Posts Tagged ‘octavia’

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

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“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic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, 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: 

7J7C0082 copy

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. If you pressure it to plant trees in the middle of the street, 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 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 now 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 that way, anyway. What happened 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. Then, what will the affects 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

(more…)

If a New 36-Story, 416-Foot Tall Condo Building Belongs Anywhere in SF, It Belongs at 1481 Post

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Insert “sliver” building here, right in the middle, just to the left of Geary:

P1160168 copy

Why not?

1481 Post is like 8 Washington, and yet not like 8 Washington…

Primary Colors, Western Addition: Green Suitcase, Purple Suitcase, Red Pants

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

As seen on Octavia:

7J7C6688 copy

Octavia Boulevard Update: Anybody Who Claims This Short Road Has “High-Speed Motor Traffic” is Lying

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Simply.

Now if you want real “high-speed motor traffic,” well then look to the 280 freeway.

But if you want a poorly-designed glorified freeway offramp with lots of slow-moving bumper-to-bumper gridlock, well then Octavia is your bingo.

See? This is typical. Traffic has been jammed up here starting about a week after this road opened. This is exactly what low-speed traffic looks like: 

7J7C6717 copy

A note to advocacy journalists who think it’s their job to lie:

No it’s not!

Lying hurts your case. Lying doesn’t help your case.

 

Octavia Boulevard Update: Woman Pokes Head Out of Car to Take Selfies of Bat-Dog Posing in SF

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Do you you think the rise of selfie photos suggests something negative about “today’s generation?”

7J7C6433 copy

I don’t.

Spot the Missing Building: Motorcyclist’s Polished Helmet Offers a Fish-Eye View of the Western Addition

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Take a close look at this motorcyclist’s helmet on Geary – in between the two tall buildings, you can see the coming construction site of 1481 Post.

Dude gives off a Hank Schrader vibe:

Some people who opposed the 8 Washington Wall on the Waterfront project just might support a tall spire on the top of Cathedral Heights, right?

I think so.

Anyway, all moto helmets should be chromed, huh?

CORN HOLE, Octavia Street

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

In the words of San Francisco’s Famous Akit:

“Just got back from a church bazaar. Who calls a children’s game ‘corn hole?’”

Click to expand

I won’t even tell you what was happening on the very same day, the last Sunday of July, on nearby Dore Alley…

Possibly Legal But Stupid Nevertheless: Riding Bikes Side-By-Side Slowly Uphill on Pine Street

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Now some cops in California will give you a ticket for this, for riding side by side at 5 MPH on a street like Pine.

Legal or not, I don’t recommend this kind of thing: 

Click to expand

(And actually, the CA code section that was written to limit the right of cyclists to block other traffic is now interpreted by some to give special rights to cyclists. It depends on how you look at things.)

Arresting San Francisco O-Bon Festival on Octavia – It’s Day of the Dead, Japanese-Style – A 500 Year Tradition

Monday, July 28th, 2014

It’s the 76th Ginza Bazaar on Octavia, which is sort of in Japantown.

The view of passersby on Bush:

Click to expand

See you next year!

“Obon (お盆?) or just Bon (盆?) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.”

Questioning the Wisdom of Adding “Pedestrian Islands” to the Middle of the Street, as Here on McAllister in The Projects

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

See this pedestrian island smack dab in the middle of McAllister at what remains of Octavia?

It didn’t used to be there. Oh, here we go:

Pedestrian islands provide a raised refuge area in the middle of the street for crossing pedestrians.”

Click to expand

So what this does is bottleneck McAllister traffic by not letting bikes and vehicles easily pass through the Octavia “intersection” at the same time.

I cry foul. IMO, this isn’t good design for pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, bus drivers or firetruck drivers.

So what is this island good for – satisfying the ideological requirements of the sainted SFMTA?

Apparently.

But be my guest, go out there and take a look and see how traffic flows at this particular intersection, say around 5 PM during the evening drive.

Be my guest.