Posts Tagged ‘central’

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

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See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. If you pressure it to plant trees in the middle of the street, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down now so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won't really affect me, myself, I don't think. Seems selfish to think that way, anyway. What happened with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it'll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it's hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project. Then, what will the affects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

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Absurd MUNI 21 Hayes Bus Stop Situation (7 Stops for 6 Short Blocks) is Now Slightly Less Absurd – Thx SFMTA, Srsly

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Well here’s the official notice, seen in the Western Addition just north of the Panhandle and, I might add, just after election time:

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Click to expand

Mind you, these aren’t big big city blocks the likes of which you’ll find in SoMA or out in the Avenues. These are small blocks chock-a-block full of bus stops. Check it, and remember that Ashbury used to have stops as well.

So hurrah for the SFMTA.

Argenta Inquest: How Can a One-Bedroom Apartment in the Twitterloin Qualify as a “Luxury Home”

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

That’s the Question of the Day.

Here it is, the Argenta, at 10th and Market on 1 Polk Street:

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$107K* per year(!) for a one-bedroom – am I reading that right?

I mean, wouldn’t have a second bedroom be a kind of luxury in itself?

*”From $8920” a month times 12 months in a year…

Iconic Sign Design: “BAY AREA BIRD HOSPITAL” on Taraval – Surely a Future Museum Piece

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

A bit of color in the cold, foggy Parkside District:

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(They have another sign that shows a giant parrot / parakeet atop the Golden Gate Bridge, but it’s less iconic ‘n stuff.)

I don’t know how old these signs are, but they probably precede the era of escaped pet parrots going feral and flying about The Avenues in huge flocks. Check it, the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill are now all over the place, like here, in the cold, foggy Sunset District, around Noriega, just a few blocks north of the cold, foggy Parkside:

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They might look like hated pigeons from a distance, but their loud squawking gives them away every time. It’s still amazing to me to see these birds flying about the 415:

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Look to the Skies for Signs and Wonders…

What It’s Like to Stay at a Mid-Market Hotel for $60-Something per Night: “Budget Inn,” 1139 Market Street

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Well, here’s an upbeat take:

Hotel Tour : Budget Inn San Francisco CA by DieselDucy:

Compare that with Yelp – a very low one-star rating:

“I want to leave, but it’s already 1am and we are both too afraid to leave our locked room. We get 4 hrs or interrupted sleep (the walls are paper thin and the doors have cracks in them), pray that we didn’t get exposed to tuberculosis, hepatitis and/or herpes and book it out of there. Trust me folks, this place isn’t worth the $60. I’ve stayed in $15 hostels while traveling though Europe that were both cleaner and safer than this place.”

And there’s this:

” If you have less than $150 night for a decent place to stay, youre actually safer just camping at golden gate park than any of these SROs…”

And there’s the bedbug allegations, natch.

Choose wisely…

Shocking: The Term “New Market” Has Become Normalized Already – Here’s “NEMA” Right Next to SOMA No Big Deal

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

I give up, NEMA is here to stay. All it took was one little weather station high (nine stories) above Mid Market:

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How should the NEMA people celebrate this climate-related milestone? What would they say?

WEATHER, NOT PLEATHER

FORECASTS, NOT WHORECASTS

CLIMATE SAVVY, NOT SHABBY

You get the idea. (Like similarly, I could almost write one of Frank Chu’s signs after seeing so many over the years.)

Do you know that at least two people moved into the NeMA for less than $2k per month? (No, not the Below Market Rent people-some of those are paying  high thtee figs, I’m srsly.) Granted, these were studios on low floors, but still, people pay more than that now for bedbug-infested cribs across the street and a bit to the northeast in the actual Tenderloin.

So Nema tenants, brace, brace, brace – your massive rent increase is coming, soon, FYI.

Leaving you with:

CRESCENT ROLL, NOT RENT CONTROL

OMG, the San Francisco Police Officers Association is Giving Away Kryptonite Bike Locks – Bicycle Theft Workshop at the Twitter Building March 13th

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Pretty much:

“1st 45 people who bring an old cable lock to SAFE Bikes event will get a new @kryptonitelock u-lock! http://www.safebikes.org/events.html  @SFPDBikeTheft

Check it:

But they have a few questions for you:










OK fine, but the Twitter Office isn’t all that exciting. Consider it a victory if they let you out onto the roof.

Oh and it it looks like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has nothing to do with this event, except for parking bikes out front. Mmmm.

Anyway, enjoy.

Here It Is: “Brand New Apts – AVA – 55 9th Street” – “AVA is Now in a Relationship with Mid-Market”

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Uhhhhhhh… what?!

Your Civic Center Blog puts this all in perspective for us:

There is new signage on the building proudly proclaiming that “AVA is Now in a Relationship with Mid-Market,” and my first thought was, “Be careful to avoid the meth heads and chronic alcoholics in your new relationship, AVA. They will always be a disappointment.”

