Posts Tagged ‘City’

The SFMTA Gods Must Be Crazy, Masonic Edition: A Green Light for Cars and Bikes, But a Red Upraised Hand for Peds at the Same Time?

Friday, September 12th, 2014

So as the SFMTA is gearing up for its big election this fall, let’s take a look at how it’s doing on Masonic at Evergreen Terrace.

This summer, the newly-installed lights were on a 75-second  timer that ended up stalling traffic on Masonic about 30% of the time, for no apparent reason.

Here’s the next phase – the crude timing scheme is gone, but what’s this? A solid green for traffic next to a solid red upraised hand for peds? I’ve never seen this kind of thing  before:

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One assumes that this is the SFMTA just being the SFMTA and this has something to do with the activation of the pedestrian activated crosswalk buttons. (Or is DPW still running the show here? IDK)

But it almost seems that the SFMTA thinks it knows what it’s doing when it strikes out on so many unorthodox traffic experiments.

SFMTA, you suck, don’t you know that by now? Why not simply strive to be competent?

And are you just testing/installing the lights at Ewing? But doesn’t this photo look “wrong” to you? How many days, weeks, months should you set up the lights like this?

Hey SFMTA, what are you going to do when Prop A loses? What’s your Plan B? Let’s hope it doesn’t involve telling even more of the peds of Masonic to stop and go at the same time…

Assignment Desk: Q. What was Putin’s Buddy Andrey Melnichenko Doing in SF the Past Week? [A. Nothing Good]

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Evil coming at you:

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Evil hitting the road

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How long would you say this ship is – how about way more than a football field?

It’s so big it takes half a million bucks worth of petroleum to fill up its tanks.

It’s so big it needs a bar pilot to board to guide it out of San Francisco Bay, yesterday evening. See?

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All right, MSM, get up to speed on this recent visit here – just keep reading down.

Who did this guy meet with – corporate and government officials, right? Which ones? Why?

What’s that, what about the Ukraine? Indeed, what about Ukraine?

Hey, speak of the Devil:

Another lawmaker said he had been provided photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Andrey Melnichenko, who owns 92 percent of EuroChem’s shares. Putin even made a well-publicized visit to EuroChem’s potash mine in Gremyachinskoye in 2010.”

Hop on it, MSM.

News: “Increased Internet Access at the Library!” – Plus, Our SFPL is Waiving Lost Card Fee – Plus Free WiFi

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Here’s a fresh press release from Our San Francisco Public Library:

Increased Internet Access at the Library!

Effective Sept. 5, library computer users will have greater access to Internet-enabled computers throughout the library system. Computer users will be able to reserve up to two one-hour sessions per day, as opposed to the current limit of one hour per day. The second hour is contingent upon availability. The increased time is in response to patron need and popular demand, and provides better service and utilization of library resources.

“The Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “We believe that these additional hours will better serve our library patrons.”

In addition, most of the Main Library’s Internet Express computers, will have increased time limits, from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Free Wi-Fi is available for both card holders and non-card holders at the Main Library and all branches for those who wish to bring their own devices. In addition, library patrons may be able to borrow a laptop computer for in-library use at branches when desktop computers are not available.

All library users are encouraged to apply for a free library card. Use of library computers is free to card holders, and, as part of the initiative to provide more access to our library users, Library staff will waive the lost card fee and issue a free replacement card through June 2015.”

Hurray!

Tracking a Russian James Bond Villain and His Superyacht in San Francisco Waters: Sausalito, Redwood City, What’s Next?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Get up to speed on Russian “mathematician” and billionaire Andrey Melnichenko and his floating lair “A” here.

This is a few days back, moored at Sausalito. And then you can see he motored south under the Bay Bridge and the San Mateo Bridge to Redwood Shores:

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Where will he go next? Follow along right here.

(Let’s hope his arrival won’t be followed by The Big One ala Zorin.)

And let’s remember that Redwood City was where the US military’s very own stealth ship, the Sea Shadow, used to be moored for all those years. You know, along with its floating barge, so-called HMB-1 (Howard Hughes Mining Barge One), except that was just a cover for Project Jennifer, a plan from 40 years ago to lift Soviet sub K-129 up from the ocean floor. I’m srsly, Comrades.

And oh yeah, this yacht has a secret James Bond-esque escape pod, just as on the star-crossed K-278

He’s Ba-aack! The Ugly “Stealth Yacht” of Russian Billionaire Andrey Melnichenko Just Docked Near Redwood City

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Here it is, the superyacht named “A,” as seen a few years back in the waters of Marin County:

And here it is again in 2014, like right now at this very instant, down in Silicon Valley near Redwood Shores or Redwood City or whatever:

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And here it was yesterday, in Sausalito again, looks like.

This vessel just fueled up its 200,000(!) gallon tank (that’s more than four times as much as MUNI spilled into San Francisco Bay that one time) to the tune of a half a million dollars up north in Washington State.

So, what are Bro et ux doing down in the Valley?

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Send somebody down there and find out. Talk to his hired goons. Ask him about the James Bond-esque escape pod on the yacht. Ask him about what local companies he’s investing in. You know, that whole routine.

OMG, Oakland IS Brooklyn – And Brooklyn is Oakland, Sort Of – This Map From the 1800′s Shows All

Monday, August 11th, 2014

From the OK Council:

@OKcouncil Great old map of #Oakland before the City of Brooklyn east of Lake Merritt was annexed in the late 19th century.

News to me!

