Posts Tagged ‘last’

The Last Four Phone Booths in San Francisco are Clustered Together at the Infamous Intersection of 6th and Market Streets

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

See?

So, when somebody steals your iPhone in the Mid Market, you’ll still be able to keep in touch with your peeps.

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And then later, you can head up to 7th and Market and buy a “new” iPhone from the people who hang out there all day selling stolen iPhones.

Hurray!

NB: Mind the gang war. (Is Twitter really going to move in?)

San Francisco Doesn’t Need a New York Judge or Anyone Else to Shut Down Critical Mass

Friday, February 26th, 2010

What makes San Francisco’s monthly Critical Mass an illegal bicycle parade is the fact that nobody gets permits. ‘Cause getting a permit is hard - it would entail doing stuff that costs a lot of money and it would make you a magnet for lawsuits, so who needs that, right?

The thing is that corking intersections and running red lights as a group (hallmarks of Critical Mass going back to the mid-1990′s), those things are obviously illegal, so the SFPD could start issuing citations whenever it wants, of course. And that’s true no matter how they roll in the Empire State. (Actually, I question how the New York decision affects us here in San Francisco at all, but oh well.)

I’ll tell you, the biggest shock that drivers have when they get stuck at an intersection is that they get no sympathy from the cops. Drivers without criminal records tend to stay by their cars and watch the parade of bikes.

OTOH, drivers with criminal records, well, Critical Mass is a test of their ability to maintain. Some fail.

Do I think San Francisco has the will to kill Critical Mass? No. But do I think Police Chief George Gascon is planning on shaking things up, in the coming months, you know, when rain no longer threatens* and the number of cyclists is bigger? Yes.

Hey, man, we don’t have any “leaders,” man. The City can’t do nothing to us, nobody’s in charge of CM, man.” Yes, roger that. I don’t think anybody’s going to stick you with a bill for $35,000 or anything, but changes are a coming…

Collateral damage from Critical Mass - MUNI vehicles stretching to the horizon in both directions. (Is that on the DO list or the DON’T list?) This kind of thing is one of the reasons you don’t see CM listed at the SFBC website calendar anymore.

Where’s Waldo, Cagney and Lacey on a recent Critical Mass ride:

The wonder of encountering an unexpected Critical Mass for the first time. Out-of-towners Rachel and Monica were delighted:

To Be Continued…

*Actually, tonight looks to be clear as a bell, Mel. But the forecast was for rain so tonight’s should be a smaller ride.

San Francisco’s MUNI Bus System Totally Pwned by Halloween Critical Mass 2009

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

San Francisco’s monthly semi-unauthorized bicycle parade was well-attended and exceptionally ugly last night. Did your bike suffer any property damage (“let’s fucking beat up his car!”)? For whatever reason, Halloween Critical Mass 2009 had lots of gaps so that led to confrontations at every intersection – confused car drivers were tempted to just push through to end their lengthy waits. And the SFPD seemed less pro-bike than I’m used to seeing. Oh well.

Now, grab your parasol, pack your marshmallows, count the choppers, put on your PJs, and raise your fixie. Let’s take a gander.

Just look at the stalled MUNI buses and trolleys (trollies?) stretching from Mid-Market all the way back to the Ferry Building last night: 

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The riders could only just sit and stare:

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Stare at this, a car-free Market Street:

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via geekstinkbreath

Now let’s take it to the streets. Ichiro was there. He started going on about how there’s “sexiness in the infield.” OK fine:

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About an hour or so after the six-ish P.M. starting time, the stalled buses started to pile up: 

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A happy corker vs. an unhappy corkee at the intersection of 8th and Market Streets.

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After a while, car drivers start getting into this rolling Rorschach test. Some sit on their cars…

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…while others, like this SUV driver, get out to fruitlessly confront the madding crowd:

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IMO, parolees display the least tolerance for CM. Oh well. They just can’t handle it.

A stalled driver gets freaked out by Pumpkinhead:

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Thank Gaia the cops were there:

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Oops, here there are, pushing along the stragglers on Market:

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And then an error – the main body of riders hung a right and headed up Van Ness. That’s not the way to cork MUNI, which got back to normal on Market Street round about 7:30 PM. Oh well. Van Ness from Hayes looking north up to California – the whole thing was entirely filled with bikes:

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So there’s your Halloween Critical Mass 2009. See you next year.

