Posts Tagged ‘jaywalking’

SFGov and Traders Joe’s Both are In Denial of This Persistent Jaywalking Problem at the First Block of Masonic

Friday, July 31st, 2015

I suppose I’ve been harping on this issue over the years.

Who created this problem? SFGOV, including  the Planning Department, for starters.

Who can do a better job of fixing things? SFGOV, including the SFMTA, for starters. And IDK, SFPD and DPW? And Trader Joe’s as well.

Here’s a recent example, just a couple of Bros on the west side of Masonic wanting to get to a parked car on the east side, just above the SFMTA’s Presidio Yard. (Note that they might not even be TJ’s customers, but their transit across four lanes of traffic is at the same place where shoppers do it.)

All these southbound cars have stopped for the red light at Geary. So far, so good:

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But uh oh, cars are now coming up from Geary in the northbound lanes – it’s time to rethink and try again later:

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Or, in this case, spend 2.5 minutes going down the hill to Geary, wait for the green light, and then ascend back up Masonic.

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This is the choice people face. Sometimes they err and get hit by a car.

I’ll tell you, if you look at the death rate in Frisco due to earthquakes the past century vs. the death rates of Trader Joe’s shoppers jaywalking in front of TJ#100 the past decade or so, they’re about the same.

What can SFGov and TJ’s do now to fix things, to account for Human Nature?

How We Live Now: Parked Cars at the Dreary Geary-Divisadero Hospital-Medical District

Friday, June 19th, 2015

As seen from Geary – look, it’s a parking lot game like what you can play on your iPhone

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A normal town would deal with this, but Frisco don’t, oh well. (If you’d like to make a go of putting back to use the very unused building at the northeast corner of Geary Divis, be my guest – a Honey Baked Ham sto’ was its last use, years and years ago.)

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(Hey, was this one of the HBH stores what OJ Simpson had an interest in before The Real Killer stabbed OJ’s ex-wife and the stud who drove the white Ferrari (license plate L84AD8) that OJ paid for? I know not.)

And oh, there was a fire station here? News to me. Leaving you with the still-cited case of Quinn v. Rosenfeld, 15 Cal.2d 486 (1940):

“The plaintiff had been employed for about seven years at a firehouse located in a residential district on the northerly side of Geary Street between Scott Street on the east and Divisadero Street on the west. About 6:35 P. M. on September 29, 1937, the plaintiff stepped from the northerly curb in front of the firehouse, with the intention of crossing the street at that point for the purpose of going to a store on the southeast corner of Geary and Divisadero Streets. There was no crosswalk at the point of crossing selected by the plaintiff. There were established crosswalks and stop signs at both intersections. A pole with a lighted street lamp stood about two feet east of the point where the plaintiff entered the street, and the doors of the lighted firehouse remained open. The plaintiff wore a dark blue uniform. He stopped behind a parked car which was to the west of him. There were no parked cars to the east for a distance of about 75 feet. He looked to the east and at a distance of 135 to 150 feet observed the lights of the defendant’s car in the traffic lane on the north side of the car tracks approaching at a speed of about 20 to 25 miles an hour. He proceeded safely as far as the northerly rail of the westbound car tracks and stopped again to permit another westbound automobile, which had passed the defendant’s car and which was moving at a high rate of speed, to pass in front of him. Before proceeding he observed the defendant’s car again, and saw that it was swerving onto the westbound car tracks and coming directly towards him. He stepped back but before he could clear the defendant’s path he was struck by the right front fender of the vehicle.”

Not Complaining, Just Explaining: See How a Jogger Handles the Revised Intersection of OAK and MASONIC

Friday, June 5th, 2015

What you’ll see isn’t the world-famous Golden Gate Park Panhandle Bike Path – that’s on the north side, the Fell Street side. What you’ll see is the south side, the bike-free path near Oak.

Brocephus on the left here is jogging east and he’s way late – he missed his chance to enter the crosswalk on his green. OTOH, the taxi can enter the intersection.

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No matter, here’s the jogger going more south than east, “jogging” around a Prius:

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Hey, are you allowed to run into a crosswalk in CA? Uh, not really. And hey, isn’t this crosswalk excessively wide? Uh, yes it is.

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By this time, the left turn arrow phase started and the jogger exited the intersection. A happy ending, I suppose.

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This intersection now has three signal phases, for better or worse – people are still getting used to it.

The fundamental problem here has been that traffic backs up on the left side of Oak due to all the people who want to go north on Masonic -it’s kind of a bottleneck so that’s why we got the new left turn arrows.

