Posts Tagged ‘Mayor’

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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

Cranelandia – How Much Money Does SF Mayor Wilie Brown Make Off Of Each One? – A Dozen Cranes from This View

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Start counting:

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La mise en scene from Mission looking south:

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Cranes = money, for certain people, right?

UPDATE: Facebook is Routinely Double-Parking Its Buses on Busy, Busy Masonic Avenue’s “NO STOPPING” Zone

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

[UPDATE: This sitch got fixed in about 30 hours after the first post on this tiny WordPress. The office of Supervisor London Breed handled this within an hour after being contacted.]

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:

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But Here Comes The Zuck, down Fell, about to turn left to double park for ten minutes or so:

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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:

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Oh, here’s the next stop for the #43 – this is what Zuckerberg et al is blocking:

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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:

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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.

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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…

That Long Walk Home: What Happens After a Bike Thief Swipes Your Front Wheel in Ed Lee’s San Francisco

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

As seen in Mid-Market:

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Haunting Graffiti in the GGP Panhandle – Hey, How Many Gallons of Pure HETCH HETCHY Water Has SFGov EVER Recycled? Ever?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

This* is arresting:

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It’s at the famed half-million-dollar Honorable Gavin Christopher Newsom Toilet Building** in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle. (Learn about the building itself from SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi here – “Class For Your Ass.”)

Anyway, yes, our drinking water comes from the Yosemite area [Please see Comments for this correction], from a thousand li away. So, you’re oll korrect on that score, artiste de graffiti.

But IMO, the arrow points in the wrong direction. ‘Cause the Ladies Room doorway you can see there has toilets filled with the very same drinking water.

So yeah, SFPUC, the chairs you sit on up there above Civic Center are sustainable or whatever, and that, somehow, helped your new building become Platinum Leed certified or whatever, but what about your actual operations, man? Oh, you inherited a big chunk of flooded Yosemite and that’s the way you like it and you’ll fight to maintain your Way Of Life for as long as possible and that’s part of the reason why the “World Capital of Innovation” can’t worry about recycling any water at all? OK fine. Hey, SFGov, how about the water you spray on the street from the street sweepers? Oh, that’s drinking water so pure that you don’t need to filter it as well, huh? OK fine.

*Does the jogger have a white shirt with golden (red) hair or a blue shirt with black hair? Well, actually, my camera chose to give her white shirt a blue tinge, which I hastily fixed with one click. Anyway, when you do this kind of thing, everything in the background in direct sunlight goes to heck, but that’s white balance for you. In mitigation, the colors you see on the right side should be pretty much spot-on.

**IDK, that could be its name, who knows. Willie Brown will go to his grave having failed at having SFO and/or long long 3rd Street named after him, after decades of effort. (I think he eventually got an airport terminal or something.) But Gavin has a long road ahead of him afore the NAAWP or some other org will become the front organization for naming anything of significance after GCN.

MTB Legend Gary Fisher Calls for Ouster of Ed Lee – The Mayor’s Misstep on Polk Street – Small Biz vs. Big Urbanism

Friday, February 27th, 2015

[UPDATE: It begins. The lily-white urbanists vent against Asian-American optometrists on Yelp. JUST ONE STAR FOR YOU, DR HIURA! GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR!]

Let’s see if I can pay off on the headline here.

Here’s MounTain Biking (MTB) legend Gary Fisher on appointed Mayor Ed Lee:

“OUT! This guy can not get away with this, are we this stupid?”

And here’s what GF was riffing on:

SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought by Visionless Mayor’s Optometrist

Now mind you, this is from an “urbanism” advocacy outfit straight outta Park Slope, so I’m sort of wondering why the Mayor’s handlers even let him make off-the-cuff remarks on this topic. Here’s the offending graf, which one assumes is properly transcribed:

“I’ve heard from many different groups,” Lee told Streetsblog. “I know we want to make the streets safer, make it bike-friendly, small businesses don’t want to lose parking for their constituents… I can’t have a particular position on it except to endorse the most balanced approach that they have because there’s issues that should not be in conflict. We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking. I think they’re all going to be important.”

First of all, why would you even have your executive speaking directly with activists in the first place? It’s like sending President Nixon out to the Lincoln Memorial at 4:00 AM to talk with the hippies about the Vietnam War. Second of all, Ed Lee can’t even handle a little Question Time at the Board of Supervisors without having the questions submitted in advance and without having an underling type up a reply for him to read into the record, so why would you have him give the bad news to the activists themselves? The StreetsBlog isn’t an SFGov-funded non-profit like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition or the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, right?

