Posts Tagged ‘Masonic Avenue Street’

Wow, the Push to “STOP THE MASONIC PLAN” Seems to be Growing – But It’s Too Late, Right?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I’ll tell you, do you know how many residents put up signs to support using taxpayer money to decrease capacity on Masonic Avenue?

None, zero, nada.

But people on Masonic seem to love putting up signs going against the plan to take out 100-something parking spaces.

I don’t know why the electeds who voted for this project would change their minds now – it seems only a lawsuit* could  have any effect at this point.

The windmill tilting continues – this sign looks homemade:

You can’t fight City Hall, right?

*And even then, I don’t see how you’d win.

The “Save Masonic” People are Back Opposing Changes to Masonic Avenue – But Battle is Over – Serious Congestion Coming

Monday, July 29th, 2013

I’ll tell you, the “average,” the typical user of Masonic will in no way benefit from spending eight  figures worth of taxpayer dollars on a 3000 foot stretch of Masonic betwixt Fell and the new City Target Store up on Mervyn’s Heights at Geary.

And that’s sort of funny ’cause this recently-greenlighted project was billed as being “accommodating” to “all users,” as something that would benefit all.

Now myself, perhaps I’ll end up benefiting from the changes, we’ll see. But I live too close to Masonic to feel right about advocating ‘n stuff. Seems selfish. (I’ll tell you, I sure feel sorry for those living in the West Bay, out there in the Fog Belt.)

But you,  if you use Masonic to get from one place or another, you’re going to be fucked during the AM and PM drives. That’ll also include car drivers, and passengers, and bus drivers and passengers, etc. Cyclists will benefit but for peds, well, it won’t really matter. Abutting property owners will probably appreciate the new trees on the new useless medians. And that’s about it.

Where all the traffic will go during the morning and evening drives, well, we’ll see.

Anyway, here’s the latest:

Joshua Calder was pretty drunk when he killed Nils Linke, but the other driver, the one who killed the purported “jaywalking”  ped, wasn’t he DUI as well? (I’ll point out that both these deaths happened outside of the rush hours.)

Anyway, here are some more deets from the rebel forces:

“San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agencyis planning to remove all parking along Masonic Avenue from Fell Street to Geary Boulevard, reduce the travel lanes during rush hour so there will only be two lanes in each direction at all times (except the West (southbound) side of Masonic for the block between Hayes and Fell, which will be three lanes), install a concrete median strip with trees in the middle of the street, and install bike lanes at both curb lanes (concrete cycle tracks, above the roadway and below sidewalk level). There will be bus bulbouts, so when buses stop to load and unload passengers, only one travel lane will be moving. In order to cross Masonic and to access the bus stops, pedestrians will have to cross the cycle track. MTA estimates the project will cost $18.2 million. The actual final cost is anyone’s guess.The Masonic cycle track project will have the following impacts:
Be dangerous for cyclists and for drivers pulling out of driveways. Drivers’ ability to see cyclists will be limited. Also, cars pulling out of driveways on a busy street such as Masonic can only do so when motor vehicle traffic is stopped by a red light. Some cyclists don’t always obey traffic signals, vehicles could be pulling out of driveways when they don’t expect any traffic, only to hit an unexpected cyclist. Because some cyclists don’t use lights, this will be even more dangerous at night.
Result in the loss of around 167 street parking spaces. The actual number may be more because MTA counts 20 linear feet as a parking space, but some of the parking spaces along Masonic between driveways are less than 20 feet and may not be included in the count. Also, residents of Masonic will no longer be able to park across their driveways.
Increase congestion on Masonic, especially during rush hour.
Increase traffic on nearby streets, as some drivers avoid the increased traffic on Masonic.
Increase pollution in the area, as drivers circle further and longer in search of parking, and as traffic on the nearby streets is increased.
Jeopardize public safety by slowing down emergency response time.
Make it much more difficult for residents on Masonic to: load/unload people and packages; have items delivered; have visitors; move in and out of their homes; and have construction, maintenance, painting and other work done.
Make it harder for businesses to get deliveries of their products.
The major parking loss will especially hurt seniors and disabled people, who are limited in how far they can walk and how many streets they can cross. It will also make it more difficult for them to have home visits from caregivers, Meals on Wheels, physical, respiratory, occupational and other therapists, and repair services from wheelchair repair companies.
Increase the personal safety risk at night for residents returning to their homes and visitors returning to their cars after visiting friends, as they will have to park further from their residence or their friend’s home. The risk will especially increase for the most vulnerable – women, seniors and disabled people.
Currently, vehicles going eastbound on Geary turn right onto southbound Masonic using a dedicated right turn lane before Masonic, thus avoiding having to go all the way to Masonic. The project will remove this lane, so both vehicles turning southbound and those proceeding straight on Geary will have to go all the way to Masonic. Congestion will increase, especially with the additional traffic from the Target store.
Create a chaotic, congested mess on Masonic and the surrounding areas during the 18 month construction period.
Motor vehicle traffic on Masonic was over 32,000 vehicles per day in 2010 (measured by MTA at Masonic at Fulton). Because many automobiles carry more than one person, more than 32,000 people ride on Masonic on a typical day. With the new Target store at Masonic and Geary slated to open, this volume will increase dramatically. In contrast, per SFMTA measurements, during the PM rush hour there were only 20 bikes per hour at Masonic/Golden Gate and only 32 per hour at Masonic/Fell. (And some of those at Masonic/Fell may have been proceeding along Fell, not Masonic.)
Masonic Avenue can be improved without creating these dangers, impacts and hardships, and without spending $18.2 million. More trees can be planted along the sidewalk, lighting can be improved and bus shelters added. And rather than encouraging cyclists to bike along one of the busiest North-South streets in San Francisco, a better and safer North-South bike route can be created that includes the existing bike lanes along Baker, just a few blocks from Masonic. See updates page for more information.
Click here for a description of an alternative bike route.What can you do to help save Masonic? The MTA Board of Directors approved the cycle track project in September 2012. It will happen unless you get involved! It’s imperative that you contact Mayor Ed Lee, the Board of Supervisors, Supervisors London Breed, Eric Mar and Mark Farrell, the MTA Board, Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin and potential funding sources, and ask them to stop this disaster in the making. It’s also critical to attend meetings of the Board of Supervisors and the MTA Board.
See updates page for more information.

