Posts Tagged ‘dept.’

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:

Click to expand

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.

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.

What, Somebody’s _Starting_ a Newspaper in San Francisco? Presenting Issue One of “HATCH Beat” from Liz Fedak of Illinois

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Well, here it is, an actual real 8-page newspaper “serving Cole Valley, Alamo Square, Hayes Valley and the Haights” – it’s the brand-new HAtCHBeat, Issue One*

Now meet Liz Fedak, Publisher.

Somebody who tried something like this a little while back was Eve Batey. Her online-only effort didn’t work out.

And speaking of online-only, Hoodline (mostly covering “Divisadero, Hayes Valley, Lower Haight, Upper Haight,” mostly) comes to mind as there’s a lot of overlap there. Liz has carved out an area that we can call District 5 Less The Inner Sunset.

Who’s taken notice already? How about D5 Supervisor London Breed** with her City Hall column and SFPD Park Station Captain Gregory Corrales with his Police Beat? 

And add to that an alphabet soup of SFGov departments, including advertisers with big ads such as the Department of Elections and the SF Public Library.

Check it out if you can. You’ll see a bit about Jimmy’s Old Car Picnic (1988-2013) that takes a decidedly anti-RPD position.

That was the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:

Do you have interest in writing, photography or videography? Whether you have experience or not, send an email to editor@hatchbeat.com to get involved.”

Leaving you with the categories to be covered:

Business + Money — HATCH Beat
Parenting — HATCH Beat
Profiles — HATCH Beat
Community — HATCH Beat
Calendar — HATCH Beat
Pets — HATCH Beat
Food + Drink — HATCH Beat
Police Blotter — HATCH Beat
Entertainment — HATCH Beat

I’ll tell you, I was startled to see this small newspaper – it just cruised in under the radar and onto my stoop.

 Bon courage, HAtCHBeat!

*AFAIK

**The 2014 London Breed. A bit more sedate than the Fuck Willie Brown-era London Breed of 2012-2013.

San Francisco’s Appointed Mayor Ed Lee Talks About Raising the Minimum Wage, But Election Day Poll Workers Make Less Than That – Why?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

All right, c’mon, “Apply to be a Poll Worker!

Attend one training class that will clearly explain Poll Worker duties.”

“All Poll Workers must arrive at the polling place no later than 6:00 a.m. on Election Day. Although the polls officially close at 8:00 p.m., Election Day does not end until all materials have been picked up (usually around 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.). There will be meal breaks during the day. 

So let’s do the math:

Training in Civic Center before the election: 3 hours or so.

Game Day: 15.5 hours, less breaks = 8 hours straight time and let’s say 6.5 hours of OT at time-and-a-half

So what’s that, 3+8+6.5+3.25 = 20.75 effective hours of work?

Multiplying by the official City and County minimum wage of $10.74 yields $222.86 total pay.

And using the vaunted $15 per hour minimum promised by quasi-governmental spokesperson and noted Berkeleyite Randy Shaw, we arrive at $311.25.

And what is appointed Mayor Ed Lee offering these poor souls? Well apparently no pay at all for the mandatory training, and then:

“Depending on your assignment, Poll Workers are paid between $142 and $195  for working on Election Day.”

Is this a joke, you ask?

No, Gentle Reader, it’s not. They’re srsly.

I cry foul.

In any event, if you’re an inspector you can make  a bit more, but then you gotta deal with high school seniors with their Katy Perry and cell phones and whathaveyou. They’re intelligent, you know, but lazy. And if their work doesn’t add up the way it should shortly after 8 PM, well that’s tough cookies – you’ll hear the beep beeps from the waiting cars and then the kids are gone and you, the vaunted elections inspector, will be left to fix things up.

Anyway, you get something like this for your troubles …

…but you won’t get minimum wage.

Now why is that?

