Look at this:
Likely to succeed, IMO
You’d think a SAFETYCAR such as this one would spend its time on a racetrack up north, but no, it mingles with regular cars on the streets of San Francisco, like this:
Now here’s the update, from Jake Saltzman:
IDK, did SAFETYCAR block traffic in a yellow zone during towaway rush hour and then did DPT have it towed as a hazard to navigation? Well, something like that.
(Someday, _I’ll_ own and operate a SAFETYCAR!)
Get up-to-speed here.
Hey, look at this – an official SFFD operations memo. Just a draft, but nobody’s really working on hammering out the exact wording of detailed Fire Code sections here. No, this is more what you call “guidelines.”
Now arguably, this program is actual SFFD policy now and it’s has been policy since well before 2015, but of course most people in town don’t know about it. The new wrinkle, AFAIK, is that only ground floor bathrooms are covered. That means that a lot of stations won’t be able to help you.
“SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT
DEPUTY CHIEF – OPERATIONS MEMORANDUM
TO: Divisions 2 and 3, Battalions 1-10
FROM: Deputy Chief Gonzales, Operations
DATE: June 19th, 2015
SUBJECT: General Public Usage of Fire Station Restroom Facilities
To all Members:
Fire Station Restrooms: San Francisco Fire Stations with ground floor restroom facilities are available for public use. Members of the general public may use the ground floor restroom facilities between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
If the Fire units within said Stations are called out for any emergency, the member of the public must also leave the facility immediately. Members of the public shall not be left behind alone in the Firehouse. Signs shall be posted by Station Captains on the doors of the facilities stating, “If there is an emergency dispatch and units must leave, anyone using this restroom facility must also leave immediately.”
The Fire Department employee that guides the member of the public to the bathroom facility shall also verbally inform the member of the public that they will have to leave the facility immediately, if an emergency call comes in and no units are available to stay behind.
The Fire Department employee that guides the member of the public into the facility is also responsible for escorting the member of the public back out of the Firehouse.
It is up to the Officer’s discretion if a member of the public is allowed to use the ground floor restroom facility. If the member of the public requesting to use the facility is inebriated or altered in any way, they shall not be allowed to use the restroom facility. The health and safety of our members and the security of the Firehouse shall also factor into the Officer’s discretion/decision.
Regarding visitors to the Firehouse, article 3950 still applies:
Members shall not invite or allow visitors not on Department business to enter Department facilities before 1000 hours or after 2100 hours. Members shall only allow visitors into public areas of a Department station or facility. Members shall not invite or allow intoxicated persons in or about Department property, except for purposes of providing medical care.”
1. Well, here’s the news:
“The paint crew began restriping at Hyde Street in preparation for the turn restrictions yesterday (June 23rd), just a week after board approval. The paint crew will continue their work through July along with the sign and meter shops, to install the turn restriction signage and loading zones respectfully. It is expected that the work for the turn restrictions, loading zones, and painted safety zones will be complete by early to mid-August. The signs will be bagged until all are complete, at which time the turn restrictions will go into effect, and will be enforced by SFMTA parking control officers and SFPD.”
I can sort of see how the SFMTA is able to enforce CA’s “block the box” law, as the drivers cited are literally parking in intersections, sometimes for as long as a minute.*
But, I can’t see how the SFMTA is going to be able to “enforce” the coming turn restrictions on Market Street.
What am I missing here?
Is this simply the clumsy SFMTA talking bad agin? We’ll see.
2. And since we’re here at the above link, look at what the SFMTA considers an example of a “news article” – it’s some dude on Medium. What the SFMTA means to say is here are some news articles plus links to fawning supporters, those who’d never pointy out that we operate the slowest, least-efficient big-city transit system in America. I mean how wude for ppl to say that, right?
3. Ah, what else. Hey, SFMTA! Why not now ban SFMTA taxis from making the turns you just banned Uber, Lyft and the other TNC’s from making? Hear me out – we’d be doing it for safety. And actually, the actual position of Uber and Lyft is that taxis should be similarly banned from making these restricted turns. SFMTA board members complaining about the “nightmare” of enforcement should be placated – if you see a taxi making this turn, give it a ticket just like you do with all the other cars. Easy peasy. Oh what’s that, you don’t want to, you’d have to change some rule? Well, then why not do that? Don’t you care about safety?
