Posts Tagged ‘crosswalk’

You Want to See Some _Real_ Red Light Running? Here You Go, Viral Video From Geary and Gough

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Via Stanley Roberts of KRON-TV’s People Behaving Badly comes this “viral” (just two views so far, but the day is young) video.

The driver of this ride should have his/her license pulled until somebody in authoritah can figure out what went wrong:

But that’s not going happen, ’cause driving is a right, and not a privilege. In California, anyway.

I call this real red light running because it’s obvious that the errant driver entered the intersection on a red light (and I’m basically saying that the color of the light when a driver exits doesn’t matter and that peds need to wait for an intersection to clear whether or not they have a green. In California, anyway.) I don’t know if there was any bad behavior on the part of the ped(s).

The saving grace is that a lot of people who don’t know what they’re doing behind the wheel drive real slow. This is a possible drunkie…

Fulton Street Tableau: Aggressive Pedestrian, Helpful Driver – A “Freeway Revolt” Pushes The Richmond Farther Away

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Man, you won’t catch me crossing Fulton just hoping that drivers will see me and stop. Oh no.

But this woman took the plunge. See the driver signalling to others? That’s what it takes sometimes:

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I don’t know, we had The Freeway Revolt so now we have streets like Fulton acting as substitute freeways.

The SFMTA spends its money inefficiently, so it says it can only afford to install something like five traffic lights per year. (Oh, it’s so hard, it’s so hard to do, they say. No it’s not, but anyway…)

So, we don’t want freeways and we won’t tolerate any transportation-related deaths (or we won’t tolerate any transportation-related deaths starting in 2024). This doesn’t add up.

So, slow down Fulton if you want, but what that does is push the Outer Richmond farther and farther away from San Francisco…

What Trader Joe’s #100 Needs is Ocean Beach-Style Warning Signs for Its Shoppers Who Jaywalk on Deadly Masonic

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

This is typical, this is routine – people parking on Masonic northbound and then jaywalking across five lanes of traffic to get to Trader Joe’s #100 and then jaywalking again back to their rides

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Why do people do this? Well, ’cause getting from northbound Masonic to southbound, which is the only way to get into the parking lot, is a PITA. Drivers are banned from simply turning left into the parking lot because that would end up blocking half of northbound Masonic, and of course Masonic is the Great Connector betwixt The Avenues and the Place Where People Want To Be.

And even if you get yourself facing southbound, you still have to queue up to get into TJ’s ridiculously small parking lot. Hey, couldn’t they have built an underground garage? Well, sure, but you’d have to talk with the Planning Department about that. And hey, couldn’t they have built parking on the roof? Well, sure, and actually they did but you’d have to talk with the Planning Department about that because the average shopper isn’t allowed to park on the roof.

And actually, the current parking situation is better than before. Our vaunted Planning Department did a very poor job with this project and now we’re left with a kludgy fix that commits part of Masonic to TJ’s shoppers idling and parking and waiting.

So that’s the situation, that’s why people say I-don’t-wanna-deal-with-all-that and simply park on northbound Masonic on the east side of the street.

And that’s fine, that’s legal, but then the shoppers see that northbound Masonic has long stretches when it’s empty (because drivers need to wait at a red for a long time to let traffic on Geary go through) and they see a bunch of stalled traffic on southbound Masonic (because of the shoppers queuing up and also to wait at a red for a long time to let traffic on Geary go through). So they march across 30 MPH Masonic to get to the store.

How many TJs shoppers do this on a busy day? IDK, hundreds. It’s their thing, it’s their routine.

So can you die doing this? Sure. Does TJ’s know about this situation? Sure. I don’t see how they couldn’t be aware. I mean, when you have journalists calling up your store asking about how somebody died, I assume that you’re aware of the situation.

What’s the solution? Well, people’d be safer walking down to Geary and crossing legally, but they all already know that.

You see the problem is that they don’t know how dangerous it is to do what they’re doing.

Hey, you know how many people die at Ocean Beach during a typical year? A lot. So many theat they have a special sign:

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How about similar signs for shoppers at this unique store:

People Jaywalking Have Died Here

How about that?

Unique situations call for unique signs, right?

Are you going to do anything at all, Trader Joe’s #100?

Legal But Foolhardy: Brave Pedestrians Making Cars Stop at the Crosswalks of Lincoln Way

Friday, December 26th, 2014

This road would be a good one to have more traffic signals and less median:

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I’d plan ahead to cross at an intersection with a signal, or I’d wait for a break in traffic, as if I were a jaywalker. I wouldn’t just start crossing the street just hoping drivers would notice me.

Anyway, sometimes all the drivers stop, except one, and that’s when the trouble starts…

If You’re Going to Jaywalk Across Masonic to Get To and From the Trader Joe’s, This is How You Should Do It

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Instead of heading up the hill to get back to their ride, these gals walked downhill a few paces and then used congested traffic near Geary to their advantage:

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That’s better than most, of course.

What they’re doing is turning a complicated, deadly game of chicken into a simpler chore of waiting for northbound traffic to get a red and then shuffling across two lanes…

Finally, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Acknowledges that Pedestrians Don’t “ALWAYS” Have the Right of Way

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Well, this is refreshing, this new bit from the SFBC.

You see, they used to go around telling peds that peds “always” have the right of way.*

But, the always is now gone from their new materials.

Do you think the SFBC learned something from this tiny WordPress blog?

I do.

To review, telling peds they always have the right of way is always the wrong thing to do.

*That was all the way back in 2012, except now this old SFBC posting is down the memory hole, lost forever. Also lost forever are the SFBC’s tax forms, which used to be posted but now are hidden away, oh well.

How Not To Drive, Fell and Masonic Edition: Should You Stop for a Red in a Crosswalk? NO

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Northbound Masonic at Fell:

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There are a lot of places to stop here. Where you’re supposed to stop is the stop line before the crosswalk, but this driver chose the far end of the crosswalk.

Bad form.

Here’s the thing – once you’ve crossed over your stop line, you’ve committed yourself to the intersection and therefore you need to clear it before cross traffic starts.

There’s no waiting option.

If you want to hang out longer, do it before your stop line, no matter how far back from the intersection the SFMTA / DPW has put the stop line…

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


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.”


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.


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.

An Unusual Traffic Scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell: Left-Turning Cars > Pedestrians? The Planning Gods Must Be Crazy

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

For some reason, the Golden Gods of the Planning Department / the SFMTA, the very same people who clamored for parking meters to operate on Sundays until they got it only to then say that they DIDN’T want it after all, unanimously, have set up an unusual traffic timing scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell. It’s unique.

Southbound drivers turning left get to go first, before car and bus drivers coming north and before peds on the east side of the street.

This is so that southbound drivers can make a U-turn and then a quick right to make into the small lower-level parking lot of the new City Target. About four drivers go left / hang a Louie at the start of each light cycle:

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I approve not.

Now if you want to say that SFGov had a rational basis for doing this after some big study, well then maybe. But having peds wait seven seconds to go after the light turns green is contrary to every impulse every ped has.

For some reason, Planning or the SFMTA or whomever feel that its their responsibility to be at the forefront of experimentation with traffic. Like its their sacred duty or something.

I understand that they would freely admit that this is a kludge fix to accommodate the newly-opened Target store. I understand that they would say that this is temporary until the New Masonic Plan gets going. I understand that there’s a concern about southbound traffic backing up and possibly blocking eastbound and westbound traffic on Geary. BUT EVEN SO, this left arrow scheme at O’Farrell is NOT THE WAY TO GO. There are other ways of doing of what SFGov is trying to accomplish.

There are better ways of doing this.