Posts Tagged ‘dept.’

I’ve Never Seen an Aircraft Flying Around Without a Registration Number – And Yet This Was Over the Stanford Game

Monday, September 15th, 2014

This is new on me:

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Boy, this aircraft/banner combo seems familiar:

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Here are some of my other beefs against the flying banner ad biz in the bay area.

If You Think This Rec & Park Pickup Moved a Foot and a Half in These Two Photos, Then It Was Speeding in GGP

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Is there a 5 MPH speed limit for RPD vehicles on paved paths in the parks of SF?

I think so.

All right, here are the two photos – they were taken at least a sixth of a second apart, you kids do the math:

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Oh wait, Gentle Reader, I’ll do the math and I’ll do it without Roman numerals. Today’s lesson is brought to you by the numbers Nine, Five and Six:

Nine feet per second > Five miles per hour, right? [Trust me, Gentle Reader.]

And my aging SLR camera takes shots at Six frames per second maximum.

So Nine feet per second divided by Six frames per second equals one point five feet of movement per frame, exactly.

See how that works? If this truck can be seen to be moving more than 1.5 feet per frame then that means it was moving more than 9 feet per second and that means it was moving more than 5 MPH and that means that it was speeding per RPD policy, right?

I’ll note that this is the Panhandle “bike path,” which some people don’t even consider a part of Golden Gate Park – perhaps the rules are different here? IDK.

And perhaps “GPS records” would indicate that this truck was merely going 3 MPH. If that were the case, then I’d know that RPD was mistaken. Or lying. Again.

Your pick, Gentle Reader.

Of course, nobody died here and it’s not like this truck was going 15 MPH down the Panhandle bike path on a rainy night. But RPD workers violate RPD rules all the time, right? So, what to do?

Some race car drivers have a speed limiter button to use while pitting. As long as it’s engaged, then a racecar can’t go more than, say, 15 MPH or something, you know, for crew safety, even though the gas pedal is mashed all the way down. Could something like this work for the speeding workers of the RPD? IDK. Implementing a program like this would be expensive, but, of course, letting RPD workers speed along has been expensive and problematic and tragic (in many ways, in many ways) up ’til now, right?

Just as San Francisco Taxi Drivers Hate Uber, the SFPD Really Really Hates the Longtime “Patrol Special Officer” Program

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Here’s the wiki entry.

And here’s what the SFPD has to say about Patrol Specials, below. I’ll note that the bolded parts are in the original, and really, that’s my whole point –  the bolded parts are what the SFPD wants to emphasize, in high relief, as if we, the General Public, are failing students who Just Don’t Get It.

Information: Patrol Specials

WHAT IS A PATROL SPECIAL OFFICER?

Patrol Special Officers and their Assistants are NON-SWORN private patrol persons and are NOT members of the San Francisco Police Department. The Police Commission appoints Patrol Special Officers and has oversight responsibility over the entire Patrol Special Program. Patrol Special Officers were created under the City Charter and are defined as private patrol persons who contract to perform security duties of a private nature for private persons and businesses within a geographical boundary set forth by the Police Commission.

WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF A PATROL SPECIAL OFFICER?

Private businesses hire Patrol Special Officers to provide security services. They are private patrol officers who enter into a personal services contract with clients for security services. Typical responsibilities of a Patrol Special Officer’s include: unlocking or securing doors to a business, making checks of residences or businesses, conduct perimeter checks at burglar alarms, providing a physical presence at businesses and providing security consultations.

WHAT AREAS OF SAN FRANCISCO DO THESE OFFICERS PATROL?

Patrol Special Officer’s “Beats” are divided throughout San Francisco. A Patrol Special “Beat” owner can purchase the rights of a specific area to patrol. The purchasing process is regulated by the Police Commission and Police Department. All parts of San Francisco have Patrol Special “Beats”.

(more…)

An Old, Dilapidated Church for Black People in the Western Addition Has Become a Refurbished Single-Family House for White People in NoPA

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Well, the outside of 601 Broderick is finished.

Here are the deets, and here’s Hoodline’s effort from May.

And don’t miss James Hill, Architect:

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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…

That Geico Banner Dropped on Fremont – Was That from “Ad-Viation,” the Outfit That Dropped a Banner on SoMA Last Year?

Friday, July 25th, 2014

All right, work with me here, people – this one’s going to take a while to pay off and my theory may be incorrect, but anyway.

Here’s a post from earlier this year:

Hey Look, That Plane That Caused a Blackout in SoMA Last Year is Back in Business – The Dangers of Towed Banner Ads

“Well, here it is, a rare 1947 Sintson 108-2 over Golden Gate Park towing a banner, so that means it’s the very aircraft that dropped a different banner on SoMA last year, causing a blackout.

Ah memories:

“The aircraft, a Stinson 108, operating as a banner tow, experienced a release of the banner for reasons unknown. The banner displaying “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” fell onto power lines at Fifth & Brannan Streets in San Francisco, California, causing a brief interruption of local power.  Note: Ad-Viation has registered two Stinson 108′s, N331C and N6053M, possibly out of Hayward Executive – KHWD.”

Well let’s hope this doesn’t happen again….”

And this was the feedback I got from “Ad-Viation Inc” of San Ramon just a month ago:

Ad-viation says:
June 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm

The pilot that was towing the banner that cased the power out SoMA had over 10,000 of flight time & 7,000 plus hours of banner time without accident or incident. The banner release was do to what the pilot reported as the most sever wind shear he had ever encountered. The system that is designed to release the banner in the event that it is caught on something that could bring the plane down was activated by the wind shear. Wind shear has downed more that just “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” Let’s be thankful it was not another DC 10.”

Now this is what just occurred down in Fremont a week ago per Hamed Aleaziz of SFGate.com / The San Francisco Chronicle:

Geico banner plunges from sky onto Fremont home

And here’s a Fremont Fire Department selfie to prove it: 

Now here’s what I saw just yesterday down in San Mateo County – it’s a Stinson / Piper 108 / Voyager towing a different GEICO banner:

So now I’m thinking, gee, is this the same outfit what dropped a banner on power lines in San Francisco last year dropping a different banner on power lines in Fremont this year?  

Isn’t it ironic, don’tcha think? I mean it’s like rain on your wedding day/ It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid.

So I don’t know. I don’t have a pilot name or an N-number to go on, so I don’t know who dropped that banner on Fremont and I don’t know if somebody / the bay area / PG&E / FAA / NTSB has an advertising-banners-keep-dropping-on-our-power-lines problem…

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.

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.

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.

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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?

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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.