Well, the outside of 601 Broderick is finished.
And don’t miss James Hill, Architect:
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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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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(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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?