Somehow, it still makes sense to get our cars from high-cost Japan.
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.
Here’s the word on the street, from fliers posted all over:
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.
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.
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:
But uh oh, cars are now coming up from Geary in the northbound lanes – it’s time to rethink and try again later:
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.
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?
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?
*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.
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.
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:
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.)
As seen from Geary – look, it’s a parking lot game like what you can play on your iPhone
A normal town would deal with this, but Frisco don’t, oh well. (If you’d like to make a go of putting back to use the very unused building at the northeast corner of Geary Divis, be my guest – a Honey Baked Ham sto’ was its last use, years and years ago.)
(Hey, was this one of the HBH stores what OJ Simpson had an interest in before The Real Killer stabbed OJ’s ex-wife and the stud who drove the white Ferrari (license plate L84AD8) that OJ paid for? I know not.)
And oh, there was a fire station here? News to me. Leaving you with the still-cited case of Quinn v. Rosenfeld, 15 Cal.2d 486 (1940):
“The plaintiff had been employed for about seven years at a firehouse located in a residential district on the northerly side of Geary Street between Scott Street on the east and Divisadero Street on the west. About 6:35 P. M. on September 29, 1937, the plaintiff stepped from the northerly curb in front of the firehouse, with the intention of crossing the street at that point for the purpose of going to a store on the southeast corner of Geary and Divisadero Streets. There was no crosswalk at the point of crossing selected by the plaintiff. There were established crosswalks and stop signs at both intersections. A pole with a lighted street lamp stood about two feet east of the point where the plaintiff entered the street, and the doors of the lighted firehouse remained open. The plaintiff wore a dark blue uniform. He stopped behind a parked car which was to the west of him. There were no parked cars to the east for a distance of about 75 feet. He looked to the east and at a distance of 135 to 150 feet observed the lights of the defendant’s car in the traffic lane on the north side of the car tracks approaching at a speed of about 20 to 25 miles an hour. He proceeded safely as far as the northerly rail of the westbound car tracks and stopped again to permit another westbound automobile, which had passed the defendant’s car and which was moving at a high rate of speed, to pass in front of him. Before proceeding he observed the defendant’s car again, and saw that it was swerving onto the westbound car tracks and coming directly towards him. He stepped back but before he could clear the defendant’s path he was struck by the right front fender of the vehicle.”
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…
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.
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:
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]
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 was my stab at things yesterday – also coming out yesterday was this:
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:
“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…
…and cutting off riders and driver-partners from accessing this thoroughfare will increase gridlock around town…
…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…
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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