Posts Tagged ‘livable streets’

Wow: Seeing San Francisco From Above the Mission District Through “Omni-Vision” – Rear Window, Cessna Skyhawk

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Hey man, nice shot.

Via singlespeeder2007:

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Viewing notes:

Hey, can you guess which street in San Francisco was remade to be a firebreak, you know, around 1906? Sure you can. Just look at the photo. You see, it, unlike the useless, quarter-mile long, Octavia Boulevard “Livable Streets” experiment, is wide for a reason. 

Omni-Vision – This referred to the rear windows on some Cessna singles, starting with the 182 and 210 in 1962, the 172 in 1963 and the 150 in 1964. The term was intended to make the pilot feel visibility was improved on the notably poor-visibility Cessna line. The introduction of the rear window caused in most models a loss of cruise speed due to the extra drag, while not adding any useful visibility

Meet Your San Francisco Bike Sharing Program – 500 Bicycles and 50 Stations Coming Next Year to FiDi, SoMA, Civic Center

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I guess they have the money now and they’re working on figuring out who’s going to run the thing.

Appears as if the SFMTA has given up on a giant Parisian Velib-style program with 5000 bikes strewn all over town – they’re starting small. Regardless, some of this free advice still applies.

The deets:

“…the pilot service area will be centered in San Francisco’s employment- and transit-rich Downtown/SOMA corridor between the Financial District, Market Street and the Transbay and Caltrain terminals.  This area is notably flat, has the densest bikeway network coverage in San Francisco and enjoys the highest levels of cycling, yet those who commute by transit from cities to the east and south encounter difficulties bringing a bicycle with them on BART or Caltrain.”

El Mapa:

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So the stations might end up looking a little half-assed, owing to CEQA:

“Heath Maddox, senior planner for the Livable Streets Subdivision of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), says the defining characteristics of the service they’ve outlined in an RFP draft is that the bike system be solar-powered with no need for external AC power and no requirement for excavation that would turn the installation process into a construction project.”

Remember, sharing is caring.

All the deets:

“The map of the pilot service area presents northeast San Francisco. The highlighted area in the map is the bicycle sharing pilot service area bound by South Van Ness Avenue and the Ferry Terminal along Market Street. To the north, the service area boundary includes the Federal Building at Turk Street, Union Square at Post Street, the Broadway and Columbus Avenue intersection, and The Embarcadero at Sansome Street. To the south, the highlighted service area includes the Embarcadero to Mission Bay, Townsend Street and Concourse Exhibition Center.”

Bike Sharing

Bike sharing is coming to San Francisco! A regional pilot program led by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in partnership with the SFMTA will bring approximately 50 bike share stations and 500 bikes to San Francisco’s downtown core beginning in spring 2012. The SFMTA is working with a regional team to implement this pilot along the Caltrain corridor in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City and San Jose and shown in this Regional Bike Sharing System map. The project is funded through a combination of local, regional and federal grants with major funding coming from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Innovative Bay Area Climate Initiatives Grant Program (BACI).

What is bike sharing?

Similar to car sharing, bicycle sharing is a term used to describe a membership-based system of short-term bicycle rental.  Members can check a bicycle out from a network of automated bicycle stations, ride to their destination, and return the bicycle to a different station.  Bicycle sharing is enjoying a global explosion in growth with the development of purpose-built bicycles and stations that employ high tech features like smartcards, solar power, and wireless internet and GPS technologies.

Who is involved with launching the San Francisco bike sharing system?

The BAAQMD is the overall regional project lead, coordinating the planning and implementation efforts of the local partners: the City and County of San Francisco, the Cities of San Jose, Mountain View and Palo Alto in Santa Clara County and the City of Redwood City in San Mateo County. The SFMTA is leading the project in San Francisco, and we are working in cooperation with our City and County partners, including the Planning Department, Department of Public Works, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the Port of San Francisco. The regional partners will be selecting a contractor in fall 2011 to install, operate, and manage the system.

Where will bike sharing be located in San Francisco?

As the San Francisco Bicycle Sharing Pilot Service Area map (PDF) presents, in San Francisco, the pilot service area will be centered in San Francisco’s employment- and transit-rich Downtown/SOMA corridor between the Financial District, Market Street and the Transbay and Caltrain terminals.  This area is notably flat, has the densest bikeway network coverage in San Francisco and enjoys the highest levels of cycling, yet those who commute by transit from cities to the east and south encounter difficulties bringing a bicycle with them on BART or Caltrain. Much of San Francisco’s densely urbanized northeastern quadrant is similarly well-suited to bicycle sharing.

