Posts Tagged ‘drivers’

Why Peds Hate Prius Drivers, Ch. MMCCLXVII

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

They’re still the worst drivers, after all these years:

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A Tad Serious for the Panhandle Bike Path, Non? Is This a Sport or Just a Way to Get Around? – Both?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

IDK, how fast do you need to pedal on this downhill stretch of the Panhandle Multi-Use Trail what with the stiff prevailing tailwind and the super-light bike and the super-skinny tires?

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I’ll tell you, you don’t need to pedal at all, from Stanyan to the fucking DMV (and Beyond, if the traffic signals work in your favor) – just really pump up your tires and try it sometime.

I’ll tell you, you know who else mixes up sport with transpo? The good bulk* of your BMW drivers, who cause more than their fair share of problems on our roads, despite having better-than-average reflexes and whatnot.

A good portion of your BMW car drivers need to slow the fuck down, and certain other people, perhaps you, see above, might need to as well.

That’s my point.

Just saying.

*Some purchase Beemers as Just Another Luxury Brand these days, of course. These people are excused…

SFMTA Update: New Market Street Turn Restrictions to be “Enforced by SFMTA Parking Control Officers and the SFPD?”

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

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 – 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?

Just asking…

*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.

SFMTA Study Mocks Rideshare Services with a Joking Reference to “KidnapMe.Org”

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

This study from 2013 is sort of obsolete already, but here you go, page ii:

While initial limousine entrants such as Uber appear to maintain high standards in screening and supervising their drivers, it is only a matter of time before incidents and problems surface, especially among later entrants who may seek to compete on a price basis. We do not want to reach the stage where a San Franciscan inadvertently requests a ride through* (*This domain name was not in use at the time of writing.)”

There seems to be a lack of awareness about crimes committed by SFMTA-licensed taxi drivers in San Francisco, is all I’m saying.

In any event, that URL is still available in 2015:

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Our wayward teenager, the SFMTA, fails us every day, so it probably shouldn’t be funding the jocularity you can see above.

To review, here are its service standards. And feel free to look for any “ACCOUNTABILITY,” as there isn’t any, even when the SFMTA gets caught lying about how much it fails to meet its minimum “STANDARDS.”

Oh well.


(a) The Municipal Railway shall be restored as soon as practicable to a level of service measured in service hours which is not less than that provided under the schedule of service published in the April 1996 timetable, although not necessarily in that configuration.

(b) No later than July 1, 2000, and by July 1 of each year thereafter, the Agency shall adopt milestones for the achievement of the goals specified in subsections (c) and (d). Milestones shall be adopted for each mode of transportation of the Municipal Railway, and for the Municipal Railway as a whole, with the goal of full achievement of the standards set in subsection (c) no later than July 1, 2004.

(c) The standards for the Agency with respect to the services provided by the Municipal Railway shall include the following minimum standards for on­time performance and service delivery:

1. On­time performance: at least 85 percent of vehicles must run on­time, where a vehicle is considered on­time if it is no more than one minute early or four minutes late as measured against a published schedule that includes time points; and

2. Service delivery: 98.5 percent of scheduled service hours must be delivered, and at least 98.5 percent of scheduled vehicles must begin service at the scheduled time.

(d) The standards for both managers and employees of the Agency with respect to the services provided by the Municipal Railway shall also include other measurable standards for system reliability, system performance, staffing performance, and customer service, including:

1. Passenger, public, and employee safety and security;

2. Coverage of neighborhoods and equitable distribution of service;

3. Level of crowding;

4. Frequency and mitigation of accidents and breakdowns;

5. Improvements in travel time, taking into account adequate recovery and lay-over times for operators;

6. Vehicle cleanliness, including absence of graffiti;

7. Quality and responsiveness of customer service;

8. Employee satisfaction;

9. Effectiveness of the preventive maintenance program; and

10. Frequency and accuracy of communications to the public.

(e) The performance measures adopted in Section 4 of this measure shall be published as rules of the Agency and utilized to determine the achievement of the performance standards and milestones adopted by the Agency for the Municipal Railway. The performance measures shall be subject to amendment after public hearing by a vote of the Agency board. The Agency shall regularly publish reports on its attainment of those standards and milestones. Nothing herein shall prohibit the Agency from using additional performance measures.

Our Inefficient, Money-Hungry SFMTA Wants to Start Issuing Speeding Tickets, But Somehow “They Would Not Be Moving Violations?!”

