Posts Tagged ‘pedestrians’

A Tale of Two Pedestrians: WHO’LL BE THE NEXT JOGGER TO GO FROM OAK & MASONIC DIRECT TO SFGH?

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Well, I suppose it’s three peds, actually. Now let’s see how they do:

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See that?

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The two peds on the left act properly and the jogger ped does not.

As per usual…

There’s room for improvement at this intersection, SFGov/SFMTA.

Just saying.

Whoops: Horrible JCDecaux Company Markets 17-Foot-Tall Advertisement Kiosks as “Oversized Landmarks” that “Tower Over” Us

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Here’s the sitch – Frisco locked itself into a 20-year deal with that fucking JCDecaux (JEE-SEE-DE-KOO, mon amie) company, so now we’re stuck with 100-something of these 17 foot tall kioskses

(Hey, that’s what you need more in your life, Gentle Reader – more booze, hurray! Catchphrase: Booze – it’s what’s for dinner.)

(Note now-useless and obsolete newspaper sidewalk sales feature. Also note that this sidewalk monster is labeled as “street furniture,” as if that’s a good thing. Also note cheesy gold-toned metal accents - tres chic, non?)

Of course we’ve been down this road before, Gentil Lecteur, but I wanted to attract your eyes to this – here’s how JCD markets SF’s public property:

Advertising in San Francisco

Overview: In San Francisco, our 113 advertising kiosks cannot be missed. These elegant, 24-hour backlit, 17-foot kiosks tower over the city’s most populated streets, providing advertisers with oversized landmarks to showcase their messages. Our kiosks are the most striking outdoor media platforms to reach pedestrians and vehicular traffic in the Bay Area.

Each kiosk has two ad panels. The panels are divided into pre-set networks, each with equal exposure to top locations.

Coverage
Kiosks are located throughout the heart of San Francisco’s high-density business, entertainment, and shopping districts including Union Square, the Financial District and Fisherman’s Wharf…”

So help me out here. If we have OVERSIZED LANDMARKS, you know, some “STREET FURNITURE” what TOWER OVER us, you know, what CANNOT BE MISSED so that some rich Euros straight outta, and I’m srsly, fucking Neuilly-sur-Seine, France can make some more Euros, then I ask you, “Is This A Good Thing?”

Just asking, Jean-Charles.

Opposition to SF’s Plan to Destroy 26 Healthy Hardwoods at Geary & Masonic: “SAVE OUR TREES From DEVELOPERS”

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Here’s the word on the street, from fliers posted all over:

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Get up to speed on the coming ARBOR-GEDDON here.

I’m not sure about the reference to “DEVELOPERS.” SFGov is fixing on taking out two lanes of parking / rush-hour lanes betwixt Geary and Masonic. It’s not like they’re cutting down these trees to put up a condo building.

Here’s the proposal for after these old trees get cut down – it’s another “street art” project, complete with new, transplanted palm trees. Kind of an L.A. look.

Here’s what it looks like now – not an “urban forest” but this stand does have an actual “canopy,” which, of course, is unusual since forests, by definition, aren’t urban.

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I can’t see anything online yet, but the flier says Judgment Day will be on September 2nd, 2015 – 5:00 PM in Room 416 at City Hall.

SFGov and Traders Joe’s Both are In Denial of This Persistent Jaywalking Problem at the First Block of Masonic

Friday, July 31st, 2015

I suppose I’ve been harping on this issue over the years.

Who created this problem? SFGOV, including  the Planning Department, for starters.

Who can do a better job of fixing things? SFGOV, including the SFMTA, for starters. And IDK, SFPD and DPW? And Trader Joe’s as well.

Here’s a recent example, just a couple of Bros on the west side of Masonic wanting to get to a parked car on the east side, just above the SFMTA’s Presidio Yard. (Note that they might not even be TJ’s customers, but their transit across four lanes of traffic is at the same place where shoppers do it.)

