Posts Tagged ‘oak’

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

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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…

A Steam Clean for the May Queen: SFGov Spends Thousands More on the Panhandle’s McKinley Statue, Once Again

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Here you go, this is what it looks like when the RPD spends thousands of your hard-earned to steam clean the McKinley Statue. (Hey, whatever happened to KKK Katie?)

Get up to speed on this neverending game of cat and mouse here – just keep reading down.

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IDK, are these people contractors paid by the RPD / SFGov? Prolly. Looks like a pretty easy gig, just get some machine and some green vests and then you’re raking in some sweet sweet govt cash:

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And actually, I don’t know how much offensive Nazi graffiti was cleaned up this go-around. I hadn’t noticed any.

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Perhaps these people were just cleaning the steps this go-around and this wasn’t a five-figure budget-crusher for the Arts Commish / Rec and Park Dept? I know not.

I can see why elements of SFGov, politically-connected, white & wizened millionaires who live in million dollar houses far outside the city limits, want to just throw up their arms by throwing up a metal fence around these steps at the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park. Oh, and local real estate interests, the realtors who live and “prospect” in the 94117 – they want an ugly fence as well, around this iconic meeting place.

I can see why, it’s their cry for help. But I don’t approve of no fence.

(And, mind you, the very same people who want the Great McKinley Fence are those who 86’ed the harmless Panhandle Bandshell a few years back…)

Wow, SFPD Enforcement Action at Oak and Masonic – Massive Number of Luxury / Electric Cars Pulled Over, Over and Over

Monday, 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.)

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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Uh Oh, FaceBook’s Corporate Buses are Using Busy Masonic Avenue as a Staging Area? Double-Parking to Block MUNI Buses

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Here’s a FaceBook corporate shuttle bus idling(?)/waiting on busy southbound Masonic betwixt Fell and Oak during the busy morning drive afore taking FB’ers on down to (MPK) Menlo Park:

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So that means that it’s blocking the slow lane of Masonic, as here on Saint Patrick’s Day 2015

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At first I thought, oh maybe it broke down, but no, this is where it was waiting to pick up more people in the Upper Haight area, at the assigned MUNI stops FaceBook has. If the drivers come back to SF early, they need a place to hang out, right?

When I see this situation, there’s always the driver plus a, IDK, let’s call him a starter, a handler, a scheduler – a person who makes the trains run on time.

So I thought, mmm, this isn’t a MUNI bus stop – perhaps the FB drivers got used to this lane being blocked at Fell the past few weeks? IDK.

But look, it’s the same thing yesterday too:

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So the #43 Masonic needs to merge into the middle lane from the stop at Hayes and then get back into, let’s call it the FaceBook Lane after passing the Big White Bus in order to get into the stop on the other side of Oak:

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So what’s the deal here, does this guy just hang out all morning waiting for more buses to double park?

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IDK.

But this lane just got freed up after all that lengthy construction, so it seems a shame that MUNI drivers now can’t use it…

What a BLANKET AND JACKET GIVEAWAY Looks Like in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

It looks like this, with about 20 people queuing up about 20 minutes before the event begins:

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Would SFGov / Rec and Park consider these fliers “illegal?”

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Yep, they would.

Anyway, that’s what it looked like.

NIMBY’s vs. the SFMTA: Local Objections to New Traffic Signals on McAllister at Broderick and Scott for the 5 Fulton

Thursday, 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.

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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.

What Happens When You Pay $40k a Year to Send Your Kid to Private School in Haight Ashbury

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

This happens.

NTTAWWT, but smoking in Golden Gate Park is agin the rules…

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Oh, and parents, please “expect a five percent tuition increase per year,” ’cause, you know, what’s another ten thou, right? C’mon, that’s chicken feed!

The Incompetent SFMTA Boasts of Traffic Lights “Timed for Your Convenience” – Let’s Take a Look, at Oak, For Example

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

[UPDATE: Here’s a reply from somebody at the SFMTA:

“The mistiming of Oak and Pierce was due to a malfunction of the intersection controller which should now be repaired. Please call 311 if you see any maintenance issues such as signals that all of the sudden appear to be out of sequence.“]

(I’ll tell you, I’ve been riding bikes around SF on pretty much a daily basis for the past quarter century. So that means that I have more miles, hours, decades than you or anybody else at the SFMTA, you know, on the Streets of San Francisco. Also, I have more miles driving about town than even most SFMTA operators, and I have more miles walking about than 99%+ of the employees of the SFMTA. So that’s my throat-clearing.)

