Or so it appears:
Posts Tagged ‘masonic’
This MUNI Bus Operator Drives Over The Line, a Solid Yellow Line, on Fulton – Why That’s a Good ThingWednesday, April 15th, 2015
As you’re reading, enjoy some Crystal Method:
When you’re getting about the mean Streets of San Francisco, you should imagine that every driver you encounter is an uninsured, recently-released felon who’s driving an unregistered vehicle. That’s how I’ve been doing it the past quarter-century.
Conversely, when you’re driving, you should imagine that all the peds around you are suicidal. That means that you should expect them to dart out from the sidewalk right into your path.
So if you’re looking at things that way, then it makes sense to stay Hell away from sidewalks.
Thusly. All the way up* Ignatious Heights on outbound Fulton past Masonic:
I’m not saying it’s easy to safely drive an MUNI bus, but I’m saying some drivers are better than others. This driver lacks respect for the SFMTA’s ideologically and politically-skewed impulses, as do I.
Remember, Safety First, Ideologically-Driven “Streetscapes” Last.
*And just look at the traffic coming down the hill – does anybody actually use the suicide lane to turn into the dead-end that is USF, seen camera right? (Maybe USF Security does?) Man, this isn’t how I would handle this stretch of Futon. And, oh yes, SFMTA, you should add a traffic signal on Clayton so the USF dormies can get to their inbound #5 Fulton bus stop, but you already know that, don’t you, SFMTA?
Ironically, SFGov Plans to Remove This Actual Urban Tree Canopy from Masonic and Geary – Aesthetics vs. Safety, AgainMonday, April 13th, 2015
Now I say ironically because it’s standard practice for our local pols to talk about San Francisco’s “urban canopy” as if we were close to having one already IRL.
But here’s an actual canopy, on Masonic near Geary, that’s doomed for the chipper because of some bogus art project called “Points of Departure.”
One supposes it’ll be a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine of the big new federally-funded, state-funded “Streetscape” / pork-barrel project go down? (Our SFMTA is working, slowly but surely, on this gig what has turned out to be less “shovel-ready” than advertised…)
One local, beloved blogger has gone as far as calling this slow-motion disaster Arbor-Geddon 2015.
Now here’s a little history about how SFGov works, courtesy of San Francisco Mayor (1996-present) / local lobbyist Willie Brown:
“I wanted the trees gone, but knew I’d face stiff resistance both from homeless advocates and tree supporters. We brought in a tree expert and wouldn’t you know it, some of the trees had a blight. I issued an emergency order, and that night park workers moved in and dug up and bagged the trees. By the time the TV cameras arrived the next morning the trees were on their way to a tree hospital, never to return. So bless me, father, for I too have sinned. I just did it before everyone had a cell phone camera.”
Delightful story, Willie. Simply delightful.
Anyway, kiss this small grove, improbably near a big #38 MUNI stop, good-bye.
Appalling Corner Cutting from the Vaunted SFMTA: Newly-Installed Clean-Sheet Traffic Signal Poles on MasonicThursday, April 9th, 2015
[All right, a little background. Who’s been in charge of the crosswalk in front of City Hall on Polk? IDK, somebody in SFGov, like the SFMTA, or an agency from before the SFMTA, or DPW, or, no matter, somebody in SFGov, anyway, right? And these people know that driver compliance rates with whatever half-assed “smart” control scheme they installed is a lot lower than the compliance rate with simple red-yellow-green signals. But then, with regular dumb traffic lights, pedestrians would have to wait, at least part of the time, to cross the street to get to the Great Hall of The People and we can’t have that, right? So when a tour bus driver runs over an SFGov worker going back to the office, it’s all the tour bus driver’s fault, right? Well, yes and no. The BOS can vote 11-0 to regulate tour bus operators, but that ignores its responsibility, non? Oh what’s that, you were going to get around to installing a traffic signal there, but you just hadn’t gotten around to it? And what’s that, you can’t figure out how to do it with the money we already give you, so we need to give you more more more? All right, fine, but that means your a part of the safety problem, not the solution, SFTMA / SFGov, at least in this case. Moving on…]
What the Hell is this, this brand new aluminum(?) light pole above Masonic betwixt the Golden Gate and Turk “high injury* corridors.” Believe it or not, you’re looking at signal lights for northbound Masonic traffic at Golden Gate AND ALSO, on the other side, for southbound Masonic at Turk:
Here’s how things look up the hill heading southbound – no problems here:
But this is what you see going north, you see a red light on the left and green light on the right, and the farther away you are, the more it looks like one intersection with contradictory signals:
I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere in the world.
