Posts Tagged ‘design’

SFMTA Forces Pedestrians to Wait as Pickups Turning Left Get Priority – At Recently “Improved” Oak and Baker

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

So, this truck has priority and then a few seconds later peds may cross:

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This is similar to the design at masonic O’Farrell / Anza and Masonic, where peds also need to wait at the start of the signal, so about three or four drivers (assuming they’re paying attention – if they’re not sometimes only one car makes it through, sadly) can turn. And then when that’s done, peds may cross, not that ppl aren’t confused still, with that odd intersection.

Did I mention that Target paid for the signals at O’Farrell and Masonic? That seems to have had an effect upon design, you know, what with the SFMTA being the political animal it is…

UNPROVEN THEORY: Proposed Designs for All “Local Interest” T-Shirts at City Target are 1) Phoned In, Literally; and 2) Never Rejected

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

[Gruff Man with Brooklyn Accent] So put in a Golden Gate Bridge with waves below and some fucking seagulls above and surround it with a heart. And then how about a California in Miami Blue except make it look like the Coca Cola script and then throw in some fucking trees like they have in L.A. And give me an SF surrounded by a fucking circle or a square or a triangle, whatever. And give me a Fog City like it’s a baseball logo – make it Dodger Blue, or Royals Blue, or just any kind of dark blue what’ll just scream “San Fran” to the buying public. And for the rest of it, just surprise me, anything will do.

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[Textile Factory Owner] Yes sir. Right away, sir.

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[Buyer for City Target, Living Somewhere in the Central Time Zone]: We love your samples! What genius creativity! We’ll start off with 100 gross of each design. We’ll pay whatever your asking price is.

FIN

Our Designerly Community Meets Up With Reality on Market – “Placemaking” vs. Rampant Petty Crime

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

What do you see here, what do you notice?

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Urbanist-Style, Designerly Street Lights vs. Regular Old Street Lights – What’s the Difference?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

The new ones are in the back, on Divisadero:

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If you can see some great difference betwixt the stylings of these street AND you think it’s a great idea to tax the Little People in order to replace perfectly good, utilitarian, existing street lights, then YOU’RE a part of the problem.

Sry.

Look Closely – Our SFMTA N Judah Express Jammed Up at Oak and Masonic – Urban School Work + Poor Design

Friday, September 4th, 2015

IMO:

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Is somebody in charge here?

‘Cause if somebody is, I’d have a few notes.

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this dysfunction, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

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See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. So of course if you pressure it to do things you want done, like planting trees in the middle of the street, which, of course, has nothing to do with safety, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If, later on, you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down after all these changes so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won’t really affect me, myself, I don’t think. Seems selfish to think now-hey-what-about-me, anyway. What ended up happening  with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it’ll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it’s hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project, this tree planting diversion. So, what will the effects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

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Iconic Sign Design: “BAY AREA BIRD HOSPITAL” on Taraval – Surely a Future Museum Piece

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

A bit of color in the cold, foggy Parkside District:

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(They have another sign that shows a giant parrot / parakeet atop the Golden Gate Bridge, but it’s less iconic ‘n stuff.)

I don’t know how old these signs are, but they probably precede the era of escaped pet parrots going feral and flying about The Avenues in huge flocks. Check it, the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill are now all over the place, like here, in the cold, foggy Sunset District, around Noriega, just a few blocks north of the cold, foggy Parkside:

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They might look like hated pigeons from a distance, but their loud squawking gives them away every time. It’s still amazing to me to see these birds flying about the 415:

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Look to the Skies for Signs and Wonders…

Hofmeister Kink: A Mid-40’s German in Ashbury Heights – Celebrating a Half-Century of BMW’s “Signature Design Element”

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Hofmeister Kink, BMW 2002:

Click to expand

24 Hours of Gannet Co Inc’s The Bold Italic Website: “Sexy Time,” “Sex Toy,” “More Sex” – A Triumph of Form Over Content

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

This was the promise, a few years back:

“From the beginning, art elements and overall design featured prominently in strategy discussions and were kept at the forefront. Inventive and well-known global design firm IDEO was brought in early on to work with Gannett’s innovation team incorporating relevant research into the human-centered design* that was being developed for The Bold Italic.”

The cost to Gannett? Well, millions were spent on just one website / defunct magazine. How many millions? Well, as with Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu, No Man Can Say.

But let’s check the water cooler chitchat over at The Gannet Blog:

“The revenue plan was mysterious because there was no revenue. Not for the first 24 months anyway. The Bold Italic had a burn rate that rivals some of the most infamous dot.com fizz outs. They blew through $2 million a year for the first 2 years, before snagging a whopping $41k in revenue based on their skimming from entertainment ticket / event sales.”

And that brings us to July 2014, where these bits came out within hours of each other:

Sexy Time: An Oil to Get Your Lady Parts Stoned (NSFW)

Men Can Bone Their iPads with New Sex Toy

Help This Horny Gal Have More Sex with Her BF

My point is that you didn’t need to go There to get Here.

My other point is that:

1. Aging east coast media baron Gannett Co. Inc. is Charles Foster Kane; and

2. West coast corporate money-pit vanity-project The Bold Italic is its Xanadu, and perhaps, eventually, its Waterloo

Oh here it is, 34 Page Street – so sexy! You can see the glow from all that reclaimed wood upstairs:

In closing … Rosebud!

END OF LINE

*What on Earth does that mean? I’m clueless. It’s just blah blah blah while the meter’s running at $500 per hour…