Welcome to ‘Merica, Dude:
Posts Tagged ‘new’
KRON-TV’s Big Stanley Roberts vs. the Little Lebowski of the Southern Wiggle: “I Don’t Want To Release This Footage”Friday, April 24th, 2015
Oh No, Shaming! – “Referee the Wiggle” Event Coming April 23rd to “Red Card” Cyclists at Infamous Waller and SteinerWednesday, April 15th, 2015
I’ll tell you, I’m not a big fan of the vaunted The Wiggle bike route and here’s why:
FOR MOST PEOPLE, THERE’S A BETTER WAY TO GET FROM THE PANHANDLE TO DOWNTOWN, TO GET THERE AND BACK AGAIN
That’s why. This was my stab at promoting the Northern Wiggle,* aka the McAllister Pass,** aka the Hastings Cutoff. *** Some people listened, but most did not, oh well.
Anyway, aside from this route being a third of a mile shorter and faster and safer and relatively ped-free, it NEVER gets any SFPD Bicycle Enforcement Actions, the way, say, the intersection of Waller and Steiner gets.
Speaking of which, now more people are joining the SFPD, to “referee the Wiggle,” if only for a short time.
“Referee the Wiggle
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 3:00pm – 3:30 pm
Waller and Steiner st – The Wiggle
While 95% of cyclists using the Wiggle are really incredibly respectful of other road users, there is that small minority who give us all a bad name. I’ve always wanted to dress as a referee and hand out yellow and red cards to bad cyclists (and maybe some cars and peds too) and I’m using NOW! as my excuse!
Come join me in shaming the few bad cyclists out there and making the Wiggle just a little bit safer and more courteous!”
*I, myself, wiggle from street to street north of the Panhandle on my way inbound to Fulton and Scott – it depends on traffic.
**The pass over Alamo Heights, which the Southern Wiggle route mostly avoids by generally following the route of the former creek what used to drain the kind of valley where the Golden Gate Park Panhandle sits now.
IDK, maybe they will.
Of course, this design is the “beautiful” version. (What would an ugly rain garden look like, one wonders.)
And look, the “natural” weeds have already been carefully planted. Is our PUC going to water these weeds, you know, during the months and months when we don’t get any rain at all, to keep them green and “beautiful?” We’ll see.
(BTW, if you label the PUC the PUC, at least a few employees / contractors / interns / somebody who has access to the PUC’s email system just might hector you about instead calling the PUC “SF Water,” or SF Water Power Sewer. Let’s hope our SFPUC isn’t paying its employees $114 an hour on the side to email about how “confused” I am with my belief that the SFPUC can, at least sometimes, be rightfully be called the SFPUC.)
But, Gentle Reader, the well-paid PUC outreach people say that you can take a “tour” of these rain gutters if you want. Email at email@example.com
Another Year, Another New Leader for SFPD’s Park Station – Read the Greetings from Captain John Sanford Jr.Wednesday, April 1st, 2015
Here it is:
My name is John Sanford Jr. and it is with great honor to serve as the new Commanding Officer of the Park Police district. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve with the women and men of the Park Police district. Park Police station is a very iconic station filled with outstanding officers and a great history.
I am equally elated to serve the Park district community and the various Board of Supervisor members that represent this fine district. I am fully aware that many members of the community are frustrated with the transition of yet another commanding officer here at Park Station. I truly understand the frustration, but promise you I bring full dedication and commitment to the post.
I personally know both Captain Greg Corrales and Captain Raj Vasawani and despite two different styles, both are highly intelligent and dedicated to duty. I understand both have served recently with overwhelming commitment. Personally, I am glad these fine captains have raised the bar; I believe they have set an expectation which will only benefit this deserving community. To this end, I will serve with professional integrity. I will encourage and embrace collaboration and partnership with the community. My goal is to foster a sustainable process with continuity, which will assist us with reducing crime and improving the quality of life for those who dwell within our borders.”
Please feel free to e-mail me: John.firstname.lastname@example.org
In the spirit of community policing, I look forward to the task ahead!”
Here They Are, Our Brand-New “Beautiful. Functional. Rain Gardens” on Fell – Like Parklets, But for Weeds, Not PeopleWednesday, April 1st, 2015
[UPDATE: Our PUC writes in tell about how I’m confusing them with the CAPUC, the same way, one supposes that Mssrs. Matier and Ross got “confused” when calling them the PUC here. But take their tour if you want – see Comments.]