And Ed Lee thinks he’s playing it safe with all this talk of a “balanced” approach, but look at what he says – he’s literally saying, “We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety…” Now that sounds like a complete sentence if you quote only that part. But the Mayor’s talking about cyclist safety vs. ped safety, so I’m not sure what he’s talking about. I was thinking the design of the SFMTA-designed “bulbout” at the deadly southwest corner of 6th and Folsom could be an example of this, but I don’t think this was on Ed Lee’s mind. Frankly, I don’t know what the Heck he was talking about.

So all that leaves Mr. Mayor wide-open for castigation. I’m not sure how much pull any one particular optometrist has on the SFMTA (check out this doc – it’s amazing*), but this coincidence allows a reference to SF’s VisionZero 2024 to come into the headline. Ed Lee ends up seeming like an out-of-touch Mr. Magoo:

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I don’t know, if you’re pushing a “balanced” approach, but you don’t have an exec who can talk right, because he’s out of practice, because he was appointed to his position so he never really needed to get into practice, it seems foolish to afford advocacy journalists a chance at actual journalism.

But that’s what happened here, on the topic of Polk Street.

Wow.

*Wow, these people with bidnesses in Polk Gulch are mostly American millionaires, but look how they self-describe: 

gffhgg

Click to expand

And what about the poor guy who can only describe himself as “European?” Poor little feller.

And I’ll tell you, I’m shocked at the amount of time SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin has spent on the back-and-forth about a single solitary block of SF when his primary mission should be sweating the details of getting MUNI up to par…

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Has Lost Thousands of Paid Members Lately

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

[UPDATE: I’ve omitted Stanley Roberts’ video from this post as I mistakenly thought it was new as of this week when in fact it was posted almost two years old now. My apologies, Stanley. As you can see, Mr. Roberts goes after everybody (including fake monks and nuns) and certain people at the SFBC have been irritated by that over the years.]

Our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has lost thousands of paid members lately.

Now part of that’s due to “churn,” which is something that every organization has to deal with, but most of it has to do with behavior of the SFBC itself. I’ll tell you, I’ve been riding bikes around town longer than the current SFBC has existed – no, I’m not saying that I’ve been here since the “early 70’s,” I’m saying that the SFBC didn’t really exist in the 1980’s when I came to SF. I’m saying that before Critical Mass (and its predecessor, the “Commute Clot”), the SFBC didn’t really exist – they were nowhere, man. What _did_ exist, a little later on, was the car-centric Willie Brown Administration. And all those functionaries working for Willie Brown were trying to find some “bicycle people” to cut a deal with, to tame Critical Mass, to give grant money to. But no, all the Critical Mass leaders were saying stuff like, “Critical Mass doesn’t have leaders, Man.” Eventually, the SFBC managed to practically become a part of the SFMTA, you know, conducting surveys for SFGov, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in taxpayer and feepayer money, forcing companies like Twitter to deal with the SFBC, you know, officially, and, in return, the SFBC stopped promoting Critical Mass, and SFBC now offers pols a nice photo op every year on Bike to Work Day and it actually endorses (without consulting the Members at all) for election Willie Brown protegees like, I don’t know, Ed Lee, for example. So that’s the history, and during this history I’ve seen the SFBC grow in membership, from “over 1000″ to “over 5000″ to “over “10,000” and then “over 11,000″ and then “over 12,000″ and then, uh oh, back down to “over 11,000″ and most recently back down to “over 10,000.” What are the numbers now? IDK, 9000-something? The SFBC isn’t exactly candid about its recent loss in membership. The SFBC certainly doesn’t want people freely looking at its tax forms or its older webpages, so that’s why it recently started suppressing this kind of information. Mmmmm… I’ll tell you, of course, there’s been a huge increase in bicycling in San Francisco since I’ve come here, and for various reasons, fine. (It’s sort of funny about how the big annual jumps in cycling came exactly during the rise of the fixie craze, and exactly when the Bicycle Plan injunction froze all infrastructure changes, but whatevs.) I’ll ask you, why can’t a monomaniacal advocacy organization like the SFBC concede anything? I guarantee you that the SFBC people who went the extra mile to “reach out” to Stanley Roberts of KRON-TV are pissed off about the above video coming out right before the Big Vote on Polk Street, which is supposably [what, no red underlining for a word I purposefully misspelled? Amazing] coming March 3rd, 2015, but who knows how that will work out. I’ll tell you, IMO Polk Street is a triple beam lyrical dream the way it is now. What are the other options to go north south in the area? If I don’t take Polk, then I’d be thinking Stockton, Grant, Kearney or the Embarcadero to the east or, to the west, Steiner (it’s sort of the pass over Pacific Heights, sort of) or Arguello through the Presidio. In your efforts to pursue your goals, SFBC, which I don’t necessarily oppose, you go too far and you end up alienating people like me, a man in his 40’s, and even older people such as Junior the Bike Messenger, and, apparently, THOUSANDS OF OTHER FORMER SFBC MEMBERS.

