If this is what it takes to make the worst-run agency in San Francisco feel better about itself…
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Boy, the Internet is full of criticism these days over how the SFPD and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office have been handling the cyclist Chris Bucchere vs. pedestrian Sutchi Hui case.
And yet, what have they done wrong so far? Nothing that I can see.
Wisely, they aren’t trying to prove things that are tough to prove to the very high standard required, so stuff like who used Chris Bucchere’s online accounts to post his post-accident thoughts and what color what traffic light was when – that stuff, isn’t going to matter all that much if a criminal trial comes.
So that’s fine.
But there’s this:
““We have a witness that puts him blowing stop signs and lights on Divisadero Street,” the captain added.”
But the part of Divisadero that’s in the area doesn’t actually have stop signs.*
Check it out on the YouTube. The beginning part of this video, The Strava “Castro Street Bomb” (aka Castro Street Descent) shows the southern terminus of Divisadero.
As you can see, there aren’t any stop signs there.
But maybe the captain was talking about Castro Street?
If that’s the case, the question then becomes what would motivate a cyclist to behave in the ways alleged.
But we’ll find out soon enough…
*And the other part of Divisadero up in Pacific Heights far to the north? Wow, that’s probably the last place in the world where you’d want to be blowing stop signs on a bike.
Well, you make the call:
Of course you can conclude, at this early date, exactly this:
“Strava is not responsible for Chris’ actions…”
(That one comes from one of Chris Bucchere’s cycling buddies, BTW.)
Or, of course, you can conclude that Strava is totally responsible for the recent collision in the Castro.
Or you can be like me and remain unsure of the connection between the death of pedestrian Sutchi Hui and Strava.
“as a STRAVA user, my first thought when I saw that he was using STRAVA was that he was trying to post the best time on a segment (STRAVA’s social aspect includes public leaderboards, which is actually kind of fun). looks like that stretch of Castro is, indeed, a marked segment, which is absolutely fucking stupid and likely encouraged in some small way his reckless behavior.”
And there’s this:
And then there’s this:
And here’s some more, from Alan of Scarlet Fire, on gamification and Strava in general:
“Strava ‘s biggest strength lies within the ingenious “segments” feature.
Upload a gpx track of your completed ride, and Strava analyses the data with all the usual stats you’d expect, plus a breakdown of specific segments of the ride, eg hill climbs.
Here’s the clever bit -
It knows who else has completed those segments, and ranks everybody according to time. The fastest gets a KOM, King of the mountain achievement. (Yes, girls, you get QOM’s).
Most people wouldn’t bother to go to the trouble of timing themselves on individual climbs within their ride. Way too much hassle! Strava does it automatically, and awards you an achievement when you beat your personal best (PB).
If a section of your route doesn’t already appear as a segment, no problem – simply define it as a new segment and see how you rank. The premium version of the service also allows you to break the table down by age range and weight ranges.
Recently, whilst out on a ride, I was aware that a friend had been the first to log a new segment for a particular climb (there aren’t that many Strava users in North Wales yet!) and had the KOM award. Instead of going at my usual pace, the gaming instinct kicked in, and I found myself visiting a very high heart rate zone, and putting in a lot of effort. Later, when I uploaded my GPS data to Strava it was hugely satisfying to realise that I had beaten his time by almost 2 minutes and claimed the KOM. He also got an email from Strava saying I’d beaten his time. Nice.
Silly and childish? Very, I know.
Did it feel good? Hell, yes..
Did I get a better workout? Definitely.
Will I work harder on future climbs because this technology will let me know automatically whenever I set a new PB on specific climbs? Very likely.”
Here’s the latest regarding the Castro District’s international news:
“Expect Strava to get subpoenaed if this tragic story of reckless cycling and a pedestrian death goes to court.”
And here’s the Strava.Com segment what used to be called the Castro Street Bomb (and then the Castro Street Descent). It’s not too exciting. Rather sedate, actually. But I’m sure if you’re hauling butt to become the latest Strava.Com “KOM” (King of the Mountain) and you may or may not be “Idaho Rolling” through red lights, then it could be very exciting / addicting:
Strava still has lots of downhill “bomb” segments listed about town of course. How about the Hyde Street Bomb or the 20th Street Bomb?
What if I started a Market Street Drag Race website for car drivers? They could make a segment like “Second Street to Sixth Street Drag” or something and people could keep track of their times using the GPS. Would you say that I was encouraging recklessness? Or not?
And here’s part of the “Strava Kills” topic at the MTBR.Com forums:
“Unfortunately, there is no simple way for the biking community to pass on the message of “we are really sorry for your loss, please don’t judge all bikers. this particular individual is an a-hole, please stick it to him in every way possible”.
Sad thing is, even as this story makes it’s way around the cycling community, there are people that pull the same **** — running reds/stop signs/etc. from SF down to SCruz — that won’t connect this situation with possibilities around their own actions.”