4. And, what else. Oh yeah, what about handicapped drivers? They’ll be getting four new spaces to park on Market betwixt 3rd and 8th (or between 8th and 3rd, as most people like to phrase it, so I guess my brain’s not hooked up right) but then they won’t be able to make the turn onto Market to get to the spaces? Or, maybe you can make these turns? But then you’d be in a private vehicle, right? I don’t get it. The SFMTA of 2014 wasn’t afraid to discuss this issue, but the SFMTA of 2015 is, apparently.
5. And hey, what about MUNI’s accidents along this stretch of road? Let’s find the stat here, direct from the SFMTA. Oh what’s that, Gentle Reader, is your link busted too. Well, who busted it – the SFMTA itself? Why’s that? In fact, the info on that web page is gone forever from SFMTA.com – it’s down the Memory Hole, Comrade. So let’s go way back, via the Wayback Machine:
“Between 2012 and 2013, there were 162 reported injury collisions on Market between Van Ness Avenue and Steuart Street, including 2 fatalities. 33% of collisions involve Muni.“
So, help me out here. What percentage of vehicles on this part of Market are MUNI vehicles? I’m thinking it’s way less than 10%. (You ever wait for the outbound buses? Just count the number of cars and taxis and cyclists what pass you by.) And yet, a third of the collisions involve MUNI? Hey SFMTA, don’t you have a problem here? Hey SFMTA, aren’t you yourselves a part of the problem?
*Now this is kind of stupid, as SFGov is profiting off of an intersection that it’s in control of, an intersection near the foot of Bush Street what’s managed, by SFGov, poorly, IMO. Nevertheless, the oblivious suburbanites heading home shouldn’t be blocking the box light cycle after light cycle.
You know, I thought we were done hearing about area blogger/gadfly Michael Petrelis and the bathrooms of SFGov, but we’re not.
Here it is:
Hey, wasn’t this policy, or whatever you want to call it, in effect before gadfly Mike Petrelis took wing? I think so.
All the deets, from last month:
“Thank you for your advocacy to increased toilet access for San Franciscans. We are pleased to update you on the following efforts to increase bathroom availability:
Fire Station Restrooms: Nearly all of the San Francisco Fire Stations are open for public restroom use. Any member of the public may ring the Fire Station doorbell and will be let in to use the toilet between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Automatic Public Toilet Program: There are 25 self-cleaning public toilets in San Francisco. Here is a list of the locations:
“1. Fisherman’s Wharf: Jefferson & Powell Sts. 2. Fisherman’s Wharf: Jefferson & Powell Sts. 3. Bay & Taylor Sts. 4. Coit Tower, Pioneer Park 5. Washington Square: Union St. & Columbus Ave 6. Pier 7 7. Justin Herman Plaza 8. Market & California Sts. 9. Transbay Terminal: Mission & 1st Sts. 10. St. Mary’s Square: Pine & Quincy Sts. 11. Union Square: Geary & Powell Sts. 12. MacCauley Park: Larkin & O’Farrell Sts. 13. Boedecker Park: Eddy & Jones Sts. 14. Market & Powell Sts. 15. Civic Center: Grove & Larkin Sts. 16. UN Plaza: Market & 7th Sts. 17. Embarcadero & Harrison Sts. 18. Stanyan & Waller Sts. 19. Market & Church Sts. 20. Market & 17th Sts. 21. Mission & 16th Sts. 22. Twin Peaks 23. Mission & 24th Sts. 24. South Van Ness Ave & Cesar Chavez St. 25. Drumm & Clay Sts.
“Pit Stop Program: San Francisco Department of Public Works has expanded their toilet access program from six toilets in three locations in the Tenderloin to include two toilets in the South of Market and to the Mission District where the Pit Stop program has taken over a JCDecaux public toilet.
“Outreach: To ensure that homeless individuals are aware of the bathroom options, flyers will be distributed at homeless shelters, via SFHOT, and at the Project Homeless Connect Every Day Connect office. Thank you again for your advocacy on this issue.
