Posts Tagged ‘contract’

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.

Well, Here It Is – Here’s Your Newly-Repaved Kezar Drive, July 2014

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference between the bad, terrible, bumpy old Kezar (seen in the background) and the new, wonderful, freshly-paved Kezar (seen in the foreground), you know, except for the color.

Click to expand

So Yeah, Kezar Drive Will Be Closed Until July 3rd Starting Today, But Only at Night – From 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: Here's a FaceBook posting from June 20th, from a less-than-reliable-source, one that earlier stated that this job already would have been done by now, that I don't think you could find even if you searched for it, that's designed mostly to take credit for a "job well done" (as opposed to informing the affected public (most of whom don't even live in District Five)), that doesn't even mention the terms SFMTA or DPW, that I suppose is a kind of official notice.]

Earlier, I read this sign as Kezar Drive Closed From June 23rd to July 30th, so I was baffled as to why there was nothing posted online on this topic.

So now, after taking a photo and looking at it, I see that the closure is for just 11 scheduled days and only at night.

See?

Click to expand

I’m still baffled as to why no SFGov entity has posted anything about this online, oh well.

Anyway, this thing kicks off tonight – here’s the foreperson getting ready for work.

WINTER IS COMING to the Sunset District: “FULL ROADWAY CLOSURE” for Kezar Drive Begins June 23rd – Grinding and Repaving

Monday, June 16th, 2014

[UPDATE: The mystery, she is solved - this closure will be at night only.]

Uh, is Kezar Drive going to be totally shut down 24-7 for weeks starting next week?

I think so. Here’s the ominous sign:

Click to expand

So here’s something I didn’t know:

Kezar Drive is scenic, but bumpy

Actually, it’s not scenic at all, but no matter, ’cause apparently it’s “bumpy?”

So who’s the poster child for this particular issue? Comes now Sunset District resident Wesley Dere:

“Sunset District resident Wesley Dere watches cars navigate bumpy Kezar Drive. Dere says his car has been knocked out of alignment twice.” 

So this is nice because we’ve got the word “says” in there. (Like, “Fisherman Buford McGee says he was abducted by Martians.”) But, oh man, if the alignment on your Impala has gotten “knocked out” twice by Kezar Drive, then there’s something wrong with you, the owner-operator of said Impala.

Who, oh who, will solve this problem for us? Well guess what - London Claus is coming to town with a grand gift for the residents of the western reaches of District Five, Supervisor London Breed is Fixing Kezar Drive:

“I am very happy to report that after some rather insistent lobbying from our office, the Department of Public Works has identified funding to grind and repave Kezar Drive, the street that connects Lincoln to Oak and Fell. This is a major East-West artery that has been left crumbling for years. My office navigated a bureaucratic maze to see this project through (the road is technically Rec and Park’s responsibility and is somehow ineligible for most paving funding sources). Now it looks like we will have a smooth road by the end of June.”

Well, substitute “July” for June, but this thing is a “go.”

So, who deserves the credit for this grand gift? IMO, credit should go to the little elves, all those tax- and fee-payers who did the work that got taxed and fee’d enough to provide the funding to pay for this project. OTOH, in the opinion of the Office of London Breed, credit should go to London Claus. As always, You Make The Call, Gentle Reader.

Now I suppose it’s good to pave roads, but this looks like a Cadillac solution to a Chevy kind of problem, this looks like weeks (or months?) of trouble for Our Neighbors In The Sunset, those poor souls out there in San Francisco County, all for sake of letting Wesley Dere’s Chevrolet slide.

Of course I don’t really care about all this, not really, as I’m not likely to be affected and I wouldn’t care even if I had to deal with this each and every day. I’ll note that the grid’s ability to recover from temporarily losing the use of this choke point has been degraded over the recent years, so Waller’s not going to be an option and “cutting through” the Music Concourse isn’t going to be an option and yada yada.

Perhaps Kezar really is in bad bad shape and I just don’t notice because my aging Toyota had unfashionably small wheels even when it was new and, you know, the City and County should go out of its way to accommodate drivers with 22 inch wheels and 30-profile tires.

Perhaps. I just don’t know how a regular town, one without district elections, would handle* something like Kezar Drive…

*And I also wonder if other towns would try to post something on the Internet once it’s decided to do something, as this electronic sign was my only clue about this big news.

STINGER:

Alvord Lake Bridge is not a bridge, it’s a pedestrian tunnel. Discuss. Oh, I’ll start – it’s wider than it is long, so how many bridges fit that bill?