LONDON CALLING! 4/20 Day 2014 Coming This Easter Sunday – Haight-Ashbury Supervisor London Breed Wants a Crackdown

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Here’s what Annual 420 Day looks like, not too far from the Haight Street McDonalds on Stanyan.

That’s not fog, that’s a cloud of exhaled Mary Jane:

An excellent capture from world-famous Broke-Ass Stuart.

All right, Happy 420 Day 2014!

And now, let’s hear from London Breed:

“April 16, 2014

Sunday, April 20th Activities in Golden Gate Park and the Haight-Ashbury

This Sunday, April 20th, will see not only Easter celebrations throughout the City, but the likely return of an informal and unpermitted “4/20” gathering in Golden Gate Park and the Haight, which has caused significant problems in the community over the years and was particularly problematic last year.

Crowds strained police, Muni, and park resources, overwhelmed residential streets, and in several instances, damaged public and private property. Traffic came to a standstill as cars swarmed thearea. Garbage overflowed from curbside cans that proved unequal to the occasion. And on Sunday, 4/21, staff and volunteers with the Recreation and Parks Department had to laboriously collect over 10,000 pounds of litter left in the parks, not to mention the trash collected by the Department of Public Works from the upper Haight to Hayes Valley.

I am determined not to allow these impacts again this year. Over the past months, I have worked closely with the Police and Parks Departments, Mayor Lee’s office, and the MTA on a comprehensive city approach to this event. There is no sponsor for 4/20, no organizer to hold to account. But I want the community to know that their Supervisor and their government are doing everything possible to ensure a safe, peaceful April 20th for both visitors and residents.

San Francisco, as always, welcomes celebrants with open arms, but this Sunday there will be boundaries to keep the community safe, and there will be no tolerance for anyone using 4/20 as an excuse to harm our parks or neighborhoods.

 There will be increased law enforcement presence both uniform and plainclothes—including Juvenile Probation Officers—in the Park, upper and lower Haight, and surrounding neighborhoods with a strict enforcement approach to all code violations.

 Parking is very limited in the area, and there will be Parking Control Officers (PCOs) ticketing and/or towing vehicles parked illegally in any way, e.g. on lawns or in neighbors’ driveways. PCOs will also be deployed at busy intersections to keep traffic and transit moving.

 Unpermitted booths and concessions in the Parks will not be allowed. Such enterprises will be immediately cited and removed.

 Traffic control officers, SFPD, and Muni will be on hand in the afternoon to help move visitors out of the neighborhoods quickly and safely. Muni will reroute buses off Haight Street between Stanyan and Masonic to avoid delays. 

If our neighborhoods and parks are expected to continue hosting a large gathering, without an organizer or any resources beyond those provided by the taxpayer, we must all be vigilant in ensuring the event is safe, clean, and responsible.

LONDON N. BREED

City Hall 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place San Francisco, California 94102-4689 (415) 554-7630

Fax (415) 554 – 7634 TDD/TTY (415) 554-5227 E-mail: London.Breed@sfgov.org

OMG, the 15th Annual How Weird Street Faire is Coming May 4th, 2014 – “May the Fourth Be With You!”

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

The deets:

HOW WEIRD IN OUTER SPACE – The 15th annual How Weird Street Faire
Sunday May 4, 2014, Noon to 8pm
Howard and 2nd Streets, Downtown San Francisco, Earth, Sol, Milky Way
$10 requested donation

Ah, yesteryear:

I’m in outer space reading Frankfurt School treatises
That curl the common man into fetuses

All the deets:

“On May the Fourth, the How Weird Street Faire will fill the streets of San Francisco with a celebration unlike anything you’ve experienced before… HOW WEIRD IN OUTER SPACE! An epic journey to a place of weirdness and creativity and peace. How Weird features galactic-class music and art, dancing, performances, technology exhibits, unique vendors from across the planet, and thousands of people in colorful costumes.

