Posts Tagged ‘cars’

What Percentage of the Drivers of These Cars Use Handicap Placards to Get Free Parking, You Know, Primarily?

Friday, February 6th, 2015

I’m guessing 66%, or 100%.

(If you want to see scenes like this, head to Washington and Davis, just north of the Financh. And for some reason, handicap placard users tend to have brand new cars, and a lot of them have Mercedes-Benz S-Classes…)

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Hey, here’s another question:

What percentage of California physicians have ever been disciplined for signing off  on somebody’s handicap placard application?

The answer is zero percent (0%), in the entire history of Cali.

So that’s why it’s preferable for doctors to just sign your form instead of explaining why s/he doesn’t want to sign your form and, and, you know, piss you off.

You know, I’m in my 40’s, but when I was in my 30’s, my knees felt warm for a couple days. I looked it up and thought, oh so that’s what bursitis is. And people were all no you don’t have bursitis, that’s what plumbers get. And I thought, no, plumbers get chronic bursitis and I got me some acute bursitis. So I took an ibu pill and that was that – I never had this symptom again. Now, Gentle Reader, do you think I could go to a doctor, or a non-doctor, cause the DMV takes the word of pretty much anyone, and say I want a handicap placard for my bursitis condition, and then get a handicap placard, and then park all day all day, for free? I bet I could.

Not that I would.

But I’ll tell you, whenever SFGov gets around to ending this FREE PARKING FIESTA scam, watch them all fall down.

As up in Portland, OR. Hey, you know Portland is a leader in so many things, so guess what they just did up there? That’s right, NO SOUP FOR YOU! And, all of a sudden, most of the handicapped placards went away.

Someday this will happen down here in SF.

Someday.

Oh My, It’s ARBOR-GEDDON 2015 – The SFMTA Wants to Kill Hundreds of Healthy Street Trees to Slow Down Traffic on Masonic

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

See this giant, healthy tree at Geary and Masonic? The DPW just put a death notice on it:

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Around its waist, with clear packing tape.

And this sidewalk grove is doomed as well, at the western edge of the intersection above the Geary Tunnel:

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Here’s what the notices look like:

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And here are the smaller, run-of-the-mill trees street to south:

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Chop chop, 300+ (300x, in SFGov parlance) trees, all gone.

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Let’s see here, is the SFMTA’s Grand Unified Plan for the 3000 feet of Masonic betwixt Geary and Fell going to:

SPEED UP MUNI BUSES? Nope. In fact, the Plan will slow down MUNI buses, like part of the Plan is already doing that already, at Ewing Terrace, for example. (The nearby City Target had some mad money so it gave a quarter million to the SFMTA to put in a new light at Ewing in order to gain support for The Plan from a woman who lives on The Terrace.) This plan will slow down MUNI. Simply. Yet somehow, it will “increase access” to transit, by giving people the right to sit longer at bus stops?

SPEED UP THE REST OF TRAFFIC ON MASONIC, THE GREAT CONNECTOR WHAT LINKS THE PARKSIDE, THE SUNSET, AND THE RICHMOND WITH THE REST OF SAN FRANCISCO, CONNECTING BUSH PINE WITH LINCOLN, FULTON, OAK, FELL, TURK, BALBOA, AND GEARY? Oh, Hell no. Masonic will turn into a congested parking lot during the morning and evening drives, ala Oak Street, ala Octavia Boulevard. Buses will no longer pull over into stops – they’ll simply stop and block the slow lane, leaving the solitary remaining lane, the “fast” lane, to temporarily serve as the only way for motorized traffic to travel on Masonic.

INCREASE “ACCESS” TO MUNI? We’ll see. The SFMTA is claiming that rebuilt bus stops will be the big benefit to MUNI riders.

INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PARKING SPACES IN THE AREA? Oh no. In fact, the Plan will remove 100-something 22-hour-a-day parking spaces from Masonic. (For some this is a feature and not a detriment.)