SFGov Installed a New Traffic Signal on Masonic for Just One Cul-De-Sac and They Put It On a Timer? Nightmare on Ewing Terrace

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

So let’s see here, back in the day a mom living on Ewing  Terrace went to an SFMTA meeting complaining about how it took her “20 minutes” to pull out of Ewing Terrace, so because of that a new traffic signal has been installed.

Check it: 

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Now that this signal has been lit, there’s no way you can miss it because it stops traffic on Masonic every 75 seconds these days.

THEY PUT IT ON A TIMER?!

What’s so special about this tiny street?

SFMTA, do you realize that you talk about speeding up MUNI, but how’s this going to help? Actually, it’s going to hurt. This light routinely slows down MUNI for no apparent reason.

Is this a temporary thing?

IDK.

Anyway, they wanted the support of this mom for the new spending the SFMTA wants to do on Masonic, so they’re all oh, this lady wants a light, so let’s throw her a bone and then she’ll be on our side…

I suppose that worked.

Perhaps eventually, this signal will be pedestrian / user activated?

Perhaps eventually, this signal will be automatically switched to green when a MUNI bus approaches using some kind of transit override function?

We’ll see.

But in the meantime, it appears that the SFMTA just spent Target’s money to slow down MUNI…

 

Darth Vader’s Shopping Mall: City Center – Black is Back, Baby! – Central SF Really Loves Chain Stores, Coming Soon

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

If you’re looking for a shopping mall near the center of SF, this is it. So “City Center,” sitting high atop Mervyn’s Heights, certainly deserves its name.

But check out its white on black color scheme – quite striking, non? 

Anyway, there’s space on this tower for a whole bunch of chain stores – can you guess which ones?

I’ll tell you, if you tried to open a Chipotle’s a mile or two south of hear, you’d have people coming out of the woodwork to protest.

But up here, on Mervyn’s Heights (aka Target Tor), NOT ONE PERSON has yet objected to our soon-to-come Chiptoles.

‘Cause we just love chain stores ’round here, in this part of SF…

A Few Issues with the New Traffic Signals on Masonic Paid for (and Influenced by?) Target Stores

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Get up to speed here and here.

I passed by O’Farrell and Masonic a couple times the other day, so I’m noting what I noticed.

This pedestrian appeared to become irate both at the unorthodox delay she had for the green and at the driver of the orange Scion car for turning left on a yellow:

If SFGov wanted to engage in pedestrian calming, it would adjust the left turn time for traffic on southbound Masonic.

Next up is this driver, who hung a U-turn on a red light since it looked like there was no traffic coming east on O’Farrell. There’s no way that’s legal:

Here’s the prize – the quite small lower level lot of City Target West:

Hey, I know that Target paid for a couple traffic signals on Masonic, but perhaps there could be some adjustments? Perhaps we could just eliminate U-turns on southbound Masonic at O’Farrell? I mean, northbound traffic on Masonic has no chance to getting to nearby Trader Joe’s, right? So why should we bend over backwards for people driving to Target?

Moving on, down the street to quiet Ewing Terrace, where the brand new lights have just been turned on. It seems that all traffic on Masonic has to stop at random times even though nobody wants to cross Masonic? Why is that?

In most places outside of SF, there’d be a pad to detect the presence of a car coming out of the cul-de-sac and buttons for peds. Shouldn’t we be doing it that way instead? Mmmmm… These red lights for no reason delay MUNI buses, right? I seen it. Perhaps in the near future this signal will be able to detect the approach of a bus and then not turn red for no reason? We’ll see…

Uh, Did Target Stores Pay the DPW $250,000 to Install Traffic Lights That Favor Cars Over Peds at O’Farrell and Masonic?

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Mmmm…

Here’s my beef from yesterday about the newish traffic light scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell.

But where did this scheme come from?

Oh, here we go - DPW Contract No. 2108J:

It’s all:

“The contract work will be funded through private developer funds for work at two signals along Masonic Avenue.”

See?

The two locations:

“Masonic Avenue and O’Farrell Street” and “Ewing Terrace and Masonic Avenue”

Now Ewing Terrace I know about. One woman living on that street showed up both at the Target-sponsored and SFMTA-sponsored meetings complaining about how hard it was for her to head north on Masonic when pulling out of Ewing. She said it sometimes took her “20 minutes” of sitting at the stop sign waiting for a break in traffic in order to accomplish this task.  So SFGov accommodated her with a big traffic signal that they’re putting in now.

But at Masonic Avenue and O’Farrell Street? I don’t know. It’s almost as if the lighting scheme was designed by somebody who works at Target.

The upshot is that northbound traffic and all the peds on the east side of Masonic have to wait for southbound drivers to make an awkward U-turn followed by a quick right to get into the small, lower-level Target / Starbucks parking lot.

I can think  of a couple similar situations about town. At Market and Octavia, everybody on outbound Market has to wait for car drivers on inbound Market to turn left onto Octavia. Why? Because selfish Hayes Valley denizens had waaaaay too much input into the process. Nevermind that legal lefts are a rare thing on Market for a reason, never mind that lefts were already legal one block before and one block after Octavia…

And at Fell and Masonic, the traffic signals were rejiggered for ideological reasons so now three lanes of Masonic get green lights but not the fourth lane. Drivers will never get used to this arrangement, IMO.

And, similarly, peds will never get used to the current setup at Masonic and O’Farrell.

IMO.

Anyway, I don’t have a problem with the new Target being there. I’m just wondering who paid for the crazy lights that just got put in next to the new Target.