You are invited to participate in the greatest street faire in the galaxy, and the start of the San Francisco festival season. Explore the furtile breeding ground for unexpected inspiration and cutting-edge innovation. Be creative at the expanding Art Alley, a vortex of varied expressions. Make new connections, and reconnect with old ones. Together, we will boldly go where no street faire has gone before.

The How Weird Street Faire showcases the full spectrum of electronic dance music styles, using advanced sound technology to fill the streets of San Francisco with the vibrations of peace and the frequencies of fun. There will be 10 stages of some of the best music, art, and sound systems in the galaxy, produced by some of the best sound collectives in the universe.

How Weird 2014 will feature dance music stages by Enchanted Forest, Muti Music, Symbiosis Gathering, Northern Nights, Opel, Opulent Temple, Pink Mammoth, SF House Music, Temple Nightclub, Space Monkeys, Pulse SF, Global Village, the boombox affair, Party Babas, Red Marines Festival, Happy Camp, Think You Can DJ Game Show, World Famous Productions, and more.

For 2014, How Weird Street Faire introduces the first National Dance Week stage, featuring dancers of every kind from every place, showcasing the diversity of terrestrial bodies in motion. There will be free dance lessons throughout the day, and a special flash mob that you can participate in. The National Dance Week stage will be next to the center intersection, and dancing will be found throughout the faire. All existence is in a complex dance of energy and vibrations, continuously moving and evolving. Dance is perhaps the best way of describing and understanding life, the cosmos, and ourselves.

Art has a way of reaching the farthest places. This year, How Weird will expand Art Alley and move it to Tehama Street. Come create at the new location, and enjoy the live and exhibited artwork and interactive Art Alley mural. Art Alley is curated by ArtIsMobilUs, a non-profit mobile public art gallery and roving arts incubator bringing art to humans everywhere.

There is a $10 requested donation at the entrances to the faire, for which you will receive a Magic Sticker. The Magic Stickers are worth hundreds of dollars in savings, and come with many free things. There will be discounts and specials at all of the vendors at the faire, and all of the faire bars. The Magic Stickers are how people can support the faire, while getting something great back in return. Check the website for all of the Magic Sticker specials.

The How Weird vendors offer many unique and creative goods for sale, including designer clothing, jewelry, art, decorations, games, and more. And there will be plenty of tasty food and drinks. This year will also feature local arts and crafts vending on Art Alley.

Costumes are required at How Weird. Come as yourself. Come as someone else. Come as something weird. Be the you you’ve always wanted to be. Space-related costumes are big this year.

The faire is open to all ages, and is handicapped accessible. The main entrance is at Howard and New Montgomery Streets, a short walk to MUNI, BART, the Transbay Terminal, and Caltrain Station. For those arriving from above, the coordinates are 37°47’12.4″ N, 122°23’53.7″ W. Join us as we journey through the cosmos in search of new and exciting experiences, expanding our perspective to the universal scale.

The How Weird Street Faire is a project of the non-profit World Peace Through Technology Organization, showing that in spite of our differences, we all dance to the same beat.

For more information visit http://HowWeird.org

Use the hashtag #hwsf to talk about the How Weird Street Faire.

And May the Fourth be with you!”

Thank you very much,

Justin Weiner

Marketing and Stage Director for How Weird

 

Sriracha Rooster Sauce Update – Thirty-Day Hold from the California Department of Public Health Causes Supply Hiccups

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

The Inside Scoop had the scoop in December.

And now in February, the Great Cock Sauce Supply Chain is still hiccuping.

See? Where once was Huy Fong Foods hot sauce, there’s now generic-looking “Sriracha Chili Sauce” with anchovies:

Click to expand

But everything should get back to normal in March, looks like.

Ain’t found a way to kill me yet
Eyes burn with stinging sweat
Here they come to snuff the rooster, aww yeah, hey yeah
Yeah here come the rooster, yeah
You know he ain’t gonna die
No, no, no, ya know he ain’t gonna die