This is appallingly poor design, IMO.
So, what, give you more money and you’ll put in another pole, SFMTA? IDK, you can see that they spent money on three new poles, so why did they cheap out with this half-assed creation?
Tree branches? So, the SFMTADPW wants to cut down hundreds of “diseased” trees** on this 3000-foot stretch of Masonic, but it can’t trim a couple trees in the name of Safety?
ASSIGNMENT DESK: Why did the deciders decide on this half-assed design? This one will write itself.
*Are there any low injury corridors in San Francisco? No there are not. So the phrase “high-injury corridor,” as used over and over again, recently, in SF, is meaningless. Oh what’s that, there are no accidents on Willard Street North, for example. Except that WSN aint a corridor, it’s a just a little street. So “high injury corridor” simply means corridor, which simply means, of course, “a (generally linear) tract of land in which at least one main line for some mode of transport has been built.”
**This is how SFGov works:
“I wanted the trees gone, but knew I’d face stiff resistance both from homeless advocates and tree supporters. We brought in a tree expert and wouldn’t you know it, some of the trees had a blight. I issued an emergency order, and that night park workers moved in and dug up and bagged the trees. By the time the TV cameras arrived the next morning the trees were on their way to a tree hospital, never to return.”
Arguably, this occurred a while ago, but, arguably, Willie Brown is still the Mayor, so there you go.
“BURRITOFICATION IN PROGRESS” – Chipotle Chain Store Comes to Mervyn’s Heights, 94118 – NOW HIRING at Geary and MasonicMonday, April 6th, 2015
After a giant Fail Whale landed upon the efforts to bring a Chipotle Mexican Grill to the masses at Church and Market a few years back, the purveyors of America’s Favorite Mission-style Burrito set about making things work up at 2675 Geary.
And lo, here it is:
Soon enough, everybody living on the wrong side of Divis will be able to Live Más and Think Outside The Bun…
So Sure, the SFMTA Regulates Corporate Buses, But What About the “Staging” Problem – Where Should They Park in SF When Idling?Friday, April 3rd, 2015
This was the problem a few weeks back, when Facebook buses would “stage” on Masonic by double-parking in the slow lane.
Staging means buses sitting and waiting for the next run to start. (It’s a necessary part of running a reliable “transit” system.)
But where to stage has pretty much been left out of the SFMTA’s vaunted 18-month corporate bus stop “trial” – it’s pretty much up to the drivers / on-scene dispatchers on where to park buses for breaks / waiting time. (Contrast that with when are where the buses pick up workers – that’s highly regulated now.)
Oh look, here’s some staging as it’s currently practiced, by a non-Facebook* bus:
This is Fell in the 94117. This is a great place to stage for like 15-20 minutes, cause cars have cleared out for the SFMTA’s weekly unnecessary $treet $weeping program. If the meter maids come, the driver will simply move along, plus s/he isn’t blocking any driveways. This is a great place to stage, but only on Tuesday mornings. Where do drivers stage on other days? I know not.
Here you go, a Google contractor bus chilling out by the infamous Fell Street DMV. The next day at the same time, it will be at another place:
I’ll tell you, the Teamsters** who make the buses run on time are at their wits’ end trying to find places to stage without blocking traffic or pissing off residents.
ATTENTION MEDIA: This issue is a STORY.
