From Stanyan to Baker it’s all downhill.
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And then he got out of the saddle to pump up the steepest block of McAllister what’s on the Snickerdoodle route.*
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*It’s the UnWiggle, it’s the better choice to get west of Divisadero from Market
Yep. See below.
1. Can somebody tell me when our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition became a quasi-official government organization, and then later on also tell me when it becomes a full-fledged subsidiary of the SFMTA? I ask that because the SFBC gets a lot of funding from SFGov. (That’s why the SFBC stopped promoting Critical Mass – because its government paymasters kept bugging them about it.) And the SFBC got included in that whole corrupt lets-let-Twitter-not-pay-taxes deal? Yep. And yet, the SFBC is allowed to freely endorse candidates for Mayor, and I’ll tell you, not necessarily the candidates that SFBC membership votes for, no no, but for the candidates that the officers of the SFBC think will win, like Appointed Mayor Ed Lee, for example. Mmmm…
2. Uh, the SFBC is still promoting the whole PEDESTRIANS ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY trope? Yep. Even though that’s wrong. Dead wrong. Morally and legally. Here’s why. So, shouldn’t you have checked with a lawyer first, SFBC, you know, before you start spouting off about “BIKELAW”? (Oh, you did? Who’s that? Who’s that jackass?)
3. And, your attempts at moral suasion in this post-Chris Bucchere era have failed, SFBC. I say that because people be still being running red lights on Market Street, particularly the ones that are for ped crosswalks only, like betwixt 8th & 7th, and 7th & 6th, and 6th & 5th and so on. Your campaign has had no effect, FYI. I’ll show you right now. Everybody in this peloton has just run the red light (actually two red lights, sort of) on Market inbound betwixt 6th and 5th streets. Each and every one:
Now I’ll ask, is this kind of thing “biking politely?” (I already know the answers to my other questions, but I don’t know the answer to this one. I don’t know what the SFMTAMUNIDPTSFBC means when it talks about ‘biking polite.”) Oh, and BTW, 20 seconds after this shot was taken, you were rewarding these cyclists with candy bars on the other side of 5th, just saying.
Oh, here we go, here’s how the SFBC, a quasi-government organization, spends your tax dollars, on campaigns like this:
Now I’ll tell you, I didn’t stop to get a chocolate bar, but if I had I would have been able to win a Major Prize. Apparently, each bar had a code on it, kind of like a Willie Wonka movie.
“We know that the majority of people biking in San Francisco are biking politely, and giving pedestrians the right of way. So we at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition wanted to say thank you! Thank you for following the law, being a great bicycle aombassador and leading the way in safe, civil streets.
Stopping behind the crosswalk and giving pedestrians the right of way keeps people who are on foot safe and goes a long way to making our streets safer and more comfortable for everyone.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be giving out delicious treats for those we catch biking polite. If you “got caught” by us, enter your information and ticket number below and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a great getaway at the Bear Valley Inn. Thanks to Alter Eco for donating the delicious chocolate rewards!
Giving pedestrians the right of way is just one of the Rules of the Road to biking safely and legally. For more Rules of the Road click here.
Biking Polite Prize Raffle Entry Form:
You got caught biking polite! Thanks for stopping behind the crosswalk and yielding to pedestrians.In thanks for your terrific bicycle ambassador behavior, you’re eligible for entry into our raffle to win one night mid-week stay (Sunday – Thursday) at the Bear Valley Inn, Olema CA. Please enter your contact information here to enter our raffle; your information is confidential and will not be shared.”
On It Goes…
If you want to get there and back again from the Panhandle bike path and Mid Market (and beyond), your best choice is McAllister Street.
It’s waaaaaaay better than The Wiggle route.
Well, why not? McAllister Street (aka the Hastings Cutoff) is shorter and swifter and straighter and safer.
Actually, The Wiggle is The Rookie’s Choice, full of part-timers like CW Nevius (oh he just quit cycling in The City, hardly surprising) and fast fixie riders who don’t know any better.
And The Movement prefers the Wiggle, for some unknown reason. But if you just want to get from A to B, then its Market McAllister Divis and eventually Fell for you.
Like this – that’s UC Hastings, your Hastings Cutoff lodestar, there in the background on the left:
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So you climb a bit more using McAl, like 20 more vertical feet if you add up all the ups and downs, but big whoop.
All right, see you out there on the HC!
Now, you got to hand it to this driver, cause at least he was trying.