Alvord Lake isn’t a lake, it’s a very small pond, smaller than some koi ponds people have in the backyard. Discuss

Inbound Kezar Drive should have two lanes instead of just the one in the area of Alvord Lake Bridge. Make It So. Oh, what’s that? No, I don’t care, just make it so.

Sign of the Times – Former Mayor Willie Brown’s Unused 17-Foot Tall Newspaper Kiosks Still Littering Our Streets

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Oh, there’s a super-long contract that binds us to have these sidewalk cylinders about for a loooong time because that’s the way Willie Brown wanted it?

An that’s why these hulking monoliths must remain, whether they’re used or not?

Thusly. This is in betwixt the new COFFEE CULTURES and the occasional parking space of the most popular food truck in San Francisco. It really does get in the way

Click to expand

I ask of you, Gentle Reader, has SFGov ever made a good deal?

Ever made a public-private contract where the public didn’t get the short end of the stick?

I know not.

OMG, Are the San Francisco Giants Unloading T-Shirts for $5 at ConocoPhillips 76 Gas Stations All Over Town?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Via Kevin “KevMo” Montgomery‘s always unique and (never deriv-ativeUptown Almanac comes some news that leaves me saying uh oh, now this is getting spooky – why is it that the Giants T-shirts you can buy for just $5 are sold at ConocoPhillips 76 gas stations (and at ConocoPhillips 76 gas stations only) in San Francisco and the Sunset District?

For example, how about these 76 stations at 19th Ave. and Judah and 24th and Valencia and Lombard and Divisadero and Potrero and 17th?

Here’s a shot from Google Maps Street View way out in the West Bay* from a while back…

Click to expand

So, can anybody check to see if these shirts are the real deal?

Seems as if somebody has a contract to sell these shirts at all these gas stations?

Did shirtmakers way, way, way overestimate demand for Giants merch?

How can they make money selling at just $5?

Is sales tax included?

Is said tax getting forwarded to the Board of Equalization?

What else can you sell at gas stations – can I get in on the taco truck craze and start selling, you know, after I get my own deal with whomever operates these stations?

This is a Grade A Class One Mystery. 

 

And, for your pleasure, here’s a retread post from a few days back:

[Area resident M. has the deets:

"Ha. I live on 19th right across Judah from this. It's totally an ongoing business, it's been there every day, all day since right after the world series last year and I have no idea how they haven't gotten busted just because it's so brazen and regular. I've actually seen a water department truck blocking the 28 bus stop in front of the gas station while the two dudes were shopping for t-shirts and the bus was trying to find a way to pull over and pick people up. It does tend to screw up traffic right there with so many people trying to pull over/pull in, so it's definitely a bit annoying. I have to assume the gas station owner gets a cut or something."]

This sure seems to be a good place to buy Giants shirts for cheap.

Now, I’m talking about the 76 gas station what’s on the east side of 19th Ave. on Judah (and not the carbon copy 76 on the west side of 19th.)

And my buddy showed me a shirt he got there that wasn’t licensed.

And yesterday, they had a sign up what said, “$5 T-Shirts.”

And here’s the scene from early August 2011.

(Is this an ongoing bidness? Does the gas station owner get a piece of this action as well?)

Now I didn’t stop to check things out or nothing, but, well, you tell me if you think I’m jumping to conclusions.

*You know, the Sunset District, but I’ve heard 19th Ave. being described part of the Inner Sunset, the Middle Sunset, and the Outer Sunset so I don’t know…>

OMG, Is Costco Basically Giving Away Samsung Galaxy S 4G Android Phones This Month?

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

[UPDATE: Whoops. The good phones are $479 - so take away $430 and you're paying $50 for the phone (assuming you're signing up for a two-year contract) plus The Man takes close to $50 in sales tax away from you. I guess that's close to being free. Unlimited data, two phones = something like $100/mo before taxes.]

I don’t know, but there’s some coupon you members got in the mail that says “up to $430 off” or whatnot – it runs through April 3, 2011.

(I don’t know, does T Mobile work as well as the all-time-grand-champion Sprint network in the 415? Signs point to no, so far. But your phone will switch over to WiFi seamlessly at home so that’s half the battle right there. And outdoors, T Mobile’s doing A-OK with wicked fast performance.*)

Go see manager Nick in the kiosk at the SoMA Costco** and then, You Make The Call over whether this is a good deal or not.

*Not that that matters too much. I’ll tell you, my old-school Sprint smart phone never dropped a call and always worked everywhere all the time (except for the basement of the State Building and your typical elevator). Until that traffic accident, it was doing fine – RIP, Palm 900-something with free unlimited data plan. Maybe I got spoiled with the Sprint network.