Chief Joanne Hayes-White, San Francisco Fire Department Director
Barbara Garcia, San Francisco Department of Public Health Director
Bevan Dufty, Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE)”
Oh, this one’s easy – we’re going to go from zero to Orwellian in ten seconds.
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines:
And here’s your nut graf:
“SFMTA plans to present their proposal to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority later this week. The agency says the citations would not be moving violations, and therefore not reportable to the DMV.”
Now let’s review – Papa Homer, what’s a “moving violation?
“A moving violation is a violation of the law committed by the driver of a vehicle while it is in motion. The term “motion” distinguishes it from other motor vehicle violations, such as paperwork violations (which include violations involving automobile insurance, registration and inspection), parking violations, or equipment violations.”
So, if the parking ticket agency gives a ticket for speeding, it’s issuing moving violations, right? Now tell us more, Wiki:
While some violations, like parking violations, are civil matters involving a vehicle’s owner, moving violations are charged against the actual driver.
Yep. And then there’s this:
The most commonly enforced moving violation, and the overwhelmingly most frequent reason for a vehicle pullover, are violations of the speed limit.
And what’s the motivation for the SFMTA to float this balloon?
Sometimes tickets are used in a speed trap as a form of fundraising.
I don’t use the term “speed trap” myself, but, yes, our SFMTA is obsessed with “fundraising,” certainly.
Examples of moving violations: speeding, which can be exceeding a limit or simply driving an unsafe speed…
Thanks Wiki! And actually, a speeding ticket is the prototypical moving violation, in Frisco and everywhere else too.
Now I’ll tell you, I was surprised earlier this year to see the SFMTA issuing “block the box” tickets, because sometimes the SFMTA DPT shows up at an intersection during rush hour to unblock the box, not to make money from block boxing. And yet, here you go:
This is a DPT PCO in the middle of the intersection of Bush and Sansome shooting fish in a barrel – busting three vehicles, and then she was Gone In 60 Seconds.
And I thought, well, I suppose the drivers here are parked since they’re idling away, motionless, for a long time, so sure, ticket away, SFMTA, even though you’ve timed the lights to exacerbate this situation, but anyway, sure, these are parking tickets, fine.
But if you want to start issuing moving violation tickets, you shouldn’t lie about it. (I’ll tell you, sometimes I can’t tell if the SFMTA lies on purpose or if it just doesn’t know what it’s doing.)
Now, here’s my MODEST PROPOSAL – traffic cameras for pedestrians, mounted over crosswalks. The cameras would record all the peds who jump the light by starting across a second or two early and then a ticket for $100 would get mailed to the offenders after facial recognition ID’s the peds. (Gentle Reader, did you know that most ped deaths last year on the Streets of San Francisco were the fault of the peds themselves? It’s sort of a secret. It wasn’t a blowout or anything, the peds “won” this competition by 50-something percent, vs. the drivers’ 40-something percent, but isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think, that enforcing the vehicle code upon peds, as unpopular as this might be, could reduce traffic deaths more than how SFGov has handled matters up ’til now? Anyway, I’m talking about how the SFPD apportioned ped deaths in SF in 2014. But don’t talk about it, oh no – that might get you transferred to the Airport Detail, srsly. And bonus! Our new ped cams could “also help us as an investigative tool if someone is committing a crime somewhere nearby.” Moving on…)
Of course, the reason why SFGov wants to go Full Orwell is that paying sworn officers to issue tickets is inefficient and expensive. OTOH, an automatic system, backed up by an appeals mechanism to make everything constitutional, could generate tons of money for the SFMTA, like almost as much as its Household Transit Tax fantasy that it would impose on you, Gentle Reader, in a New York minute, if it could. (It’s what Ed Reiskin dreams of at night – your transit tax would be added to your tax returns, easy peasy, what a dream!)
Anyway, I think saying that a moving violation isn’t is worthy of five Orwells, on a scale of zero to five Orwells:
All the way to the bottom,
Maggie SFMTA – you’ve made it!
After years of work and study…
BROADWAY TUNNEL BICYCLE PROJECT: Staff has sent a work order to
the Signal Shop to have the bicycle symbol flash when turned on. (No
…this the result, eastbound – a blank, nonsensical, K-Mart-looking diamond what lights up when cyclists are sensed in the BT:
The old method of alerting drivers was similar, but it actually made sense to drivers when it wasn’t operating.