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Oh, this one’s easy  – we’re going to go from zero to Orwellian in ten seconds.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines:

SFMTA Pushing For Speed Cameras In San Francisco To Improve Pedestrian Safety by Cate Cauguiran

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.

And lastly:

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:

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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!

The Dueling Flyers of BLOCK THE TECH COMMUTE 2015 – Teamster Drivers Fighting Back – May Day, Friday May 1st

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Well here you go, it’s BLOCK THE TECH COMMUNTE via IndyBay.

But read on to see the reply from the Teamsters.

On It Goes…

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We are shuttle bus drivers for bus companies who have contracts with Facebook, Apple, Google, eBay, and more. We are mostly people of color. We live in communities such as East and West Oakland and Bayview/Hunter Point. We share your concerns about gentrification. The Bay Area’s skyrocketing rents and housing prices have pushed many of us out to Antioch, Pittsburg, Tracy, Manteca, and even farther.

Your efforts are hurting us, not helping. We are on the front lines of fighting income inequality in the high tech industry by organizing with the Teamsters union. In the last few months, over 225 of us at two shuttle bus companies won union elections. Those of us who drive for Facebook just won a union contract that includes $9/hour average wage increases, fully paid company health care, 5 weeks paid vacation, sick days, a pension, and higher pay for those of us who work split shifts.

In March, you attacked a Loop Transportation/Facebook bus that one of us was driving at MacArthur BART. You attacked a union bus driver for a good employer who pays good wages and benefits. That did not help our cause – it hurt it.

We call on you to join our efforts to hold high tech accountable to workers. If you want to make the economy work for struggling Bay Area families, then help the other drivers organize a union with us. Help push for affordable housing. But please don’t stop our buses.

May Day is for workers. Respect the shuttle bus workers this May Day.

SFPD Chief Stars in Brand-New Traffic Safety PSA – Obvious Tension with Bike Coalition – Die Hard Greg Suhr Gives Off a Bruce Willis Vibe

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

I’ll tell you, I saw a photo of Chief Greg in the papah’ the other week, and I thought Worst Bald Cap Ever. But this, this is much improved:

Now, if our SFPD wants to go Hollywood, they gotta realize they’re going to get reviews.

1. NOBODY’S GOING TO WATCH THIS PSA ON YOUTUBE. You got to give people a reason to pass along a link to their buds. We need virility, not virility, YKWIM? Perhaps people will be coerced into watching, IDK. Next time, have your people call my people and we’ll sex things up and your view counter will go from 150 (and yesterday when I saw this for the first time it was, suspiciously, at exactly 100) up into the millions. Oh what’s that, there were other reasons to make this vid, aside from having people watch it online? Oh yes, I can see that.

2. ALL THOSE CODE SECTIONS ARE TMI. I mean, even for me. Oh, those clips were for the benefit of students of Hogwarts SFPD? I could see that. They are well-made, and they show viewers how state laws are applied on the Streets of San Francisco. So that’s great.

3. CHECK OUT THE SECTION ON BIKES STARTING AT 3:15. So the fourth line on the graphic explaining 21202 was spoken by a different narrator? It sure seemed to be tacked on as an afterthought. This is an awkward edit right in touchy, touchy territory.

4. IT’S NICE HAVING TRAFFIC LAWS EXPLAINED BY A NEUTRAL SOURCE, AS OPPOSED TO GETTING MORE OF THE SAME FROM ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS. So we don’t have the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition talking about how pedestrians “always” having the right of way and we don’t have SFMTA spokesmodel Paul Rose spouting off misinformation (the way he does with the Chronicle, which unlike this YT clip, actually has an audience, so you see, I’m sort of saying that the SFMTA can’t claim its “No. 1 Goal Is Safety” if it has Paul Rose talking nonsense about countdown timers and the like).


ASSIGNMENT DESK: Write a bit about the obvious tensions betwixt the SFPD and advocacy groups like the SFBC and Walk SF. I’ll tell you, if this vid had been turned over to the SFBC to make for $100k under a no-bid contract, it would come off quite differently. And leave us remember that most ped and bike rider deaths in SF County last year were the fault of the peds and bike riders themselves, right? Just a skosh over 50%, per … the SFPD.

Fish in a Barrel: This SFMTA PCO Can Hand Out Multiple $105 “Block the Box” Tickets in One Minute

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Of course, the SFMTA could jigger the lights around the neighborhood of Bush and Sansome in a more efficient way, but then this meter maid wouldn’t be able to park her Cushman and then stand in the intersection to generate so many tickets that she has trouble with all the receipt tape she’s generating. See?

