Posts Tagged ‘panhandle’

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Ask People Who Use the Golden Gate Park Panhandle Playground to See If It’s Really “Failing”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Per this bit on SocketSite, SFGov thinks it has 50 “failing” playgrounds. Does that means that all of them get an “F” grade, that they’re all basically worthless?

For instance, let’s take a look at the Panhandle Playground. It has 4.5 Yelp stars. Isn’t that a pretty high rating for a “failing” anything?

If you polled people who actually use the place, the grade you’d come up with is “A,” or possibly “A-,” something in that area.

I think what SFGov / RPD / all those people with clipboards from that big non-profit what’s run by the wealthy, white and wizened actually mean is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t brand-new. What they mean is that it hasn’t kept up with the latest trends in playgroundom the past decade or so due to the fact that it hasn’t been replaced the past decade.

In other words, what they’re saying is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t “world-class.”

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, there were more than 2.5 pieces of litter per square meter or whatever on the day that you dropped by with your clipboards? OK, so don’t you mean that the RPD is failing then?

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, you’re concerned about the health effects of “x.” You know, I don’t think you want to go there, Parks Alliance. Cause then you’d have to look at the other stuff RPD is doing lately, like, say, the Beach Chalet soccer fields. Now I’ll tell you, I’m 90%+ sure that all the things people are worried about with the new artificial turf aren’t going to turn out to be a problem, but that’s not an absolutely assurance. You could say the same for whatever it is that makes you say that four dozen playgrounds in SF are “failing.”

You know, I could take my clipboard and go up to somebody’s 2004 Honda Accord with low miles and I could say, “Oh, no sat nav – minus five points. And oh, dirty windshield – minus three points. And oh…” And then I could put the car on my list of “failing” commuter vehicles, even though the person who drives it every day M-F thinks it’s a great ride and even though it passes its smog test every year or two and even though it starts up every time without fail. Who, oh who will appoint me chairman of the “Failing Hondas Task Force?”

(Oh hey, you know what RPD is disappointed about? It’s bummed out that the Maude Flanderses and the Reverend Lovejoy’s Wifes of the 94117 haven’t formed something like the Friends of the Panhandle Playground to raise $800k or so to give to RPD, you know, the way things worked with Presidio Heights and Mountain Lake. Oh well. Sorry RPD.)

In any event, a big bag of money fell from the sky and SFGov is going to spend it the way it wants. IMO, SFGov spends too much time focusing on the aesthetic concerns of millionaires who appoint themselves to the boards of the non-profits they create.

IMO.

So, go for it, send a reporter over to the Panhandle to check things out, to see why SFGov wants to spend months and months tearing out a perfectly good playground, to see why SFGov wants to scrap a Honda Accord with low miles, and a dirty windshield…

Free Kool-Aid, after the jump, drink up, it’s free, well, not really, but you’re going to end up paying for it anyway, so might as well.

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Viking Games in the Panhandle: Look at All These People Throwing Wood to Play “Kubb” in Golden Gate Park

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

This was the call:

We want a Kubb tournament & picnic during the NOW! festival.

And here’s the result, as seen in the Panhandle – look at all them people:

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Click to expand

It’s Kubb, baby!

The Lazy Stokers of Golden Gate Park

Friday, November 14th, 2014

So lazy!

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The SFMTA’s Crazy Traffic Signals at Fell and Shrader in the Western Addition, Just North of the Panhandle

Friday, November 14th, 2014

The SFMTA makes all kinds of mistakes all the time, but it’s afraid to admit that it ever might have made a mistake ever, oh well.

Check out the newish light signals at Fell and Shrader:

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(Filmed in Nike-Vision, except this woman is a real person who lives in the area and just happened to be passing through – quite unacceptable to those who reside in Niketown.)

So I understand the red bike and the upraised hand signal – so far so good.

And I understand the next phase, the I-do-what-I-want phase:

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And then there’s this:

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And this:

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And then this:

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And then back to all-red.

So now I understand what the SFMTA means, but I needed to study the lights.

IMO, the SFMTA should be focused on safety instead of ideology. IMO, the SFMTA should strive to keep things simple. IMO, the SFMTA should factor human nature into into its signal schemes. For example, this woman here entered into the intersection way late and had to rely upon the driver seeing her. Is the SFMTA at all curious as to why people might be confused by this unique-in-the-world intersection with its current signal setup? Not at all.

Oh well.

Electric Skateboard Unicycle! – This Tech Bro is a “Onewheel” “Beta Rider” – Bonus: Seussian Facial Hair

Friday, October 24th, 2014

This is a scene from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, famous for its late-night, bully-boy, strong-arm bicycle robbers, and its “Have-You-Seen-My-Lost-Drone?” posters, and its winding bike path, which has become a test track for novel personal conveyances.

As here, with this Onewheel, a “self-balancing electric skateboard”

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Four white LEDs up front as headlights and four red LEDs in the rear as taillights? Of course.

Kickstarter funded? Of course.

On Instagram? Of course.

Engineering degree from Stanfoo? Of course.

Mountain View-based? Of course.

Read all about it:

“You can also follow us on twitter at @RideOnewheel
 

Kyle Doerksen

Future Motion Inc founder and Onewheel Inventor

Onewheel was imagined and developed by Kyle Doerksen, an inventor and design engineer who’s been dreaming about one wheeled vehicles for years. He has built hardware products from kids toys to consumer electronics to medical devices and works to create magical new experiences through technology. Electric vehicles are his passion and Onewheel is an expression of the true freedom and excitement that electric vehicles can achieve.

Onewheel launched successfully on Kickstarter in January 2014 and thanks to the support of our amazing backers the Onewheel dream is becoming a reality!