(The SFMTA seems to think that dreaming up crazy new ideas is its obligation – if you’ve never seen things before anywhere else in the world, that’s proof that the SFMTA is showing “leadership,” apparently)
Now here it is when it’s actually working, which I’ve never seen before, courtesy of Google Maps (from the northern lane – G gives you a choice):
The big issue is how to handle bikes in the tunnel.
My method, westbound, from Chinesetown, is to walk the bike unless I see the rare ped, and then I dismount and stop while the ped passes me. In practice, this usually means riding all the way through. I think this is agin the current rules, but I don’t think I’m risking getting a ticket or anything.
Now eastbound is a different story, since the grade is generally working your way. The technique is to wait for a wave of traffic to go through and then enter when drivers idle at the red at Larkin. You’ll have a few cars pass you, but that’s better than just blithely ignoring traffic the way most do. Or, you can just ride on the sidewalk, remembering that you’re a second-class citizen when doing so.
Anyway, it seems that the generally dull-witted SFMTA is sophisticated enough to understand that going east and west is different thang here, so that’s good.
So do we want to encourage people to ride through this tunnel? IDK. I’ll tell you, westbound, uphill on the Geary Tunnel is worse and the Stockton Tunnel is way better.
I don’t know what the options are at the Broadway Tunnel. I’m sure most of them are very expensive…
Here it is, a brand-new SFMTA PDF, published in May 2015:
And here’s your nut graf, on the topic of Bicycle Use, as seen on Page 5:
“2013 vs 2014: … 1% increase.”
And here’s your summary, also seen on Page 5:
Now let’s add in a little population growth in the 2013-2014 period:
And all this adds up to the headline above.
What can explain this all?
There’s no SF Bicycle Plan injunction preventing new construction these days – that ended a while back, right?
And the weather – the weather the past few years has probably been most bike-friendly since before the First San Francisco Bicycle Boom back in the 1800’s.
Here’s the reaction so far – I’ll show all that I can find, which isn’t all that much:
“Tim Papandreou @tpap_ May 15 2014 SF bike count report is up! 206% increase in cycling since 2006! Go team!”
So I guess we’d call this spin? I mean this report, or something like it, comes out every year, right? And we already knew* about the Great Fixie Craze Of The Late Aughts what made bikes cool again, so why focus upon what we already knew? The new news here, the actual news, is that Bicycle Use in San Francisco Has Stopped Growing on a Per Capita Basis, right? Moving on…
…to this, from
Stuart Rob Anderson’s Black Angus Steakhouse Square Cow Fun Bar District Five Diary
I should point out that a “1% increase” is an actual increase and not a “decrease.” And also, the reported increase is actually a little bit more than 1.5% IRL, so that’s on a par with the population increase over the same period – I mean, it’s a really close call here. The big point is that the recent era of rapid growth has ended.
I can see why SFGov wanted to delay this news until Bike To Work Day 2015…
*Or I should say I already knew, since I have more years decades hours miles on a bike in San Francisco than you, Gentle Reader, or anybody at the SFBC, or anybody at the SFMTA for that matter. Yes, bike use in SF is way up since the 1980’s, since the 1990’s, since the mid-aughts, yes, freely conceded.
There are pros and cons, of course, to using a stick to chalk-mark car tyres and then coming back two or three hours later to see if the car has moved away, in accordance with the 415’s infamous Residential Parking Permit Program.
Here’s what it looks like:
An actual world capital of innovation would employ GPS and license plate scanners, these days, right?
Anyway, on the pro side, this method works, sort of. What some people do to stick it to the man is to rub off the chalk marks to buy a few more hours of free parking, until the next round of SFMTA marking and checking, but that’s agin the rules – you could get in trouble for that, one supposes.
On the con side, our PCO’s are routinely Bending Over with Piece of Chalk at the End of a Stick. The reason why it costs our SFMTA an excessive amount of money to run the RPP program is because there’s no market discipline at work here, there’s no incentive for the SFMTA to save money because of how CA state law works, oh well.
Anyway, just because your Interim Mayor says that your town is the “Innovation Capital of the World” doesn’t necessarily mean that your town is actually the “Innovation Capital of the World”