I don’t know where this SFMTA MUNI blog post comes from.

Green Lights for Muni by Rachel Hyden Friday, January 9, 2015:

No matter how you travel around San Francisco, you’re bound to come across a signal that will make your journey a little easier. As a cyclist, you get the “green wave;” as a driver, traffic lights are often timed for your convenience…”

You know, I’ve never seen a “green wave.” I’ve seen the signs for green waves (like here’s one on a hill – well, 13 MPH seems fast going up a big hill and it seems slow going down, oh well) and I’ve seen cyclists on Market bunched up and sometimes making it through the next signal and the next signal, but I wouldn’t call that no green wave. Moving on, Moving Forward…

To this – back before the incompetent SFMTA even existed, way back then, San Francisco did a better job of maintaining the timed lights on its major corridors, its freeway substitutes. So, for example, you could drive from the Inner Sunset to, say, Reno, Nevada without ever seeing a red. Sure, Lincoln to Kezar to Oak to the Central Freeway to the I-80. And then, after the Loma Prieta, which occurred before certain six figure a year MUNI bloggers were born, drivers would wind through Hayes Valley (which for most people isn’t a destination) and Civic Center and SoMA to whichever freeway on-ramp. All greens, baby.

And even more recently, like three or four years ago, SF did a much better job with the timed lights.

And now we’re in 2015 and it’s the worst ever. You look down Bush from the Western Addition and what you might expect to see is, what, a brown wave(?) of cars cruising along at 25 MPH or so, but what you see instead are cars pretty much randomly distributed.

The same goes for Pine outbound, where there are some stretches that I’d say aren’t really timed at all any more.

The twins Golden Gate and Turk are still more or less timed, as are Franklin and Gough. But lookie here at Oak near Pierce. Would you say that these lights are timed for anybody’s “convenience?”

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Why would you set up the lights this way? Even for a day? SF used to have traffic engineers in charge and now I don’t know who’s in charge. Ideologists? Blogger PR-types from Ohio?

I’ll tell you, back a decade ago, the SFMTA wanted to replace four way stops on Page with their trademark horrible traffic circles. The reason being, ostensibly, and I’m srsly, was to reduce greenhouse emissions by not forcing cars to start and stop, and the BAAQMD was going to kick in just for this purpose. This didn’t work out*, but that’s what the SFMTA wanted, right? That was the stated purpose.

But now, here, just a block away on Oak, the SFMTA has/had the opportunity to properly time the lights, to reduce emissions, and it just doesn’t care.

And along comes the official SFMTA blog, which wants citizens to thank the heavens above every time they see a timed light, because the SFMTA labored to “make your journey a little easier.”

Oh, what’s that, SFMTA, give you more money and you’ll time the lights proper again? No, why don’t you use the money you already get more efficiently? I mean, right? I mean, aren’t you the worst big-city transit agency in America? No, well, then which big city has a worser transit system? Oh, what’s that, you just got an award for innovation or something? Well, great, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t the worst big-city transit agency in America. All of the other transit agencies laugh and call you names, SFMTA. (And you aint no Rudolph, with his nose so bright.)

So, why not time traffic lights proper before you pat yourself on the back for timing traffic lights, SFMTA?

Just asking.

*The SFMTA made the mistake of allowing people to actually vote on one of the SFMTA’s goofy, thoughtless ideas. The SFMTA ended up losing, big-time, like by a three to one ratio in some cases. Needless to say, the SFMTA doesn’t allow any votes like that any mo…

McKinley Statue Graffiti, 2015 Update: Yep, It’s Got Some More – Here It Is, More Evidence for Fence Proponents

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Here’s how things stand now:

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And here’s a little history, complete with an artist’s conception of what the anti-graffiti fence would look like – keep reading down, through the webpages of time.

You know, fundamentally, this is the big landmark at the gateway to Golden Gate Park. I don’t like the fence idea but I also don’t like people coming by to see giant KKK letters on the base of this statue for days, weeks and months. And the Rec and Parks and Arts Commission people say it’s a real expensive PITA to keep the graffiti off.

So I don’t know…

Beach Chalet Soccer Field Turf Protesters, Golden Gate Park – These People are Still Out There – They’re Not Giving Up

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Didn’t we just have an election on this topic just a few weeks ago?

I think so.

Here they are yesterday, still. Defeated, and yet not:

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CALL: Defeat does not exist in this dojo, does it?
RESPONSE: No, Sensei!