Posts Tagged ‘Planning’

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

Mmmm…

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:

It’s all:

“The contract work will be funded through private developer funds for work at two signals along Masonic Avenue.”

See?

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.

IMO.

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 Crazy

Thursday, 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:

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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.

Photo: A Game of Frogger But In Real Life on Masonic in Front of Trader Joe’s #100 – Who Will Be The Next To Die?

Monday, June 9th, 2014

These people parked across the street from our popular Trader Joes on Masonic, as many people do, ’cause the TJ’s parking lot is too small, ’cause that’s what nearby residents wanted.

Our Planning Department created this disaster and then moved on to more important work, such as the failed 8 Washington project, oh well.

Fixes have been tried, but still we’ve got this parade of customers jaywalking back and forth across this stretch of 30 MPH Masonic, thusly, from a few days back:

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Cars were coming in the fast lanes both northbound and southbound, so their only choice was to wait for the black car to pass and then sprint behind it.

This game has been going on for years, with many shoppers playing, and some getting hit by vehicles.

OMG, OMG, Here’s What the New Chipotle at Geary and Masonic Will Look Like – Lesson: Westeros Just _Loves_ Chain Stores

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Here’s what it’ll look like, buried deep inside the City Centre Mall at Geary and Maosnic, you now, the former home of Sears and then Mervyn’s and now the current home of City Target West:

And speaking of chain sto’s, drink it up, Gentle Reader:

Now you’d think one person, perhaps just one solitary millionaire NIMBY, would take two minutes to register an objection, but you’d be wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG! Not a single soul raised a peep, so here comes Chipotle to San Francisco’s District Two.

The gritty nitty from our Planning Commission.

Westeros, the West Side of Frisco, loves, just loves, chain stores, is what I’m saying.

In closing, The Mall Has It All.

The SF Opera, Symphony, and Ballet Team Up to Offer Estate Planning Advice for LGBT Couples on June 5th

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Well, Gentle Reader, you’re richer, older, and wiser than I, so I won’t spell out who’s doing what for why.

I think this might be good for you:

 

 

Deb L. Kinney explains what you need to know post Windsor and DOMA

Estate planning for the LGBT community has always been complicated. With changes in the law since the seminal case of The United States v. Windsor, same-sex couples are afforded most federal recognition, but are there simpler plans? How does or would marriage change your estate plan or your income, estate and property tax issues? Does it matter if you move from California or have income or assets in other states?

Deb L. Kinney from Johnston Kinney and Zulaica LLP will lead a lively seminar and discussion on the various changes in the law since Windsor was decided. Specifically Deb will talk about estate planning and whether you want one trust or two, social security benefits and how to take advantage of lifetime and death benefits, the importance of properly titling and/or retitling real property and other assets, Medicare benefits, pre-nuptial agreements, deferred tax retirement accounts, and charitable giving.

Join us on June 5th from 6pm to 8pm at the Chris Hellman Center for Dance, 455 Franklin Street, San Francisco. For more information about this event, please contact San Francisco Ballet Planned Giving Manager Elizabeth Lani at 415.865.6623 orelani@sfballet.org.

This event is jointly hosted by:

(And let me just say that New College of the Law is what you make of it, or rather, was what you made of it since it’s defunct now. Some, like infamous non-attorney “Ivory Madison,” want to use it to make boasts about being “trained as an attorney,” whilst others, you know, graduated, passed the bar and developed a specialty – which do you think is more upworthy, just saying.)

This is How Masonic Avenue Jaywalkers Die – Between Geary and Bush – Back and Forth to Trader Joe’s #100

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Let’s start of with how people get across a different part of Masonic Avenue a bit lower down Mervyn’s Heights – note that that area is at the crest of a hill.

Compare that part of Masonic with the first block of Masonic just north of Geary. See that? All of those people are NOT on crest, they’re on a slope so they can’t see what’s coming.

As here – MUNI bus barn to the right, TJ’s to the left:

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Note the driver of the dark minivan tapping his/her brakes for the ped:

The ped was distracted here by the traffic that just popped up heading south

And now she’s picking up the pace:

This is the situation, 100% created by SFGov.

Here’s the “Solution” for the Deadly Pedestrian Problem at Trader Joe’s #100 on Masonic – Is It Enough? Maybe

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

You see this sign? It’s the one you see as you exit TJ’s #100 on Masonic near Geary, assuming you’re not driving or riding.

It was put in as a response to all those shoppers who jaywalk to their cars on the other side of Masonic.

