I don’t mind LED lights myself, but others view them as modern hocus pocus
But who knows, maybe this house will get LED’s (or better) one of these days…
I’m not saying that some lights come on earlier than others, when dusk comes. I’m saying that in the middle of the day, SFGov leaves streetlights on for no reason, you know, for some reason I’m sure, but for NO GOOD REASON.
Go ahead, take a look and then tell me why we’re leaving the lights on, some in the park (RPD responsibility?), but others across the street on Fell (DPW?)
Anyway, these streetlamps have been burning without pause FOR MONTHS.
Let’s see if I can pay off on that headline.
The stealing part has to do with the history of Hetch Hetchy, which nobody in SF officialdom wants to fix/deal with/discuss, ’cause SFGov conducted a bribery campaign a century ago and that’s The Way Things Are and that’s the way we likes it. OK fine.
And what’s this, SF now recycles a little bit of water the past few years, after all that criticism? OK fine.
But here we go, what’s this?
And what’s this?
And what’s this?
And at night too – so, who gives a fuck, right?
Anyway, that’s the recent past, but now here’s the here and now, or at least the past month or two – random historic street lamps in Golden Gate Park have been blazing away all the live-long day. See?
Do you think all the SFPUC/RPD/SFGov workers who claim to ride bikes to work might notice this and maybe say something to somebody after all these weeks and weeks? Oh what’s that, you merely testing the lights? Oh, well, maybe you are, maybe all these lights on makes sense somehow, the same way that watering the Panhandle bike path every night made sense, the same way that watering the Saabs of Fell and Oak made sense…
Here’s the sitch – drivers southbound on Masonic south of Geary want to get to the City Target lower level parking lot.
Here we go, looking south, with City Target to the left and behind a bit, so drivers need to make a U-turn at the light:
To help with this, our SFMTA rigged the traffic signals (which were paid for by Target, BTW) to start the green light phase of Masonic with a left-only signal for southbound traffic only, allowing one, two, three, or four cars to make a left or hang a Louie, depending on how alert the drivers are.
However, drivers who aren’t at the start of the queue know that it’s simpler and faster to make the U-turn further north, as this car just did:
So now we’re looking north, Gentle Readers, in all the rest of the shots – Tar-GHEY du Ci-TAY is to the right.
So the question is whether this is an illegal turn over the double yellows…
This sedan is making a legal left to go east on Anza as the Jeep in the background is making an illegal U to get to City Target:
I saw three drivers do this in about ten seconds the other day. I’m thinking it’s illegal but drivers are unlikely to get busted for doing it.
Now the bonus part about making a U-turn to use the lower lot is that it’s easier to find parking there and it’s generally easier to exit from, depending on where you’re heading after your shopping session.
I’ll say that once you’ve gone past the lowest parking level, getting out of the City Centre mall and back on your way can be convoluted – like even the best path might appear to be the “wrong” way to go.
Of course, nobody would design a system such as this – it’s just an accident of history. The question is how to handle things.
IMO, the SFMTA handled this sitch the wrong way.
There ought to be a Rec and Park app, so that residents could shut off Rec and Park’s lights, so long as they tried to do so in the daytime, maybe an NFC type of deal:
Oh, what’s that, Rec and Park, you like wasting the cheap drinking water we get from Hetch Hetchy and you like wasting the cheap electricity we get from Hetch Hetchy and that’s the way you likes it?
Fucking Prius drivers, man.
The guv’mint oughta rewire every last Prius to have all the lights on whenever the vehicle is ON, you know, Canadian-style. ‘Cause the way things are now, Prius drivers can’t seem to tell that they’re driving around without headlights.
Black paint, no headlights, nighttime? Sure, let’s cruise Frisco:
Fucking Prius drivers, man.
This effort appears to be similar to the SFMTA’s attempt to add traffic signals on Haight at Scott and Pierce.
This isn’t the worst example of NIMBYism, but I’d say it’s fairly alarmist, fairly absurd.
I’ll just say that, generally speaking, it’s generally harder to get around town these days by car, by bike and by MUNI, compared with ten or twenty years ago. Part of this has to do with our newer, absurdly-wide sidewalks, designed for pedestrian “comfort.”
And yet, most ped and cyclist deaths in San Francisco involve fault from the peds and cyclists. Here’s 2014:
“The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.”
(I should do a video on how to be a pedestrian in SF. It might involve some jaywalking but it would also involve extreme alertness on behalf of peds. You see, the way to prevent a lot of ped deaths in SF would be to get inside their heads to see what’s going wrong.)
IMO, the SFMTA should leave McAllister alone and then start taking out as many bus stops as politically possible.
