Posts Tagged ‘police’

The SFMTA’s New DOUBLE RIGHT TURN is Creating Problems – Getting Used the Great Peninsula at Fell and Masonic

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Here’s the situation and here are a couple new photos.

See how the new peninsula juts into traffic? That means that MUNI buses can no longer use lane #3 on southbound Masonic to get across Fell:

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So here’s the upshot: SFPD cars are getting stuck in the #2 lane of southbound Masonic – they are inadvertently “blocking the box,” as this radio car was doing for about five seconds before it could creep forward. I’ve never seen the cops blocking the box like this here:

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I suppose that it depends on the time of day how many people from southbound Masonic head west at Fell or continue south on Masonic, but this change is creating more “traffic” than there was before.

And if you’re on a bike, then you’d need to merge over a couple lanes in between Hayes and Fell, one supposes…

SFPD “Horse Mounted Officers” in Traffic – A Herd on Kearny – What’s Changed in 166 Years?

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Of course back in ’49, you know, 1849, some people were still calling Kearny Street La Calle de la Fundacion – it was the start of the grid system of streets we know today.

Anyway, not much has changed since the founding of the SFPD 166 years ago – a time-traveling gold miner from back then would have no problem understanding this aspect of The Future: 

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Click to expand

Mounted Unit

How the Magic Word “VisionZero” Has NOT Changed the SFMTA’s Half-Assed Approach to Transportation Safety: “Focus On The Five”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s the SFMTA’s official six-figure-a-year spokesperson on the topic of when pedestrians can cross a street, from just last year:

“They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Of course this is wrong, as even Paul Rose himself would admit now, after being corrected.

So, why did he say that? Because he, like his employer, has a half-assed approach to safety, and, one supposes, he, like his employer, is mired in politics.

Now do you suppose that Paul Rose was at all interested in examining why he told the peds of San Francisco that it was A-OK for them to violate CA state law? Oh no, not at all. And do you think he checked with anyone before he spouted off? Prolly not.

Like I say, a half-assed approach.

Now we’re in 2015, the era of SF VisionZero 2024, which has the goal, one that nobody actually believes in, but they have to pretend that they do believe in it, of having no more transportation deaths in San Francisco County starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

It’ll look a little something like this, supposedly:

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Now do you see the beauty in this? By the time SFGov fails to achieve this impossible goal, all the people who glibly made the promise will be out of office, right? How convenient.

The big problem with the approach that SFGov is taking is assuming that traffic deaths are a street design issue, as opposed to a human behavior issue. So most of the emphasis appears to be upon SFGov spending more money, which of course SFGov loves to do anyway.

And the part of VisionZero SF that’s focuses on behavior seems misplaced, for political reasons.

For example, there’s this:

Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

So if the SFPD started handing out tickets for jaywalking, you know, in a big way, that would certainly help with traffic safety, over the long term, to at least a slight degree, but that would take the SFPD away from its “Focus On The Five” goal.

The problem with Focus On The Five is that it ignores Vehicle Code violations on behalf of pedestrians, one supposes for political reasons. In fact, the cause of most pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year in San Francisco was the behavior of the pedestrians and cyclists themselves.

And what’s this talk about “automated enforcement?” How about this, how about hooking up all of the SFMTA’s vehicles to an automated enforcement mechanism that would detect speed limit, stop sign and red light violations using on board sensors and GPS? Then, after Ed Reiskin parks his government-paid SFMTA car or an operator parks her bus, SFPD tickets would be issued, you know, daily. Whoo boy, what are the odds of something like that happening?

So that’s SF VisionZero 2024, a buzz-phrase that means absolutely nothing.

 

 

What It Looks Like When a Visit from President Barack Obama Shuts Down the California Street Cable Cars

Monday, February 16th, 2015

It looks like this:

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Old SFPD Crown Vics Never Die, They Just Go OUT OF SERVICE

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

I don’t think this SFPD Ford Crown Victoria will be with us much longer:

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The funny thing is that I’ve been seeing a lot of civilianized former police cars on the streets of San Francisco and I can’t tell them from the merely out-of-service SFPD rides.

Anyway, all of the SFPD’s Crown Vics are not long for this world – they’re not going to get driven for decades the way some SFGov trucks are. No no, iconic Crown Vics, both the 80’s-style origami kind and the swoopier 90’s-style rounded kind, will soon be gone.

Last time I drove one was when Hertz gave me a “free” “upgrade” to a “premium” rent-a-car. It cost me more on gas, but you can’t say a Crown Vic is uncomfortable* to drive – it’s a barcalounger on wheels.

