“The replacement freeway and Boulevard were charged with ensuring a level of service comparable to the previous structure and configuration. This has been achieved…”
In no way, shape, or form does the newish Octavia Boulevard have a level of service comparable to the old Central Freeway.
And, BTW, did the Central Freeway block Fell, Oak, Page, Haight and Market? Nope. Does Octavia Boulevard? Yep, every day, all the time.
(This is an example of misplaced confidence, of the hubris.)
Now, what kind of signal timing does it take to accommodate a 3000-mile-long freeway ending on Market Street. Well, let’s take a look here. Do you notice that Market street peds have about four seconds to begin the journey across Octavia during the 95-second cycle? Why is that? I mean, that means that any given ped on Market has over a 95% chance of having to stop and wait for all those cars on Octavia to go by. Is that fair? Now, what about cars and streetcars and bikes and buses and whatnot heading outbound on Market – do you think it’s much better for them? Well, it’s not. Just 20-something percent of the traffic signal cycle allows traffic to flow uphill on Market at the Octavia Intersection. Why are the lights so biased in favor of the cars driving through on Octavia, you know, as opposed to Market Street?
Check it (oh yeah, that’s some homeless dude coughing at the end there, not me.)
Now, how can I justify blaming the whole “Boulevard Movement” fad of the aughts for an famous accident that killed that UCSF doctor if the UCSF van driver ran a red light? Well, take a look at this:
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See? Sometimes half the lanes of Oak have a red light and the other half have a green. Does that make sense? Well, if you’re struggling to make pathetic Octavia work and you don’t want traffic routinely backing up to Golden Gate Park, well then you yourself would be tempted to do whatever you could to help Octavia flow.
Does this unorthodox design factor in human nature, you know, the nut behind the steering wheel? No, it doesn’t. The fact is that car drivers, those sheeple, follow the pack. If the car to the right goes, then they want to go.
Of course, drivers should do better, but we need to factor in their behavior when we design roads, right?
What we shouldn’t do is to let Hayes Valley insiders, that very small but very influential group, to design anything for the rest of us.
And BTW, why on Earth are left turns allowed on inbound Market onto Octavia? Could it be for the convenience of those Hayes Valley insiders? Check it out. You’d think that Hayes Valley types would be satisfied with being able to make a left at the prior intersection or the next intersection, but no, traffic on Market has to wait on a dedicated signal for a dedicated lane of drivers.
Does that make sense?
Why not this? Why not narrow Octavia dramatically and just give up on the whole boulevard experiment? Just take out the frontage roads and all that on-street parking and those medians and that would be a good start on “completing” the Horrible Octavia Experiment, turning it into a “Complete Street.” Even the Great Designer of Octavia admits now that the boulevard is too wide.
And let’s get rid of that left turn lane that was built just for the NIMBYs of Hayes Valley. Why should Market Street, the more important one, take a back street to Octavia, which is basically a glorified freeway onramp?
And why not give people on Market Street half the time of the light signal and then the people on Octavia the other half? Wouldn’t that be more fair?
“Before the destruction of the Central Freeway, condominium prices in the Hayes Valley neighborhood were 66% of San Francisco average prices. However, after the demolition and subsequent replacement with the new Octavia Boulevard, prices grew to 91% of city average. Beyond this, the most dramatic increases were seen in the areas nearest to the new boulevard. Furthermore, residents noted a significant change in the nature of the commercial establishments in the area. Where it had been previously populated by liquor stores and mechanic shops, soon the area was teeming with trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques.”
I am one of your local physicians and have taken care of many different kinds of people during the past 9 years of my appointment as an internist at UCSF, where I have worked at SF General Hospital as well as at the VA and the UCSF campuses. San Francisco is a surprisingly small town, and when you spend enough time in the health care industry, you come to recognize many of the city’s residents. You hold their stories and watch over them, in the hospital when they are ill and in the chance occurrences of running into them on the streets, in the market or painting the town red. It is an honor and great privilege to take care of the people of this city that I love so dearly.
