Posts Tagged ‘Muni’

Tracking a Russian James Bond Villain and His Superyacht in San Francisco Waters: Sausalito, Redwood City, What’s Next?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Get up to speed on Russian “mathematician” and billionaire Andrey Melnichenko and his floating lair “A” here.

This is a few days back, moored at Sausalito. And then you can see he motored south under the Bay Bridge and the San Mateo Bridge to Redwood Shores:

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Where will he go next? Follow along right here.

(Let’s hope his arrival won’t be followed by The Big One ala Zorin.)

And let’s remember that Redwood City was where the US military’s very own stealth ship, the Sea Shadow, used to be moored for all those years. You know, along with its floating barge, so-called HMB-1 (Howard Hughes Mining Barge One), except that was just a cover for Project Jennifer, a plan from 40 years ago to lift Soviet sub K-129 up from the ocean floor. I’m srsly, Comrades.

And oh yeah, this yacht has a secret James Bond-esque escape pod, just as on the star-crossed K-278

He’s Ba-aack! The Ugly “Stealth Yacht” of Russian Billionaire Andrey Melnichenko Just Docked Near Redwood City

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Here it is, the superyacht named “A,” as seen a few years back in the waters of Marin County:

And here it is again in 2014, like right now at this very instant, down in Silicon Valley near Redwood Shores or Redwood City or whatever:

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And here it was yesterday, in Sausalito again, looks like.

This vessel just fueled up its 200,000(!) gallon tank (that’s more than four times as much as MUNI spilled into San Francisco Bay that one time) to the tune of a half a million dollars up north in Washington State.

So, what are Bro et ux doing down in the Valley?

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Send somebody down there and find out. Talk to his hired goons. Ask him about the James Bond-esque escape pod on the yacht. Ask him about what local companies he’s investing in. You know, that whole routine.

Our SFMTA’s MOST DISTRACTED DRIVER? This SF Cabbie is Running FIVE Cell Phones on His Dashboard

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Via Thomas Purves:

“Signs we have reached peak-app? Cabbie in SF running 5 dash mounted phones”

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Yowzer, what a photo.

All right, your move, SFMTA.

All right, your move, Ed Reiskin.

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.

So This New “Fixed” Company is Stapling Its Ads to SFMTA MUNI Parking Tickets – Is This Kosher?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

[UPDATE: Kevin Montgomery of ValleyWag has more on this topic. And yeah, at first I thought the the company was offering to pay the ticket out of its own pocket, but I don’t think that’s the case – it’s just an ad. Anyway, I’ll see if I can find another one of these ads to check all what it says. IMO, the first step after you get a ticket is figuring whether you deserved it or not. Well, were you blocking the street sweeper or not? Oh, you were? So why try to get the ticket “fixed?”]

IDK.

Here’s how I found things on Ashbury, in situ, with this fresh ticket from area bureaucrat Ed Reiskin sitting on the street:

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So I’ll explain this company’s bidness model: You give it your SFMTA citation information and it’ll try to “fix” your ticket the way the SFPD famously fixes tickets for ineffectual Mayor Ed Lee.

But how did this ticket end up on the ground? Perhaps the owner thought s/he would simply pay online and then tossed the ticket? Or maybe the owner thought this windshield flier was just another windshield flier and so just tossed it on the ground? Or perhaps the Fixed person didn’t take care when trying to put the ticket back after stapling it to the ad?

I’ll tell you, I don’t think you’re supposed to be taking tickets off of cars, as they are required to be there before the SFMTA can take your money to keep for itself. (Of course sometimes a citation might fall off of a car on its own, but all the SFMTA is required to do is to try to notify the driver, and this effort is followed up by mail.)

What’ll be next to be stapled to your parking tickets – restaurant menus?

And what does this mean?

“Up to 50% of tickets are dismissed when challenged.”

I’ll tell you, up to 50% of the gold medals handed out in the most recent Olympics were awarded to me!

Yeah, that’s the ticket…

In conclusion, I cry foul over this ham-fisted marketing effort.

Question: What Actually Powers This New “ELECTRIC POWERED” MUNI Bus? One Simple Trick!

Friday, August 15th, 2014

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SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

Answer: Diesel!

But the people at MUNI think you’re stupid, and they want you to like them more, so that’s why they lie.

BONUS ROUND: 

Hey, what did the SFMTA MUNI dump into San Francisco Bay that resulted in a petroleum spill that rivalled the Cosco Busan’s?

Answer: Diesel!

No Parking Laws For Us Please, We’re Christians!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Free church double-parking, SFMTA-approved:

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The SFMTA’s Secret Plan to Kick Lyft and Uber (But Not Taxis!) Off of Market – It’s Called “Safer Market Street” and It’s Coming Next Year

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

So apparently, the SFMTA is working on a plan to ban cars from parts of Market Street while still allowing them to cross over Market Street?

It’s called “Safer Market Street.”