When will bike sharing launch in San Francisco?

The regional partners will be selecting a vendor to install, operate, and manage the bike sharing system in 2011 with the goal of a system launch in Spring/Summer 2012!

Further Information

If you have any questions, comments or feedback about bike sharing, contact the SFMTA at sustainable.streets@sfmta.com.

Dear SFMTA: Your Bike Lights Aren’t Really Bike Lights, So They Don’t Satisfy the California Vehicle Code

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

See what the SFMTA is giving out for free these days? It’s a Chinese flashlight with an adjustable mount so it can be used as a bike headlight. The problem with that is that it’s insufficient to put a nighttime cyclist in compliance with the California Vehicle Code. Check it:

Equipment Requirements. VC 21201 d) Every bicycle operated upon any highway during darkness shall be equipped with the following: 1. A lamp emitting a white light which illuminates the highway and is visible from a distance of 300 feet to the front and the sides of the bicycle.

This setup up sends out zero light to the sides. In fact, the way it’s made it sort of has a hood. Now, it’s not illegal per se and it’s better than nothing but it’s not up to code in California, you know, where we all live.

Also, this jury rigged system is ridiculous. For example, it’s too bright, IMO. So if it’s pointed level with the ground then it will be certain to irritate oncoming traffic. Build quality is lower than standard if the standard is a typical Chinese flashlight. (It doesn’t say “Made in China” or anything, which was probably a selling point for the buyer, but where else could it have been made?) The big attraction for SFMTA with this setup must have been the giant SFMTA logo. Hey, SFMTA! Did it cost more to put the logo on than to buy these sub-$5 one-star-rated lights in the first place?

Now, click here to see a real bike light, with a blinking function, a decent quick release, longer time betwixt battery changes, and, of course, it complies with the CVC. Oh well.

And here’s what SFMTA thinks is a bike light:

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And as for the rear lights they’re giving out, they’re flimsy as all get-out, but that’s nothing that couldn’t be fixed with some super glue. The best course with those red lights would be to just glue the entire affair to itself and leave it on the bike 24-7.

I know what you’re trying to do, SFMTA, but you never do anything right. Why not try to do one small program that’s not FUBARed from the get-go? (Or maybe somebody can tell me something that the SFMTA does right?)

(Hey, SFMTA! Remember that big meeting when Nate Ford was maybe just a tad agitated about that big article, the one he “never read(!),” in the SF Weekly that was all about how you suck as an agency? Wouldn’t it be funny if somebody, maybe one of your very own, somehow made an mp3 audio recording of that little get-together? You know, surreptitious-like? Boy, that’d be funny, huh? Good times.)

Anyway, there’s no law that says you can’t give away flashlights to advertise your agency, but calling them bike lights, that’s what I’m taking issue with.

Combined SFMTA SFBC Bike Light Giveaway a Huge Success – Look Forward to Three More Sessions on Your Commute Home

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Despite some issues people might have with the giveaway SFMTA-branded lights themselves, last night’s somewhat-publicized bike light giveaway in front of Fox Plaza near 10th and Market was a huge success.

They’ll be doing this kind of thing again over the coming months, but you’re not going to hear about it beforehand – the tents will just pop up somewhere on your commute home betwixt 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM.

But mind the rules – you gots to have a bike to get your lights and your bike can’t already have lights.

Queuing up on Market:

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Check out this SFPD bike cop. He’d direct Lightless People to the queue but he didn’t get too much of a response. Oh well. (I suppose he could detain you first –  I’m sure that would increase interest dramatically, but he doesn’t need the hassle, right?)

(When a typical SFPD officer gives you ticket for rolling through a stop sign on your bike or riding around at night without lights on your bike or something like that, it’s for one or both of these reasons:

1. There’s an enforcement action going on, one where SFPD higher-ups have specifically mentioned that they want to see more of a certain type of citation, or

2. You’ve gone out of your way, your behavior really, really sets you apart from the crowd such that the cop is somehow personally offended by you.)

Anyway, Fiat Lux, let there be light…