Posts Tagged ‘poles’

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.

New Traffic Signals on Masonic will be Easier for Out-Of-Town Drivers to See, One Supposes

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

The new lights here at Fulton haven’t been turned on yet:

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Telemetry Transceivers, Baker Street, Western Addition, San Francisco

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

No these aren’t brand-new ShotSpotter gunfire detectors, as I initially thought.

They’re telemetry transceivers to give MUNI vehicles signal priority, per the Richmond District Blog:

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Now here’s a shot from 2011 on Scott Street in the Western Addition – I don’t know what all this stuff is:

I don’t think any of them have anything to do with signal priority…

The Beautiful Overhead Wires of the Inner Sunset – Wires are Energy, Communication, Transportation – Wires Are Life

Monday, November 10th, 2014

What do you see here? It’s a Rorschach test deal:


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There are some millionaires out there who think that we should take tax money, mostly from non-millionaires of course, and use it to get rid of all these cables and wires and whatnot and replace them with a more expensive approach.

I cry foul.

The Q! – How Any Monkey Can Use Photoshop on This Shot of San Quentin – The Miracle of the Healing Brush Tool

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

I’ll tell you, I know every street, alley and pathway of northern San Francisco and southern Marin, you know, like the back me hand, Matey. But this part of Marin, near San Quentin Prison, I don’t know that well, so I figured I’d take a shot and then later on ID those peaks on the ridge and also that massive-looking apartment-looking building on the right there. (Or is it a hospital? IDK, maybe. I think I’ve been there, actually. It sure is tall for Marin County…)

Anywho, here’s the shot – note those light poles with direct sunlight on them.

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I’ll bet the Spot Healing Brush Tool could clear things up in a jiffy. You just drag your mouse over the stuff you want gone and poof, it’s gone. Photoshop simply guesses at what it thinks is there IRL. It’s like magic, no skillz required:

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Is this acceptable? Well, sure. It depends on what you’re using a shot for. I don’t think this thing would fly with the San Francisco Chronicle, but for an ad or something, sure.

Just don’t release two versions of the same shot, ala Kent State, and you should be fine.


Ski the Panhandle Bike Path! Get Your Gloves, Poles, Boots and Wheeled Cross-Country Thingees and Just Go

Monday, April 21st, 2014


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America, California, Travelodge, Gay: Flags in the Wind

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The Somewhat-Racist Italian Flag Light-Pole Stickers of North Beach and What One Chinese Dude Did About Them Ten Years Ago

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

One thing that me and our local real estate cabal agree upon is the sanctity of Broadway as a neighborhood dividing line on the east si-iiiide of San Francisco.

So I’ll admit that any area above B’Way isn’t a part of Chinatown. Fine.

But, you know, Chinese/Asian businesses started a foothold in North Beach proper, above B’Way, back in the day and certain people didn’t like it, not one bit.

So, these Italian light pole flags started going up a few decades ago as a response to the encroachment, the Asian Invasion. Take a look below.

Now I’ll tell you, one person who didn’t cotton to these flags was furniture store owner Ed Yee. You see, he preferred American flags. Read all about his campaign against colori italiani in this bit by Ilene Lelchuk from all the way back in aught-two. Ed’s windmill-tilting even made the Fox News back then.

But, after some blowback from people like Louis Calabro of the “European American Issues Forum” the City Family came down on Ed so his campaign to put up American flags on the Italian poles ended.

Count them, go ahead. These things are all over the place:

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Oh well.

Back in the 1800’s, people in North Beach would throw rocks at Chinese and Chinese Americans who ventured north of Broadway. You know, to send a message about who belongs where.

These days, we “defend” the Italian-ness, the whiteness of North Beach in a different way.

O.K. fine.

But I don’t approve.

We ought to take all these stickers down.

In closing:

“It’s a visual and therefore a visceral betrayal. Stop it!”

John Malkovich, Transformers III: Dark of the Moon

OMG, McAllister Street to Become a Two-Way August 4th – All the Way to Market for Bikes, MUNI, and Taxis

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Well, here you go – in four short days, McAllister will become a fully two-way street.

This should speed up the #5 Fulton inbound, huh?

And now there’s even less excuse to use the Wiggle bike route (as McAllister and Divisadero make up a superior route to and from the Panhandle, sorry for saying that over again but it’s totally true.)

The News of the Day: 

“The SFMTA Announces Reconfiguration of McAllister Street

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the City, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today announced that, effective Thursday, Aug. 4, McAllister Street east of Hyde Street will be reconfigured. Also, Charles J. Brenham Place (7th Street north of Market) will be converted to two-way. The traffic reconfiguration and correlated completion of the overhead contact system (OCS) rehabilitation in this area mean that the nearly 16,000 annual 5 Fulton Muni trolley bus customers will now have a more direct trip downtown. The change will save the Agency more than $200,000 a year in operating expenses.

Effective Aug. 4, the new configuration will allow Muni, commercial vehicles and bicycles to travel eastbound on McAllister Street between Hyde Street and Charles J. Brenham Place. All other eastbound McAllister traffic will continue to turn right at Hyde Street. Only bicycles, taxis and Muni vehicles will be allowed to turn east on Market Street from McAllister Street. All other traffic will be required to turn right onto Market Street. All traffic will be able to make a right turn from northbound Charles J. Brenham Place (7th Street north of Market Street) onto eastbound McAllister Street to access the block between Charles J. Brenham Place and Jones Street. The attached maps show the changes in the traffic configuration.

The current 5 Fulton route requires inbound vehicles heading downtown to make a right on Hyde Street and then a left on Market Street. The new route, made possible by new overhead wires in the eastbound direction, will allow buses on this route to go straight to Market Street, saving up to three minutes per trip. The changes to the 5 Fulton route will take effect after the testing of the new OCS in August.

The SFMTA’s Capital Investment Program includes the rehabilitation of the aging trolley bus OCS in various parts of the City. This vital work includes replacing existing poles and overhead wires. Rehabilitation of the OCS improves safety and service reliability and helps keeps Muni in a state of good repair. The OCS construction began last summer and was part of the 21 Hayes Pole Replacement project.”



The Death Star is Everywhere, Fighting Those NIMBYs – We Need MORE Antennas, Hang Those Who Talk of Less

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

You know, I read this and I think, “Wow, five bars on AT&T?* That’s pretty sweet, huh?” I mean, I’d put that info front and center in a craigslist “roommates wanted” ad, and then I’d open the blinds to prove to prospective roomies I was telling the truth.

Hey, why don’t we install a modern communications infrastructure in town** first, and then tune things up for aesthetics later?

D’accord? D’accord!

If AT&T were to start stalking you, it would look like this:

Vaya con Gaia, AT&T. You should put your antennas wherever your engineers think it best.


Joe Turner: I’d like to go back to the 415.
Joubert: You have not much future there. It will happen this way. You may be walking. Maybe the first sunny day of the spring. And a van will slow beside you, and a door will open, and someone you know, maybe even trust, will get out of the car. And he will smile, a becoming smile. But he will leave open the door of the van and offer to give you a lift.”

And then, kapow!

*I’ve never used the AT&T myself. I’m spoiled by the mad bars you can get from Sprint 24-7 (except for the basement of the State Building, the EMF Death Zone).

** You know, so we could finally catch up to Dubuque, Iowa or someplace.