Do people park their cars on the left and right lanes of Bush in the Western Addition for like six hours at a stretch on weekends?
First it was all like this, with a seven pointed star, for Color of Authority:
But now it’s all like this, with SFMTA instead of MTA and the new logo the SFMTA stole a few years back. (Hey I wonder if they ever worked things out with those people in Chicago…)
Is this an improvement? I can’t tell. (Like, is relabeling the accurately-named 5L Limited the inaccurately-named 5R “Rapid” an “improvement?”)
Now when homeowners with garages see red curbs they say, “Goshdarnit, I need a red curb too!” But then they’ll discover all the SFGov red tape they’ll need to cut through, and all the green they’ll have to fork over, so they’ll paint their curbs red, you know, unofficially.
And then SFGov will come along to paint over the curbs in grey and On It Goes…
(And, you know, this is just my guess, as I generally don’t directly speak with the MUNI people because we’re far apart on many issues. And, oddly, these two curbs shown in the photos are right next to each other and they both have new looking paint…)
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“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic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:
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 effects 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
Work with me here, people.
“…the strengthening of the MTA’s independence, the included labor reforms, the infusion of cash and the mandate to address global warming all make this a very important reform of the Municipal Transportation Agency and a positive step toward the improvement of Muni service. SPUR recommends a “Yes” vote on Prop. A.
But here’s how things worked out IRL:
Muni’s mismanagement of Prop. A may hurt future funding tries by Will Reisman
Where the SFMTA’s Prop. A money has gone by Will Reisman
Now here we are in 2014. Here’s what SPUR, those horrible people behind Redevelopment, is saying about Prop A 2014:
“The city has done the hard work to gather stakeholders, assess needs and prioritize transportation expenditures.”
So, handing a blank check to the SFMTA for it to waste has something to do with “hard work?”
Hey SPUR, what about Prop A 2007? Weren’t you all wrong, so very wrong, about that?
So why would you expect Prop A 2014 to work out any better?
Compare A with B, as seen in the City of San Mateo:
But the SFMTA wants more more more, so it’s hatched a plan called Prop A, to raise your rent (literally) and/or take your propertah taxes to pay for, among other things, cost overruns on the entirely unnecessary pork-barrel project called the Central Subway.
Hey, speaking of which:
“During a pair of recent presentations at city political clubs, MTA commissioner Cheryl Brinkman, arguing on behalf of Prop. A, stated that a City Attorney’s opinion concluded that, when it comes to bond language, the terms “shall” and “may” are identical.
Brinkman now says she’s not entirely sure what she said. Multiple witnesses are more certain: ‘She did say that!’ recalls Potrero Hill Democrats president Joni Eisen.”
So, what’s going on inside Cheryl Brinkman’s head when she says stuff like this? Is it a fugue state? Is it simple lying? Or maybe somebody lied to her? Or she’s under so much pressure to keep her “job,” but what does it pay, like $100 a month and a free FastPass? And she voted FOR charging people at parking meters on Sundays only to change her mind the next year when she voted AGAINST? Oh, so the SFMTA could instead get VLF money from taxpayers, except that plan got shelved right after she voted.
If she were fired from the SFMTA and then replaced with a spineless jellyfish, how would anyone notice, how would anyone be able to tell the diff?
IMO, this DMV “operation” misses the point, ’cause the bigger crime is all the drivers of those new Mercedes-Benzeses parking for free in or near the Financial ALL DAY LONG.
We have a corrupt system in which you can simply ask your doctor(!) for free parking.
Operation Blue Zone Catches Three Fraudulent Placard Applicants
SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced today the arrest of three suspects in connection with illegal activity associated with the Disabled Person Placard (DPP) application process. On Saturday, July 12, 2014, Qiaoyun Chen, 50 years old, and Guobin Qin, 29 years old, were arrested at their homes in San Francisco. The San Francisco District Attorney’s office charged the suspects with four felonies including filing false information with a state agency, perjury, commercial burglary, and forgery. The third suspect, Yessi Morales, 35 years old from San Francisco, was arrested on July 3, 2014 during a traffic stop by the San Francisco Police Department, she is charged with 24 felony counts.
“The DMV is stepping up Disabled Placard enforcement in a different, more aggressive way by catching the perpetrators at the beginning stages,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “Operation Blue Zone has been very successful in catching fraud placard applications in the Bay Area.”
The San Francisco District DMV Investigations Office started the Operation Blue Zone (OBZ) investigation in February 2014 after receiving a large number of DPP applications that were flagged by DMV field office staff as being allegedly fraudulent. Flag triggers included suspected forged doctor’s signatures, similar applicant and doctor hand-writing, frequent applications being submitted by the same doctor, and suspected false medical diagnosis. These alleged fraud applications began increasing in numbers in late 2013 and the beginning of 2014, with the majority of the placard recipients living or working in San Francisco. The suspected fraud applications were submitted in several DMV field offices with the majority submitted to the San Mateo DMV field office.