BENEFIT CYCLISTS? Perhaps. This, see below, is what people do these days, for the most part – they ride their bikes on the wide wide sidewalks, going uphill, for the most part, as I’ve been doing for a couple decades. SFGov is free to make this practice legal on Masonic, but it chooses not to. In fact, SFGov is sometimes reluctant to make piecemeal changes, for safety or whatever, because SFGov shuns so-called “chop-shop” projects – SFGov prefers giant pork-barrel projects paid for by, among others, people living in North Dakota. And then, if residents started to think that Masonic was then “fixed,” through small changes, that would lessen the pressure for a big pork barrel project using money from the Feds and Sacramento.  Anywho, most of the coming changes to Masonic appear to favor bike riders, so yes, we’ll be getting separated lanes up and down Masonic. And then, we’ll have less of this:

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We did lose a bike rider to a severely drunk driver a few years back on Masonic. Such an accident would be less likely to occur after the coming changes. [UPDATE: IMO, that is. If you want to say that accidents can happen anyway even after the changes, I’ll agree, but this particular accident involved two people consuming 14(!) drinks at Kokkari restaurant on Jackson and then using Masonic to get to the Avenues out west, and I’ll tell you, the future Masonic would have been easier for this driver to navigate. I mean he made it all the way from 200 Jackson to the 94117 without hitting anything but his brain didn’t have the processing power to deal with the cyclist being where the cyclist was.]

BENEFIT PEDESTRIANS? Perhaps. The hundreds of healthy trees that the SFMTA is going to chop down will get replaced, one supposes, with new trees, planted in an unnecessary, unnecessarily-wide new median, which effectively widens the street, right? Why are we going to get the big median? For aesthetics. For oxygen, cause, you know, trees produce oxygen – did you know that!? I’ll tell you, this truth just blew me away when I found out about it, when I five freaking years old. But the SFMTA had some lady come to one of the meetings to talk about all the extra oxygen molecules that we’d have floating around, OK fine. Of course, the SFMTA didn’t talk about any of the concomitant downsides of spending all these tens of millions of pork barrel dollars from Uncle Sucker, the SFMTA didn’t mention ARBOR-GEDDEN 2015. Anyway, if peds prefer having new trees in a median over older trees closer to them, well, sure, I suppose that peds will benefit. And speaking of severely drunk drivers, we did lose a ped to a drunk driver within recent memory – I don’t think the recent changes would have affected that crime though. And we lost an architect just north of Geary on Masonic owing to her jaywalking to get to Trader Joe’s #100, a few years back. owing to a poorly planned parking situation courtesy of our Planning Department. But the grand mal Plan for Masonic stops at Geary, so the SFMTA doesn’t appear to even to pretend to care about safety on Masonic north of Geary, not at this time.

Oh what’s that, you have questions? Fire away:

ISN’T IT TRUE THAT “THE COMMUNITY” SUPPORTS THE PLAN?

No, not necessarily. Any public meeting that the SFMTA might refer to was packed with activists/urbanists who don’t live in the neighborhood. So a tally from some meeting made up 70% of activist members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition isn’t an actual survey, right? If you want to say that a vote only made up of people who care enough to show up to all the meetings is what we should follow, then be my guest. But any SFMTA focus group meeting about which SFMTA plan attendees prefer doesn’t mean that The Plan is supported by the people who live, work and pass through Masonic, right?

WON’T ALL THE NEW CONGESTION, THE GREAT SLOWDOWN, INCREASE SAFETY? 

We’ll see. We’ll see what the unexamined effects will be, like, where will traffic go instead of Masonic? Will that new traffic in other areas cause new accidents in other areas? We’ll see.

WELL, WHAT ABOUT THE PROPERTY OWNERS DIRECTLY ON MASONIC, DON’T MOST OF THEM SUPPORT THE PLAN? 

I don’t know, maybe. A lot of them aren’t looking forward to all the construction, so there goes a lot of support right there. I mean, what if there was going to be a pork barrel project that was going to “beautify” the area just outside your property and the govmint was going to spend $50K per parcel in your nabe – would you like that? Maybe. And I’ll tell you, there’s a parochial school what costs $30K per year per student that’s in favor of the Plan. I say parochial because people at the school think that way, they think that the school is so so special that of course everybody should come to a crawl when they pass by. The school is the center of the universe, in their eyes, so people traveling by shouldn’t just rush through. The problem with this attitude is that, for the vast majority, GOLDEN GATE, TURK AND MASONIC, the Great Crossroads is not a destination in itself. So, ideally, we’d balance a whole bunch of factors and concerns, we’d actually consult with the people who actually use Masonic now. Those at this rich kids school, those small individuals with parochial attitudes, just don’t care.

BUT WON’T THE PLAN INCREASE PUBLIC SAFETY OVERALL AND HELP GET US TO VISION ZERO 2024?

We’ll see. But by then, it will be too late, and by then, the SFMTA will be more than happy to spend tens of millions of dollars to “tune up” the Big Project. And Vision Zero 2014-2024 is like two Soviet-style Five Year Plans strung together – nobody believes that transportation deaths in San Francisco will “whither away,” but everybody involved acts as if there’s a chance that this fantasy will come true. And you know, there are some countries that have had more success in reducing deaths than so-called Vision Zero countries, right? So what’s so special about that particular name? I don’t get it.

