Posts Tagged ‘cops’

Remembering 2012, When the SFPD Picked Up Enforcing Traffic Laws on Market Street, One Bike Rider at a Time

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

It looked like this:

In the 80’s, 90’s, and early aughts, bikes were practically invisible to cops on Market Street, except for the occasional* Commute Clot / Critical Mass event. But these days, the SFPD seems to consider enforcing traffic laws on bike riders a higher priority,** for whatever reason.

Anyway, back in the day, you’d just have to sit and wait for your ticket to get written up, but nowadays you can play Tetris on your iPhone to make the minutes fly by, as you can see.

Cops generally prefer to give tickets to car drivers for various reasons. One of them is that the protest rate is many many times greater from cyclists than drivers. So the theory that this recent push to enforce traffic laws on bike riders came from the top down sounds right to me.

*And especially except that time in ’97, when Mayor Willie Brown decided to “do something” about CM. A hundred-something people got ticketed / detained and had their bikes impounded, most of them getting penned in at Sacramento Montgomery for running a red light.

**Think it was in 2012 or 2013 that I got detained by two Crown-Vic driving SFPD on Market near 6th. Pretty sure it was just after the #5 Fulton line was rerouted to take McAllister almost all the way to Market, and I’d noticed two #5’s jammed up in front of the Hibernia Bank building along with three marked and two unmarked Crown Victorias within a block or so.  I was thinking, well, this certainly is unusual so it looks like the cops are dealing with something around 7th and Market, maybe involving the buses, so I’ll just keep on moving inbound by taking McAllister all the way to Market and then I’ll cross over Market after the SFPD radio car goes off east on Market. Except the car slowed down waiting for me to cross over to the right side of Market. I couldn’t understand how I was getting all this attention from the SFPD. Anyway, flashing lights, a request from a rookie for my “license and registration” (I looked at his partner, who sort of chuckled – I don’t think the rookie had ever pulled over a bike rider before),  a quick warrant check for me, an admonishment to use the correct side of the road, and I then I was off again. And all the while, some photographer guy recognized me and started taking pictures from a traffic island. (He never sent them to me, oh well.) I’ll tell you, I moved to the Tenderloin back in the 1980’s and I’d been California stopping at stop signs and red lights around and on Market for more than two decades before I got any kind of attention from the SFPD. And I thought, oh, things are different now… 

The Nordstrom Effect: SFPD Response at 5th and Market vs. 6th and Market – It’s Quite a Difference

Monday, January 12th, 2015

These two shots from longtime Twitterloin resident Bluoz certainly square with my understanding of what’s tolerated on these two neighbor streets.

5th Street, home to Norstrom’s “Flagship Store” (or second flagship, if you count all those Nordie buildings up in Seattle):

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6th Street:

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Hayes Valley Shooting of Jan 9, 2015: Four Dead in Stolen Honda – Biggest Mass Killing in SF Since 2012 – 20 Minutes of SFPD Audio

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

I can’t recall a bigger mass killing in San Francisco since the Ingleside Howth Street Home Invasion of 2012 and, before then, the 101 California Street Shooting of 1993.

Here’s 20 minutes of audio from @ScannerSays.

(“10-30″ means that the car is suspected stolen.)

MISSING: Steven Harris – Last Seen at the California Academy of Sciences Jan 6th – Last Ping at Market / Van Ness

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

[UPDATE: “STEVEN HAS BEEN FOUND. He is currently with family.]

OK, here’s the report as far as I know:

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Steven Harris, went missing around 11:00 AM on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, last seen leaving his job at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. His home is in San Bruno, and his last phone ping was at Market & Van Ness. His family is trying to get any sort of media attention to help bring Steven home.

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The SFPD’s Redistricting Proposal Looks Great – Why Should SFGov Care What Rich Berkeley Homeowner Randy Shaw Thinks?

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Let’s hear first from Park Station’s Captain Vaswani:

 The Police Commission will be taking public comments on the SFPD redistricting proposal. Dates/locations: 

And here’s the map, or at least the part of it that reflects the changes. Red lines are existing and blue lines are the future. Richmond Station loses its kink on its eastern border. Northern Station gets more of the area directly to its east. Central and the Tenderloin southern borders move south to capture all of the northern part of Market Street as Southern station moves south to Mission Bay. And let’s see, the Tenderloin (nee Tenderloin Task Force) becomes more of a full-fledged station and what else, oh, no more splitting streets down the middle – stations will generally get a whole street instead of just the odd or even side of a border street:

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Does this look crazy to you? It doesn’t look crazy to me.

At all.

