It’s a Mathemagician!
Or a Mathlete.
I’ll tell you, do you know how many residents put up signs to support using taxpayer money to decrease capacity on Masonic Avenue?
None, zero, nada.
But people on Masonic seem to love putting up signs going against the plan to take out 100-something parking spaces.
I don’t know why the electeds who voted for this project would change their minds now – it seems only a lawsuit* could have any effect at this point.
The windmill tilting continues – this sign looks homemade:
You can’t fight City Hall, right?
*And even then, I don’t see how you’d win.
Say it again, y’all: Absolutely nothing.
Background: District One (aka The Richmond, more or less) Supervisor Eric Mar is a bird of another feather – he wasn’t satisfied with issuing edicts from Academia oh no. He descended from the ivory tower to put dreams into action. And his father passed away from lung cancer (AFAIK, pretty sure), so it would make sense that he wanted to do something for San Francisco renters who have to deal with secondhand smoke coming in from other units.
Get all the deets on San Francisco’s 2013 Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Policy as of last year via this excellent article from Christian Watjen right here.
So that’s the background. What’s going on now is that tenants all over the City are getting alarming/confusing letters from landlords. To wit:
Now here’s what you’ll get* if your landlord toes the party line of the San Francisco Apartment Association – an excerpt of the pledge they want you to make:
“For purposes of the Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Policy and SF Health Code 19M, I would like to designate my apartment as non-smoking. I verify that neither I nor my guests will ever smoke tobacco within the rental apartment listed below.”
Uh, so why should tenants make this pledge? It’s not explained in this official SFAA letter now is it? And what if Barack Obama or Bill Clinton drops by your pad a few years from now? They puff puff every now and then, right? So what about your signed pledge, what about that?
And here’s what the lawyer(s) of the SFAA have for you at the bottom of the letter:
“If you do voluntarily decide to designate your apartment as non-smoking, which you are not required to do, the designation is permanent and becomes a consensual change in the terms of your tenancy.”
If you’re living in rent-controlled San Francisco, I think you should get some kind of benefit when you change the terms of your tenancy, you know, as a general rule .
And later on, is your landlord going to complain about how you’re violating the terms of your tenancy when you allowed your future bud / date / friend smoke one cigarette to help her get through one of her stressed out moments?
Or your Euro fiance can’t move in with you in 2015 because your “designation is permanent?”
And should we assume second-hand smoke from clove cigarettes and/or the Mary Jane is good for you, since it’s not covered?
Now, IRL, is this issue going to affect you? Prolly not. But I’m just saying.
So, sign your pledge or just ignore it – choose or lose, maybe.
*Assuming that you’re living in a building with fewer than 50 units and you aren’t restricted from smoking now. This is the notification you’ll get otherwise, possibly, and it’s fair enough. And here’s the full rundown from the SFAA. Again, no objections.
All the deets, after the jump
I’ll tell you, the “average,” the typical user of Masonic will in no way benefit from spending eight figures worth of taxpayer dollars on a 3000 foot stretch of Masonic betwixt Fell and the new City Target Store up on Mervyn’s Heights at Geary.
And that’s sort of funny ’cause this recently-greenlighted project was billed as being “accommodating” to “all users,” as something that would benefit all.
Now myself, perhaps I’ll end up benefiting from the changes, we’ll see. But I live too close to Masonic to feel right about advocating ‘n stuff. Seems selfish. (I’ll tell you, I sure feel sorry for those living in the West Bay, out there in the Fog Belt.)
But you, if you use Masonic to get from one place or another, you’re going to be fucked during the AM and PM drives. That’ll also include car drivers, and passengers, and bus drivers and passengers, etc. Cyclists will benefit but for peds, well, it won’t really matter. Abutting property owners will probably appreciate the new trees on the new useless medians. And that’s about it.
Where all the traffic will go during the morning and evening drives, well, we’ll see.
Anyway, here’s the latest:
Joshua Calder was pretty drunk when he killed Nils Linke, but the other driver, the one who killed the purported “jaywalking” ped, wasn’t he DUI as well? (I’ll point out that both these deaths happened outside of the rush hours.)
Anyway, here are some more deets from the rebel forces:
Hey, it’s the Masonic Avenue Street Design Study:
“About the Project – The primary goal of the Masonic Avenue Street Design Study is to identify how Masonic Avenue between Geary Boulevard and Fell Street can safely and efficiently accommodate the needs of all roadway users, including but not limited to … motorists.”
ALL RIGHT, EXACTLY HOW DOES THIS PROJECT “ACCOMMODATE THE NEEDS” OF “MOTORISTS?” OH, NOT AT ALL? THOUGHT SO. MOVING ON.