Soon enough, all our CV’s will be OOS.

*Unlike, say, the Toyota Camry “CE” stripper I rented one time. Yish.

You Can’t Outrun the Long Arm of the MUNI Police – Cold Busted – Somehow This Makes Sense

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Somehow, this ticketing has something to do with the Department of Homeland Security

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Somehow this makes sense…

NIMBY’s vs. the SFMTA: Local Objections to New Traffic Signals on McAllister at Broderick and Scott for the 5 Fulton

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

This effort appears to be similar to the SFMTA’s attempt to add traffic signals on Haight at Scott and Pierce.

This isn’t the worst example of NIMBYism, but I’d say it’s fairly alarmist, fairly absurd.

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I’ll just say that, generally speaking, it’s generally harder to get around town these days by car, by bike and by MUNI, compared with ten or twenty years ago. Part of this has to do with our newer, absurdly-wide sidewalks, designed for pedestrian “comfort.”

And yet, most ped and cyclist deaths in San Francisco involve fault from the peds and cyclists. Here’s 2014:

The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.” 

(I should do a video on how to be a pedestrian in SF. It might involve some jaywalking but it would also involve extreme alertness on behalf of peds. You see, the way to prevent a lot of ped deaths in SF would be to get inside their heads to see what’s going wrong.)

IMO, the SFMTA should leave McAllister alone and then start taking out as many bus stops as politically possible.

I’ll tell you, not that many cyclists pass by Broderick and McAllister compared with Scott and McAllister, it seems, owing to geography. So looking at McAllister and Scott, it seems that the lights will be timed against cyclists using FULTON DIVISADERO MCALLISTER eastbound as an alternative to the already-overcrowded Wiggle route to get from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to the Financh.

So for my own selfish reasons, I’d prefer that MUNI not make these changes, but who am I to stand in their way? What the MUNI people are saying is that we’ll all be better off overall, and 40 seconds each way each day will add up to millions of seconds, eventually.

In conclusion, meh. If MUNI wants to put in lights, we should let them do it.

Corrupt Twitterloin Update: “Beyond Chron” “Editor” and SFGov Contractor Randy Shaw Strongly Objects to SFPD’s Redistricting Plan

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

So, taxpayer spending on the ineffective Tenderloin Housing Clinic empire is up 2000% the past couple decades and what has that gotten us? Why don’t other cities do things the way we do in the Tenderloin – why is SF so unique in this regard. Why doesn’t Randy Shaw lay out how his operations benefit the city of San Francisco? No, not interested in doing that, Randy? Oh, but you sometimes spend your time threatening to sue the San Francisco Chronicle, the very “Chron” you’ve promised to get us “Beyond?” And you’re too busy singing the praises of San Francisco’s weakest-willed Mayor since … forever? OK fine.

Let’s check in on the latest in the Twitterloin*

“SF’S FOCUS TURNS TO CRIME”

One assumes this is Randy Shaw being aspirational, as they say. For example, here’s Randy Shaw from 2007: “By the summer of 2008, going “uptown” in San Francisco will mean heading to the Tenderloin.” But that’s not what uptown meant in 2008. And it’s not what it means now in 2015. So that’s just an example why whenever Randy Shaw says something, it’s not true. Randy Shaw says that the focus of the entire City and County of San Francisco is now turning to the topic of crime in 2015 – that means that the focus of the entire City and County of San Francisco is NOT now turning to the topic of crime in 2015, it’s just what Randy wants people to believe, for some reason.

“San Francisco’s economy is booming. But many are upset about crime. This is particularly true in the Tenderloin, where residents, merchants, workers, and thousands of children confront public drug dealing on a daily basis.

Public drug dealing from the residents of the residential hotels promoted by … Randy Shaw.

Why does the city allow such flagrantly illegal activities?

I don’t know, like why does the city throw $20 million a year down the Randy Shaw rathole?

After all, the Tenderloin is finally bouncing back from fifty years of decline and there are rising expectations for its future.

Again, if Randy Shaw says that the Twitterloin is bouncing back, that means that’s what he says all the time, going back decades, and it means that it’s not true. You’ll just have to take his word about expectations, and who has them.

It used to be that the Tenderloin attracted drug dealers because the city allowed them to do business there. It was a crime “containment zone,” with the entire criminal justice system backing a policy which forced low-income residents to walk down unsafe streets.

Well, that’s still kind of the case now, right Randy?

Mayor Ed Lee made it clear after taking office that the Tenderloin’s days as a crime containment zone were over.