Remember the revival of “Victory Gardens?” I do. It peaked in 2009. But the new thang in urban gardening is upon us.
As seen on Fell, looking inbound:
(Oh, and the microfences already indicate that no bike parking is allowed. So what’s the PUC going to do? Ticket your ride? Cut off your lock and impound your bike?)
On Fell, looking outbound:
And look, clobblestones!
Are these real cobblestones? One can’t tell. Should they be? One doesn’t know.
All right, that was the windup, and now here’s the pitch, from the SFPUC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PG&E:
Are these realtor-backed parklets “beautiful?” I don’t think so. Will they “improve safety?” I don’t see how. And actually, spending tax and fee payer money on “streetscape” “beauty” instead of safety is the opposite of “improving safety,” PUC. Oh, and PUC, if you ever want to talk about how best to “manage” California’s water resources for the benefit of all Californians, look me up, cause you’re doing it wrong…
All the deets:
Learn More About the Project
Check out SFMTA’s project website to learn more!
Improving Traffic Safety and Enhancing Stormwater Collection
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is teaming up with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) on the Oak Street and Fell Street Pedestrian and Bike Safety Project to integrate stormwater management with their traffic calming project.
In response to strong public feedback for more greenery and planting for the project, we’ve added rain gardens to the bulbouts along Oak and Fell Streets. A rain garden is a stormwater management technique which infiltrates stormwater into the soil, diverting water from going into the sewer. This addition to the project will benefit community members; not only will the project make residents and travelers safer, the rain gardens will add beauty and character to the intersections. Our partnership with the SFMTA will extend the improvements already underway. While the addition of green infrastructure will not result in any additional parking losses beyond what was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in May 2012, four of the bulbouts will be larger than initially proposed. Originally scheduled for construction in late 2013, the project is slated to begin construction in early summer 2014.
For construction inquiries, please contact:
Dadisi Najib – SFDPW
Luis Montoya – SFMTA
Ari Frink – SFPUC
For more project information, visit SFMTA’s site here.
I’ll tell you, when I first saw the Orwellianally-named #5R Fulton from our inefficient SFMTA, I thought it stood for Regular, you know, as opposed to Limited.
Isn’t that sad?
Anyway, yeah, out in the Richmond District, 5Ls travel faster than 5’s, but the tables turn on Market Street, when the regular #5’s regularly pass by the vaunted #5R’s (nee 5L’s).
Here’s the pass from the #5…
…and then he’s gone, leaving me and the #5L driver in the dust:
I’m thinking that unless you live Way Out West in the boonies of SF County, 5 > 5L.
Or, in the New Math, 5 > 5R.
Isn’t it ironic.
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:
I’ll tell you, pedestrian safety means pedestrian safety.
But “pedestrian rights” means the opposite, it means letting peds go around willy-nilly and getting themselves killed.
Anyway, if you want to see peds jumping the green and standing around in intersections, head on over to McAllister and Hyde. Before it was bad enough, but now, peds will have a shorter distance to jaywalk?
The last thing you want to do is embolden* the already-emboldened, right?
On It Goes
*BTW, there were peds improperly in the intersection at the time Chris Bucchere collided with Sutchi Hui. Perhaps all the peds in the intersection had jumped the gun. That intersection offers a very short path for peds – in some ways that’s a good thing, but in others that’s a bad thing, particularly at the intersection of 17th, Castro, and Market. Of course, Bucchere couldn’t have “entered the intersection legally” cause the limit there is 25 MPH. And of course, he made no effort to slow down once he recognized the problem. So of course, there’s enough blame to go around.
Can the Managers of the New 100 Van Ness Apartment Building Get Away with Making “Security Deposits” Non-Refundable? We’ll SeeMonday, February 2nd, 2015
Click on “Lease Now” to see this:
“*To reserve your new home, please click the “Get Approved” button above to complete our rental application and start the screening process. You will be required to submit a payment of $35.00 for the non-refundable Application Fee and the Security Deposit of $500-$1000 for the apartment is due within 72 hours by drop off or overnight mail. After three days from the date of application, the Security Deposit is non-refundable.”
Well, first off, “home.” Like, it’s not even a condo, man. How about “apartment” instead?
And second off, I ain’t never paid no nonrefundable application fee. What you do is ask how much the credit / eviction check costs them and then offer to pay that. If that’s a no-go, then perhaps you shouldn’t move in? (I realize that building employees have to deal with flaky people all the time, but I’m not the flaky people category, I don’t think.*)
What really grinds my gears is the idea of any building manager talking about any kind of “non-refundable” deposit. Such a deposit does not exist under California law.