1. Engage representatives of all constituencies within the community who would be impacted by changes to Masonic Avenue…
ALL RIGHT, WHICH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE “MOTORIST” “CONSTITUENCY” WERE “ENGAGED?” ANY AT ALL? YOU KNOW, THE OCTAVIA BOULEVARD PEOPLE “ENGAGED” MOTORISTS AS FAR AWAY AS MONTEREY BOULEVARD, OUT THERE WITH CLIPBOARDS AND EVERYTHING. DID THE MASONIC AVENUE PEOPLE DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT? OH NO.
2. Improve transit operation.
THIS PROJECT WILL UNIMPROVE TRANSIT OPERATION ON AND AROUND MASONIC – THERE’S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. IT’S GOING TO SLOW DOWN THE BUSES THAT USE MASONIC, INCLUDING THE OCCASIONAL #5 FULTON AND #21 HAYES.
3. Improve pedestrian and non-motorized access to transit.
SO TRANSIT USERS WILL HAVE “BETTER ACCESS” TO REDUCED BUS SERVICE? I DON’T GET THE BETTER ACCESS PART – YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT A BUS STOP? ALSO, WHAT’S “MOTORIZED ACCESS TO TRANSIT?”
4. Increase the safety of pedestrian crossings.
YOU KNOW, THE PRIOR PROJECT MANAGER IS ON THE RECORD AS STATING THAT THIS KIND OF THING IS BAD TO DO LIKE NOW BECAUSE IT WOULD HURT THE CAUSE OF PUSHING THE ENTIRE PROJECT THROUGH. KIND OF SAD, REALLY.
5. Increase motorist compliance with traffic rules and regulations.
UH, WHAT, WITH TREES? IF I WANTED TO INCREASE COMPLIANCE WITH TRAFFIC LAWS, I’D JACK THE SPEED LIMIT UP TO 40 MPH. NOW, THAT WOULD HAVE SOME SIDE EFFECTS, BUT IT CERTAINLY WOULD REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF SPEEDING, RIGHT? OR, HAVING HOURS-LONG TRAFFIC JAM UPS DURING THE MORNING AND EVENING DRIVES WOULD REDUCE SPEEDING, IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE GETTING AT?
6. Reduce the number of vehicular collisions, especially those involving pedestrians and bicyclists.
HOW? BY PLANTING TREES? WE’LL SEE. HEY DIDN’T THE RECENT OCTAVIA BOULEVARD / MEDIAN PROJECT INCREASE THE NUMBER OF VEHICULAR COLLISIONS ON OCTAVIA? YES IT DID. HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN THAT?
7. Support neighborhood vitality by creating a more inviting and accommodating public realm.
BY PUTTING IN A MEDIAN AND PLANTING TREES? SO, LET’S TAX AMERICA, CALIFORNIA, AND SAN FRANCISCO TO CREATE A “REALM” ON 3000 FEET WORTH OF STREET PRIMARILY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WEALTHY PROPERTY OWNERS AND PRIVATE SCHOOL(S) WHAT ARE ON THE STREET? ALL RIGHT.
To the right of this accident scene is Octavia Boulevard.
And to the left, a block away, is Octavia Street.
And in the middle, you’ll see NIMBY Green with a newish Mercedes Benz CLS sitting on top.
Via ciprofloxacin – click to expand
You see, Octavia used to be a regular old street until Redevelopment (a bad idea from the 20th century) and the failed Octavia “Boulevard” experiment (a bad idea from the 21st century) came along.
Anyway. this is what results when “activists” are valued more than traffic engineers…
Let’s see, where to start with horrible Octavia Boulevard.
Oh, here we go, with some bold, confident words from all the way back in 2003:
“The replacement freeway and Boulevard were charged with ensuring a level of service comparable to the previous structure and configuration. This has been achieved…”
In no way, shape, or form does the newish Octavia Boulevard have a level of service comparable to the old Central Freeway.
And, BTW, did the Central Freeway block Fell, Oak, Page, Haight and Market? Nope. Does Octavia Boulevard? Yep, every day, all the time.
(This is an example of misplaced confidence, of the hubris.)
Now, what kind of signal timing does it take to accommodate a 3000-mile-long freeway ending on Market Street. Well, let’s take a look here. Do you notice that Market street peds have about four seconds to begin the journey across Octavia during the 95-second cycle? Why is that? I mean, that means that any given ped on Market has over a 95% chance of having to stop and wait for all those cars on Octavia to go by. Is that fair? Now, what about cars and streetcars and bikes and buses and whatnot heading outbound on Market – do you think it’s much better for them? Well, it’s not. Just 20-something percent of the traffic signal cycle allows traffic to flow uphill on Market at the Octavia Intersection. Why are the lights so biased in favor of the cars driving through on Octavia, you know, as opposed to Market Street?
