Well, the outside of 601 Broderick is finished.
And don’t miss James Hill, Architect:
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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…
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:
“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.
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.
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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[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.
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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.
[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:
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So here’s something I didn’t know:
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.
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.
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 email@example.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
Bon courage, HAtCHBeat!
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?
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?