So unless you think that the SFPD’s priorities are totally upside-down, you say, OK cops, have it your way.

Comes now Randy Shaw (speaking through his favorite female sock-puppet, Karin Drucker, who just moved to town (I think – let’s hope so) from Ohio (I think):

SFPD REDISTRICTING PLAN FAILS THE TENDERLOIN

See that? The new border plan hasn’t even been implemented yet, and yet it’s already failing?

Now IRL, the “Uptown Tenderloin” doesn’t exist. And it never did. And having somebody besides Randy Shaw forward all the notions forwarded by that article doesn’t really help things, does it?

Perhaps journalist Karin Drucker is too close to the story?

It sure looks that way…

The Mean Streets of Ed Lee’s San Francisco – Viral Video Shows Pickpocket Victim Attacked – Good Samaritans Absent

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

This video shows what can happen if you try to use “self-help” to get your stuff back after you conclude you know who just pickpocketted you:

“Messed Up: Pickpocket Victim Gets Knocked Out Trying To Get His Wallet Back!”

Notes:

This video has already been seen by hundreds of thousands of people. That amount is certainly more than the number of people who came to town to see the America’s Cup last year. I’ll tell you, those “gentlemen’s match races,” which cost us eight figures, were designed to burnish our image, nationally and internationally. But videos like these also affect our image, right? It could be that this one viral video, by itself, has erased any and all image burnishment gained by hosting AC34, right? What if SFGov exerted as much effort upon its core functions, you know, instead of having fun with Larry Ellison – what would that look like?

Self help [legal term] can work, sometimes. Good Samaritans can join in to overwhelm a team of pickpockets – that might happen. But what if you’re wrong about who took your stuff? What if you capture your “pickpocket” only to discover that s/he’s clean. Maybe your wallet was handed off to others in the team or maybe you were mistaken in the first place. Either way, you will have been putting effort into a fruitless endeavor. And the risk. The next step up would be an edged weapon, and then a firearm. OTOH, the chances of ever getting your stuff back are decreasing by the second. It’s tough to know what to do in this kind of situation.

 

Double-Park Nation, San Francisco – A Lesson in Urban Etiquette – “Double Parking: Is It For Me?”

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Here’s long-time SF blogger 40 Going On 28 going on about what really grinds his gears:

Urban Etiquette: Motoring in the City

And all that’s fine, for the most part.*

But here’s your nugget, San Francisco driving culture-wise:

4. Double Parking: Is It For Me?

The advice about not parking “anywhere near an intersection” is the Inviolable Rule. You can’t just go to the end of the block and then double-park right in front of the crosswalk – that’s not kosher. Agreed.

But what of this fairly typical sitch, in the Western Addition?

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The street here is quite short, just three blocks, plus it’s quite wide plus, bonus, it’s not on a bus line, so all these bandits need not worry about getting a pesky MUNI bus camera ticket. IMO, the moving van has priority here, so the other drivers should avoid double parking near it.

Obviously, these double parkers should show a great deal of respect for elements of the SFPD and DPT, and they shouldn’t box in legally parked cars. If that happens to you, simply start honking your horn and then the car owner should appear within a minute or so, to hastily get out of your way. (I mean, ideally.)

Anyway, that’s my perspective, that double parking etiquette is something you’re just going to have to learn after you get here and drive around.

I’ve been driving / parking here for a quarter century now. This is JMO.

*Personally, I don’t see the harm of California stops in SF in most circumstances. I’m not talking about a MUNI driver blowing through stops at 12 MPH (as documented by a video cam on the very same bus), no, I’m talking about creeping (down the back streets on D’s) through. You should aspire to drive just the way off-duty SFPD cops do. Then you’ll be invisible to them when they’re on-duty. And when they’re trying to meet their quota for tickets on Fulton, let’s say, they’ll just sit and watch 20 cars creep through a stop sign (without ever coming to a complete stop) but then pull over the driver who only slows down to, say, 7 MPH or so. And as far as ped safety is concerned, you’re always scanning for peds, right? If so, feel free to Cali stop, particularly when there’s not a soul around.

Here’s Why the SFPD’s “Focus On The Five” Traffic Enforcement Goal is At Least 40% Wrong

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Here’s your set-up, from The StreetsBlog:

“…only one of the 10 police stations is actually meeting its goal of issuing at least 50 percent of traffic citations for the five most common violations that cause pedestrian injuries.”

