Not that I care, not that I don’t do the same myself sometimes:
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.
So, you can be a sergeant working for our inefficient SFMTA? Well that’s news to me. but see those stripes? Mmmm, I guess “Parking and Traffic” calls its supervisors sergeants, so this guy isn’t SFPD or any kind of peace officer?
Anyway, Dude on the bike here was pissed because the PCO in this Interceptor III cart told a driver to move along from a yellow zone, you know, instead of giving her a ticket:
“Why are you playing games with these people? She’s sitting there, you cite her!”
Now, talk about lacking situational awareness, the woman in the towaway zone merely pulled ahead a few feet and remained on the scene as this extended yellfest continued in front of all the GG Transit users waiting for the ride home north. And I was thinking, no girl, you want to clear out of here pronto.
Well, it turns out that she didn’t leave in time so she got ticketed anyway and now she owes three figures (including the $2.50 “convenience” fee) to our inefficient SFMTA. Oh well.
This is the MTA, your Money Taking Agency, in action.
Well, actually, I don’t know what these people did to earn a citation from the SFPD and I don’t what else they’ve done lately, you know, that might have escaped notice of the popo:
So maybe they’re not* dirtbags IRL, IDK.
Perhaps I’ll get called for jury duty on one of these citations, and then I’ll let you know.
*The SFPD bait car program straight outta Hollywood was a bad idea, for example. I can’t imagine convicting anybody for moving an unlocked car left idling and double-parked on Divisadero, for example.
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.
It looked like this:
In the 80’s, 90’s, and early aughts, bikes were practically invisible to cops on Market Street, except for the occasional* Commute Clot / Critical Mass event. But these days, the SFPD seems to consider enforcing traffic laws on bike riders a higher priority,** for whatever reason.
Anyway, back in the day, you’d just have to sit and wait for your ticket to get written up, but nowadays you can play Tetris on your iPhone to make the minutes fly by, as you can see.
Cops generally prefer to give tickets to car drivers for various reasons. One of them is that the protest rate is many many times greater from cyclists than drivers. So the theory that this recent push to enforce traffic laws on bike riders came from the top down sounds right to me.
*And especially except that time in ’97, when Mayor Willie Brown decided to “do something” about CM. A hundred-something people got ticketed / detained and had their bikes impounded, most of them getting penned in at Sacramento Montgomery for running a red light.
**Think it was in 2012 or 2013 that I got detained by two Crown-Vic driving SFPD on Market near 6th. Pretty sure it was just after the #5 Fulton line was rerouted to take McAllister almost all the way to Market, and I’d noticed two #5’s jammed up in front of the Hibernia Bank building along with three marked and two unmarked Crown Victorias within a block or so. I was thinking, well, this certainly is unusual so it looks like the cops are dealing with something around 7th and Market, maybe involving the buses, so I’ll just keep on moving inbound by taking McAllister all the way to Market and then I’ll cross over Market after the SFPD radio car goes off east on Market. Except the car slowed down waiting for me to cross over to the right side of Market. I couldn’t understand how I was getting all this attention from the SFPD. Anyway, flashing lights, a request from a rookie for my “license and registration” (I looked at his partner, who sort of chuckled – I don’t think the rookie had ever pulled over a bike rider before), a quick warrant check for me, an admonishment to use the correct side of the road, and I then I was off again. And all the while, some photographer guy recognized me and started taking pictures from a traffic island. (He never sent them to me, oh well.) I’ll tell you, I moved to the Tenderloin back in the 1980’s and I’d been California stopping at stop signs and red lights around and on Market for more than two decades before I got any kind of attention from the SFPD. And I thought, oh, things are different now…
Here’s the wiki entry.
And here’s what the SFPD has to say about Patrol Specials, below. I’ll note that the bolded parts are in the original, and really, that’s my whole point – the bolded parts are what the SFPD wants to emphasize, in high relief, as if we, the General Public, are failing students who Just Don’t Get It.
WHAT IS A PATROL SPECIAL OFFICER?
Patrol Special Officers and their Assistants are NON-SWORN private patrol persons and are NOT members of the San Francisco Police Department. The Police Commission appoints Patrol Special Officers and has oversight responsibility over the entire Patrol Special Program. Patrol Special Officers were created under the City Charter and are defined as private patrol persons who contract to perform security duties of a private nature for private persons and businesses within a geographical boundary set forth by the Police Commission.
WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF A PATROL SPECIAL OFFICER?
Private businesses hire Patrol Special Officers to provide security services. They are private patrol officers who enter into a personal services contract with clients for security services. Typical responsibilities of a Patrol Special Officer’s include: unlocking or securing doors to a business, making checks of residences or businesses, conduct perimeter checks at burglar alarms, providing a physical presence at businesses and providing security consultations.
WHAT AREAS OF SAN FRANCISCO DO THESE OFFICERS PATROL?
Patrol Special Officer’s “Beats” are divided throughout San Francisco. A Patrol Special “Beat” owner can purchase the rights of a specific area to patrol. The purchasing process is regulated by the Police Commission and Police Department. All parts of San Francisco have Patrol Special “Beats”.
So what’s this, yellow for visibility instead of SFPD blue? No seven-pointed star? No oro en paz, fierro en guerra screaming chicken on the shoulder patch, which I don’t know about since I couldn’t see any patch from the side anyway.
I’m forced to assume* that you’d be able to tell dude’s SFPD from the front.
Here he is, on Randy Shaw’s traffic sewer, the first block of troubled Turk Street, in the twoubled Twitterloin:
I approve not, Gentle Reader.
*Or maybe he’s BART? I’m still not sure. In all my years, I’ve never had this much trouble ID’ing the SFPD.