The Stated Objectives of the “Masonic Avenue Street Design Study” vs. Reality

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Hey, it’s the Masonic Avenue Street Design Study:

“About the Project – The primary goal of the Masonic Avenue Street Design Study is to identify how Masonic Avenue between Geary Boulevard and Fell Street can safely and efficiently accommodate the needs of all roadway users, including but not limited to … motorists.”

ALL RIGHT, EXACTLY HOW DOES THIS PROJECT “ACCOMMODATE THE NEEDS” OF “MOTORISTS?” OH, NOT AT ALL? THOUGHT SO. MOVING ON.

Objectives:

1. Engage representatives of all constituencies within the community who would be impacted by changes to Masonic Avenue…

ALL RIGHT, WHICH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE “MOTORIST” “CONSTITUENCY” WERE “ENGAGED?” ANY AT ALL? YOU KNOW, THE OCTAVIA BOULEVARD PEOPLE “ENGAGED” MOTORISTS AS FAR AWAY AS MONTEREY BOULEVARD, OUT THERE WITH CLIPBOARDS AND EVERYTHING. DID THE MASONIC AVENUE PEOPLE DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT? OH NO.

2. Improve transit operation.

THIS PROJECT WILL UNIMPROVE TRANSIT OPERATION ON AND AROUND MASONIC – THERE’S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. IT’S GOING TO SLOW DOWN THE BUSES THAT USE MASONIC, INCLUDING THE OCCASIONAL #5 FULTON AND #21 HAYES.

3. Improve pedestrian and non-motorized access to transit.

SO TRANSIT USERS WILL HAVE “BETTER ACCESS” TO REDUCED BUS SERVICE? I DON’T GET THE BETTER ACCESS PART – YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT A BUS STOP? ALSO, WHAT’S “MOTORIZED ACCESS TO TRANSIT?”

4. Increase the safety of pedestrian crossings.

YOU KNOW, THE PRIOR PROJECT MANAGER IS ON THE RECORD AS STATING THAT THIS KIND OF THING IS BAD TO DO LIKE NOW BECAUSE IT WOULD HURT THE CAUSE OF PUSHING THE ENTIRE PROJECT THROUGH. KIND OF SAD, REALLY.

5. Increase motorist compliance with traffic rules and regulations.

UH, WHAT, WITH TREES? IF I WANTED TO INCREASE COMPLIANCE WITH TRAFFIC LAWS, I’D JACK THE SPEED LIMIT UP TO 40 MPH. NOW, THAT WOULD HAVE SOME SIDE EFFECTS, BUT IT CERTAINLY WOULD REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF SPEEDING, RIGHT? OR, HAVING HOURS-LONG TRAFFIC JAM UPS DURING THE MORNING AND EVENING DRIVES WOULD REDUCE SPEEDING, IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE GETTING AT?