Last month, I learned that one of my former patients Charles Hill was shot and killed by BART police. Per the police, he was armed with a bottle and a knife and had menacing behavior. Per eye witnesses, he was altered and appeared to be intoxicated but did not represent a lethal danger. I remember Charles vividly, having taken care of him several times in the revolving door which is the health care system for the people who do not fit neatly into society. Charles was a member of the invisible class of people in SF–mentally ill, homeless and not reliably connected to the help he needed. While I had seen him agitated before and while I can’t speak to all of his behavior, I never would have described him as threatening in such a way as to warrant the use of deadly force. We often have to deal with agitated sometimes even violent patients in the hospital. Through teamwork, tools and training, we have not had to fatally wound our patients in order to subdue them. I understand the police are there to protect us and react to the situation around them, but I wonder why the officer who shot Charles did not aim for the leg if he felt the need to use a gun, instead of his vital organs. I wonder if he possessed other training methods to subdue an agitated man with a knife or bottle.
I feel this situation quite deeply. It is hard to watch our civil servants (police) brutally handle a person and their body when i spend my time and energy as a civil servant (physician) honoring the dignity of that person, regardless of their race or social class, their beliefs or their affiliations. I know it is not my job–nor the police’s job—to mete out justice or judgment of a person’s worthiness. It is also hard because Charles has no voice, no one to speak for him now that he is gone. It would be easy to let this slide and move on with our busy lives, as we all struggle to make ends meet in this expensive city during a recession. I believe this situation shows us how powerless we all feel to some degree.
I feel outraged and am trying to find the best ways to express it–through creative outpouring, through conversations. I would like to lend my voice to the growing protest of the BART police’s excessive use of violent force and know that weekly protests are being organized on Mondays until demands are met for BART to fully investigate the shooting of Charles Hill, disarm its police force and train them properly, as well as bringing the officer who shot him to justice. The media is portraying the annoyance of the protests to commuters more than the unbelievable horror that an innocent man was shot dead by the force that is meant to protect us. I don’t want to upset commuters or be a nuisance. I would like to be part of educating and not letting this slip under the proverbial rug, in honor of Charles Hill and in order to help prevent something like this from ever happening again.
I will be present at the peaceful demonstrations on Mondays in front of the BART Civic Center station, not to prevent commuters from getting home, but to educate a population that may need to pause and think about the value a human life has and the kind of San Francisco we want to live and work in.
Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.
(Gentle Readers, you know that I love you, all 14 of you, no matter what. But others, well, they only care about cosmetic-type things – they’ll like you better if you pay somebody to shoot protein into your face, oh well.)
Can you imagine making a post on the Yelp about your plastic surgeon and then getting hit with a multi-million dollar defamation (plus invasion of privacy plus interference with prospective economic advantage, you know, the whole megillah) lawsuit?
[UPDATE: Welcome, BigTent visitors! But play nice - please retract your claws when you and your nannies venture away from your online ghetto and onto the Civilized Internet.]
Would Whistler’s Mother have “qualified” to spend $75 to become a “member” of the “exclusive” Yahoo-Groupsish Golden Gate Mothers Group? Sadly no, as she was one of those “older mothers.” Check out the membership criteria, below.
What are the criteria for membership?
You must be a woman who lives in San Francisco and is expecting a child or has at least one child younger than 5 years old. Our organization is intended solely to support mothers and to explore the issues that arise in motherhood.
What does it cost and how is the money spent?
Both our initial and renewal fees are $75 for membership for one year. This covers the administrative and operating expenses of our group including various programs such as educational events, kids activities, social events, Just For Moms events, playgroups, newsletter and more. Any credit card charges made to GGMG will be listed on your statement as “BigTent”.
Can I pay by check?
Our primary method of collecting membership fees is through BigTent. Because our approval process and newsletter distribution relies heavily on BigTent, we are not able to process any membership fees through paper check. Alternatively, membership fees can be collected though the gift membership process. Information can be found at www.ggmg.org/giftmembership.html.
(Well, you read that and you think isn’t Cheryl Brinkman another one of those Gavin Newsom lackeys /appointees? And isn’t the board of the SFMTA part of the problem itself? And isn’t the residential parking permit system a stupid, NIMBYish idea as well? That’s what you might think.)