Photo via the San Francisco Civic Center Blog:

Click to expand form a relationship with Mid-Market

(First NeMa and now this.)

Interesting Mural for Utrecht Art Supplies, Mid-Market Area, San Francisco, USA – Joy and Rage, or Something

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

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Octavia Boulevard: What the Hell Were They Thinking? Congested in the Four Middle Lanes, Yet Somnolent in the Four Outer

Friday, January 31st, 2014

And three useless medians are in there as well.

This whole boulevard thing is a complete disaster.

Hey, do you think the side roads were made to be “unattractive to through traffic?” Well, yes they were!

Mission accomplished:

And check this insanity:

“Along Octavia Boulevard it is theoretically possible for a vehicle on a side road to make a U-turn back into the main road lanes, or to make a left turn across four lanes of main road traffic, all while the main road has a green light.”

OMG.

They could have put up signs, but that would have marred the aesthetics, right?

We ought to Bring This Mother Down, shatter the lens and grind it into sand.

I’ll leave you with this: What is the Legacy of Octavia Boulevard?

“Octavia has severely impacted traffic on Laguna at all times, not just peak.”

Octavia is a mess for bicyclists and there are tons of vehicle accidents.”

What has Octavia taught us? Stopped cars/slow idling cars seem to pollute more.”

And what do the Yelpers have to say?

“Who’s the dip-shit that designed this Octavia Street nightmarebetween Market St and Fell St?”

“1) It’s a freeway offramp – slash – playground. Kids and cars!! Who’s the genius??
2) It doesn’t take you across Market Street but rather has you wait at the light — filling the above-mentioned park with your exhaust as you idle along.
3) The “local access” road is a perfect place to die while crossing the street, as some confused driver makes a right hand turn.
4) It got voted in after at least three failed initiatives. During the boom. When the population was more passionate than informed and theHayes Valley Merchant’s Association could sweet talk them with this park bullshit. ”I like parks not freeways! I’ll vote yes!” The old Fell Street offramp was ugly and the dark sidewalks underneath were full of pee. It’s been replaced by a classic San Francisco compromise that essentiallyworks well for no one but makes some smug mofos feel like they discouraged driving when all they really did was put more smog on the street. And now the sidewalks are sunny, but they’re still full of pee. I wonder why an offramp didn’t solve homelessness…?”

“The poster child for stupidity in San Francisco. STILL not finished after 25 or so years???

“Unsafe at any speed for:
1.pedestrians
2.bicycles
3.scooters
4.motorcycles
5.marmosets

OHMiGOD are you kidding?? Wow, I looked up this review expecting to see half a star and a lovely littering of ‘fuckity fuck motherFUCKER,’ wowwweee…everyone i talk to in person HATES this addition…

Why we hate the new Octavia Blvd:

1. It is confusing. What is with the extra mini-side lane next to the regular lane? Are you allowed to switch back and forth at liberty? What is the purpose of this mini lane?

2. Why are there traffic lights AND stop signs in front of the mini-lane? When there’s a traffic light and a stop sign, which one wins?

3. The traffic on Octavia Blvd, coming from the freeway, is always atrocious. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. Something about it’s ingenious design allows it to remain backed up 24 hours a day.

4. If you don’t play your cards right, you WILL get forced onto the freeway. You just think you’re along for an innocent ride, and then , BAM, Octa-Nazi Blvd has you marching along in its gigantic oppressive middle lane and it wil NOT let you out, no matter how much you beg.

I don’t get it, I don’t get it! What’s going on with this street monster?”

“This is NOT the haven for cyclists and pedestrians the city touts it as being. Whose idea was it to build the off ramp at street level? It should be RAISED and go over Market or they should build some kind of blockade so that people coming east on Market absolutely can’t try to make a right onto the highway and clip pedestrians and cyclists. That single spot is a death trap.

It’s pretty and it’s great that it’s not a shithole anymore but this is seriously some urban planning gone awry. The shared bike/car lanes on the outside would be great if the cars that drove in them weren’t complete idiots. Sharrows mean it’s my lane too, buddy, so don’t honk at me and tell me to get on the sidewalk, don’t rev your engine behind me, and don’t speed up to 20 to squeeze by me. The middle lane is for fast driving of cars, not the outer lanes. Unfortunately people are unable to grasp this concept and choose to terrorize pedestrians and cyclists who are trying to enjoy the sections of the project supposedly designed to make things better for us.

And the light/stop sign combo… what the hell? It’s maddening. If this is supposed to benefit cyclists, why make it so difficult to make a left onto Market? One must cross Octavia and go onto the sidewalk then cross Market and make the left there, or cross Market then cross the on/off ramp via Market. That second option wouldn’t be so bad except for the fucktards coming down Market who don’t understand what NO RIGHT TURN means and repeatedly take out cyclists at the same spot as they try to turn onto the highway.”

And on it goes.