Anywho, the particular problem on Masonic involving FB got solved in about 30 hours last week. Due to a lengthy construction project at Fell and Masonic, the slow lane of Masonic southbound was blocked, like for months. So the Teamsters made that lane their staging place and nobody complained. But when construction ended and the lane was no longer blocked by sawhorses and whatnot, they didn’t adapt the way they should have. Only after having this issue pointed out to them did they adapt. And to their credit, the Facebook bus operators cleared out tout de suite – they’ve found other places to stage in a matter of hours and they haven’t come back.***
And here’s the result, the return of native species to the area. Here’s a #43 Masonic cruising through the #3 lane, exactly where the FB buses have been blocking MUNI and everybody else for months:
File this small issue in the RESOLVED file.
Ey yo the government is lies, son
United States of Google, Verizon
They all spies son, I’m Pisces, risin’
And you ain’t Hoover, you suck like James Dyson
Google the devil but I feel lucky
Extreme Home Make-Over couldn’t touch me
Backyards, kittens, puppies, 401k’s, libels, yuppies
Yeeah, I’m talkin’ bout wine drinkers
Bald-head men, Klux Klan swine-thinkers
*Is is a Loop Transport or a WEDRIVEU, or an SFO Airporter bus? That doesn’t matter. IRL, this particular one is a Google bus.
**Some of them aren’t Teamsters, not yet.
***I’ll tell you, I was literally in the room when issues like these came up eight freaking years ago. The corporate reps seemed to know what they were doing. Somehow, things fell apart a few years back, IDK why. Millions of dollars donated to SFGov and the relatively recent hiring of insider Rebecca Prozan seem to have fixed things. JMO.
UPDATE: Facebook is Routinely Double-Parking Its Buses on Busy, Busy Masonic Avenue’s “NO STOPPING” ZoneMonday, March 23rd, 2015
Get up to speed here.
And now for an update since that last post.
Here’s a 43 Masonic using the #3 southbound lane of Masonic to get from its Hayes stop to its Oak stop, with no interference from any Facebook double decker buses:
But Here Comes The Zuck, down Fell, about to turn left to double park for ten minutes or so:
With all the recent changes to our corporate bus bus routes, I thought that maybe this was a legit, SFMTA-approved staging area for the Facebook, but no, it’s still a NO STOPPING ZONE:
Oh, here’s the next stop for the #43 – this is what Zuckerberg et al is blocking:
Now it could be worse, of course, as a Teamster just told me on Friday. And I’ll concede that point. But we can’t just have FB contractors deciding on their own to double park on a bus line all the live long day.
The Teamsters, they covet a staging area in the 94117. They’ve already gotten kicked out of the other places they’ve tried. I’ve suggested the already-existing area on Fell near Alamo Square, the one that the tourist buses use. Just an idea.
Oh, here we go – sometimes the 43 needs to wait with the blinkers on, to beg drivers in lane #2 for, you know, a little help. Isn’t that sad? Anyway, our sad-sack SFMTA navigating around a company worth nine figures:
Oh what’s that, really this bus is a WEDRIVEU or a Lux or a Loop Transportation and who the fuck knows who’s inside? Yeah, right. [Sarcasm.] MPK = Facebook, non?
I’ll tell you, I don’t know who is the Facebook analog for Google’s Rebecca Prozan* in the 415. If I did, I already would have contacted him/her. As it was, I simply shot a note to London Breed’s office.
So yes, Facebook, I understand why you were able to get away with this for a while, owing to the fact that this lane was blocked already due to all the recent construction. But FB, you have no idea how much you stick out when you park on Masonic like this.
And yeah, the cops don’t care and no millionaire homeowners are around to complain at you, but this bus standing area will not stand.