If this jogger had been hit by a vehicle, the SFPD would have found him at fault, the same way it found the majority (50-something percent) of pedestrians at fault for their deaths last year, calendar 2014.

]If you say, well any struck pedestrian was “in the crosswalk,” well that’s pretty much useless as you’re not giving enough information to determine fault and, in fact, a pedestrian can be outside of a crosswalk, let’s say just outside, you know, close enough, and still be held not at fault for a collision, in California anyway. (This isn’t really a written-down law, it’s more of a case of judges following how other judges have ruled in the past.)

OTOH, you can be in the absolute middle of a crosswalk, as Brocephus was,  and be held at fault for your death / injury.

It all depends…

Uh Oh, the SFPD’s Vaunted “Focus on the Five” Enforcement Program Focuses on the Wrong Five

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Work with me here, people.

Here you go:

“Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

All right, well let’s look at the stats for last year, via Heather Knight / the District 5 Diary.

And then let’s extract all the five-digit CVC section numbers cited in the official SFPD report, plus let’s also throw in a CVC number for the pedestrian who died last year after getting hit by a MUNI bus on Geary around Baker.

(And let’s ignore all the the lower-case subsections like 21950(b) and the like, treating 21950(a) and 21950(b) as the same violation, for example.)

And then lets throw all the extracted numbers into Excel for a Sorting.

And then let’s eyeball the numbers to separate them out:

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So those are your top “five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking (and bicycle riding, but I don’t think that affects the numbers too much.)

Here they are, in order of frequency:

21950

22350

21456

21954

21955

So how does that compare with this list from politicians?

“Focus on the 23 Five” campaign to target the top five causal factors of pedestrian crashes – running red lights 24 (California Vehicle Code 21453(a)), running stop signs (California Vehicle Code 22450(a)), violating pedestrian right-of-way (California Vehicle Code 21950(a)), failing to yield while 2 turning (California Vehicle Code 21801 (a), and speeding (California Vehicle Code 22350)…

See how that works? 21950 and 22350 are in there, but CVC violations on the part of pedestrians, like 21456, 21954, and 21955 have been omitted from the list.

Is the official “Focus on the Five” about pedestrian safety or “pedestrian rights?”

I’m thinking it’s about pedestrian rights, like the right to jaywalk, that kind of thing.

Is SFGov serious about SF Vision Zero 2024, a “program” that has the goal of ending all transportation deaths in San Francisco long after all the pols who voted for it have termed out?

Well, how can it be if it’s afraid to enforce traffic laws for political reasons?

If you want safety for pedestrians, wouldn’t you want them to be afraid of getting cited for jaywalking?

No? All right, well then keep on doing what you’re doing, but you’ll never ever achieve Vision Zero 2024 the way you’re going about it, SFGov.

(more…)

What Trader Joe’s #100 Needs is Ocean Beach-Style Warning Signs for Its Shoppers Who Jaywalk on Deadly Masonic

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

This is typical, this is routine – people parking on Masonic northbound and then jaywalking across five lanes of traffic to get to Trader Joe’s #100 and then jaywalking again back to their rides

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Why do people do this? Well, ’cause getting from northbound Masonic to southbound, which is the only way to get into the parking lot, is a PITA. Drivers are banned from simply turning left into the parking lot because that would end up blocking half of northbound Masonic, and of course Masonic is the Great Connector betwixt The Avenues and the Place Where People Want To Be.

And even if you get yourself facing southbound, you still have to queue up to get into TJ’s ridiculously small parking lot. Hey, couldn’t they have built an underground garage? Well, sure, but you’d have to talk with the Planning Department about that. And hey, couldn’t they have built parking on the roof? Well, sure, and actually they did but you’d have to talk with the Planning Department about that because the average shopper isn’t allowed to park on the roof.

And actually, the current parking situation is better than before. Our vaunted Planning Department did a very poor job with this project and now we’re left with a kludgy fix that commits part of Masonic to TJ’s shoppers idling and parking and waiting.

So that’s the situation, that’s why people say I-don’t-wanna-deal-with-all-that and simply park on northbound Masonic on the east side of the street.

And that’s fine, that’s legal, but then the shoppers see that northbound Masonic has long stretches when it’s empty (because drivers need to wait at a red for a long time to let traffic on Geary go through) and they see a bunch of stalled traffic on southbound Masonic (because of the shoppers queuing up and also to wait at a red for a long time to let traffic on Geary go through). So they march across 30 MPH Masonic to get to the store.