But, IRL the the five most common violations that cause pedestrian injuries actually  include:

CVC 21456 – Walk, Wait, or Don’t Walk 

CVC 21954 – Pedestrians Outside Crosswalk / CVC 21955 – Crossing Between Controlled Intersections*

Under the CVC, jaywalkers can either be in a crosswalk (or close enough – if you’re one or two feet away, that might be close enough to be considered “in the crosswalk”) (and, of course, these can be marked or unmarked crosswalks) but doing something wrong (like starting too early or too late or going too fast (running) or too slow (just standing in the crosswalk, for ex.) OR crossing in the middle of a block.

If you look at the math, there’s no way that these violations can be out of the top five.

That’s just one reason why there’s not even a prayer of a chance that SFGov’s “Vision Zero” 2024 can “succeed.” (Oh what’s that, Sweden experimented with VisionZero and it succeeded? Well, not really. Oh what’s that, it was good to try anyway, even though they didn’t get to actual absolute zero, they had a big reduction in injuries? Well, France, among others, didn’t implement Vision Zero and yet it had greater success over a similar time period, right? Oh what’s that, Vision Zero is just a “framing” phrase, a meaningless platitude that pours old wine into new bottles? Well, finally we agree.)

Of course you’re never going to beat drivers Failing To Yield for the number of pedestrian deaths in San Francisco County. But do you think lying about things like Focus in The Five helps your cause?

And are there reasons why it’s far easier to comply with the demands of non-profit pressure groups in the Richmond District as opposed to other districts of San Francisco? Yes there are. Take the same Captain and put him/her in another district and then watch your compliance numbers fall. Why’s that? Do you suppose that the SFPD has a mission, has a job not 100% congruent with “urbanists” straight outta Park Slope and pricey prep schools like Punahou?

Something to think about.

*These are twins, basically. 

Writer C.W. Nevius Makes Amends for “This Isn’t Oakland” with His Gay Games Bit? – SFAA v. USOC IRL

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Poor CW Nevius is still smarting over the drubbing he took over “This isn’t Oakland.” Check it:

 Dec 9  Hey Jessica. If you are going to write something like that, you might want to check in with me. I’m pretty reasonable.
Here’s what he’s so mad about:

SF CHRONICLE COLUMNIST BASHES OAKLAND

See how that works? You all need to check in with CW himself before you criticize him – that’s the rule. It’s a kind of YOU DON’T KNOW ME! defense, one supposes.

So that’s the context.

Now look! San Francisco Chronicle’s right-of-center Everyman has lurched across the aisle with this recent effort about the local history of the Gay Olympics / Gay Games:

S.F. backstory to Olympics’ new policy on gays, by C.W. Nevius

Now here’s your real back story. First, bone up on this:

Amateur Sports Act of 1978

And then see the court case that explains why the term Gay Games is kosher but Gay Olympics isn’t. A 7-2 decision, more or less:

San Francisco Arts & Athletics, Inc. v. United States Olympic Committee

Here’s my point – what Nevius is saying is that the USOC’s effort to defend its “brand” back in the 1970’s was “pointless.” Except the USOC won and now the Gay Olympics is known as the Gay Games and life goes on.

Do you want to get into why the IOC / USOC and all the other OC’s of the world tolerate people using a term like “Redneck Olympics,” at least until it grows into a big event? Be my guest.

(Oh, but wait, the official name of that event in Georgia is now the Redneck Games. Is the USOC against rednecks? IDK.)

Speaking of points, here’s one:

Mess with the Olympic brand long enough and you just might end up with a lien on your house.

Which is fair enough, I suppose.

(And actually, the USOC lifted the lien anyway.)

Hey remember what CW Nevius had to say before the disastrous 34th America’s Cup came to town? He called it:

a wonderful opportunity without a downside.”

Except we ended up with a lot of downsides.

And now he’s cheerleading for the 2024 Olympics to come to town. And while he’s doing that, he criticizes the USOC for stuff from a third of a decade ago.

Of course, he could criticize the current USOC, but no, Nevius doesn’t want to do that.

Hey look, it’s gay rights champion Vladimir Putin chilling with CW Nevius hero Larry “The Good” Probst:

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And when was this shot taken, was it a third of a century ago?

Oh no, it was this year.

Oh well.

CW Nevius Roundup: An Apology to Oakland! – Plus Nevius the Union Activist – Plus Errors re: Golden Gate Park

Friday, December 5th, 2014

1. The Apology. Normally I’d just do a retweet but I’ve been blocked from doing just that, so here’s a back-and-forth on the recent “This isn’t Oakland” bit:

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Now actually, in defense of The Nevius, I think he was merely channeling what the SFPD brass had to say, as Nevius is wont to do, about comparing the SFPD response to a protest situation vs. how the OPD handled things in the recent past. So the stood aside and let the looting and window shattering play out” comment just might have been a reference to comments made a few years back by the Oakland Mayor or by the OPD. So the “this isn’t Oakland” stinger could have been referring to that.