I’ll tell you, not that many cyclists pass by Broderick and McAllister compared with Scott and McAllister, it seems, owing to geography. So looking at McAllister and Scott, it seems that the lights will be timed against cyclists using FULTON DIVISADERO MCALLISTER eastbound as an alternative to the already-overcrowded Wiggle route to get from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to the Financh.
So for my own selfish reasons, I’d prefer that MUNI not make these changes, but who am I to stand in their way? What the MUNI people are saying is that we’ll all be better off overall, and 40 seconds each way each day will add up to millions of seconds, eventually.
In conclusion, meh. If MUNI wants to put in lights, we should let them do it.
[UPDATE: Here’s a reply from somebody at the SFMTA:
“The mistiming of Oak and Pierce was due to a malfunction of the intersection controller which should now be repaired. Please call 311 if you see any maintenance issues such as signals that all of the sudden appear to be out of sequence.“]
(I’ll tell you, I’ve been riding bikes around SF on pretty much a daily basis for the past quarter century. So that means that I have more miles, hours, decades than you or anybody else at the SFMTA, you know, on the Streets of San Francisco. Also, I have more miles driving about town than even most SFMTA operators, and I have more miles walking about than 99%+ of the employees of the SFMTA. So that’s my throat-clearing.)
I don’t know where this SFMTA MUNI blog post comes from.
“Green Lights for Muni by Rachel Hyden Friday, January 9, 2015:
No matter how you travel around San Francisco, you’re bound to come across a signal that will make your journey a little easier. As a cyclist, you get the “green wave;” as a driver, traffic lights are often timed for your convenience…”
You know, I’ve never seen a “green wave.” I’ve seen the signs for green waves (like here’s one on a hill – well, 13 MPH seems fast going up a big hill and it seems slow going down, oh well) and I’ve seen cyclists on Market bunched up and sometimes making it through the next signal and the next signal, but I wouldn’t call that no green wave. Moving on, Moving Forward…
To this – back before the incompetent SFMTA even existed, way back then, San Francisco did a better job of maintaining the timed lights on its major corridors, its freeway substitutes. So, for example, you could drive from the Inner Sunset to, say, Reno, Nevada without ever seeing a red. Sure, Lincoln to Kezar to Oak to the Central Freeway to the I-80. And then, after the Loma Prieta, which occurred before certain six figure a year MUNI bloggers were born, drivers would wind through Hayes Valley (which for most people isn’t a destination) and Civic Center and SoMA to whichever freeway on-ramp. All greens, baby.
And even more recently, like three or four years ago, SF did a much better job with the timed lights.
And now we’re in 2015 and it’s the worst ever. You look down Bush from the Western Addition and what you might expect to see is, what, a brown wave(?) of cars cruising along at 25 MPH or so, but what you see instead are cars pretty much randomly distributed.
The same goes for Pine outbound, where there are some stretches that I’d say aren’t really timed at all any more.
The twins Golden Gate and Turk are still more or less timed, as are Franklin and Gough. But lookie here at Oak near Pierce. Would you say that these lights are timed for anybody’s “convenience?”
Why would you set up the lights this way? Even for a day? SF used to have traffic engineers in charge and now I don’t know who’s in charge. Ideologists? Blogger PR-types from Ohio?
I’ll tell you, back a decade ago, the SFMTA wanted to replace four way stops on Page with their trademark horrible traffic circles. The reason being, ostensibly, and I’m srsly, was to reduce greenhouse emissions by not forcing cars to start and stop, and the BAAQMD was going to kick in just for this purpose. This didn’t work out*, but that’s what the SFMTA wanted, right? That was the stated purpose.
But now, here, just a block away on Oak, the SFMTA has/had the opportunity to properly time the lights, to reduce emissions, and it just doesn’t care.
And along comes the official SFMTA blog, which wants citizens to thank the heavens above every time they see a timed light, because the SFMTA labored to “make your journey a little easier.”
Oh, what’s that, SFMTA, give you more money and you’ll time the lights proper again? No, why don’t you use the money you already get more efficiently? I mean, right? I mean, aren’t you the worst big-city transit agency in America? No, well, then which big city has a worser transit system? Oh, what’s that, you just got an award for innovation or something? Well, great, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t the worst big-city transit agency in America. All of the other transit agencies laugh and call you names, SFMTA. (And you aint no Rudolph, with his nose so bright.)
So, why not time traffic lights proper before you pat yourself on the back for timing traffic lights, SFMTA?
*The SFMTA made the mistake of allowing people to actually vote on one of the SFMTA’s goofy, thoughtless ideas. The SFMTA ended up losing, big-time, like by a three to one ratio in some cases. Needless to say, the SFMTA doesn’t allow any votes like that any mo…