Anyway, let’s say you want a parking permit now, without jumping through hoops. You and your baby need the 411 on “going around the system” like right now, baby. Well here it is, right here.
What’s that? “Object not found.” Somebody must have took down the adviceful webpage. How wude!
Oh, wait a second, here’s something they had up a few days back:
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Couldn’t locate all the techniques the mommies discussed, but enjoy a sampler:
“I was able to get one by first talking with our pediatrician about whether he’d be willing to sign an affidavit that our nannies would be providing “medical care”. Since our healthy 3 month old son wouldn’t be able to survive on his own without care, I think that the doctor justified it in his own mind and said that he’d be willing to sign it. (You have to get a permit for a specific car, so you can’t just have an extra permit.)”
“We just had our pediatrician sign the medical caregiver form and were able to get a parking permit for our nanny with no questions asked.”
“We went through this same exact problem when we lived in the city a year ago. So what I ended up doing was this, when we it came time to renew our parking permits, we did and it came in the mail and using Windex* or 409 ( I can’t remember which) we sprayed it on the permit and wiped away the black marker with our license plate number and wrote in our nannies. It worked out perfectly. I drove to work so I didn’t need a permit during the day. There was a period of 6 weeks that I didn’t know what I was going to do, so I got her a temporary permit ( you can get them for 6 or 8 weeks or something like that) I think it’s a visitors permit. You have to go into the parking office but it worked out fine. Obviously wiping the number off the permit isn’t on the up and up, but we didn’t feel we had any other choice.”
And oh! I have another one. Help your nanny by getting your doctor to sign off on a DMV handicapped placard application! (Doctors will do this for you because there’s no downside for them – you see, no physician has ever been disciplined in the slightest for improperly authorizing a DMV handicapped placard during the entire history of the state of California. That’s why getting a placard is a can of corn. Anyway, if I were a nanny, I’d appreciate a blue placard more than some stupid parking sticker that only works in certain areas…)
The moderation on this group is horrible. If you try to ask what exactly the 75.00 is used for, your account gets shut down and suspended.
So let’s see $75.00 x 4000 members, plus all the advertising revenue 80K, where does all that money go? That’s a half a million dollars people have paid to have the privildge to post questions about a babies but rash?
No thanks, there are many other mothers groups out there. Bernal Heights parents group, Mission moms, Glen park, all on Yahoo for free.”
*Hey, where’s the Windex, Honey? I don’t know, ask the nanny. What, where the Hell is she – is she circling the block again? That’s it, we’re moving to Marin…”
Amnesty International believes “Maternal Health is a Human Right,” so it’s holding a Maternal Health Town Hall meeting in San Francisco’s Main Public Library at 100 Larkin in Civic Center from5:30 – 7:30 PM on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010.
All right, the commercial for the library is over. Here are the deets for the town hall. (FYI, show up early and consider RSVP-ing if you want a seat.)
Amnesty International Hosts April Town Hall Forums in San Francisco (April 14), Detroit and New York City on Crisis of Maternal Health in U.S. and Worldwide. International and Local Speakers to Focus on Campaign to Reduce Preventable Deaths of Women and Mothers
NEW YORK, April 7 — Amnesty International will host three special public town hall forums with its leaders from around the world and local partner organizations in San Francisco (April 14), Detroit (April 17) and New York City (April 19) to spotlight a new campaign to reduce preventable maternal deaths in the United States and worldwide. Urging the public to learn the truth about the world’s “missing mothers,” Amnesty International will host discussions with local maternal health experts and its national leaders from the United States, Burkina Faso, Peru, and Sierra Leone — countries where the human rights organization has launched campaigns to prevent unacceptably high rates of maternal deaths.
Following the recent release of its report, Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the U.S.A., Amnesty International is asking the U.S. government to establish a national Office of Maternal Health to improve pregnancy and childbirth outcomes. The United States spends more than any other country on health care and more on maternal health than any other type of hospital care. Despite this, the United States ranks behind 40 other countries in the rate of maternal deaths, with 2 to 3 women dying every day and 34,000 pregnant women every year suffering “near misses” — where severe complications nearly cause death.