MUNI’s Pathetic San Francisco CultureBus Gets Mocked on Its Final Run

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

A kind of black celebration was held in Golden Gate Park this afternoon to mark the end of the MUNI’s San Francisco CultureBus.

See the death throes of CB via Steve Rhodes, Whole Wheat Toast, Plug1, Octoferret, MattyMatt, SftaJan, AgentAkit, and Jamison

Who showed up? Transit fans and local online royalty. Click to expand:

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This 74-X couldn’t leave without baffling its last pair of tourists. They didn’t get on. Surprised?

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All that was left was the filled-in pole hole that used to mark the CB bus stop:

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Yes, the 74X is terminal. It’s dead, Jim

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Here’s one last glimpse through the famous see-through bus: 

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Perhaps these brand new buses and their friendly drivers will soon be put to better use, just in time for the possible BART strike.

We Can Only Hope.

Who’s Responsible for the Failure of MUNI’s CultureBus?

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Today will see the last run of the San Francisco CultureBus (or “Culture Bus,” some people call it that). Yes, they’re “taking Old Yeller out back to shoot it and put it out of its misery.” But once you have a carcass, you need to find someone to take the blame for the FAIL. So, around whose neck should this screaming yellow albatross go?

The answer in MUNI chief Nat Ford. But not for the reason you might think.

“Is it he?” quoth one, “Is this the man?”
by him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless CultureBus.

Nat Ford is the Ancient Mariner:

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Watchet, Somerset, England. Via Adrian Pingstone

Is the source of the idea of the CultureBus documented anywhere? Not that I’m aware of. Obviously, the whole program was highly redolent of the New York City “Culture Bus” that ran from 1973 to 1982, but who had the idea to revive CB here in San Francisco? Perhaps it doesn’t really matter.

Whether or not the CultureBus concept was forced upon MUNI, doesn’t MUNI have the right and obligation to tinker with the idea? Did MUNI do anything to alter the CultureBus program once it became obvious (I’d peg it at early October 2008) that the daily ridership was turning out to be extremely low? I mean something other than spewing the stereotypical platitudes you’d expect them to spew?

Here’s what MUNI did – it cut back service 66% in January and raised prices 43% in July. That’s it. Just how airtight were these unseen agreements made amongst the stakeholders? Nothing could be done? Srsly?

(So, it’s like the Great Helmsman, the Dear Leader appoints you manage the Yangtse River Watershed and then tells you to kill every damned songbird within a 500 mile radius - how would you respond? Here’s what you’d do, you’re a team player right? You’d execute the plan and then wait for millions to die, powerless to alter Fate. And then you’d say boy, that Great Leap Forward, boy, it just didn’t work out.)

Wouldn’t it have been interesting to try something different? Lower the price to $1.50 for the sole purpose of actually moving people about the City in light of the circumstances? Or just trying anything except the same old same old, month after month?

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Oh well.

So there’s your albatross, Nat. 

But that’s why you get paid the big bucks.

And as for you CultureBus, your pain is over, boy. Soon the Twitter birds will descend to lift you to Heaven.

Sleep! It is a gentle thing:

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(In Elysium, there’ll be plenty of diesel and you’ll always be full of happy passengers.)

Good night, sweet CultureBus.

The Final Board Meeting of Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Jake McGoldrick

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

It was the end of an era today as San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin and Supervisor Jake McGoldrick participated in their final Board meeting. City Attorney Dennis Herrera was on hand to thank all the departing Supervisors including Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and Judge Gerardo Sandoval.  

Warm words came from fellow Supervisors, such as Chris Daly (talking positively of “creative tension”), but also Gerry Crawley, Robert Haaland, and “Parrot Guy” Mark Bitterman. Not so warm words came from public commenter the “I am Jesus” guy (“that was two minutes?” A.P.: “It felt like four.” [laughter]) and others, serving to support Jake’s words that, “Democracy is lugubrious.”  

Aaron Peskin wielding this particular hammer for the last time. Click to expand.

Thanks to all our departing Supervisors for all the hard work.