here’s what I’m talking about not being able to make turns – all those red arrows show what you won’t be able to do anymore:

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Will TNC drivers be banned? Hells yes! That’s the plan last I heard. Will taxi drivers be similarly banned? No, the SFMTA wants to promote taxis and the SFMTA hates, just hates, TNCs.

Note that when the SFMTA calls this proposal a proposal, that means it’s a done deal.

Note that when the SFMTA calls a street a high-injury corridor, it means that the street is a corridor, which is, of course, “a (generally linear) tract of land in which at least one main line for some mode of transport has been built.” Would the SFMTA care to ID a similar number of low injury corridors about town? No? That’s ’cause if a street has a low number of injuries, it isn’t a corridor at all. So, that means that high injury corridor means plain-old corridor. Moving on…

To this – look, the SFMTA has invented, in the Year of Our Lord 2015, a device called a “sign,” ’cause, you know, drivers is stupid.

“WAYFINDING SIGNS Driving on Market Street can be confusing for residents and visitors alike. Wayfinding signs help drivers “find their way” to specific areas while on the move. To avoid confusion while driving through this area, we want to ensure signs pointing to destinations are easily visible and understandable for drivers to safely navigate through the streets. Signs will be posted on streets surrounding Market to give drivers enough time to plan their approach. Special attention will be given to popular destinations, including off-street parking and major roadways. Using iconic San Francisco destinations and simplistic designs, these wayfinding signs would help keep cars moving and enhance the City’s unique visual identity.”

And did you catch that? Why should our SFMTA use a simple word like “simple,” when it can use a $5 word like “simplistic,” you know, facile? Does the SFMTA really mean to crittercise it’s Brand New Thing? IDK.

That was the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:

“The City is one step closer to Vision Zero pending SFMTA Board Approval of the Safer Market Street project.

Market Street is the City’s premier civic and commercial corridor hosting hundreds of thousands of people arriving by means of transit, walking, biking or driving. More bikes travel down Market Street than vehicles, making it one of the busiest bikeways west of the Mississippi.

High collision rates, however, also make Market Street a high-injury corridor, with four of the top 20 intersections for pedestrian-injury collisions and the top two intersections for bicycle injury collisions. Safer Market Street is one of over 24 Vision Zero projects being expedited to address the recent spike in fatalities along high-injury corridors such as Market Street. The proposed changes, including a package of turn restrictions, the extension of existing transit-only lanes and supplemental safety treatments, will help the city reach its Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities by improving safety conditions for all users.

The team recently submitted its environmental documentation to the planning department and completed its third round of outreach, in which it met with community organizations and concerned property owners to inform them of the proposed changes and address any questions or concerns.

Years of analysis and outreach to the community have informed the proposed changes and pending the approval of the SFMTA Board of Directors June 16, 2015 construction can begin within the month. The turn restrictions would be unveiled as a package once complete later this fall.

Question or concerns please contact Kate Elliott at kate.elliott@sfmta.com

Date, time and location of SFMTA Board of Directors Meeting:

City Hall Room 400, June 6, 2015 1:00 pm
1 Charles B. Goodlett Drive
San Francisco, CA 94102

The Infamous Fell Street ARCO Gas Station Offers Helpful Queuing Tips for Its Customers, Via an SFMTA Graphic

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Ah, memories.

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Things are better now, at Fell and Divis, usually. We lost a few parking spaces on Fell, but, you know, the Needs of the Many, yada yada yada…

Our Inefficient, Money-Hungry SFMTA Wants to Start Issuing Speeding Tickets, But Somehow “They Would Not Be Moving Violations?!”

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Oh, this one’s easy  – we’re going to go from zero to Orwellian in ten seconds.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines:

SFMTA Pushing For Speed Cameras In San Francisco To Improve Pedestrian Safety by Cate Cauguiran

And here’s your nut graf:

“SFMTA plans to present their proposal to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority later this week. The agency says the citations would not be moving violations, and therefore not reportable to the DMV.”

Now let’s review – Papa Homer, what’s a “moving violation?

A moving violation is a violation of the law committed by the driver of a vehicle while it is in motion. The term “motion” distinguishes it from other motor vehicle violations, such as paperwork violations (which include violations involving automobile insurance, registration and inspection), parking violations, or equipment violations.”

So, if the parking ticket agency gives a ticket for speeding, it’s issuing moving violations, right? Now tell us more, Wiki:

While some violations, like parking violations, are civil matters involving a vehicle’s owner, moving violations are charged against the actual driver.

Yep. And then there’s this:

The most commonly enforced moving violation, and the overwhelmingly most frequent reason for a vehicle pullover, are violations of the speed limit.

And what’s the motivation for the SFMTA to float this balloon?

Sometimes tickets are used in a speed trap as a form of fundraising

I don’t use the term “speed trap” myself, but, yes, our SFMTA is obsessed with “fundraising,” certainly.