The question is, WHY IS THAT, SFBC?

 

How the Magic Word “VisionZero” Has NOT Changed the SFMTA’s Half-Assed Approach to Transportation Safety: “Focus On The Five”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s the SFMTA’s official six-figure-a-year spokesperson on the topic of when pedestrians can cross a street, from just last year:

“They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Of course this is wrong, as even Paul Rose himself would admit now, after being corrected.

So, why did he say that? Because he, like his employer, has a half-assed approach to safety, and, one supposes, he, like his employer, is mired in politics.

Now do you suppose that Paul Rose was at all interested in examining why he told the peds of San Francisco that it was A-OK for them to violate CA state law? Oh no, not at all. And do you think he checked with anyone before he spouted off? Prolly not.

Like I say, a half-assed approach.

Now we’re in 2015, the era of SF VisionZero 2024, which has the goal, one that nobody actually believes in, but they have to pretend that they do believe in it, of having no more transportation deaths in San Francisco County starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

It’ll look a little something like this, supposedly:

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Now do you see the beauty in this? By the time SFGov fails to achieve this impossible goal, all the people who glibly made the promise will be out of office, right? How convenient.

The big problem with the approach that SFGov is taking is assuming that traffic deaths are a street design issue, as opposed to a human behavior issue. So most of the emphasis appears to be upon SFGov spending more money, which of course SFGov loves to do anyway.

And the part of VisionZero SF that’s focuses on behavior seems misplaced, for political reasons.

For example, there’s this:

Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

So if the SFPD started handing out tickets for jaywalking, you know, in a big way, that would certainly help with traffic safety, over the long term, to at least a slight degree, but that would take the SFPD away from its “Focus On The Five” goal.

The problem with Focus On The Five is that it ignores Vehicle Code violations on behalf of pedestrians, one supposes for political reasons. In fact, the cause of most pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year in San Francisco was the behavior of the pedestrians and cyclists themselves.

And what’s this talk about “automated enforcement?” How about this, how about hooking up all of the SFMTA’s vehicles to an automated enforcement mechanism that would detect speed limit, stop sign and red light violations using on board sensors and GPS? Then, after Ed Reiskin parks his government-paid SFMTA car or an operator parks her bus, SFPD tickets would be issued, you know, daily. Whoo boy, what are the odds of something like that happening?

So that’s SF VisionZero 2024, a buzz-phrase that means absolutely nothing.

 

 

Double Fantasy: Nobody Actually Believes That SF Vision Zero 2024 Has a Chance of Succeeding, and Yet…

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

…the party line from both SFGov and the SF “Vision Zero Coalition*” is that there’s a chance of eliminating all transportation deaths in San Francisco starting from 2024 and then continuing in perpetuity.

The arrangement looks something like this:

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The way to prevent transportation deaths is to get inside the heads of people to find out what went wrong. The Vision Zero Coalition calls that kind of approach “victim-blaming” and then focuses on traffic bulbs and tree-filled medians.

Here is reality, from 2014:

“The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.”

One area where SFGov could apply an NTSB-style safety culture approach would be with MUNI operators in particular and SFGov employees in general. But there’s no chance of that happening, I don’t think. So SFGov isn’t serious. SFGov likes to host photo ops, but SFGov isn’t serious.

Oh well.

*All these groups:

Alamo Square Neighborhood Association
California Walks
CC Puede
Central City SRO Collaborative
Chinatown Community
Development Center
Chinatown TRIP
College Hill Neighborhood Association
Community Housing Partnership
Council of Community Housing Organizations
Excelsior Action Group
FDR Democratic Club of San Francisco
Folks for Polk
Friends of Monterey Blvd.
Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association
Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco
Lighthouse for the Blind
Livable City
Mission Community Market
Mission Economic Development Association
National Federation of Filipino American Associations
North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association
OWL SF
PODER
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
SF Housing Action Coalition
SF Bay Walks
San Francisco Unified School District
Senior & Disability Action
sf.citi
SOMCAN
South Beach Mission Bay
Merchants Association
SPUR
Tenderloin Housing Clinic
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation
TODCO
United Playaz
Walk San Francisco
Yerba Buena Alliance

Ah Memories: “GAVIN Newsom, GAVIN Newsom, GAVIN Newsom, GAVIN Newsom, GAVIN Newsom”

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

As seen on Market Street:

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