And I’d link you to what they’re saying at the SF Fixed.Com boards but I don’t know how to do that. (It’s a bit contentious over there these days, I understand.)
And this just in:
“The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions.
So it looks as if cyclist Chris Bucchere didn’t run a red light.
Now, what about the law?
“21456. Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:
(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown….”
What this is saying is that pedestrians in California need to let traffic clear an intersection before walking when the WALK turns on for them.
(Most pedestrians in San Francisco don’t seem to know this….)
You know, the way it had something to do with a death in Berkeley back in 2009?
Do you see the “Castro Street Descent” there? Up until March 29, 2012, that said Castro Street Bomb. Like when you go “bombing” down the street.
I don’t know, Strava.
Care to say anything about this?
It goes a little something like this, on southbound 19th Avenue exiting Golden Gate Park betwixt Lincoln and Irving.
Go on, you have 31 seconds to spare, don’t you?
At least dude got a quick apology.
You can read the latest press release from the America’s Cup people below. I don’t know when it was put out, possibly at 3:00 AM on Thanksgiving Day, you know, cause that’s how you’re supposed to handle bad news, I guess.
“Sources close to the America’s Cup said Thompson’s exit was the result of lackluster financial performance of the America’s Cup World Series, a collection of races around the world leading up to the 2013 finale. World Series races have been held in Portugal, England and one week ago in San Diego. Coming events are scheduled for Italy and Newport, R.I.”
So, what makes the America’s Cup 2013 good for San Francisco? Are we getting paid to host it? I don’t think so. And, in fact, I think we’re on the hook for lots of costs that we don’t fully understand at this point. And the person who was supposed to look out for us is now the former Mayor , but, no matter, they’re making him Honorary Commodore or Poohbah or whatever of the whole thing?
Check out a recap show right here, if you want. (Unlike the case with popular sports, you don’t have pay to watch the America’s Cup World Series.) The first minute shows what I’m talking about.
Oh, yeah, the boats are faster, I get that. And oh yeah, these rigs crash with regularity. Like this:
Via mikesm – click to expand
I get that, but what makes this event good? It’s not going to be popular, it’s not going to make money for us. Some businesses will benefit, some won’t, some will be hurt, just like with any other government program. Some people will get temporary gigs and hotels will be able to raise their rates, but this event, overall, isn’t for San Francisco’s benefit.
It’s for the 1% but it’s paid for by the 99%.
Speaking of which, if Larry Ellison wrote a check to the City and County right now for $100,000,000 (put “For Larry’s boat race” in the memo part, LE) AND put up a $500,000,000 account or bond or whatever that people wronged by the America’s Cup could recover from, let’s say, until 2016 or so, well that would turn my frown not necessarily upside-down but back to neutral anyway.
I mean who gives a fuck if Larry Ellison wins another boat race except for Larry Ellison himself? So why isn’t he paying for it?
Speaking of which, again, a good chunk of the 1% doesn’t like all the new changes.
To wit, Sailor44:
“I have watched a couple ofthe match races and, due to the speed of the boats now, and their abiity to quickly accelerate in a small puff, the tactics of the match race are left behind and all we have left is to watch for capsizes, and a lot of spray coming over the bow(s). All this is reflected in the new course, which is nothing but a reach (a drag race, really) to the first mark. Good grief, this eliminates most of the interesting pre race maneuvering, which is most of match racing!”
The ACEA seems to be quite proud (check out Teams Korea’s captain at 1:35 – I think he’s speaking English but I don’t understand half his words) about the times when these cats capsize (the title says “very funny,” but it’s actually it’s extremely funny (even though the daggerboard is the floating kind and it’s properly tied down anyway)) and/or pitchpole. Does the NFL put out Greatest Injuries clips? Does NASCAR put out Greatest Crashes clips? NTIKO. These AC45 rigs have waaaaay too much sail for the conditions that you see in the official ACEA video clips. Why is that?
So you make all these changes, but maybe spectators would just rather look at something else? I mean, if you wanted to lose money putting on a event, why not pay money to bring Rajon Rondo here to play Lebron James one-on-one or something. Why not bring things here that people like? Why are we on the hook for the popularity of a sport that nobody’s really into? We do we have these department heads, who don’t know Jack, out there mindlessly cheerleading for this stupid event that was poorly negotiated. It’s pathetic.
Here’s the release, the one letting us know that Craig Thompson “decided to leave the Event Authority,” you know because he got canned:
“The America’s Cup Event Authority has extended the role of Richard Worth to include Chief Executive Officer along with Chairman. In this expanded role, Richard will be responsible for the commercial interests of the 34th America’s Cup, adding marketing and partnerships to his purview. A 30-year sports marketing executive with extensive global broadcasting and leadership experience, we believe Richard’s hands-on engagement will allow us to significantly enhance the growth of our commercial efforts in support of fulfilling the vision for the 34th America’s Cup.
