Posts Tagged ‘citations’

Exploring Alternatives to the Crowded, Problematic “The Wiggle” Bike Route – “RIDE OAK?” – Sure, or McAllister

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Here you go:

Due to police harassment on the SF Wiggle we have no choice but to ride Oak.”


Well, let’s see, there are LOTS of reasons to not ride the vaunted THE WIGGLE route and also, there are other options asides from OAK.

But let’s consider Oak now. Oh, here’s famous fixie-riding Andy on the left side of Oak, from all the way back in aught-seven.


And look, the dashed lines made a sort of bike lane on the left side – good times. (Unfortunately, this space for bikes is no longer there, due to subsequent restriping.)

Anywho, going straight on Oak instead of taking the Wiggle at Scott is nice because you’ve only got one sort of steep block. I see people take Oak all the time. Oak is good. Oak is fast. Oak is congested a lot of the time due to horrible horrible Octavia Boulevard (what was dreamed up by wealthy homeowners in Hayes Valley), so you’d spend some time weaving about, getting around drivers trying to get on the I-80 / the 101 superslabs, but that’s OK. I’ll add that Oak is for the adventurous, certainly.

So, Oak is far from being a ridiculous choice, a choice TO TEACH US ALL A LESSON about the dangers of the SFPD handing out citations. It’s a viable option.

Or what of Oak and Baker to Fulton to Divisadero to Mcallister to Market? This is THE UNWIGGLE with no wiggling at all betwixt Divis and Market. And look, you’ve defeated the rich people of HV who put a 105 foot wide BOULEVARD betwixt you and your destination, ’cause Octavia is but a nothingburger walking path / federal housing project parking lot on this route – it won’t slow you down at all.

Or Fulton? It’s a bit hillier than McAll and you’ve got big old City Hall in your way, but it’ll do.

Or Golden Gate? That works too.

Or Haight all the way to Fillmore, just to avoid the congested THE WIGGLE?

Notice that all these routes avoid “cycling” a bunch of people through the stop signs at WALLER and STEINER in the Lower Haight.

Those are some of your inbound routes.

As far as using Fell to go back home, well that’s CRAZY TOWN, that’s ill-advised. I rarely have seen that, in all my years.

IMO, the best way to get back is MCALLISTER


…of course, there are other non-THE WIGGLE choices as well.

But feel free to do whatever you want, commiserate with this knucklehead, who lacks self-awareness, as you both deal with $238 tickets from John Law.

Just saying…

Bicycle Activists vs. the SFPD: “Wiggle Stop-In Event” Coming to the Lower Haight on Wednesday – “Advanced Media” Unwelcomed

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Look, a petulance parade:

“On Wednesday July 29th from 5:30-6:30 pm, please join us for our first Wiggle Stop-In event. We want to gather 50-100 cyclists to ride around the Wiggle/Lower Haight and stop at every stop sign in single file order. We want to make the point that, in fact, requiring cyclists to come to full stops at every stop sign is a really terrible idea for everyone on the road.

Grab your bike, ride to the Wiggle (the epicenter will be Waller and Steiner), and wait your turn for your chance to come to a full and complete stop at every intersection. Bonus points if you need to negotiate with other “vehicles” about who should be going first.

Let’s show Capt. John Sanford of Park Station that his choice to crack down on cyclists who aren’t following the letter of the law not only doesn’t make anyone safer but actually would create terrible conditions on our roads.”

Here’s your background:

And here’s your prior stab at a media stunt in this area, conducted by someone unfamiliar with, you know, our First Amendment:

SFMTA Update: New Market Street Turn Restrictions to be “Enforced by SFMTA Parking Control Officers and the SFPD?”

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

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 – 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?

Just asking…

*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.

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:






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

KRON-TV’s Big Stanley Roberts vs. the Little Lebowski of the Southern Wiggle: “I Don’t Want To Release This Footage”

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Welcome to ‘Merica, Dude:

How SFGov Profits from Human Nature: Hundreds of Dollars of Street Sweeping Tickets Issued on One Short Block

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Our SFMTA issued st least three tickets on this short block the other day, you know, to punish people for blocking a street cleaning machine.

Here’s the Before, with an ugly, ugly trash-strewn street…

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…and here’s the After, with the newly-beautiful* street:

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What a difference!

Hurray! Hurray for SFGov.

(IRL, this is SFGov reacting to market discipline. If it made this much money per minute rehabbing addicts, it would spend a lot more time and effort rehabbing addicts…)

*Actually, this short block, and this one only, was recently repaved, a few years back, right before an election, and it happens to be the block where a long-time leader of a long-time community group just happens to reside, and I thought, where are we, Chicago West? That’s just what I thought, I don’t know why this block got repaved before others in the Western Addition. As I said, it’s kind of random….

Oh No, Shaming! – “Referee the Wiggle” Event Coming April 23rd to “Red Card” Cyclists at Infamous Waller and Steiner

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

I’ll tell you, I’m not a big fan of the vaunted The Wiggle bike route and here’s why:


That’s why. This was my stab at promoting the Northern Wiggle,* aka the McAllister Pass,** aka the Hastings Cutoff. *** Some people listened, but most did not, oh well.