But let’s inventory his mistakes betwixt 6th and 7th streets on Market in the corrupt Twitterloin, scene of the infamous Pride Shootings of 2011.
1. (Slowly) blows through the red light at Jones and Market inbound.
2. Belatedly sees the light and then stops right under it when it turns green.
3. Changes into the transit lane after seeing the Right Turn Only sign because he sure as hell doesn’t want to turn right.
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4. Drives through the crosswalk at Sixth on a red in order to fix the mistake he made getting into the transit lane.
He’s lucky he didn’t get a souvenir ticket* from the SFPD.
Not drunk, just a confused newby.
*Which he’d be pretty much free to ignore if he’s leaving CA soon.
[UPDATE: And, you know, I guess I hadn't considered the one-way streets. Particularly inbound, they can get you there fast if you're up for lights timed at 20-something MPH. I've seen people on Oak and Golden Gate inbound, but, due to geography most likely, I haven't seen that many using the outbound analogs Fell and Turk. See footnote.]
Well here we go. This shot from United 931 shows, in high relief, why you’re better off talking McAllister Street, Bike Route 20, to downtown from the Panhandle and vice versa.
You see Alamo Square inside the red box on the lower left? It’s the summit of Alamo Heights, sitting there in the sunlight jutting in from the left.
The vaunted Wiggle bike path takes you from the Panhandle through Lower Haight and then behind the Church Street Safeway to Market Street and beyond. Your preferred alternative has you leaving the end of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle by taking Baker north to Fulton to Divisadero up to McAllister. That’s the pass over Alamo Heights – it’s the intersection of McAllister and Divis. Then it’s all the way downhill to Market.
You’re going between the camel humps, between Alamo Square and Kaiser Heights (seen in the sunlight on the left side).
Now it’t true that Route 20, aka the Snickerdoodle, does have you climbing up, outbound, 20 more feet vertically, net, than the Wiggle (and also inbound – there’s one block of Divis that’s uphill a bit) and it’s also true that Route 20 has a couple steeper blocks betwixt Fillmore and Pierce in the Western Addition.
But, Route 20:
Is a third of a mile shorter
Has better pavement
Has you waiting less time staring at red lights (which is nice when compared to the Wiggle’s concomitant Market Street section with the Octavia Boulevard obstacle, which has traffic signals biased for car drivers heading north-south using Octavia)
Avoids hated Octavia Street / Boulevard entirely (cause Octavia simply doesn’t exist as a road in the McAllister area – it’s like you have a permanent green light)
Has less traffic
Has fewer peds to deal with
Has fewer cyclists to deal with (cause, you know, especially in the Lower Haight area, you just don’t know what those cyclists are going to do)
Is, due to the factors cited above, safer
Avoids the ridonculas behind-the-Safeway-to-inbound-Market puzzle that makes no sense (that I can see – I don’t know how to get across Market at Duboce legally without getting off and walking in the crosswalk)
Has zero cops sitting around handing out tickets (because you’re avoiding Fell and Scott, and Duboce and Steiner, and Haight and Pierce, and all the other places the SFPD hangs out during those periodic stop sign and red light enforcement actions)
Has Gallery 1269 to look at (optionally)
So, I don’t care, go whichever way you want. I’m just saying the Wiggle is the wrong way to get the Panhandle (and Beyond) from Downtown.
And vice versa.
*I suppose that jinking over to Oak and taking it all the way (almost) to Market might be faster still, although you’d have to decide which side of the street to go on. (The left side has more room, but there’s no longer a dashed line to keep left lane traffic out of your way. The wait at Octavia Boulevard might slow you a bit, however.
Oh, and there’s Golden Gate Avenue as well, inbound…
Sometimes, you’ll see three cars pulled over at the same time. It’s safe to say, “The Grace Period is Now Over.”
Now, what kind of person ignores the giant signs on inbound Market telling them to Turn Right Only?
The kind of person who has a greater tendency to lack a driver license or insurance or registration or registration hardcopy or registration decal. Oh well.
So, that’s life on the Streets of San Francisco these days.
This tike was not happy, that’s for sure:
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What people tend to say to the SFPD is something like:
Well, how am I supposed to get to the Nordstrom?
The answer, involving the mention of Mission Street or Folsom, well that strikes our visitors as craaaaaazy.
So they conclude, if they hadn’t already, that it’s a hassle to drive about SoMA and Union Square and the FiDi.
Which it is.
And some of them vow to never come back.