Overall management of the events will move to America’s Cup Race Management, who will now lead both the on- and off-the-water components of the events, as well as serve as liaison to the teams. Building upon their proven success with event management, led by ACRM CEO and Regatta Director Iain Murray, we believe that centralizing management of the events under ACRM ensures an even smoother road to success.
With this realignment of responsibilities, Craig Thompson has decided to leave the Event Authority. Craig has played an important role over the past year in helping to build the foundation of our future, and we appreciate his significant contributions.”
And oh, for completeness, the latest release from the the Powers That Be
Does it make sense to commute to Los Angeles for work, assuming you had a pilot’s license and an airplane? I don’t know.
Does it make sense to listen to the advice of your air traffic controller concerning the advisability of taking off into heavy fog, even if you don’t have to? Yes it does.
Is there a reason why pilots are told to turn over the Bay after takeoff? Yes there is.
Here’s what people down Palo Alto Way are saying.
The former N5225J, a Cessna 310R with relatively new, perfectly-fine-at-the-time engines:
(I’ll tell you, I don’t know why our federal government subsidizes Tesla Automotive (and for that matter, General Monkeybusiness in Detroit). Was Tesla paying for the avgas that this Cessna was burning? Does Tesla reimburse CEO Elon Musk for the jet fuel that he burns as he joyrides around the world, as is his wont? I think Tesla used to, but I don’t know about these days. You know, for an electric car company what’s produced not a whole bunch of electric cars, Tesla seems to burn up a lot of petroleum…)
Anyway, here’s the summary – the whole thing you’ll find after the jump.
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 17, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/22/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 310R, registration: N5225J
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
The pilot departed the airport in near-zero visibility instrument meteorological conditions, and shortly after takeoff, struck a power pole and power lines before impacting terrain. Review of recorded air traffic control tower (ATCT) transmissions revealed that the pilot was initially given his instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance to turn right to a heading of 060 degrees and climb to 3,000 feet. Shortly after verifying his IFR clearance, the pilot received his IFR release from the ATCT controller and was informed that the runway was not visible to the controller. The controller further informed the pilot that takeoff was at his own risk. Shortly after, the controller notified the pilot that he had two minutes for his IFR release, before it expired. The pilot stated that he did not hear a “cleared for takeoff” instruction from the controller. The controller responded that he could not clear the pilot for takeoff, due to not having the runway environment in sight and that “the release is all yours and it’s at your own risk sir.” The pilot acknowledged the transmission and proceeded to take off. One witness, who was adjacent to the accident site, reported that she observed an airplane “suddenly appear from the fog” left of her position. The witness stated that she continued to watch the airplane fly in a level or slightly nose up attitude until it impacted power lines.
Accident site evidence was indicative of a level impact with a power pole about 50 feet above ground level (agl) and at a high airspeed. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage debris path. Examination of the airframe, engines and propellers disclosed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly. Weather conditions reported five minutes prior to the accident were wind variable at 5 knots, visibility 1/8th mile, fog, and vertical visibility of 100 feet agl. Weather conditions recorded by the ATCT 11 minutes after the time of the accident were visibility 1/16th mile, fog, and a vertical visibility of 100 feet agl.
Local law enforcement provided recordings from a sound recording system, which captured the accident sequence. The recordings were coupled with airport surveillance radar to interpolate a flightpath for the airplane. The interpolated flightpath indicated an approximate 45-degree left turn shortly after departure to the area of initial impact with the power pole and power lines. A sound spectrum study determined both engines were operating near full power.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure follow the standard instrument departure as instructed, and his failure to attain a sufficient altitude to maintain clearance from power lines during takeoff in instrument meteorological conditions.”
The driver of this car was taking Oak to get back to the Peninsula this afternoon but she ended up flipping her Honda Civic just before Divisadero.
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So as traffic backed up for miles along Oak, the SFPD began its investigation:
The Honda Shadow:
San Francisco’s “Comeback Neighborhood of the Year” is the host of this scene, betwixt abandoned sidewalk sofas and the LaunderLand:
Now I’ll tell you, we were supposed to get a freeway to link up the terminuseses of 101 and 280 with the Golden Gate Bridge, but what we got instead was Fell and Oak with three or four one-way lanes each way timed for 35 MPH. But these days, for various reasons, the Fell/Oak twins don’t play the substitute freeway role as well.
Recently, this intersection at Divis. has become a bottleneck owing to the inefficient* left arrow phase for southbound traffic on Divisadero to allow drivers to get on eastbound Oak. I’m not sure, but this configuration might have confused or upset the Civic driver, who was driving “all squirrelly” near Broderick shortly before this accident.
*Hey, how about a big fat “NO LEFT TURN” sign for southbound drivers on Divisadero? This intersection wasn’t made “for the neighbors,” so there’s no reason for the people who live in this area to have more of a say than those poor, wretched souls who live way out there in the West Bay, you know, the Sunset and the Richmond. This new left turn phase, like the one at Octavia for inbound Market Street drivers, appears to be a sop for DivCo / NoPA / EaPA locals…