“The crimes related to submitting a fraudulent application as opposed to catching someone on the street misusing a DPP for parking is quite different,” said DMV Supervising Investigator Calvin Woo. “Parking misuse violations are typically local ordinance infractions or vehicle code misdemeanors where the abuser ends up with a hefty fine. Fraud DPP application violations are felonies.”
All three suspects could face up to four years in prison. Morales has been freed on $60,000 bail, and Qin and Chen were released after posting $30,000 bail apiece.
If you believe that someone has been issued a Disabled Person Placard in error or suspect placard misuse, we urge you to contact your local DMV Investigations office and submit a written complaint. The complaint can be anonymous. Please be aware that some qualifying disabilities are not visually apparent and allegations of misuse may be unfounded. The department considers crimes relating to disabled placards very serious and every complaint of this nature will be reviewed. Complaint forms can be found on the DMV public website www.dmv.ca.gov under the search key words “Record of Complaint,” or under form INV172A – Record of Complaint form. You may also obtain a complaint form from your local DMV field office.
DMV’s Investigations Division enhances consumer protection including auto and identity related fraud, car dealers, driving schools, traffic violator schools, and other DMV occupational licensees, as well as Internal Affairs Investigations. DMV is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).
Save Time, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Website including online advance appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions. Customers can also effect transactions by calling DMV customer service at (800) 777–0133. DMV is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).
HOW WEIRD IN OUTER SPACE – The 15th annual How Weird Street Faire
Sunday May 4, 2014, Noon to 8pm
Howard and 2nd Streets, Downtown San Francisco, Earth, Sol, Milky Way
$10 requested donation
All the deets:
“On May the Fourth, the How Weird Street Faire will fill the streets of San Francisco with a celebration unlike anything you’ve experienced before… HOW WEIRD IN OUTER SPACE! An epic journey to a place of weirdness and creativity and peace. How Weird features galactic-class music and art, dancing, performances, technology exhibits, unique vendors from across the planet, and thousands of people in colorful costumes.
You are invited to participate in the greatest street faire in the galaxy, and the start of the San Francisco festival season. Explore the furtile breeding ground for unexpected inspiration and cutting-edge innovation. Be creative at the expanding Art Alley, a vortex of varied expressions. Make new connections, and reconnect with old ones. Together, we will boldly go where no street faire has gone before.
The How Weird Street Faire showcases the full spectrum of electronic dance music styles, using advanced sound technology to fill the streets of San Francisco with the vibrations of peace and the frequencies of fun. There will be 10 stages of some of the best music, art, and sound systems in the galaxy, produced by some of the best sound collectives in the universe.
How Weird 2014 will feature dance music stages by Enchanted Forest, Muti Music, Symbiosis Gathering, Northern Nights, Opel, Opulent Temple, Pink Mammoth, SF House Music, Temple Nightclub, Space Monkeys, Pulse SF, Global Village, the boombox affair, Party Babas, Red Marines Festival, Happy Camp, Think You Can DJ Game Show, World Famous Productions, and more.
For 2014, How Weird Street Faire introduces the first National Dance Week stage, featuring dancers of every kind from every place, showcasing the diversity of terrestrial bodies in motion. There will be free dance lessons throughout the day, and a special flash mob that you can participate in. The National Dance Week stage will be next to the center intersection, and dancing will be found throughout the faire. All existence is in a complex dance of energy and vibrations, continuously moving and evolving. Dance is perhaps the best way of describing and understanding life, the cosmos, and ourselves.
Art has a way of reaching the farthest places. This year, How Weird will expand Art Alley and move it to Tehama Street. Come create at the new location, and enjoy the live and exhibited artwork and interactive Art Alley mural. Art Alley is curated by ArtIsMobilUs, a non-profit mobile public art gallery and roving arts incubator bringing art to humans everywhere.
There is a $10 requested donation at the entrances to the faire, for which you will receive a Magic Sticker. The Magic Stickers are worth hundreds of dollars in savings, and come with many free things. There will be discounts and specials at all of the vendors at the faire, and all of the faire bars. The Magic Stickers are how people can support the faire, while getting something great back in return. Check the website for all of the Magic Sticker specials.
The How Weird vendors offer many unique and creative goods for sale, including designer clothing, jewelry, art, decorations, games, and more. And there will be plenty of tasty food and drinks. This year will also feature local arts and crafts vending on Art Alley.
Costumes are required at How Weird. Come as yourself. Come as someone else. Come as something weird. Be the you you’ve always wanted to be. Space-related costumes are big this year.
The faire is open to all ages, and is handicapped accessible. The main entrance is at Howard and New Montgomery Streets, a short walk to MUNI, BART, the Transbay Terminal, and Caltrain Station. For those arriving from above, the coordinates are 37°47’12.4″ N, 122°23’53.7″ W. Join us as we journey through the cosmos in search of new and exciting experiences, expanding our perspective to the universal scale.
The How Weird Street Faire is a project of the non-profit World Peace Through Technology Organization, showing that in spite of our differences, we all dance to the same beat.
For more information visit http://HowWeird.org
Use the hashtag #hwsf to talk about the How Weird Street Faire.
And May the Fourth be with you!”
Thank you very much,
Marketing and Stage Director for How Weird