And lastly:

Examples of moving violations: speeding, which can be exceeding a limit or simply driving an unsafe speed…

Thanks Wiki! And actually, a speeding ticket is the prototypical moving violation, in Frisco and everywhere else too.

Now I’ll tell you, I was surprised earlier this year to see the SFMTA issuing “block the box” tickets, because sometimes the SFMTA DPT shows up at an intersection during rush hour to unblock the box, not to make money from block boxing. And yet, here you go:

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This is a DPT PCO in the middle of the intersection of Bush and Sansome shooting fish in a barrel – busting three vehicles, and then she was Gone In 60 Seconds.

And I thought, well, I suppose the drivers here are parked since they’re idling away, motionless, for a long time, so sure, ticket away, SFMTA, even though you’ve timed the lights to exacerbate this situation, but anyway, sure, these are parking tickets, fine.

But if you want to start issuing moving violation tickets, you shouldn’t lie about it. (I’ll tell you, sometimes I can’t tell if the SFMTA lies on purpose or if it just doesn’t know what it’s doing.)

Now, here’s my MODEST PROPOSAL - traffic cameras for pedestrians, mounted over crosswalks. The cameras would record all the peds who jump the light by starting across a second or two early and then a ticket for $100 would get mailed to the offenders after facial recognition ID’s the peds. (Gentle Reader, did you know that most ped deaths last year on the Streets of San Francisco were the fault of the peds themselves? It’s sort of a secret. It wasn’t a blowout or anything, the peds “won” this competition by 50-something percent, vs. the drivers’ 40-something percent, but isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think, that enforcing the vehicle code upon peds, as unpopular as this might be, could reduce traffic deaths more than how SFGov has handled matters up ’til now? Anyway, I’m talking about how the SFPD apportioned ped deaths in SF in 2014. But don’t talk about it, oh no – that might get you transferred to the Airport Detail, srsly. And bonus! Our new ped cams could “also help us as an investigative tool if someone is committing a crime somewhere nearby.” Moving on…)

Of course, the reason why SFGov wants to go Full Orwell is that paying sworn officers to issue tickets is inefficient and expensive. OTOH, an automatic system, backed up by an appeals mechanism to make everything constitutional, could generate tons of money for the SFMTA, like almost as much as its Household Transit Tax fantasy that it would impose on you, Gentle Reader, in a New York minute, if it could. (It’s what Ed Reiskin dreams of at night – your transit tax would be added to your tax returns, easy peasy, what a dream!)

Anyway, I think saying that a moving violation isn’t is worthy of five Orwells, on a scale of zero to five Orwells:

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All the way to the bottom, Maggie SFMTA – you’ve made it!

The “Innovation Capital of the World” Uses Old-School Tech: Leaning Over with a Piece of Chalk at the End of a Stick

Friday, May 15th, 2015

There are pros and cons, of course, to using a stick to chalk-mark car tyres and then coming back two or three hours later to see if the car has moved away, in accordance with the 415’s infamous Residential Parking Permit Program.

Here’s what it looks like:

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An actual world capital of innovation would employ GPS and license plate scanners, these days, right?

Anyway, on the pro side, this method works, sort of. What some people do to stick it to the man is to rub off the chalk marks to buy a few more hours of free parking, until the next round of SFMTA marking and checking, but that’s agin the rules – you could get in trouble for that, one supposes.

On the con side, our PCO’s are routinely Bending Over with Piece of Chalk at the End of a Stick. The reason why it costs our SFMTA an excessive amount of money to run the RPP program is because there’s no market discipline at work here, there’s no incentive for the SFMTA to save money because of how CA state law works, oh well.

Anyway, just because your Interim Mayor says that your town is the “Innovation Capital of the World” doesn’t necessarily mean that your town is actually the “Innovation Capital of the World”

The Only Time I’ve Seen Rainbow Grocery Without a Line of Idling Cars Double-Parked Out Front

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Hippies love cars. Did you know that?

These cars are legally parked – I’m used to seeing another row of cars queuing up, parked in the slow lane, all the live-long day…

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BTW, these days there are more vehicles registered in San Francisco County than ever before.

And let’s not talk about all the extra unregistered vehicles we have, like owned by people who move here from a different state and never get CA plates, like for years and years.

Anyway, maybe I caught RG on a slow day, but Trader Joe’s #100 up on Masonic fixed its similar issue, more or less, years ago, so why can’t Rainbow?

The Frisco Version of Parking On The Front Lawn – Except There’s No Lawn Anymore

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

And whats’ that, your Mercedes hangs over the sidewalk sometimes, but that’s OK ’cause your wheels are all on private propertah?

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OK fine!

Havana 94118 – The Old-Time Car Collectors at the End of Turk Street – Not All That Fast and Not Furious At All

Monday, May 4th, 2015

I’d seen the collected cars, but not the car collector(s) themselves, until now:

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