6. Reduce the number of vehicular collisions, especially those involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

HOW? BY PLANTING TREES? WE’LL SEE. HEY DIDN’T THE RECENT OCTAVIA BOULEVARD / MEDIAN PROJECT INCREASE THE NUMBER OF VEHICULAR COLLISIONS ON OCTAVIA? YES IT DID. HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN THAT?

7. Support neighborhood vitality by creating a more inviting and accommodating public realm.

BY PUTTING IN A MEDIAN AND PLANTING TREES? SO, LET’S TAX AMERICA, CALIFORNIA, AND SAN FRANCISCO TO CREATE A “REALM” ON 3000 FEET WORTH OF STREET PRIMARILY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WEALTHY PROPERTY OWNERS AND PRIVATE SCHOOL(S) WHAT ARE ON THE STREET? ALL RIGHT.

Here Comes the SFMTA, the People Who Run MUNI, to Save Us From Alcoholic County and State Workers on Masonic Avenue

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

This isn’t my “preferred option,” but it’s the preferred option, so there you go.

Click to expand

How much will this cost?

Tens of millions, before overruns. $50,000,000 per mile or about $50,000 a parcel depending on how you look at it.

Who’ll pay for it?

Local, state, and federal taxpayers, just like the Bridge to Nowhere (let’s do something for Alaska) and the Chinatown subway (let’s do something for District 3).

Why does the public hearing notice enumerate the dozen-and-a-half parking spaces to be added but then leave out the hundred-something parking spaces that will be taken out?

Because this is a political document written by a politician.

Well, is there a cheaper, safety-only option to go along with the SFMTA’s “preferred option?”

Not that I’m aware of. Safety improvements have been held hostage over the years on account of this big maghilla project. The Project Director will tell you that if you ask him.

Do you have something against wide medians filled with trees that can never ever, ever, ever be removed for any reason at any time in the future, the likes of which can be found on Octavia and Divisadero?

Yes.

Any advice for cyclists in the mean-time?

Yes. Cyclists should stay the hell off of Masonic between Turk and Fulton. Use the wide, underpopulated sidewalks, and, if you want, run the red light at Golden Gate to get a head start on traffic going downhill to Fulton.

Masonic Avenue Renderporn – Proposals to Add Medians, Drop Road Down to One Lane

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

This is what last night’s meeting, the Second Masonic Avenue Street Design Community Workshop, looked like. It started 15 minutes late, had a half-hour break scheduled, and it began with a rehash for all the new people. You can see their raised hands here:

Anyway, for those reasons, I didn’t stick around. But here are diagrams for the choices on offer for Masonic. You can also see them at Bike NOPA.

Actually, the City has has already decided which proposal it likes best so far. Here’s your Options Matrix, in order of preference:

And here are each of the proposals, one by one:

Click to expand. It’ll get extra big.

This one adds a huge median and brings Masonic down to one lane each way at night:

This one adds a huge median and has no room for parked cars. Note the public policy disaster Octavia Boulevard appears to be cited favourably, as if there’s nothing wrong with it:

And this one adds a bike lane to the ridiculously wide sidewalks:

But there are constraints, of course:

So there you have it. About 60-something people were on hand when I left.

The City doesn’t want three lanes of traffic using Masonic during the morning and evening drives, that much is for sure.

Something that wouldn’t take four years would be to:

Just push back the encroaching landowners, get them off of public land and then just decriminalize bikes on the sidewalks of this part of Masonic, the same way that some other sidewalks allow bikes in town. 

But that doesn’t seem to be under consideration.

Now you’d think that people at these Different Masonic meetings would make choices based upon this kind of ranking:

1. Safety

2. Flow

3. Aesthetics

But the folks that Fate allows to show up at these meetings seem to make choices based upon this ranking:

1. Aesthetics

2. Aesthetics

3. Aesthetics

O.K., we’ll see have to wait and see how this one goes.

Second Masonic Avenue Street Design Community Workshop Coming August 10th, 2010

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

How will the second Masonic Avenue Street Design Community Workshop differ from the first?

No sé, mi amigo/a.

[UPDATE: BIKE NOPA has some deets.]

Anyway, this exercise in ascertainment bias, exactly the kind they warned us about in colledge, exactly the kind of bias the City wants, will be at 6:30 PM on August 10th at that rich prep school that costs $100-something per kid per day.