IS IT TRUE THAT SOME PEOPLE ON AND NEAR MASONIC STRONGLY OPPOSE THE PLAN? 

Hell yes. People put homemade signs in their windows. It’s too late though – I can’t think of anything that would stop the SFMTA now.

BUT DIDN’T THE SFMTA SAY THAT THERE WAS NO OPPOSITION TO THE PLAN?  

Yep. The SFMTA lied about that, when its employees filled out some necessary paperwork. I’ll tell you, there’s no way that the SFMTA isn’t going to spend any pork barrel money it can spend. That’s its purpose.

So that’s the update on Masonic.

I live very close by – we’ll have to wait and see if I personally benefit from all this spending. Somebody in the opposition one time asked me if I personally supported the project and I had to think about it. Perhaps it will benefit me, we’ll see. It seems selfish, to me, to dwell on the issue. In any event, the SFMTA gets excused for nothing. This project is a case study of how the SFMTA does what the SFMTA wants to do, which is to spend money and increase the size of … the SFMTA. If you want to get into how the SFMTA is all about safety, well, I disagree with that, but that would be something to debate. IMO, the SFMTA could “increase safety” without it getting any more money than it gets now.

IMO.

Enjoy the coming SFMTA Mass Arborcide – it should be a spectacle.

Our “Great Highway” Way Out There at Ocean Beach Now Has It’s Own Closed Sign on Lincoln – Flashing Lights

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

See?

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Is this sign necessary in the coming Age of Waze / Ubiquity of the Google Maps?

I don’t think so…

Uphill Cyclist Sanctimoniously and Improperly “Takes The Lane” on McAllister: Staring Down Drivers While Huffing and Puffing

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Let’s travel all the way over to the left side of the Bell curve to see what the bottom 1% is up to.

Here we go, at about 4 MPH, staying as far to the left as necessary to prevent traffic from passing you too much. And for good measure, be sure to crane your neck around to give the evil eye whenever you can, to tell those drivers that I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE UP TO BACK THERE, MAN!

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OTOH, “taking the lane” would be just fine heading the other way down this block, down Alamo Heights…

The Time of the Week When the SFMTA Doesn’t Seem to Mind Cars Parked on the Sidewalk

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The white truck on the left is parked on the sidewalk. The SFMTA “knows” this because a dozen SFMTA-employed eyeballs have just passed by to see it. Yet, it didn’t get ticketed.

OTOH, the white car on the far right _did_ get a ticket, you can see it, for blocking a street sweeper on street sweeping day

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These practices have developed over the years – they’re a culture.

If you ask somebody from the SFMTA about this sitch, they’d be all, well, call it in and we’ll come out and give it a ticket. (When SFGov doesn’t have the will to enforce its own rules, it says the whole process is “complaint driven.”)

Anyway, this is the culture, not that you’d find it officially documented anywhere…

35 Degrees: Acute Angles in Car Design, Then and Now, the 1950’s vs. Current Day, Old Dodge vs. New Prius

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

As seen near the end of Turk, which looks like Cuba sometimes what with all the 1950’s cars parked about:

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Which angle is your favorite?

Old School: 1) Struggle to Leave the Projects. 2) Celebrate by Buying a Mercedes – New School: Struggle to Get _Into_ the Projects

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

And of course, get the Mercedes first, the better to enjoy your free parking space a stone’s throw from City Hall, you know, when you get the chance to move in.

Thusly, as seen on McAllister, pulling into the PJs near Gough.

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Did I mention that this is a gated community? Yes, it is. One supposes residents are given gate-opening Genie-style remotes to put inside their Mercedeses.

Sometimes you look and half the cars parked inside the gates are Mercedeses, Lexuseses or BMW’s.

Oh Lord, won’t You buy me a Mercedes Benz? 

Mopar Madness, Western Addition – Yet Another Collector Parking Cars on the Streets of San Francisco

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

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The Incompetent SFMTA Boasts of Traffic Lights “Timed for Your Convenience” – Let’s Take a Look, at Oak, For Example

Tuesday, 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?”

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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?

Just asking.

*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…

“GREEN WAVE” Bicycle Signs – “SIGNALS SET FOR 13 MPH”

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

I guess this is part of San Francisco’s “bikes and transit first policy?”

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There was a time when San Francisco would avoid putting up street signs with the number 13 on them. Those times are over…