Anyway, aside from this route being a third of a mile shorter and faster and safer and relatively ped-free, it NEVER gets any SFPD Bicycle Enforcement Actions, the way, say, the intersection of Waller and Steiner gets.

Speaking of which, now more people are joining the SFPD, to “referee the Wiggle,” if only for a short time.

Here it is:

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“Referee the Wiggle
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 3:00pm – 3:30 pm
Waller and Steiner st – The Wiggle

While 95% of cyclists using the Wiggle are really incredibly respectful of other road users, there is that small minority who give us all a bad name. I’ve always wanted to dress as a referee and hand out yellow and red cards to bad cyclists (and maybe some cars and peds too) and I’m using NOW! as my excuse!

Come join me in shaming the few bad cyclists out there and making the Wiggle just a little bit safer and more courteous!”

*I, myself, wiggle from street to street north of the Panhandle on my way inbound to Fulton and Scott – it depends on traffic.

**The pass over Alamo Heights, which the Southern Wiggle route mostly avoids by generally following the route of the former creek what used to drain the kind of valley where the Golden Gate Park Panhandle sits now.

***Named for Landsford Hastings, a distant cousin, surely, of UC Hastings’ Justice Serranus Clinton Hastings.

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!

NIMBY’s vs. the SFMTA: Local Objections to New Traffic Signals on McAllister at Broderick and Scott for the 5 Fulton

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

This effort appears to be similar to the SFMTA’s attempt to add traffic signals on Haight at Scott and Pierce.

This isn’t the worst example of NIMBYism, but I’d say it’s fairly alarmist, fairly absurd.

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I’ll just say that, generally speaking, it’s generally harder to get around town these days by car, by bike and by MUNI, compared with ten or twenty years ago. Part of this has to do with our newer, absurdly-wide sidewalks, designed for pedestrian “comfort.”

And yet, most ped and cyclist deaths in San Francisco involve fault from the peds and cyclists. Here’s 2014:

The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.” 

(I should do a video on how to be a pedestrian in SF. It might involve some jaywalking but it would also involve extreme alertness on behalf of peds. You see, the way to prevent a lot of ped deaths in SF would be to get inside their heads to see what’s going wrong.)

IMO, the SFMTA should leave McAllister alone and then start taking out as many bus stops as politically possible.

I’ll tell you, not that many cyclists pass by Broderick and McAllister compared with Scott and McAllister, it seems, owing to geography. So looking at McAllister and Scott, it seems that the lights will be timed against cyclists using FULTON DIVISADERO MCALLISTER eastbound as an alternative to the already-overcrowded Wiggle route to get from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to the Financh.

So for my own selfish reasons, I’d prefer that MUNI not make these changes, but who am I to stand in their way? What the MUNI people are saying is that we’ll all be better off overall, and 40 seconds each way each day will add up to millions of seconds, eventually.

In conclusion, meh. If MUNI wants to put in lights, we should let them do it.

Uh Oh: The “Parking Angels” App is Coming – Something Like This Could Cost the Corrupt SFMTA MUNI DPT a Lot of Money

Monday, August 4th, 2014

What’s this, a way for people to band together against our corrupt SFMTA?

You tell me, Gentle Reader

Hey, what would you do if you knew you were spilling tens of thousands of gallons of petroleum into our San Francisco Bay?

Our SFMTA had a question like this. It failed. Oh well. See below.

Guess what, our SFMTA now wants you to vote yourself a rent increase in order to give it more money. You’ll have your chance to vote on it November 4th, 2014.

Ah memories:

SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2009) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking action against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency following federal violations of the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

On the page:

Overview and Location of Facilities

The City and County of San Francisco is a municipality organized under the laws of California that operates the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (“SFMTA”) and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (“SFPUC”). The SFMTA operates a diverse fleet of trolley cars, street cars, light rail, alternative fuel vehicles and 495 diesel buses that are serviced and re-fueled at facilities owned and operated by the SFMTA. The SFPUC provides water, wastewater and municipal power services.

Between November and December 2005, approximately 940 barrels (39,488 gallons) of red dye diesel fuel were discharged from one of the Municipality’s underground storage tanks (USTs) at the John M. Woods Motor Coach Facility (Woods Motor Coach Facility). The diesel spread through a piping system into a storm drain, through wastewater collection piping to a pump station, into Islais Creek and eventually San Francisco Bay.

The discharge was caused by a ruptured hose. The leak continued for several days, as sensors, flashers and alarm reports and other leak indicators were ignored. This failure by SFMTA to comply with federal requirements for the management of USTs resulted in the release of diesel fuel and Clean Water Act discharge and pretreatment violations.

After this spill, EPA conducted inspections at several of SFMTA’s facilities and identified violations of EPA’s spill prevention regulations at three of them: Flynn, Kirkland, and Marin.

The five facilities covered by this settlement are in the City and County of San Francisco:

  • Woods Motor Coach Facility – 1095 Indiana Street
  • Flynn Motor Coach Facility – 15th and Harrison Street
  • Kirkland Motor Coach Facility – 151 Beach Street
  • Marin Fuel Stand – 1399 Main Street
  • Southeast Water Collection System Pump Station”