In any event, even the Nevius Wife didn’t like the Oakland Comment, so Nevius apologized on Twitter (and maybe ten people read it). It’s a real apology, but it was made to just a handful of people. 

2. Nevius the Union Activist. Check out this recent bit about San Francisco taxi drivers and then ponder this:

In his own personal life, CW Nevius is a union activist. Like, he goes to meetings ‘n stuff

That means he’s not just a union member, oh no. I’ve been a union member, but I wasn’t no shop steward, I wasn’t no agitator the way CW Nevius is in some kind of media guild thing.

So, isn’t it ironic, dontcha think, that union activist CW Nevius takes such an anti Labor tone?

3. Nevius the right of center megaphone for the San Francisco’s dominant right of center political faction. I’m specifically referring to this bit about Stow Lake Boat House.

He goes on and on about how great the Stow Lake Boat House is now:

And now it looks terrific, and I haven’t heard a word of complaint.

IRL, not a whole bunch has changed there. Tourists come, pay their money, get a boat for an hour, and then do a lap around Strawberry Hill on Stow Artificial Pond.

(Of course, CW Nevius is a newcomer to San Francisco, so he missed out on most of the action at Stow Lake.)

In any event, yes, the opposition to the new vendor was absurd, but that doesn’t prove his point that all opposition to the corrupt right of center political Establishment is absurd. Let’s take a look:

At yet, at the end of the day, not only do we end up doing the right thing, everyone seems to move on and forget and forgive.

So what, did “we” do “the right thing” voting down 8 Washington – did we “forget and forgive” “at the end of the day?” Mmm… Moving on.

Now here’s a load of BS:

To Park Commission President Mark Buell, that’s not just a theory. He’s lived it. “When I became president, I was given some advice,” he said. “I was told there were four things I would never get accomplished: getting a new vendor at Stow Lake, closing the recycling center at Golden Gate Park, charging a visitors fee at the arboretum, and putting artificial turf at the Beach Chalet soccer fields.”

All right, note the passive voice here in the quote from an area right of center apparatchik. Who said these words? Oh, you don’t want to say? Oh, your quote only discusses your victories and leaves out your losses? So, how did the unnamed person making this quote know back then what you would “get accomplished?” I don’t know, you could put Mark Buell through a polygraph session to prove that he believes all this stuff, but it doesn’t mean his memory is correct.

And actually, it was a piece of cake to get a new vendor at Stow Lake. Somebody paid a lobbyist $10k a month for months and months to lobby the Board of Supervisors. That’s the source of this “accomplishment.”

And is closing a recycling center at the request of millionaire NIMBY homeowners an “accomplishment?” IDK.

And is clearing out out-of-towners at Strybing Arboretum an “accomplishment? Not really. RPD wanted to pay more than a million dollars to build two kiosks to pay workers minimum wage to collect seven dollars a head? Yes. And how have things worked out? Well, the number of visitors has fallen dramatically. Is that a good thing? Well, in the eyes of millionaires who like plants more than people, the answer is yes.

I disagree.

IMO, is it short-sighted to fuck over Helene Strybing by renaming the joint and throwing up a paywall in a fruitless pursuit to make the place “world-class,” to impress all the arboretum societies Back East? Yes.

And while I don’t personally object to the new soccer fields at the Beach Chalet, that doesn’t mean that all is well with the political faction that runs Rec and Park. Hey, how about putting parking meters in all over GGP? Wasn’t that an “accomplishment” that the right of center faction wanted? Hell yes. But we don’t have no meters, huh? And the whole issue is forgotten now? How convenient!

Moving on, to San Mateo County:

He might have added saving the Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica.

I know why SF runs a jail complex and an international airport in San Mateo County, but I don’t know why on Earth it runs a golf course. Perhaps SF should get rid of it? Is that on the table? No? All right.

His point, of course, was that while each of those initiatives proved to be controversial and difficult, they’ve all been accomplished…

My point is, of course, is that this a highly biased view of the recent history of the RPD.

Moving on to another falsehood:

“Think about the (AT&T) ballpark,” Buell said. “How many people fought the idea of a downtown ballpark? And once it is built, everybody takes credit for it.”

This sounds like the way people talk when they’re drunk, boasting at a bar. It’s not based on reality.

And here’s the stinger, from the newcomer who just moved here, who wanted to move here:

Don’t look for logic. It’s just how we do things.

Is simple-minded CW Nevius, the Fallacy Spewing Machine, on the side of “logic,” really?

OK fine.

FIN