Posts Tagged ‘market’

Remembering 2012, When the SFPD Picked Up Enforcing Traffic Laws on Market Street, One Bike Rider at a Time

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

It looked like this:

In the 80’s, 90’s, and early aughts, bikes were practically invisible to cops on Market Street, except for the occasional* Commute Clot / Critical Mass event. But these days, the SFPD seems to consider enforcing traffic laws on bike riders a higher priority,** for whatever reason.

Anyway, back in the day, you’d just have to sit and wait for your ticket to get written up, but nowadays you can play Tetris on your iPhone to make the minutes fly by, as you can see.

Cops generally prefer to give tickets to car drivers for various reasons. One of them is that the protest rate is many many times greater from cyclists than drivers. So the theory that this recent push to enforce traffic laws on bike riders came from the top down sounds right to me.

*And especially except that time in ’97, when Mayor Willie Brown decided to “do something” about CM. A hundred-something people got ticketed / detained and had their bikes impounded, most of them getting penned in at Sacramento Montgomery for running a red light.

**Think it was in 2012 or 2013 that I got detained by two Crown-Vic driving SFPD on Market near 6th. Pretty sure it was just after the #5 Fulton line was rerouted to take McAllister almost all the way to Market, and I’d noticed two #5’s jammed up in front of the Hibernia Bank building along with three marked and two unmarked Crown Victorias within a block or so.  I was thinking, well, this certainly is unusual so it looks like the cops are dealing with something around 7th and Market, maybe involving the buses, so I’ll just keep on moving inbound by taking McAllister all the way to Market and then I’ll cross over Market after the SFPD radio car goes off east on Market. Except the car slowed down waiting for me to cross over to the right side of Market. I couldn’t understand how I was getting all this attention from the SFPD. Anyway, flashing lights, a request from a rookie for my “license and registration” (I looked at his partner, who sort of chuckled – I don’t think the rookie had ever pulled over a bike rider before),  a quick warrant check for me, an admonishment to use the correct side of the road, and I then I was off again. And all the while, some photographer guy recognized me and started taking pictures from a traffic island. (He never sent them to me, oh well.) I’ll tell you, I moved to the Tenderloin back in the 1980’s and I’d been California stopping at stop signs and red lights around and on Market for more than two decades before I got any kind of attention from the SFPD. And I thought, oh, things are different now… 

The Nordstrom Effect: SFPD Response at 5th and Market vs. 6th and Market – It’s Quite a Difference

Monday, January 12th, 2015

These two shots from longtime Twitterloin resident Bluoz certainly square with my understanding of what’s tolerated on these two neighbor streets.

5th Street, home to Norstrom’s “Flagship Store” (or second flagship, if you count all those Nordie buildings up in Seattle):

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6th Street:

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From This Angle, the Church Street Safeway Looks Kind of Stubby – Why Don’t They Build a Massive Apartment Building Above It?

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Just asking.

Of course, the whole place would be a tear-down. Then you rebuild with a brand-new Safeway gro sto below and then a bunch of housing units above. It’d be like a Hayward-style transit village. See?

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Just asking.

MISSING: Steven Harris – Last Seen at the California Academy of Sciences Jan 6th – Last Ping at Market / Van Ness

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

[UPDATE: “STEVEN HAS BEEN FOUND. He is currently with family.]

OK, here’s the report as far as I know:

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Steven Harris, went missing around 11:00 AM on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, last seen leaving his job at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. His home is in San Bruno, and his last phone ping was at Market & Van Ness. His family is trying to get any sort of media attention to help bring Steven home.

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Here’s One Reason, Just One Reason, Why the Expensive “SFPark” Surge Pricing Experiment Failed

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

One reason the federally-funded SFPark program failed is that the maximum rate of $6 per hour* was too low to garner the benefits promised.

So, as here on Chestnut Street, it doesn’t really matter all that much if the meters charge $1 or $3 or $6 an hour – during busy times, the metered spaces will be occupied like 98%+ of the time. Times like these:

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So why couldn’t a “market” pricing-based experiment charge more than $6 an hour? Well, politics.

Oh well.

Maybe the feds will give us another $20 million worth of pork and then we can do SFPark again?

Maybe

*Outside of “special event” pricing, when it could/can go up to $72 an hour.

Advice for San Francisco Newcomers: What’s “Rent Control?” It’s Something You Might Want – Not Now, But Next Year

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Or not. It’s hard to say how much rent control would benefit you next year once your lease is up.

But these days, there’s a ton of SF newcomers who are just figuring out the big benefit of RC.

Check it:

“Unfortunately most residents can’t afford to stay longer that 1 year. We’ve been living at Argenta for 10 months and have been very happy with the apartment. But we began to suspect that things weren’t quite right with management shortly after moving in. People we met in the elevator, lobby and our floor were all saying the same thing — rent had been raised to ridiculous heights and they were moving out. Over the last 10 months we have watched many of the tenants on our floor leave because of the rent increase.”

So that’s what you get with your brand-new building – a huge rent increase after your first year.

Generally speaking, older buildings have rent control and newer buildings do not. One exception is federal land, like Treasure Island and The Presidio. In those places, you can live in an older building but still get with huge rent increases.

Of course, it always pays to check.

Here’s a test – can you tell which places are rent controlled?

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You see, it’s hard.

Choose wisely.

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this dysfunction, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

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See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. So of course if you pressure it to do things you want done, like planting trees in the middle of the street, which, of course, has nothing to do with safety, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If, later on, you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down after all these changes so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won’t really affect me, myself, I don’t think. Seems selfish to think now-hey-what-about-me, anyway. What ended up happening  with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it’ll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it’s hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project, this tree planting diversion. So, what will the affects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

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VAN DZL: If Actor Vin Diesel Owned a Full-Sized Van…

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

As seen in SoMA:

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Click to expand

It’s probably powered by gasoline though…

Christmas CalTrain, 2014 – Old Engine #920

Monday, December 8th, 2014

(Oh, so that’s what the inside of a CalTrain station looks like. I’d never been.)

Engine 920, dolled up for the holidays, as seen in SoMA:

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Argenta Inquest: How Can a One-Bedroom Apartment in the Twitterloin Qualify as a “Luxury Home”

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

That’s the Question of the Day.

Here it is, the Argenta, at 10th and Market on 1 Polk Street:

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$107K* per year(!) for a one-bedroom – am I reading that right?

I mean, wouldn’t have a second bedroom be a kind of luxury in itself?

*”From $8920” a month times 12 months in a year…