Check it (oh yeah, that’s some homeless dude coughing at the end there, not me.)
Now, the term “fork-tailed doctor killer” used to be the nickname of the Beechcraft Bonanza, you know, the plane what killed Buddy Holly on the Day That Music Died. But that whole V-Tail sitch got addressed and now, Beech makes those Bonanzas with regular old straight tails. So let’s recycle this phrase and use it for Octavia Boulevard, why not?
Here’s the fork of the tail:
Now, how can I justify blaming the whole “Boulevard Movement” fad of the aughts for an famous accident that killed that UCSF doctor if the UCSF van driver ran a red light? Well, take a look at this:
Click to expand
See? Sometimes half the lanes of Oak have a red light and the other half have a green. Does that make sense? Well, if you’re struggling to make pathetic Octavia work and you don’t want traffic routinely backing up to Golden Gate Park, well then you yourself would be tempted to do whatever you could to help Octavia flow.
Does this unorthodox design factor in human nature, you know, the nut behind the steering wheel? No, it doesn’t. The fact is that car drivers, those sheeple, follow the pack. If the car to the right goes, then they want to go.
Of course, drivers should do better, but we need to factor in their behavior when we design roads, right?
What we shouldn’t do is to let Hayes Valley insiders, that very small but very influential group, to design anything for the rest of us.
And BTW, why on Earth are left turns allowed on inbound Market onto Octavia? Could it be for the convenience of those Hayes Valley insiders? Check it out. You’d think that Hayes Valley types would be satisfied with being able to make a left at the prior intersection or the next intersection, but no, traffic on Market has to wait on a dedicated signal for a dedicated lane of drivers.
Does that make sense?
Why not this? Why not narrow Octavia dramatically and just give up on the whole boulevard experiment? Just take out the frontage roads and all that on-street parking and those medians and that would be a good start on “completing” the Horrible Octavia Experiment, turning it into a “Complete Street.” Even the Great Designer of Octavia admits now that the boulevard is too wide.
And let’s get rid of that left turn lane that was built just for the NIMBYs of Hayes Valley. Why should Market Street, the more important one, take a back street to Octavia, which is basically a glorified freeway onramp?
And why not give people on Market Street half the time of the light signal and then the people on Octavia the other half? Wouldn’t that be more fair?
Or, we can continue to value higher condo prices and “trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques” over everything else in this world:
“Before the destruction of the Central Freeway, condominium prices in the Hayes Valley neighborhood were 66% of San Francisco average prices. However, after the demolition and subsequent replacement with the new Octavia Boulevard, prices grew to 91% of city average. Beyond this, the most dramatic increases were seen in the areas nearest to the new boulevard. Furthermore, residents noted a significant change in the nature of the commercial establishments in the area. Where it had been previously populated by liquor stores and mechanic shops, soon the area was teeming with trendy restaurants and high-end boutiques.”
Do you know how painfully cheap it is to record on video a problematic street intersection 24-7 in this day and age?
Well the City & County doesn’t, that’s for sure.
Anyway, here’s your red light camera at Oak and Octavia – perhaps it will prove useful today.
Here’s another view, from back in the day:
Looking south from Fell:
Click to expand
The UCSF shuttle van:
How did Octavia boulevard end up being so gosh darn wide? Even The Creator, who likes wide, says that Octavia ended up being too wide in Her opinion.
Why are there parked cars and trees and medians all over dangerous Octavia Boulevard? Why don’t we get rid of all that and focus on safety instead?
I don’t know if Yan Can Vote for Senator Leland Yee in the coming San Francisco election for Mayor.* But no matter, certainly Yan Can Cook and provide cooking demonstrations and lessons for Maxine and Leland Yee and YOU at the Koi Palace in Daly City come July 22, 2011.
Ticket prices start at $100.
Click to expand
All the deets:
You’ve seen him on public television for almost 30 years.
His cooking shows have appeared in over 50 countries.
He has hosted more than 1,500 episodes of his famous show, Yan Can Cook.
He’s written more than two-dozen books. Founded a cooking school in San Francisco; won countless awards and dispelled the mysteries and secrets of Chinese cuisine across the globe.
This is your chance to have dinner and learn all the secrets with a personal cooking demonstration from a master!
Maxine and I could not be more pleased to offer this event to our supporters.
This really is a special treat – one of the best chefs at one of the premiere Chinese restaurants in the country.
If you would like to sponsor the event ($250) Martin will be giving a special private cooking demonstration and lesson prior to the dinner. If you are a foodie – this is the place to learn all the tricks of a master chef and not to be missed!
I hope you’ll join us for this truly special dinner with one of the best chefs at one of the premiere Chinese restaurants in the country.
It will be a great night, for a great cause, for a great city.
See you there!
*Does Martin Yan live in the 415? Not sure…