Posts Tagged ‘masonic’

Masonic Update: San Francisco’s Useless (But Quite Profitable) Street-Sweeping System Tickets This Car Every Week

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

This Hyundai was abandoned months ago, so our SFMTA dutifully tickets it every week on street cleaning day.

Recently, a Denver boot was put on, see?

This is right across the street from the TJ’s.*

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Either the owner will pay the boot fee soon or else a tow truck will come and then the owner will be on the hook for thousands if s/he wants his/her car back ever again.

Except do you think the owner, who obviously has some sort of life issue going on, has a spare couple thou?

Mmmm….

*See how dirty the street is underneath the car? Look at all that garbage that piled up over the past nine weeks! Thank Gaia for street sweeping!

The Traffic Speedometers the SFMTA Installed on Masonic Don’t Work Very Well

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Masonic is a crazy street with a crazy history. Like, 4 Masonic is more than 1000 feet away from 5 Masonic, for instance – what’s up with that? And on the other end of this street, up around the 1000 block, well, that’s where mayoral wives have lived, like Blanche Brown, you know, our First Lady up until ten years ago, the woman  that most people in town weren’t aware of, and, more recently, Jennifer Newsom, who moved away to Marin just months after husband Gavin was hectoring families to NOT move to Marin County, oh well.

Anyway, there have been three pedestrian / cyclist deaths on Masonic* in recent memory, so that’s part of the reason why the SFMTA installed a pair of speedometers to tell drivers how fast they’re going.

The problem is that they don’t work very well.

Like here. Moments before, it was indicating 24 MPH, but then it jumped up to 32 MPH all of a sudden for no reason. All the cars were moving about the same pace uphill and there was no traffic traveling down the hill:

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Speaking of which, the speedometer for traffic heading downhill is even less accurate. Sometimes it’s spot-on, sometimes it wildly optimistic, and other times it’s blank.

What’s the value in these speedometers if they don’t work?

Oh what’s that, MUNI / SFMTA? You don’t care, because you’ve moved on to other things?

Oh, OK.

*Two were due to very drunk drivers, who both kept on going (one ended up crashing into St. Mary’s and the other got busted near USF) and the other was due to a Trader Joe’s shopper jaywalking across Masonic north of Geary – this kind of jaywalking still happens hundreds of times a day even now.

Tale of Two Brand-New Traffic Signals – Creating Traffic Jams on Masonic Near the New Target Store

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Here’s your SFMTA at work.

Before, it wanted timed lights to encourage drivers to go 25 MPH:

Signal Timing Adjustments Analyzed  signal timing along Masonic and expect to be implemented  by the end of November

But now, this is what you see southbound from Anza / O’Farrell:

See that? As the light at Anza goes green, the light at Ewing Terrace goes red, so both northbound and southbound traffic backs up at Ewing Terrace whether anybody wants to cross Masonic on foot or enter or leave  Ewing Terrace in a car.

I don’t get the SFMTA,

SFGov Installed a New Traffic Signal on Masonic for Just One Cul-De-Sac and They Put It On a Timer? Nightmare on Ewing Terrace

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

So let’s see here, back in the day a mom living on Ewing  Terrace went to an SFMTA meeting complaining about how it took her “20 minutes” to pull out of Ewing Terrace, so because of that a new traffic signal has been installed.

Check it: 

Click to expand

Now that this signal has been lit, there’s no way you can miss it because it stops traffic on Masonic every 75 seconds these days.

THEY PUT IT ON A TIMER?!

What’s so special about this tiny street?

SFMTA, do you realize that you talk about speeding up MUNI, but how’s this going to help? Actually, it’s going to hurt. This light routinely slows down MUNI for no apparent reason.

Is this a temporary thing?

IDK.

Anyway, they wanted the support of this mom for the new spending the SFMTA wants to do on Masonic, so they’re all oh, this lady wants a light, so let’s throw her a bone and then she’ll be on our side…

I suppose that worked.

Perhaps eventually, this signal will be pedestrian / user activated?

Perhaps eventually, this signal will be automatically switched to green when a MUNI bus approaches using some kind of transit override function?

We’ll see.

But in the meantime, it appears that the SFMTA just spent Target’s money to slow down MUNI…

 

A Few Issues with the New Traffic Signals on Masonic Paid for (and Influenced by?) Target Stores

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Get up to speed here and here.

I passed by O’Farrell and Masonic a couple times the other day, so I’m noting what I noticed.

This pedestrian appeared to become irate both at the unorthodox delay she had for the green and at the driver of the orange Scion car for turning left on a yellow:

If SFGov wanted to engage in pedestrian calming, it would adjust the left turn time for traffic on southbound Masonic.

Next up is this driver, who hung a U-turn on a red light since it looked like there was no traffic coming east on O’Farrell. There’s no way that’s legal:

Here’s the prize – the quite small lower level lot of City Target West:

Hey, I know that Target paid for a couple traffic signals on Masonic, but perhaps there could be some adjustments? Perhaps we could just eliminate U-turns on southbound Masonic at O’Farrell? I mean, northbound traffic on Masonic has no chance to getting to nearby Trader Joe’s, right? So why should we bend over backwards for people driving to Target?

Moving on, down the street to quiet Ewing Terrace, where the brand new lights have just been turned on. It seems that all traffic on Masonic has to stop at random times even though nobody wants to cross Masonic? Why is that?