All these southbound cars have stopped for the red light at Geary. So far, so good:

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But uh oh, cars are now coming up from Geary in the northbound lanes – it’s time to rethink and try again later:

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Or, in this case, spend 2.5 minutes going down the hill to Geary, wait for the green light, and then ascend back up Masonic.

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This is the choice people face. Sometimes they err and get hit by a car.

I’ll tell you, if you look at the death rate in Frisco due to earthquakes the past century vs. the death rates of Trader Joe’s shoppers jaywalking in front of TJ#100 the past decade or so, they’re about the same.

What can SFGov and TJ’s do now to fix things, to account for Human Nature?

Joggers in the Panhandle Have Less Than a 10% Chance of Getting a Green Light at Oak and Masonic, So That’s Why They Jaywalk

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

From Hoodline:

Two Pedestrians Injured In Oak & Masonic Collision

And that comes on the heels of this, back in April:

Pedestrian Struck By Vehicle At Masonic & Oak

The way our SFMTA has this intersection set up now is that joggers only have about 7 seconds to start crossing Masonic during a 75 second signal cycle. Assuming they don’t purposefully speed up or slow down to catch their green, that means they have less than a 10% chance of not encountering a red signal for crossing. Human nature being what it is, people jog across against the light and the resulting accident is the jogger’s fault. Check it:

Anyway, that’s why so many people are getting hit by cars at this intersection.

For whatever reason, the SFPD isn’t motivated to enforce the CA Vehicle Code upon peds, so this is the result.

If you believe in ped safety, you’d be in favor of a ped enforcement action here, to learn the joggers. OTOH, if you get paid to promote ped “rights,” then you’d disfavor a ped enforcement action here – you’d bend over backwards to displace blame. I mean, these peds aren’t “mistakenly” jaywalking, they’re doing it on purpose, right?

Choose or lose…

Germinator 2: Judgment Day – Interim Mayor Ed Lee Wants to Kill All These Street Trees on Masonic – Public Protests April 27th

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

At first the notices were white.

The Public protested the white notices, so now the follow-up notices are here. They’re yellow:

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One assumes that tree lovers will show up at this DPW meeting on April 27th and DPW will (sort of) listen to them for two minutes each and then most of the hundreds of sidewalk trees on this 3000-foot stretch of Masonic Avenue will get chipped later on this year.

One assumes.

This MUNI Bus Operator Drives Over The Line, a Solid Yellow Line, on Fulton – Why That’s a Good Thing

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

As you’re reading, enjoy some Crystal Method:

When you’re getting about the mean Streets of San Francisco, you should imagine that every driver you encounter is an uninsured, recently-released felon who’s driving an unregistered vehicle. That’s how I’ve been doing it the past quarter-century.

Conversely, when you’re driving, you should imagine that all the peds around you are suicidal. That means that you should expect them to dart out from the sidewalk right into your path.

So if you’re looking at things that way, then it makes sense to stay Hell away from sidewalks.

Thusly. All the way up* Ignatious Heights on outbound Fulton past Masonic:

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I’m not saying it’s easy to safely drive an MUNI bus, but I’m saying some drivers are better than others. This driver lacks respect for the SFMTA’s ideologically and politically-skewed impulses, as do I.

Remember, Safety First, Ideologically-Driven “Streetscapes” Last.

*And just look at the traffic coming down the hill – does anybody actually use the suicide lane to turn into the dead-end that is USF, seen camera right? (Maybe USF Security does?) Man, this isn’t how I would handle this stretch of Futon. And, oh yes, SFMTA, you should add a traffic signal on Clayton so the USF dormies can get to their inbound #5 Fulton bus stop, but you already know that, don’t you, SFMTA?

Ironically, SFGov Plans to Remove This Actual Urban Tree Canopy from Masonic and Geary – Aesthetics vs. Safety, Again

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Now I say ironically because it’s standard practice for our local pols to talk about San Francisco’s “urban canopy” as if we were close to having one already IRL.

But here’s an actual canopy, on Masonic near Geary, that’s doomed for the chipper because of some bogus art project called “Points of Departure.”