(m) “No lease or rental agreement may contain a provision characterizing any security as “nonrefundable.”
You want to quibble? Fine, quibble, but this non-refundable status is agin the law, agin the law I tells you!
Most people in Cali can market apartments without prima facie violations of Cali law. So why can’t you, 100 Van Ness? Why can’t you?
Oh what’s that, what’s $35 to somebody who thinks moving into the Outer Twitterloin at $4000 for a one-bedroom is a good idea? All right, well, maybe it’s not a good idea to move into this building. Realize that most of the non-BMR people are probably not going to renew after their first year (just like at the abysmal “luxury” Fillmore Center apartments near Japantown, where you can pay thousands and thousands per month in rent, and for what). So, why are so many people going to move out of 100 VN after just a year? Think on that. Part of the reason might have to do with dealing with the 20-somethings in “building management.” Are they going to come in and say, uh oh, you walked on our cheap, brand-new hardwood flooring in high heels so here’s a bill for $7,000 for reflooring? Maybe. (Stuff like that happens just around the corner of 100VN all the time.) And there’s the nabe, which might wear you down over the months. OTOH, maybe this building is a dream come true for you, right next to Van Ness Station and not too far from the Civic Center BART Station. Fine, be my guest. Enjoy. But the same 20-something chicas who don’t understand why it’s not kosher to expropriate four-figure “Security Deposits” in the Great State of California just might not be aware of all the other laws what protect you.
Oh, what’s that, it’s OK to retain a “holding deposit?” Well, we aren’t at that point yet, because you all labeled it a “Security Deposit.” I’m now satisfied that you all don’t know what you’re doing. Welcome to Cali, 100VN Management. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…
END OF LINE
*Like the last time I bought a car, I didn’t even test drive it. No salesperson neither – the “big guy” had to assign a salesperson to me at the end of the sales process in order to “get the transaction to go through.” This sales process took about seven minutes. Later on, the salesperson had to “orient” me. I asked for the 30-second version of his 20-minute spiel. It was basically this: “Never press this button.” And I’ll tell you, that was good advice. I had already figured the downsides of pressing the button and if I hadn’t, then I would have figured things out fast, like during the times that I pressed that button by mistake. In any event, what he meant was, never press this button unless you know what it does and the conditions are right for it. The point is that I’m not a flake so I never pay no nonrefundable application fee and you shouldn’t either. Sometimes, like back during Dot Com 1 in the late ’90’s, landlords would harvest thousands of dollars in application fees for just one unit over one weekend. Did the LLs actually run the checks potential tenants paid for? Nope. That’s what made it a scam. A nice, four-figure, income tax-free scam. These days, they charge you $35 to run a check that costs them even less than before, like a few bucks max. Oh well.
NIMBY’s vs. the SFMTA: Local Objections to New Traffic Signals on McAllister at Broderick and Scott for the 5 FultonThursday, January 29th, 2015
This effort appears to be similar to the SFMTA’s attempt to add traffic signals on Haight at Scott and Pierce.
This isn’t the worst example of NIMBYism, but I’d say it’s fairly alarmist, fairly absurd.
I’ll just say that, generally speaking, it’s generally harder to get around town these days by car, by bike and by MUNI, compared with ten or twenty years ago. Part of this has to do with our newer, absurdly-wide sidewalks, designed for pedestrian “comfort.”
And yet, most ped and cyclist deaths in San Francisco involve fault from the peds and cyclists. Here’s 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.”
(I should do a video on how to be a pedestrian in SF. It might involve some jaywalking but it would also involve extreme alertness on behalf of peds. You see, the way to prevent a lot of ped deaths in SF would be to get inside their heads to see what’s going wrong.)
IMO, the SFMTA should leave McAllister alone and then start taking out as many bus stops as politically possible.
I’ll tell you, not that many cyclists pass by Broderick and McAllister compared with Scott and McAllister, it seems, owing to geography. So looking at McAllister and Scott, it seems that the lights will be timed against cyclists using FULTON DIVISADERO MCALLISTER eastbound as an alternative to the already-overcrowded Wiggle route to get from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to the Financh.
So for my own selfish reasons, I’d prefer that MUNI not make these changes, but who am I to stand in their way? What the MUNI people are saying is that we’ll all be better off overall, and 40 seconds each way each day will add up to millions of seconds, eventually.
In conclusion, meh. If MUNI wants to put in lights, we should let them do it.