In most places outside of SF, there’d be a pad to detect the presence of a car coming out of the cul-de-sac and buttons for peds. Shouldn’t we be doing it that way instead? Mmmmm… These red lights for no reason delay MUNI buses, right? I seen it. Perhaps in the near future this signal will be able to detect the approach of a bus and then not turn red for no reason? We’ll see…

Uh, Did Target Stores Pay the DPW $250,000 to Install Traffic Lights That Favor Cars Over Peds at O’Farrell and Masonic?

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Mmmm…

Here’s my beef from yesterday about the newish traffic light scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell.

But where did this scheme come from?

Oh, here we go - DPW Contract No. 2108J:

It’s all:

“The contract work will be funded through private developer funds for work at two signals along Masonic Avenue.”

See?

The two locations:

“Masonic Avenue and O’Farrell Street” and “Ewing Terrace and Masonic Avenue”

Now Ewing Terrace I know about. One woman living on that street showed up both at the Target-sponsored and SFMTA-sponsored meetings complaining about how hard it was for her to head north on Masonic when pulling out of Ewing. She said it sometimes took her “20 minutes” of sitting at the stop sign waiting for a break in traffic in order to accomplish this task.  So SFGov accommodated her with a big traffic signal that they’re putting in now.

But at Masonic Avenue and O’Farrell Street? I don’t know. It’s almost as if the lighting scheme was designed by somebody who works at Target.

The upshot is that northbound traffic and all the peds on the east side of Masonic have to wait for southbound drivers to make an awkward U-turn followed by a quick right to get into the small, lower-level Target / Starbucks parking lot.

I can think  of a couple similar situations about town. At Market and Octavia, everybody on outbound Market has to wait for car drivers on inbound Market to turn left onto Octavia. Why? Because selfish Hayes Valley denizens had waaaaay too much input into the process. Nevermind that legal lefts are a rare thing on Market for a reason, never mind that lefts were already legal one block before and one block after Octavia…

And at Fell and Masonic, the traffic signals were rejiggered for ideological reasons so now three lanes of Masonic get green lights but not the fourth lane. Drivers will never get used to this arrangement, IMO.

And, similarly, peds will never get used to the current setup at Masonic and O’Farrell.

IMO.

Anyway, I don’t have a problem with the new Target being there. I’m just wondering who paid for the crazy lights that just got put in next to the new Target.

An Unusual Traffic Scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell: Left-Turning Cars > Pedestrians? The Planning Gods Must Be Crazy

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

For some reason, the Golden Gods of the Planning Department / the SFMTA, the very same people who clamored for parking meters to operate on Sundays until they got it only to then say that they DIDN’T want it after all, unanimously, have set up an unusual traffic timing scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell. It’s unique.

Southbound drivers turning left get to go first, before car and bus drivers coming north and before peds on the east side of the street.

This is so that southbound drivers can make a U-turn and then a quick right to make into the small lower-level parking lot of the new City Target. About four drivers go left / hang a Louie at the start of each light cycle:

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I approve not.

Now if you want to say that SFGov had a rational basis for doing this after some big study, well then maybe. But having peds wait seven seconds to go after the light turns green is contrary to every impulse every ped has.

For some reason, Planning or the SFMTA or whomever feel that its their responsibility to be at the forefront of experimentation with traffic. Like its their sacred duty or something.

I understand that they would freely admit that this is a kludge fix to accommodate the newly-opened Target store. I understand that they would say that this is temporary until the New Masonic Plan gets going. I understand that there’s a concern about southbound traffic backing up and possibly blocking eastbound and westbound traffic on Geary. BUT EVEN SO, this left arrow scheme at O’Farrell is NOT THE WAY TO GO. There are other ways of doing of what SFGov is trying to accomplish.

There are better ways of doing this.

How the SFPD Parks to Buy Just One Thing at Trader Joe’s #100 on Masonic

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Which is sort of funny.

At first I thought this could have been part of traffic enforcement, but it turned out to be a quick TJ’s run.

And this was after the officer beeped (not with a regular car horn, but with the loud, low growling noise that these cars can make whatever that’s called) at a pedestrian, for some unapparent reason, unless it was a routine beep to say Here I Come On The Sidewalk, Look Out Peds!

In mitigation, the officer didn’t park in a stall at the mostly-unused Lucky Penny parking lot at Geary, seen camera right.

And this technique is a lot more efficient than queuing up for a space at the badly-engineered TJ’s lot.

And this parking job didn’t block traffic at all.

Anyway, I’ve never seen this before – it’s kind of a funny way to park, IMO.

Cf. ” Mayor Ed Lee Can’t Stop Parking Illegally.”

Transit First for Thee/

But Not For Me!

Photo: A Game of Frogger But In Real Life on Masonic in Front of Trader Joe’s #100 – Who Will Be The Next To Die?

Monday, June 9th, 2014

These people parked across the street from our popular Trader Joes on Masonic, as many people do, ’cause the TJ’s parking lot is too small, ’cause that’s what nearby residents wanted.

Our Planning Department created this disaster and then moved on to more important work, such as the failed 8 Washington project, oh well.

Fixes have been tried, but still we’ve got this parade of customers jaywalking back and forth across this stretch of 30 MPH Masonic, thusly, from a few days back:

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Cars were coming in the fast lanes both northbound and southbound, so their only choice was to wait for the black car to pass and then sprint behind it.

This game has been going on for years, with many shoppers playing, and some getting hit by vehicles.