And here’s Friday, 24 hours later:
I guess this is part of San Francisco’s “bikes and transit first policy?”
Click to expand
There was a time when San Francisco would avoid putting up street signs with the number 13 on them. Those times are over…
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“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic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:
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 affects 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
This is my catch basin. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My adoptive catch basin is doing great – so far so good, during DeathStorm14:
My catch basin is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My catch basin, without me, is useless. Without my catch basin, I am useless. I must clear my catch basin true.
My catch basin is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, and accessories. I will repeated stab at it with a broom handle. I will keep my catch basin clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…
Before God, I swear this creed. My catch basin and I are the defenders of my City and County. We are the masters of our Enemy, the Pineapple Express. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until victory is San Francisco’s and there is no Death Storm, but peace!
Here’s why I’m not an employee of the Uber:
Cause like every day I’d be saying, “Can we do that? I don’t think we can do that. Can we say that? I don’t think we can say that.”
I’d be a big Captain Bringdown / Jiminy Cricket.
Like here, a couple years back, on Market. I passed by this scene and so then I contacted the Uber people by email on my cell…
…and I was all, “Can you do that? I don’t think you can do that.”
Why? Because it’s a chalk ad on a Frisco sidewalk and that aint kosher.
I mean, I didn’t know for sure, maybe somebody had approved this and the Uber people had permits, who knows. I was simply “issue-spotting,” as they say.
So then, a half-hour later, the Uberers had these ads hastily obliterated, more or less, as best they could.
So, yes, you had a little fender-bender with your big bus, and yes, it was related to the endless tinkering done by the SFMTA MUNI DPT DPW bowl of alphabet soup. So what! It’s not that big of a deal. CSI San Francisco isn’t going to send it’s Go Team and the NTSB isn’t coming neither.
Therefore, get your bus out of the roadway, pull it over. Sure, take a couple iPhone shots first, sure. But then get outta the way. THIS IS SFPD POLICY. Don’t you know this? You had at least two employees on the scene, why not have one, I don’t know, let’s call him the Driver, drive the bus to one side of the road or the other. Did you call the SFPD? IDK, but if you did, don’t you want them to show up? Now, how are they going to do that if you block the road, which, as stated, is a noteworthy bottleneck already, due to ongoing construction efforts, for umpty-ump minutes?
I cry foul.
I’ve already made this post, but I’ve just come across the route map for 2014’s Nike Women’s Half Marathon, and if this tiny blog can prevent just one unnecessary tow-job this weekend, well that’s blogesse oblige, mon frere.
If I were Nike, of Beaverton, Oregon, I’d refund the $500-$1000 tow fees that a bunch of San Franciscans are going to be getting come Sunday morning, on a case-by-case basis.
If I were Nike…
All the deets on street closures:
Well, this is new, the routing of this year’s Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco.
Nike, Inc is going to blow through Fell Street like an autumnal version of the Bay to Breakers historic street party and fun run.
Take a look – here are the new signs DPW just put out, like a string of pearls through the Panhandle:
Note the timing of the mass towings has recently been altered. Can you see the 5 AM hiding under the white sticker what says 11 PM? I’m sure there’s a story behind that.
Anywho, this pop-up event is unexpected so it’s going to catch a lot of people by surprise.
What’s that, “outreach?” Oh yeah, Nike sent out a ton of letters to residents, customized for each mile of the route. I myself got one, but then forgot about it until I saw all these signs.
Nevertheless, even with the letters, this pop-up event is unexpected so it’s going to catch a lot of people by surprise.
Photo of Kirkham St. at 17th Avenue – the tiny “STOP” stencil is a recent addition:
And here’s an on-the-scene report to go with the image:
“Kirkham St.(Sunset District) has a bicycle lane with very few riders. All summer DPW was working on the part of Kirkham St east of 19th Avenue.
When DPW finished at the end of August 2014, they repaved the street, re-striped the lanes, put back the pedestrian islands.
The large STOP painted on the road for vehicle drivers didn’t mean much for bicyclists. They run thru intersections all the time. Now DPW painted a Stop sign in the bicycle lane!
The special Stop for bicyclists hasn’t made any difference. They still blast thru intersections on Kirkham St. and ignore their personal stop sign.”
I don’t know, if I were putting a bike lane on Kirkham, I’d prolly prevent cars from parking so close to the crosswalk. (In “sustainable streets” parlance, this is called “daylighting” an intersection, but I don’t actually know the normal term for maintaining sight lines at intersections so that peds may be seen.)
We’ll just have to wait and see how many people use these new lanes….