They called it “Redevelopment.”
It’s not housing, it’s not a road, it’s just a waste of space is what it is…
Here you go:
Well, let’s see, there are LOTS of reasons to not ride the vaunted THE WIGGLE route and also, there are other options asides from OAK.
But let’s consider Oak now. Oh, here’s famous fixie-riding Andy on the left side of Oak, from all the way back in aught-seven.
And look, the dashed lines made a sort of bike lane on the left side – good times. (Unfortunately, this space for bikes is no longer there, due to subsequent restriping.)
Anywho, going straight on Oak instead of taking the Wiggle at Scott is nice because you’ve only got one sort of steep block. I see people take Oak all the time. Oak is good. Oak is fast. Oak is congested a lot of the time due to horrible horrible Octavia Boulevard (what was dreamed up by wealthy homeowners in Hayes Valley), so you’d spend some time weaving about, getting around drivers trying to get on the I-80 / the 101 superslabs, but that’s OK. I’ll add that Oak is for the adventurous, certainly.
So, Oak is far from being a ridiculous choice, a choice TO TEACH US ALL A LESSON about the dangers of the SFPD handing out citations. It’s a viable option.
Or what of Oak and Baker to Fulton to Divisadero to Mcallister to Market? This is THE UNWIGGLE with no wiggling at all betwixt Divis and Market. And look, you’ve defeated the rich people of HV who put a 105 foot wide BOULEVARD betwixt you and your destination, ’cause Octavia is but a nothingburger walking path / federal housing project parking lot on this route – it won’t slow you down at all.
Or Fulton? It’s a bit hillier than McAll and you’ve got big old City Hall in your way, but it’ll do.
Or Golden Gate? That works too.
Or Haight all the way to Fillmore, just to avoid the congested THE WIGGLE?
Notice that all these routes avoid “cycling” a bunch of people through the stop signs at WALLER and STEINER in the Lower Haight.
Those are some of your inbound routes.
As far as using Fell to go back home, well that’s CRAZY TOWN, that’s ill-advised. I rarely have seen that, in all my years.
IMO, the best way to get back is MCALLISTER…
…of course, there are other non-THE WIGGLE choices as well.
[Camera Left] That’s who I am, I’m a god-damned troubadour! (Well, maybe not yet, but that’s who I am inside – that’s the kind of person I am. Man, I gots to get me an axe as soon as I move to Frisco…)
[Camera Right] I’m a City Girl, here’s my Vespa – BEEP BEEP! I’m going to use it to buy a baguette every day, soon as I move to the 415.*
As seen at the horrible, man-made** disaster known as Octavia “Boulevard.”
*NO NO NO NO, I want 415! Area code 628?! WTF.
**Person-made? Is that a phrase? Octavia was supposed to spawn a “boulevard movement” across the country. It didn’t.
Welcome to ‘Merica, Dude:
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.
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.
What’s this? Well, it’s traffic backing up on Oak from failed Octavia Boulevard all the way up to the top of Alamo Heights, like Fillmore.
Why? Let’s hear about the SFMTA’s 2014 to-do list from Rose Garrett of Hoodline:
Restriping Oak between Octavia and Laguna and reconfiguring parking so that two full right turn-only lanes would stretch the entire block of Oak and two additional lanes would continue straight
What’s happened is a change of driving culture so that nowadays, drivers feel less like suckers when they queue up in the right lane of Oak and there’s less line-jumping to the right between Laguna and Octavia:
None Shall Pass! over this newly painted solid line:
Some still do of course, but this happens less than before:
Now’s not the time to get into why the 100% perfectly earthquake safe Central Freeway was ash-canned for this deadly Octavia Boulevard monstrosity. But now, apparently, is the time to try to fix things, you know, a decade later.
Already, those wishing to stay in Frisco now have a clearer shot of escaping this mess by using the left lanes. New construction with $3000-something per month non-rent controlled studios will dominate the north side of this block. We’ll see how this one goes.
It’s hard for a needlessly prideful political animal like the SFMTA to admit that it made a mistake constructing this “vision” of the New Boulevard Movement or whatever the Hell it was called backed when the failed Boulevard Movement was in full swing. But now, after some Berkeley prof has gotten all that money in consulting fees and basked in the glory of those award ceremonies, our SFMTA is less possessive of its creation – it’s more willing to admit its mistakes, if not through a press release, but at least by trying to fix things.
Now, is it good for traffic to back up a half-mile on a regular weekend afternoon? No, but this is an improvement nevertheless.
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.
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
Insert “sliver” building here, right in the middle, just to the left of Geary:
1481 Post is like 8 Washington, and yet not like 8 Washington…