Onewheel is based in Mountain View, California and is a privately held company focused on the development of advanced personal vehicles.”

Words You Don’t Want to Hear Shouted from Inside the Panhandle Park Bathroom: “Knife!” – “Protect Yourself!”

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

This is about as close as I usually get to the infamous half-million dollar bathroom that we paid for back in the aughts.

But it’s close enough to hear the following:

“Knife!”

“Trying to get myself clean!”

“Just trying to protect yourself!”

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Note that these dudes were conversing inside the women’s bathroom on the east side of the building.

One assumes somebody pulled out a knife, because he felt threatened.

On It Goes…

A Good Cyclist and a Bad Cyclist on Fell Street at the Crazy, SFMTA-Designed Intersection with Shrader

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

The light for this car was green green green, perhaps for two seconds as the cyclist that you can see on the right came down from the Panhandle bike path, camera left.

OTOH, the cyclist on the left saw the lights and managed to not  run the red light – you can see her sort of chuckling at her friend there.

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IMO, this would have been a 100% cyclist-at-fault accident, but I’m not 100% sure it would have gotten written up as such, oh well.

I’m also not sure why the SFGov/SFMTA/SFBC Establishment established this set-up to route traffic from the bike path into Golden Gate Park/JFK Drive – I suppose it’s a bit faster for cyclists, compared with the obvious alternatives.

But the whole system breaks down if the nut behind the steering wheel, or in this case, the handle bars, doesn’t know when she has lost the right of way…

“Wi-Ki-Bi-Thi!” – Militant Cyclists Lounge About the Panhandle to Intimidate Clavicle-Breaking Robbers – “WE KILL BIKE THIEVES”

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Perhaps I’m jumping to contusions, but this large crew of aggressively-lounging bike riders certainly appeared to be trying to send a message to a pair of area bike robbers making the news lately.

Strike a pose:

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And what does that T-shirt say? It’s all, “WE KILL BIKE THIEVES.”* How charming!

(I’ve seen lots of bike meetups in the Panhandle, but usually people ride off or start picnicking. Instead, this crew just sat around and glared, for hours, kind of like the guy on my JetBlue flight to DC a couple weeks after 9/11, arms crossed, standing near the cockpit and just staring at everybody just waiting for somebody to try something.)

I’l tell you, I’ve ridden the Panhandle bike path thousands of times in the early morning hours, after zero-dark-thirty, and I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this. Similar attacks occurred on the McAllister bike route in the projects / projecty Friendship Village Apartments near Webster, about ten years back, purportedly with a “lead pipe” (that probably wasn’t made of lead, but anyway).

Who knows, perhaps news of this kind of meet-up will spread, through word-on-the-street, until it reaches ears of these strong-arm robbers.

In any event, this small series of crimes certainly now has the attention of the SFPD – we’ll see how it goes. I’ll tell you, it’d be nice to have a retired/out-on-disability cop monitoring a network of London-style, high-def** crime cameras for the night shift of Park Station, but I don’t see anything like that happening soon. Oh well…

*$35! Take an aggressive stance against rampant bike theft with this bold, reflective graphic statement”

**I suppose we already have a kind of video network, what with local business cameras on 24-7 plus the low-def SFPD cams, but this is nothing like the high-def cams what a town like Stockton***, CA has…

***The cops over in Stockton laugh, just laugh at the SFPD’s low-def crime cam setup. 

Wind-Powered Skateboarder, Golden Gate Park Panhandle

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Heading east, away from Ocean Beach:

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Our Long Parochial Nightmare is Over: The Vandalized Slides at Panhandle Playground 94117 have been Replaced by RPD

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Well the slides at the Panhandle Playground have been replaced after three months of absence.

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1. Perhaps the RPD spokesmodel meant that the entire slide complex was being repaired, as opposed to the $2000 plastic slide itself. I don’t think it would have made sense to repair the slide itself, due to liability issues for starters. This is a brand-new slide, one that’s similar enough to the original.

2. So some wealthy, non-profit people came by with clipboards to say that this particular playground currently earns a “D” grade? Well, OK fine, but if you talk to the people who actually use the place, they, more or less, give it an “A” grade, you know, except for the slide that wasn’t there all summer long. Mmmmm… What’s up with that?

3. Supervisor London Breed’s office was unresponsive to the email contact sent by a group of concerned parents, apparently. So she gets an “F,” or an Incomplete perhaps. (I’ve worked at two similar offices, with about ten or one hundred times as many constituents, and if the elected in charge found out about something like this then there’d be a 20-minute yell-fest and/or a passive aggressive note sent to a (lower-case “s”) supervisor to “fix this.”) So, obvs, a “communication issue” occurred, I just don’t know how common this is with her office.

4. RPD has a policy to not repair anything in a playground if it’s due to be revamped in the next two years? That’s my understanding. Does that mean that this playground won’t get revamped anytime soon? That’s my understanding. Why’s that? Read on, Gentle Reader.

5. What RPD really wants is area parents to get together to raise something on the order of [bites right pinkie finger] one million dollars, you know, the way they do things in rich areas of SF, like Sea Cliff (ala the new Mountain Lake) and Presidio Heights. Only then will RPD put your playground at the top of the fix-it list? OK fine. The funny thing is that most of the money that gets used to refurbish existing playgrounds is paid for by the non-rich, from some bond. But all this doesn’t matter for the playground at hand, because:

6. The slide vandalized in May 2014 has been replaced in September 2014 and the users are now satisfied. No $5,000,000 modernization from the RPD is needed, frankly. [Oh what’s that, RPD – this old-school playground costs you a lot of coin to maintain? Well, then why don’t you fix it up, RPD, you know, using the money we give you?]

And that’s the end of this story.