Will kicking cars off of Market Street betwixt Montgomery and Eighth make Market “safer?” I don’t know. (But if the SFMTA wants to propose kicking buses and taxis off of Market, well then that certainly would make Market safer, IMO. )

I don’t know why we allow the SFMTA to do whatever it wants without getting something in return. Like, OK SFMTA, we’ll let you spend all this money on the porked-up Central Subway project, but in exchange, you’d have to bring MUNI up to the level of a mediocre big-city transit system.

Anyway, it’s easy to get tripped up with all the Orwellian names the SFMTA comes up with, like Great Streets! and “Livable” Streets and Safer Market and Better Market, but see if you can figure the words you can see below.

First up, a rep from the local government-subsidized urban renewal outfit uses the word pilot as a verb, because that’s the lingo:

Lawrence Li (SPUR): Can you pilot some of these auto restrictions? 
Some auto restrictions were piloted in 2009 and have since then become permanent. We do not 
plan to pilot auto restrictions at this time due to environmental review constraints. However, 
there is a separate project, independent of Better Market Street, called Safer Market Street that 
is looking at implementing some auto restrictions between 8th and Montgomery potentially as soon as next year. The public kick-off for that project is planned for later this summer.”

And here’s a way for the SFMTA to stick it to the man, to fight back against those TNC’s by supporting cabbies:

“Kevin Carroll: There are private autos operating as taxis such as Lyft, Uber, etc. Will they be 
allowed to drive on Market Street with these auto restrictions in place? 
No. These services are subject to the private vehicle restrictions and would not be allowed on 
Market Street with these auto restrictions in place.”

That’s all I know. Like I said, it’s secret, more or less, for now.

All the deets, after the jump.

(more…)

Heartless SFMTA Boots Defenseless 15-Passenger Church Van in the Western Addition – The RPP in Action

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Now I’m not saying it’s owned by a church, but this is what 15-passenger church vans look like (so I call them church vans) plus this ride finally got the boot just outside of a big old church parking lot.

Note the flat tire.

Note that the reason this van got the boot is due to an excessive number of unpaid tickets having to do with the Residential Parking Program, which, you know, I don’t believe in. So what’ll happen is that a meter maid will mark your car with chalk (that’s the old-school method) or somehow note its time and position with license plate scanners or something like that and then come back two hours later to issue a ticket – this can happen more than once in a day, so you can end up with more than one ticket after a day of parking in the wrong neighborhood. Anyway, this van managed to get over $150 in RPP tickets on its windshield in just one day last week.

Poor little feller:

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In mitigation, the SFMTA could have just towed this rig and that would have been much worse for the owner.

Anyway, rules are rules I suppose.

Unless the owner performs an intervention to get it in running shape and also to pay off the SFMTA the four-figures worth of tickets and fines and boot installation and removal fees and also to deal with the DMV, this van is headed for the auction.

Oh well.

Uh Oh: The “Parking Angels” App is Coming – Something Like This Could Cost the Corrupt SFMTA MUNI DPT a Lot of Money

Monday, August 4th, 2014

What’s this, a way for people to band together against our corrupt SFMTA?

You tell me, Gentle Reader

Hey, what would you do if you knew you were spilling tens of thousands of gallons of petroleum into our San Francisco Bay?

Our SFMTA had a question like this. It failed. Oh well. See below.

Guess what, our SFMTA now wants you to vote yourself a rent increase in order to give it more money. You’ll have your chance to vote on it November 4th, 2014.

Ah memories:

SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2009) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking action against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency following federal violations of the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

On the page:

Overview and Location of Facilities

The City and County of San Francisco is a municipality organized under the laws of California that operates the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (“SFMTA”) and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (“SFPUC”). The SFMTA operates a diverse fleet of trolley cars, street cars, light rail, alternative fuel vehicles and 495 diesel buses that are serviced and re-fueled at facilities owned and operated by the SFMTA. The SFPUC provides water, wastewater and municipal power services.

Between November and December 2005, approximately 940 barrels (39,488 gallons) of red dye diesel fuel were discharged from one of the Municipality’s underground storage tanks (USTs) at the John M. Woods Motor Coach Facility (Woods Motor Coach Facility). The diesel spread through a piping system into a storm drain, through wastewater collection piping to a pump station, into Islais Creek and eventually San Francisco Bay.

The discharge was caused by a ruptured hose. The leak continued for several days, as sensors, flashers and alarm reports and other leak indicators were ignored. This failure by SFMTA to comply with federal requirements for the management of USTs resulted in the release of diesel fuel and Clean Water Act discharge and pretreatment violations.

After this spill, EPA conducted inspections at several of SFMTA’s facilities and identified violations of EPA’s spill prevention regulations at three of them: Flynn, Kirkland, and Marin.

The five facilities covered by this settlement are in the City and County of San Francisco:

  • Woods Motor Coach Facility – 1095 Indiana Street
  • Flynn Motor Coach Facility – 15th and Harrison Street
  • Kirkland Motor Coach Facility – 151 Beach Street
  • Marin Fuel Stand – 1399 Main Street
  • Southeast Water Collection System Pump Station”