**They have more than just T Mobile, of course, but I don’t know all which ones.

Chinatown’s Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation Gets a 40-Year Lease for the Great Garage of Kearny Street

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Our 3.5-star-rated Portsmouth Square Plaza Garage has a new 40-year lease. Hurray?

Is this arrangement a “Transit First” kind of deal?

Sure, why not.

Will this arrangement please Mayor of Chinatown Rose Pak?

Only Time Will Tell.

Anyway, all the deets, below.

“Board of Supervisors Approves New Lease with Community non-profit Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation for the Portsmouth Square Garage - Chinatown based non-profit will operate the Portsmouth Square garage for the next 40 years.

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a 40-year lease with the Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation, Chinatown based non-profit for the operation of the Portsmouth Square Garage.

The lease, which was sponsored by Board of Supervisors President and Supervisor for Chinatown, David Chiu, will ensure that the garage will continue to be overseen by Chinatown community leaders. Under the terms of the lease, the Recreation and Park Department will receive all operating profit from the garage while the Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation operates the garage without receiving a management fee or share of the profits.

“In 1962, the Chinatown community banded together to build the Portsmouth Square Garage,” said Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Today’s approval means that this neighborhood asset will remain in the hands of the residents and businesses that it serves for generations to come.”

The Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation was founded by Chinatown business and community leaders in 1960 in response to the growing need for a parking garage in the neighborhood. Since that time the non-profit Board of Directors has constructed, financed and operated the garage for nearly five decades, all without ever receiving any compensation.

“For 50 years the Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation has served the Chinatown community both in operating this garage and in providing small grants to other community based non-profits,” said President Chiu. “For the next forty years, this community non-profit will provide high quality local jobs, help develop the Chinatown and San Francisco economies and support the numerous non-profits that provide services to Chinatown.”

Built in 1962, the Portsmouth Square Garage has 504 parking spaces and generates approximately $1.3 million annually to support the Recreation and Park Department. The Garage is one of five City owned garages operated by non-profit Boards including the City’s two largest Garages, the Fifth and Mission and Sutter-Stockton Garages.

“Our Board and the entire Chinese Community are pleased that the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the new 40 year lease,” said Jerry Lee Chinatown based Attorney and Treasurer of the Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation. “Now comes the challenge of updating the garage to increase parking, energy efficiency and revenues to benefit both the City and community.”

San Jose Mercury News Work Rules: Photographers Can’t Write and Writers Can’t Take Photographs?

Monday, November 15th, 2010

From the California Media Workers Guild, comes news of negotiations at the San Jose Mercury News concerning our “changing, online media world.”

Check out a clause from the current contract below – it explains a lot.

Meanwhile, up in San Francisco, writer John King seems to be doing a fine job taking photos to illustrates his points.

Ask yourself, how do these rules serve the reader?

Anyway, welcome to the 20th century:

“ARTICLE VI — JOB LIMITATION

(a)     A reporter shall not do the work of a photographer, and a photographer shall not do the work of a reporter, nor shall the members of the editorial department perform duties outside the editorial department, nor shall employees of other departments do editorial and news work. This shall not be construed to prevent the employment of reporter-photographers for special work after agreement with the Guild, which agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld. Provided:

(b)     Combination reporter-photographers may be employed outside Santa Clara County, but shall be limited to no more than two (2) in any one bureau. Within Santa Clara County, combination reporter-photographers may be employed only as follows:

1.      Two designated combination reporter-photographers may be assigned to the South County bureau, and may use cameras only south of Coyote.

2.      One designated Venture (outdoors) section reporter, including the wildlife writer, may use a camera south of Coyote on subjects to appear only in the Venture section.

3.      The Inquiring Reporter may use a camera for head shots which may be reproduced only in the Inquiring Reporter column.

4.      On a voluntary basis, cameras for the purposes of head shots only may be used by reporters when outside of the main office. Application of this subsection shall not be a direct cause of a reduction in force of staff photographers.

(c)     The Travel Editor may use a camera outside of the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey; to illustrate travel articles only.

(d)     In the graphics department, graphic editors and photographers may be interchanged for temporary periods; provided that their competency shall be judged only on their designated primary skill, and that they shall not do the work of reporters or other newsroom employees.

(e)     A combination reporter-photographer shall not be required to be proficient in both skills. Competency shall be judged only on the designated primary skill.

(f)     Online outside salespeople (online sales team and one (1) online classified recruitment sales representative) only may carry lightweight point-and-shoot digital cameras.  Their photographic work shall only be used in online publications.  Affected employees shall not be judged by their photographic skills.”