How many TJs shoppers do this on a busy day? IDK, hundreds. It’s their thing, it’s their routine.

So can you die doing this? Sure. Does TJ’s know about this situation? Sure. I don’t see how they couldn’t be aware. I mean, when you have journalists calling up your store asking about how somebody died, I assume that you’re aware of the situation.

What’s the solution? Well, people’d be safer walking down to Geary and crossing legally, but they all already know that.

You see the problem is that they don’t know how dangerous it is to do what they’re doing.

Hey, you know how many people die at Ocean Beach during a typical year? A lot. So many theat they have a special sign:

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How about similar signs for shoppers at this unique store:

People Jaywalking Have Died Here

How about that?

Unique situations call for unique signs, right?

Are you going to do anything at all, Trader Joe’s #100?

Four College Degrees (I’m Guessing) Play Frogger with 30 MPH Traffic on Masonic to get to Trader Joe’s #100

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

This crossing was particularly arduous for those involved – it took about 90 seconds of waiting and sprinting.

The speed limit is 30 MPH, but of course some cars might be going faster. If you want to get into mean, median and mode, well, an average speed would be in the single digits, due to all the stalled traffic waiting to get into the notorious TJ’s Masonic parking lot.

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Let’s talk about Human Nature. These humans already know what they’re supposed to do – that’s heading south to Geary, waiting a while for a green and then heading back up north in the sidewalk to get to the gro sto. But once they’ve spent 30 seconds scanning for cars and then starting to run and then stopping to go back and then scanning for traffic again, they are accumulating SUNK COSTS of time and effort. So even if crossing legally would end up taking less time, THESE JAYWALKERS NEVER GIVE UP by walking down to the Geary intersection.

Anyway, there’s a happy ending to this story – the jaywalk back across the street with groceries in tow went much better, as these naughty peds used the stalled southbound traffic to their advantage, and northbound traffic is usually easy to negotiate. Hurrah! For this particular day…

(The reason why people park on the wrong side of Masonic and then go to TJ’s is that it’s much easier than doing things the legal way. It’s human nature to imagine consistent patterns, in this case patterns of traffic, even when they don’t exist IRL. The problem with the deadly game of Frogger on this particular block is that there’s no safety area, there’s no place to hide if you, the ped, make a mistake. Then it’s game over, man.)

The Horrible Pedestrians and Bike Riders of the So-Called Great Highway, Way Out There in the Sunset

Monday, December 8th, 2014

An overly-confident pedestrian is a dead pedestrian, sometimes:

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Oh, here’s the same scene a few blocks up the road:

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Oh, what’s that, jaywalking is merely a “legal construct” and “Vision Zero” 2024 is going to prevent all transportation-related deaths in San Francisco County within a decade?

OK fine.

If You’re Going to Jaywalk Across Masonic to Get To and From the Trader Joe’s, This is How You Should Do It

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Instead of heading up the hill to get back to their ride, these gals walked downhill a few paces and then used congested traffic near Geary to their advantage:

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That’s better than most, of course.

What they’re doing is turning a complicated, deadly game of chicken into a simpler chore of waiting for northbound traffic to get a red and then shuffling across two lanes…

Know Your San Francisco Jaywalker, Great Highway Edition: What Motivates This Jay? How Can He Be Trained?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

I don’t know, every street on Great Highway has a timed traffic signal, but that’s not enough for this dude, so his routine is to cross in the middle of the block.

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Oh well.

What’s that, the term “jaywalking” should be in quote marks because the only reason it’s agin the law is because of some conspiracy from 80 years ago? All right, well, gee, I’ve only heard that one about 150 times now, Gentle “Urbanist,” but what do you want, you want to make jaywalking legal? All right, but then more peds will die – is that what you want? OK fine.

Photo: A Game of Frogger But In Real Life on Masonic in Front of Trader Joe’s #100 – Who Will Be The Next To Die?

Monday, June 9th, 2014

These people parked across the street from our popular Trader Joes on Masonic, as many people do, ’cause the TJ’s parking lot is too small, ’cause that’s what nearby residents wanted.

Our Planning Department created this disaster and then moved on to more important work, such as the failed 8 Washington project, oh well.

Fixes have been tried, but still we’ve got this parade of customers jaywalking back and forth across this stretch of 30 MPH Masonic, thusly, from a few days back:

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Cars were coming in the fast lanes both northbound and southbound, so their only choice was to wait for the black car to pass and then sprint behind it.

This game has been going on for years, with many shoppers playing, and some getting hit by vehicles.