Posts Tagged ‘peds’
Heading east the other day:
And then the return trip heading west, just a few blocks away:
There’s something wrong with our pedestrians.*
There’s something wrong with SFGov being afraid to say anything about it…
*Are drivers in Frisco worse than average, like compared with CA or the US? IDK. But our peds are much worse than average, mostly due to an attitude problem. Oh well.
Man, this is not how I’d cross wide, wide Geary, I’ll tell you:
The driver of the car heading inbound in the fast lane didn’t see these peds, so a passenger held out his arm as a way of apologizing, oh well.
The way to cross Geary would be to wait for reds at adjacent intersections OR to cross where there is a signal.
That’s what I’ve learned as a walker on the mean Streets of San Francisco.
Instead of going on a massive signal installing campaign, SFGov would rather promise you Pie In The Sky, a promise to repeal the laws of physics and human nature by the year 2024, you know, by the time that all the pols what voted for said Pie In The Sky have termed out, conveniently.
VisionZero they call it.
Well, I suppose it’s three peds, actually. Now let’s see how they do:
The two peds on the left act properly and the jogger ped does not.
There’s room for improvement at this intersection, SFGov/SFMTA.
Joggers in the Panhandle Have Less Than a 10% Chance of Getting a Green Light at Oak and Masonic, So That’s Why They JaywalkTuesday, July 14th, 2015
And that comes on the heels of this, back in April:
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…
Examples of Two Kinds of Horrible San Francisco Pedestrian – Human Nature vs. Infrastructure – Why “Vision Zero” 2024 Won’t Be AttainedTuesday, May 5th, 2015
Bro on the left with the dog is “jumping the green” – he had to abruptly stop in the middle of California inbound once he noticed outbound traffic:
Were he and his dog were to be hit, the SFPD would find him at fault, yet people would say, “Oh, he was in the crosswalk. He was Murdered By Traffic through an Act of Traffic Violence.” (And then somebody would point the History of “so-called Jaywalking.”)
In any event, you can live your whole life as a jaywalker and never get hit by a vehicle and, in fact, most people manage to pull this off. Moving on…
To this, the woman on the left who started on a yellow. Now, speaking of infrastructure, should there be a “ped only” signal with a countdown timer here? Sure, why not? Oh, the reason why the SFMTA can’t do something is because it doesn’t have enough money and employees? Well, that’s one viewpoint – that’s the SFMTA’s viewpoint, certainly.
Of course, most of the ped deaths on the streets of San Francisco last year were the fault of the peds themselves. Refusing to acknowledge this aspect of traffic safety, the way SFGov is doing right now, means that Vision Zero 2024 will fail.
Traffic safety is a people problem, not an infrastructure problem…
Wow, SFPD Enforcement Action at Oak and Masonic – Massive Number of Luxury / Electric Cars Pulled Over, Over and OverMonday, 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.)
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:
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:
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.
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:
I passed by O’Farrell and Masonic a couple times the other day, so I’m noting what I noticed.
This pedestrian appeared to become irate both at the unorthodox delay she had for the green and at the driver of the orange Scion car for turning left on a yellow:
If SFGov wanted to engage in pedestrian calming, it would adjust the left turn time for traffic on southbound Masonic.
Next up is this driver, who hung a U-turn on a red light since it looked like there was no traffic coming east on O’Farrell. There’s no way that’s legal:
Here’s the prize – the quite small lower level lot of City Target West:
Hey, I know that Target paid for a couple traffic signals on Masonic, but perhaps there could be some adjustments? Perhaps we could just eliminate U-turns on southbound Masonic at O’Farrell? I mean, northbound traffic on Masonic has no chance to getting to nearby Trader Joe’s, right? So why should we bend over backwards for people driving to Target?
Moving on, down the street to quiet Ewing Terrace, where the brand new lights have just been turned on. It seems that all traffic on Masonic has to stop at random times even though nobody wants to cross Masonic? Why is that?
In most places outside of SF, there’d be a pad to detect the presence of a car coming out of the cul-de-sac and buttons for peds. Shouldn’t we be doing it that way instead? Mmmmm… These red lights for no reason delay MUNI buses, right? I seen it. Perhaps in the near future this signal will be able to detect the approach of a bus and then not turn red for no reason? We’ll see…
Uh, Did Target Stores Pay the DPW $250,000 to Install Traffic Lights That Favor Cars Over Peds at O’Farrell and Masonic?Friday, July 18th, 2014
Here’s my beef from yesterday about the newish traffic light scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell.
But where did this scheme come from?
Oh, here we go – DPW Contract No. 2108J:
“The contract work will be funded through private developer funds for work at two signals along Masonic Avenue.”
The two locations:
“Masonic Avenue and O’Farrell Street” and “Ewing Terrace and Masonic Avenue”
Now Ewing Terrace I know about. One woman living on that street showed up both at the Target-sponsored and SFMTA-sponsored meetings complaining about how hard it was for her to head north on Masonic when pulling out of Ewing. She said it sometimes took her “20 minutes” of sitting at the stop sign waiting for a break in traffic in order to accomplish this task. So SFGov accommodated her with a big traffic signal that they’re putting in now.
But at Masonic Avenue and O’Farrell Street? I don’t know. It’s almost as if the lighting scheme was designed by somebody who works at Target.
The upshot is that northbound traffic and all the peds on the east side of Masonic have to wait for southbound drivers to make an awkward U-turn followed by a quick right to get into the small, lower-level Target / Starbucks parking lot.
I can think of a couple similar situations about town. At Market and Octavia, everybody on outbound Market has to wait for car drivers on inbound Market to turn left onto Octavia. Why? Because selfish Hayes Valley denizens had waaaaay too much input into the process. Nevermind that legal lefts are a rare thing on Market for a reason, never mind that lefts were already legal one block before and one block after Octavia…
And at Fell and Masonic, the traffic signals were rejiggered for ideological reasons so now three lanes of Masonic get green lights but not the fourth lane. Drivers will never get used to this arrangement, IMO.
And, similarly, peds will never get used to the current setup at Masonic and O’Farrell.
Anyway, I don’t have a problem with the new Target being there. I’m just wondering who paid for the crazy lights that just got put in next to the new Target.
An Unusual Traffic Scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell: Left-Turning Cars > Pedestrians? The Planning Gods Must Be CrazyThursday, July 17th, 2014
For some reason, the Golden Gods of the Planning Department / the SFMTA, the very same people who clamored for parking meters to operate on Sundays until they got it only to then say that they DIDN’T want it after all, unanimously, have set up an unusual traffic timing scheme at Masonic and O’Farrell. It’s unique.
Southbound drivers turning left get to go first, before car and bus drivers coming north and before peds on the east side of the street.
This is so that southbound drivers can make a U-turn and then a quick right to make into the small lower-level parking lot of the new City Target. About four drivers go left / hang a Louie at the start of each light cycle:
Click to expand
I approve not.
Now if you want to say that SFGov had a rational basis for doing this after some big study, well then maybe. But having peds wait seven seconds to go after the light turns green is contrary to every impulse every ped has.
For some reason, Planning or the SFMTA or whomever feel that its their responsibility to be at the forefront of experimentation with traffic. Like its their sacred duty or something.
I understand that they would freely admit that this is a kludge fix to accommodate the newly-opened Target store. I understand that they would say that this is temporary until the New Masonic Plan gets going. I understand that there’s a concern about southbound traffic backing up and possibly blocking eastbound and westbound traffic on Geary. BUT EVEN SO, this left arrow scheme at O’Farrell is NOT THE WAY TO GO. There are other ways of doing of what SFGov is trying to accomplish.
There are better ways of doing this.