Click to expand.

Maybe it will look like Octavia “Boulevard” when all is said and done…

Masonic Avenue Community Workshop: The Hippiest Damn Thing I’ve Ever Seen

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

I’ll tell you, what happened last night in the West of the Western Addition must have been just like the meetings that created the public policy disaster known as Octavia Boulevard, just like those meetings populated by Hayes Valley landed gentry and assorted NIMBY’s that spun out of control to create a traffic-choked “boulevard” that’s three medians and four traffic lanes (two just for parked cars!) too wide.

Anyway, about 60 souls showed at the tony San Francisco Day School to attend this “Street Design Study” joint yesterday. Check it:

The mise-en-scene:

Always with the medians:

Did you know that:

“A mature tree in an urban provides up to $162,000 in ecosystem services?”

(In other news, trees produce oxygen and birds live in trees. Heavy, man.)

I had to leave right when the make out “break out” sessions began, something to do with a play-date involving your neighbors in the hood and safety scissors and papers on tables and what-kind-of-Masonic-do-you-want.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, per se. The problem comes when traffic engineers lose their say and the landscapers are the only ones in charge.

We’ll see how this one goes, but the thing to remember is that the 60 people who showed are not The Community.

Not by a long shot.

The Road to a “Better” Masonic Avenue Starts Tonight at 6:30 PM?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

That’s what they’re saying, anyway. We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, how about www.FixGoldenGate.org as a potential URL/social movement? I’m sure the rich parents of the San Francisco Day School (tuition = $20-something thousand per year, per student) would want to have somebody to do something about enforcing traffic rules, or something.

Double-parked luxo SUVs parked on Golden Gate near Masonic, a daily occurrence:

Anyway, here’s the meeting.

Masonic Avenue Street Design Community Workshop Coming June 15th, 2010

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Read all about the upcoming Masonic Avenue Street Design Community Workshop below, but first, what about having a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for horrible Octavia Boulevard, you know, since some of the same players and mentalities are back in play a half-decade after the Octavia ribbon-cutting?

It would go something like this:

“No no, don’t worry, we won’t try put you in jail or take away the awards you recevied for your role in inflicting Octavia Boulevard on us and the coming generations. And we won’t even try to get back the suitcases full of money we gave you for your concepts. Not at all. But what went wrong with the Octavia project? What’s that you say? Your ideas, your Boulevard Movement, there was nothing wrong with those things but San Francisco just didn’t execute your vision properly, that’s the way it is? All right then, what exactly went wrong? Is the Boulevard too wide, even for you? Were all the new traffic accidents along Octavia expected? Maybe we should bring down the entire Central Freeway spur all the way back to Valencia and then de-boulevard Octavia? What kinds of changes can we make to Fix Octavia Now?”

Something like that.

The Octavia Effect affects people more than a mile away from Le Boulevard, where rush hour lasts all day and into the night, and shows up on weekends as well. (And Octavia blocks MUNI and cyclists and peds and drivers who never use the Central Freeway. Oh well:

Oh well, on to new bidness:

“On Tuesday June 15, the MTA will host the first Community Workshop to kick off a new street design study for Masonic Avenue, working to make sure that all road users are safer and more comfortable– whether you are on foot, bike, transit or in a car.

Masonic Avenue Street Design Community Workshop
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
6:30-8:30 PM
San Francisco Day School, 350 Masonic Avenue
(Enter on Golden Gate Ave.)

At the meeting, MTA Staff will give a presentation on existing conditions and community members will share their ideas and vision for a better Masonic Avenue, which will help shape MTA future recommendations.  With so many collisions- whether car/car, car/pedestrian, or car/bike on Masonic- it is clear we need to find a way to reduce speeds, stop red light running, and improve safety for everyone in the area.  For that reason, we need to have as many people as we can at the meeting on June 15 sharing their experiences on the road and speaking to the importance of safety and comfort for people walking and biking on the street.

Please mark your calendars for the June 15 meeting and help me make a better Masonic Avenue.”

And there’s this:

Masonic Avenue Street Design Community Workshop
 Tue., Jun. 15 | 6:30-8:30pm | San Francisco Day School, 350 Masonic Avenue (Enter on Golden Gate Ave.)

At the meeting, MTA Staff will give a presentation on existing conditions and community members will share their ideas and vision for a better Masonic Avenue, which will help shape MTA future recommendations. Come share your experiences on the road and speak to the importance of safety and comfort for people walking and biking on the street.

See you there at this NIMBY-magnet. Maybe.