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People still jaywalk of course, owing to the ease of parking on the northbound side of Masonic and the difficulty encountered trying to park in the TJ’s lot.  (There’s a lot of history here on this example of bad planning.)

Did I call for this sign? Yes I did. So it’s good that it’s there now. It wasn’t there a couple of years ago, so good on you, SFGov.

But can SFGov and TJ’s do more? Sure. Hey, why don’t the Powers That Be take the opportunity revisit this whole situation before others kill themselves?

Right? I mean I’m not talking politically, ’cause the politics part of getting a new gro sto here is already done. But, you know, morally.

Just asking.

Moving on…

Now here’s an example of people actually taking the several minutes required to get back to their cars by walking down to Geary and waiting for the four-way signal.

This gal here broke from her shopping group to jaywalk while her friends did things the legal way.

(Until this, I’ve never noticed a person not  jaywalking,)

So here she is, sitting pretty whilst waiting for her friends, exulting in her ability to not get hit by a car on this occasion:

I don’t notice this kind of scene as much these days so that’s good.

That’s the update.

Most of the Times Pedestrians Get Killed on the Streets of San Francisco, It’s Their Own Fault – Why Shouldn’t SFGov Explore Issue?

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

You know? Instead of talking about so-called “improvements” that, sometimes,  eventually turn out not to be improvements at all?

Why not explore the issue of what’s wrong with the peds who end up dead and then are considered 100% responsible for their deaths?

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Does that make any kind of sense?

So like why was that woman tempted to park on the wrong side of Masonic intending to jaywalk across Masonic at least twice in order to shop at Trader Joe’s? Is there something wrong with the parking situation at TJ’s #100 on Masonic? Why is that?

What can be done to fix that kind of situation?

Just asking…

How to NIMBY: NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING, 731 Market Street

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

(I was going to post this public hearing notice legibly, but I don’t want to make things too easy for the shakedown artists to come out of the woodwork.)

If you have some time to kill and you’d like a potentially lucrative hobby and you’d like a purpose in life and you’d like people to pay attention to you, then you should adopt the preservation of this old office building near Third Street.

Don’t let the owners change anything for any reason, not without a fight!

You know, if you want:

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Encountering Five Trader Joe’s Shoppers Jaywalking Masonic in Five Seconds – WHO WILL BE THE NEXT TO DIE?

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

These were the final two I saw after just passing three others ALL walking/jogging west to get to Trader Joe’s. This is my personal best, after all those years.

Oh yeah, I know all about the history of jaywalking and about Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Red Car and so forth. So what. How does that kind of stuff help us here? Answer: It doesn’t.

Moving on….

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Here’s what I said about Trader Joes #100, a half-decade ago, on the old blog:

“Of course, everybody needs to be on the lookout for all the Frogger-like jaywalkers carrying their groceries across six lanes of parked and moving cars. (Somebody is going to get hit one of these days.)”

Now that got a bit of attention from TJ’s Corporate. (I know because I saw the logs indicating such.)

So what the reaction? Nothing, basically.

Stuff like this is what the TJ’s people spent their time on instead, it would appear.

Now this is what occurred last year. Actually, it’s the one-year anniversary of  the death of 25-year-old Suzanne Monaco.*

Did the San Francisco Planning Department plan things well? No, obviously.

Is the SFMTA doing anything about this particular block? No. They have plans to put a whole lot of useless trees and a useless median south of Geary but they don’t seem to care about where TJ’s parkers park  and where they walk.

Yes these jaywalkers are illegally crossing the street and yes they are 100% responsible for their deaths when they get killed but what can be done to prevent future deaths right here in this one location?

I don’t know, a parking garage, an enforcement action, a ban on parking on the east side of Masonic on that particular block of Masonic, a traffic signal and crosswalk, opening up Emerson Alley to allow shopper parking on the roof, you know, just throwing things out there.

This situation is one giant FAIL for SFGov.

You should all be ashamed, SFGov.

Srsly.

Leaving you with one reaction, from Jessica Levin:

“I saw the flower memorial outside Trader Joe’s, and if that is the spot where she crossed, then she must have had a death wish. That’s a busy high speed corridor in both directions and she crossed near a blind crest. She didn’t deserve to die, but if anyone gets the blame, unfortunately it is the pedestrian. I parked across Masonic exactly once (and I did jaywalk to get back to my car) but I was careful to cross at the crest where I could see traffic coming from quite a distance, and even then I was extremely nervous. That was two years ago, and I have never done it again.”

*Was she really carrying “an armful of groceries” while heading “west” back to the store? Probably not.