Posts Tagged ‘community’

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“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic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

7J7C0082 copy

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

(more…)

Sutro Tower + Mothra = HAIGHT ASHBURY COMMUNITY NURSERY SCHOOL

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Based upon the wingspan, I’m thinking the kids are referencing Showa-era Mothra:

Click to expand

If you want, Follow Sutro Tower on Twitter – perhaps that will inspire it to Tweet more than once per year.

(Thank you, Sutro Tower, for broadcasting the recent World Cup for free at 1080i.)

Now let’s close with a bunch of NIMBY complaints about the tower plus the Sutro Tower, Inc FAQ:

(more…)

San Francisco’s Only Real “Gated Community” is Presidio Terrace – The Gates are Always Open But There’s a Guard to Keep You Out

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Sometimes.

But dividing the cost of a security guard among 20-something families is prolly pretty expensive, so at other times there’s only an empty SUV posted as sentry.

Click to expand

And best of all, the place is Caucasians-only, sort of:

In a small brochure, Object Lessons in Homebuilding, developers Baldwin and Howell promoted racial covenants as part of a set of deed covenants attached to a model planned gated suburb, Presidio Terrace. Deed covenants were used to ensure protection from the nuisances of uncontrolled growth following the 1906 earthquake and to create a community of “Caucasians” only in Presidio Terrace. Among such progressive urban design amenities as underground utilities, asphalt roads for automobiles, and private picturesque streets, racial covenants guaranteed racial homogeneity as an integral part of desirable suburban housing. Baldwin and Howell marketed Presidio Terrace lots by focusing comparatively on the settlement of Japanese immigrants in the Western Addition district of San Francisco as undesirable and blighted by racial pathologies.”

TRIGGER WARNING: Eurotrash in the Bay Area

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Ppl, I know you think this is cool, but it’s not

Just saying, Frere

The 2007 “Stanyan Street Commons,” a Community Garden near USF, is Now Lost to History

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Back in the late aughts Victory Gardens were all over the place, remember? Let’s look back to that time in aught-seven when “guerrilla gardeners” took over the land in front of some lady’s apartment complex at Fulton and Stanyan and just started gardening.

It was beautiful vandalism, man. The venture had lots of support from the City and NGOs, that’s for sure. But things didn’t work out.

Here’s how it looked back in 2007…

Via IndyBay, image reversed for your pleasure

…and here’s how it looked in the summer of 2010, during what should have been the start of harvest, harvest time. Weepin’ time, reapin’ time, harvest, harvest time:

And now the transformation is complete. Here’s the scene in 2014 – the former garden is now a fully-paved parking lot:

And now you know the rest of the story…

The Official Lowrider Police Cars of Oakland, CA – This 1991 OPD Crown Victoria Looks Like Nothing You’d Expect

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Per Angelfire(!) website COPA Lowrider

Patrol Car 1130 – 1991 Crown Victoria. In 1994, a patrol police car was converted into the first Lowrider Police Car in the nation. This program was created to develop better relations and to bridge the gap between youths, citizens of Oakland and the Oakland Police Department. It is also a new approach to educate the youths and citizens regarding the safety and responsibility as a car owner and driver.”

Click to expand

“This fully-equipped Oakland Police squad car, which belonged to slain officer Mike Soto, was transformed with at least $10,000 worth of a low-rider renovations, as part of a unique community outreach program.

Fully loaded ~ Customized Paint ~ 10 Switches* Hydraulic System ~ 6 Batteries ~ Complete Sound System with 4×10 Speakers ~ Dayton Wire Wheels”

The More You Know…

* Cf. Dr Dre: “…bodies bein’ found on Greenleaf with their fuckin heads cut off, motherfucker i’m Dre/ so listen to the play-by-play, day-by-day rollin’ in my ’4 with 16 switches…”

The Models on the Cover of the CCSF’s Spring 2014 Schedule are Much More Attractive Than Those Hired by the NEMA Building

Friday, December 13th, 2013

[UPDATE: Hey, is this an official modeling agreement from CCSF? Mmmm… “Valuable consideration means money, you know, generally, right?]

Cf. NEMA

Click to expand

(I wonder which modeling agency CCSF used, if any.)

(And, oh yes, Crisis, What Crisis?)

 

Wow, the Push to “STOP THE MASONIC PLAN” Seems to be Growing – But It’s Too Late, Right?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I’ll tell you, do you know how many residents put up signs to support using taxpayer money to decrease capacity on Masonic Avenue?

None, zero, nada.

But people on Masonic seem to love putting up signs going against the plan to take out 100-something parking spaces.

I don’t know why the electeds who voted for this project would change their minds now – it seems only a lawsuit* could  have any effect at this point.

The windmill tilting continues – this sign looks homemade:

You can’t fight City Hall, right?

*And even then, I don’t see how you’d win.

New Warriors Arena to be Slightly Lower, Assuming It Gets Built in the First Place – Artist’s Conception

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

So, unlike the disastrous America’s Cup and 8 Washington campaigns, the Golden State Warriors project is based around stuff that San Franciscans can actually benefit from.

So that’s a good sign.

Remember, the more you complain now, the better this deal gets for San Francisco. You the public are the bad cop and genial SFGov figurehead Ed Lee is the good cop. And of course the good cop won’t be able to get the best deal possible for San Francisco without the bad cop.

If Ed Lee doesn’t like this game, then he can just retire, right? Or go back to his old job the way he promised to in the first place, right?

It’s too bad that Oakland will lose its team.

Oh well.

Build It And They Will Come: New City Target Store at Geary and Masonic is a Huge Success – And It’s So Big

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Well, you know, the rich, home-owning, millionaire NIMBY ladies of NOPNA (the number one homeowner’s association in the Western Addition) had steam coming out of their ears a few years back when they realized how hopeless their plan of keeping Tar-ghey from infecting their “NoPA” neighborhood was becoming.

Good times.

Oh well.

Mervyn’s Heights is now Target Tor and NoPA (North of the Panhandle) is now SoTA (South of Target). See?

Lots of produce here – a surprising amount.

And the amount of traffic is up, way up. Just like people said would happen. We’ll have to see how things shake out. I myself saw a fender bender on Masonic that prolly wouldn’t have occurred but for the Target Grand Opening yesterday.

Oh, and the traffic lights have been jiggered with, for better or worse. These days, peds at Masonic and Anza need to wait for a looong red light and then after that they need to wait for southbound traffic to turn left. In effect, the peds are going “last.” This kind of thing was considered unacceptable by the SFBC down at Masonic and Fell not too long ago. Mmmm…

Anyway, I can’t figure why some chain stores in SF are good and others are bad – I can’t find consistency in Planning is what Im saying,

But here it is.

Enjoy.

Expect more, pay less.