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Her little machine might have a camera built in, and the GPS and the Wi-Fi and all sorts of things to allow her to bag three rides in one cycle of green yellow red.

Check it. All of these drivers on Bush inbound in the Financh are used to crawling across a San Francisco  intersection before the light turns red and then making it out of the intersection before the peds start coming. Except that this is notorious Bush and Sansome, where things don’t work that way.

And then here come the judge – tickets for everybody! It’s like Oprah handing out Pontiacs – YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET!

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(Mind you, this is an intersection where it’s quite safe to loiter about, so fret not.)

(Hey, is she recording the Vehicle Identification Numbers of all these rides? I think not. Is that some sort of technicality that will allow you to get out of your ticket after spending hours and hours of time fighting your ticket? IDK.)

Some drivers get stuck, but I’m thinking, well just make the left up Sansome* while you have the chance and then you’ll avoid a painful three-figure citation. But the drivers, then don’t have respect, they don’t see the danger.

And I’ll bet most of them aren’t even aware that they’re getting a citation.

Eventually, the driving culture at this intersection will change** if this woman makes a habit of harvesting money on the Evening Drive each and every day.

I ask you, Gentle Reader, what if the rest of SFGov were as efficient as this PCO?

*Whether it’s legal or not. In this case, that would be a legal turn but even if it weren’t, the chances of getting a moving violation doing that are virtually nil, as opposed to a parking ticket, where the odds are virtually certain. 

**In the old days, the SFMTA would tell its PCOs to stop handing out tickets during the Evening Drive and start directing traffic at busy intersections. Those days are over. This woman can pay her salary and fund her generous benefits and retirement package in one or two minutes of her shift. Remarkable!

Looks Like They’re Done Working on Fell and Masonic – How Long Will “DOUBLE RIGHT TURN” Last?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

This was yesterday morning, with the crew packing up, after weeks of work:

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And this was yesterday evening – it looks like they’re done?

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So what’s the deal here? Are they going to pull up the tape on the intersection what forces cars in the right lane to turn right and then lay down some permanent lines, or are they going to go back to the way it was before, back when you had the option of going straight or right?

Maybe that’s what the orange on the signs means, that these changes were only temporary? Or maybe the orange means, “Hey look, here is the new rule?”

I can’t tell.

But if all they were doing was fixing up that corner of the intersection, then what did they do? It looks exactly the same to me. And why did it take weeks?

On It Goes…

ONLY IN MARIN: Bridgeway Gas Station in Sausalito Charging $8 Per Gallon? Highest Prices in America

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Things were bad before, but I think we’re entering performance art territory here, up in Marin County.

Via Yelper Eddie H:

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The Yelpers, they are not happy.

Suffer Deb:

“I feel like I just got mugged. They are charging $6.97 for regular (other yelpers posted pics). The average price for gas in northern California is $3.43. I will never EVER go here again even though it’s on my way home from work, FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS GO TO BRIDGEWAY GAS.”

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Send somebody, anybody up there to ask, “Hey, what’s the deal with the $8 gas?” Before that, buy a few gallons to see what the experience is like. Also, check for the purported dirtiness. Like “can you believe this is the bathroom of a gas station what charges* $200 to fill your** tank?!” And then you say, hey, I gots to fill up my right rear with air, and then see if Dude makes you pay for the privilege – well that’s agin the law, right? (But don’t send CW Nevius – he’d find a way to get rejected on this slam dunk, like he’d tell this story from the poor gas station owner’s ‘sperective, something like that. SPROOOOING off the rim, that’s what I’m talking about.) Anyway, engage, make it so.

*And call your economist buddy and ask about elasticities of demand for low-margin bidnesses. So let’s say the Shell down the street only makes a few pennies per gallon (and possibly makes more money selling high-margin snacks, you know, the way movie theaters do it), well, maybe it makes sense to cut your business by 95% if you can increase your margins by 10,000%, that kind of deal. Who knows, maybe Dude makes money some other way off of the property…

**I can remember the first time I paid $20 for a tank of gas. It was back in the 1990’s for a rusty Audi 5000 I bought from a doctor in Manoa Valley. And then back in the aughts, I remember paying $100 to fill the tank of a Land Cruiser up in, you guessed it, Marin County. I’ll remember the $200 threshold too, if and when I ever achieve it. (And if I filled up at Bridgeway today, I think I could almost, just almost make it to $200.)