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One supposes it’ll be a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine of the big new federally-funded, state-funded “Streetscape” / pork-barrel project go down? (Our SFMTA is working, slowly but surely, on this gig what has turned out to be less “shovel-ready” than advertised…)

One local, beloved blogger has gone as far as calling this slow-motion disaster Arbor-Geddon 2015.

Now here’s a little history about how SFGov works, courtesy of San Francisco Mayor (1996-present) / local lobbyist Willie Brown:

“I wanted the trees gone, but knew I’d face stiff resistance both from homeless advocates and tree supporters. We brought in a tree expert and wouldn’t you know it, some of the trees had a blight. I issued an emergency order, and that night park workers moved in and dug up and bagged the trees. By the time the TV cameras arrived the next morning the trees were on their way to a tree hospital, never to return. So bless me, father, for I too have sinned. I just did it before everyone had a cell phone camera.”

Delightful story, Willie. Simply delightful.

Anyway, kiss this small grove, improbably near a big #38 MUNI stop, good-bye.

Appalling Corner Cutting from the Vaunted SFMTA: Newly-Installed Clean-Sheet Traffic Signal Poles on Masonic

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

[All right, a little background. Who’s been in charge of the crosswalk in front of City Hall on Polk? IDK, somebody in SFGov, like the SFMTA, or an agency from before the SFMTA, or DPW, or, no matter, somebody in SFGov, anyway, right? And these people know that driver compliance rates with whatever half-assed “smart” control scheme they installed is a lot lower than the compliance rate with simple red-yellow-green signals. But then, with regular dumb traffic lights, pedestrians would have to wait, at least part of the time, to cross the street to get to the Great Hall of The People and we can’t have that, right? So when a tour bus driver runs over an SFGov worker going back to the office, it’s all the tour bus driver’s fault, right? Well, yes and no. The BOS can vote 11-0 to regulate tour bus operators, but that ignores its own responsibility, non? Oh what’s that, you were going to get around to installing a traffic signal there, but you just hadn’t gotten around to it? And what’s that, you can’t figure out how to do it with the money we already give you, so we need to give you more more more? All right, fine, but that means you’re a part of the safety problem, not the solution, SFTMA / SFGov, at least in this case. Moving on…]

What the Hell is this, this brand new aluminum(?) light pole above Masonic betwixt the Golden Gate and Turk “high injury* corridors.” Believe it or not, you’re looking at signal lights for northbound Masonic traffic at Golden Gate AND ALSO, on the other side, for southbound Masonic at Turk:

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Here’s how things look up the hill heading southbound – no problems here:

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But this is what you see going north, you see a red light on the left and green light on the right, and the farther away you are, the more it looks like one intersection with contradictory signals:

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I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere in the world.

This is appallingly poor design, IMO.

So, what, give you more money and you’ll put in another pole, SFMTA? IDK, you can see that they spent money on three new poles, so why did they cheap out with this half-assed creation?

Tree branches? So, the SFMTADPW wants to cut down hundreds of “diseased” trees** on this 3000-foot stretch of Masonic, but it can’t trim a couple trees in the name of Safety?

OK fine.

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Why did the deciders decide on this half-assed design? This one will write itself.

*Are there any low injury corridors in San Francisco? No there are not. So the phrase “high-injury corridor,” as used over and over again, recently, in SF, is meaningless. Oh what’s that, there are no accidents on Willard Street North, for example. Except that WSN aint a corridor, it’s a just a little street. So “high injury corridor” simply means corridor, which simply means, of course, “a (generally linear) tract of land in which at least one main line for some mode of transport has been built.”

**This is how SFGov works:

I wanted the trees gone, but knew I’d face stiff resistance both from homeless advocates and tree supporters. We brought in a tree expert and wouldn’t you know it, some of the trees had a blight. I issued an emergency order, and that night park workers moved in and dug up and bagged the trees. By the time the TV cameras arrived the next morning the trees were on their way to a tree hospital, never to return.”

Arguably, this occurred a while ago, but, arguably, Willie Brown is still the Mayor, so there you go.

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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