*Appointed Mayor Ed Lee, who, really, is lucky to have his gig, and really, is nobody special, thinks he’s REALLY REALLY SPECIAL. So when the Googlers came to town to meet with him a few years back they’d say stuff like, oh, good idea Mr. Mayor – we’ll get back to you on that, that kind of thing. Well, our Dear Leader, who bruises easier than a Cavendish banana, hit the ceiling and ended up all sore, due to the fact that Google sent some, some underling up to Frisco, an underling who couldn’t make a deal with SFGov. Well, G learned its lesson after that – it hired Rebecca Prozan and it gave $6.8 million to the SFMTA and it did a host of other good deeds, you know, to ease the pain. Of course, G was stupid to allow its contractor drivers to make such a low hourly wage. Why? Because it invites the Teamsters to move on in, right? What G should have done was say to the bus contractors, OK, what’s your lowest bid assuming that you’re going to pay your drivers extra for split shifts and that you’re going to pay them, IDK $40 per hour, something like that. Now what’s happened is that the Teamsters are fully activated and a begrudging 20% pay bump to fight off further unionization, and more and more “work rules,” isn’t going to help, IMO. Google went hog-wild outfitting these buses, but it forgot about some pretty basic stuff. IMO. IMO, based upon observing this GBus program for the past nine years…
Wow, SFPD Enforcement Action at Oak and Masonic – Massive Number of Luxury / Electric Cars Pulled Over, Over and OverMonday, March 23rd, 2015
Here’s what it looks like – an SFPD enforcement action, this latest one at Oak and Masonic. (Note modern-looking SFPD Kawasaki Concours 14P (which looks to me like a CHP BMW) juxtaposed with the ancient Harley Davidsons what make up most of the Motor Patrol.)
This action meant that every driver who commited some infraction turning left from inbound Oak onto northbound Masonic got pulled over at the Masonic Chevron.
One supposes that the new left turn arrow phase at this intersection was the instigation for the enforcement action. (Back in the day, traffic didn’t back up during the Morning Drive due to the Double Left Turn that’s no longer there, owing to concerns over ped safety, one supposes.)
All right, here’s your money shot, here’s your scene at Fell and Masonic with a brace of drivers, drivers who “know” they’re special, so fucking special, you know, your Prius hybrid drivers, your Range Rover drivers, and your new funky BMW i3 (with absurdly tall, absurdly narrow Conestoga wagon wheels) electric car drivers:
That was the scene I initialy came upon and this is the same area as I left. Note the all-black Mercedes Benz, Audi and Lexus. It’s not a coincidence that the drivers of all these cars got pulled over at the same time, just saying:
Of course, the SFPD will also pull you over if they notice you doing something wrong going the other way, but the funny thing was that the two cars I saw getting pulled over heading south on Masonic, against the current, heading towards the Financial, were normal ones, like VW Golfs. (I’ll ask you, should you ever be proud of your car? The answer is that no you shouldn’t be, because Pride Goeth Before The Painful Traffic Ticket What’s Going to End Up Costing Your Four Figures. JMO.)
Moving on, to this – peds coming up to chat up the cops to cheer them on.
Now I’ll tell you, I didn’t see any driver run a red during the time I was at these intersection taking photos of the enforcement action, but I was paying more attention to the cops as opposed to the drivers. And I’ll note that sometimes the traffic lights would cycle red green red green red green without anyone getting pulled over.
I’ll leave you with this, my misfocused shot of a ped giving a black power salute to the SFPD to thank them for this latest enforcement action:
Uh Oh, FaceBook’s Corporate Buses are Using Busy Masonic Avenue as a Staging Area? Double-Parking to Block MUNI BusesFriday, March 20th, 2015
Here’s a FaceBook corporate shuttle bus idling(?)/waiting on busy southbound Masonic betwixt Fell and Oak during the busy morning drive afore taking FB’ers on down to (MPK) Menlo Park:
So that means that it’s blocking the slow lane of Masonic, as here on Saint Patrick’s Day 2015
At first I thought, oh maybe it broke down, but no, this is where it was waiting to pick up more people in the Upper Haight area, at the assigned MUNI stops FaceBook has. If the drivers come back to SF early, they need a place to hang out, right?
When I see this situation, there’s always the driver plus a, IDK, let’s call him a starter, a handler, a scheduler – a person who makes the trains run on time.
So I thought, mmm, this isn’t a MUNI bus stop – perhaps the FB drivers got used to this lane being blocked at Fell the past few weeks? IDK.
But look, it’s the same thing yesterday too:
So the #43 Masonic needs to merge into the middle lane from the stop at Hayes and then get back into, let’s call it the FaceBook Lane after passing the Big White Bus in order to get into the stop on the other side of Oak:
So what’s the deal here, does this guy just hang out all morning waiting for more buses to double park?
But this lane just got freed up after all that lengthy construction, so it seems a shame that MUNI drivers now can’t use it…