But it’s still a containment zone, right? Hey, did I mention about how much money the Randy Shaw Twitterloin empire gets from SFGov every year? What does he do for that money? Wouldn’t we be better off just stopping giving him all that money and starting over? And shouldn’t City workers be doing Randy’s job?

And his intervention, along with resident activism, resulted in the biggest positive transformation of any single block in San Francisco.

So isn’t this where Randy Shaw should mention that he’s a government contractor from Berkeley and that’s why he sings the praises of who(m)ever is the Mayor of San Francisco? No, OK. And BTW, the unit block of Turk hasn’t really been “transformed.” It’s just where the Randy Shaw empire has a storefront, that’s why it’s such a BFD to RS.

This was through the elimination of over 100 drug dealers who used to work daily on the first block of Turk Street.

Elimination? Were they all executed by Ed Lee? Oh no, they’re still around, and some of them live in hotels of the Randy Shaw empire? OK fine.

On January 28 at 6pm at the Kelly Cullen Community Center at 220 Golden Gate, the Police Commission holds a hearing on proposed new boundaries for the Tenderloin police district. The Police Commission faces a choice between two very different visions for the Tenderloin’s future. In the vision backed by nearly all residents, merchants, workers and community stakeholders, the new boundaries will keep the Tenderloin together and target police resources where public drug dealing regularly occurs.

All right, now here’s real life: Most residents of the Tenderloin, nearly all of them, aren’t objecting to the SFPD redistricting itself as it sees fit. And I’m not sure what Randy means when he talks of the new boundaries. The new boundaries are what the SFPD is proposing, it’s what Randy Shaw super doesn’t like.

In the vision embodied in the SFPD’s proposal, the national Uptown Tenderloin Historic District is divided among three police districts.

But there isn’t any “national Uptown Tenderloin Historic District,” not IRL. That’s just a designation that Randy Shaw wanted.

It takes historic Tenderloin SROs like the Hotel Union at 811 Geary, the Hartland Hotel at 909 Geary, and the nearby Elk Hotel at 670 Eddy, and puts them outside the Tenderloin police district.

So what, Randy? How does it matter? Hey, don’t you live in Berkeley?

At the same time that core blocks in the Tenderloin are excluded from the “Tenderloin” station, the new district adds shoplifting-heavy Westfield Cente. It is located at 5th and Market, well outside the Tenderloin. The new “Tenderloin” station includes Market Street as far down as 3rd Street and  continues to Market and Van Ness before heading south as far as the intersection of Mission and South Van Ness.

What’s the obsession with maps? Why should the SFPD concern itself with what a Berkeley resident thinks about maps?

Critics of the SFPD plan understand that it is only a draft, and that the January 28 hearing is designed for public feedback.

It’s what the cops want, so shouldn’t they get it? Is there some sort of constitutional issue here? I don’t think so. So you let the cops do the job as they see fit. We want the cops to perform well, right? So why micromanage them? The “draft” map is exactly what they want, right? Oh, Gentle Reader, you have a beef with the SFPD over Some Other Issue? Well that’s different than redistricting, right? Let’s say you don’t want the SFPD to institute an unconstitutional Stop and Frisk program, you know, like the one that Mayor Ed Lee proposed after coming back from New York. Opposing something like Stop and Frisk is not micromanaging, not at all. But nitpicking over district borders is.

Because Tenderloin folks (myself included) were not paying attention in 2007, we allowed Little Saigon (Larkin from Eddy to O’Farrell) to be excluded from the Tenderloin district boundaries drawn that year.

Randy Shaw, you isn’t “Tenderloin folk,” you is longtime mansion-dwelling Berkeley Hills folk, right? Who cares what the borders of the Tenderloin are considered to be? Why does it matter?

If Westfield Center joins the still under construction Market Street Place in the Tenderloin District, the crime priorities of Abercrombie & Fitch, Nordstrom’s and J Crew will prevail over drug dealing on Leavenworth Street.

Well that’s what Randy Shaw says, but it’s not true.

Police will not ignore powerful retail interests whose sales taxes fuel the economy in order to protect seniors and kids walking on Leavenworth Street from drug dealing.

Is this what they call “framing?” IDK. It’s something, anyway. Are there a lot of cops patrolling the malls in SF? I don’t think so.

No police chief is going to throw big national retail chains under the bus by refusing to allocate police to arrest shoplifters. 

Or local chains, or convenience stores – pretty much if you call the SFPD to haul away shoplifters, they’ll go and haul them away, right?

Randy Shaw is Editor of Beyond Chron. His book, The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime and Resistance in the Heart of San Francisco, will be out this spring.

Oh, there’s sex in the Twitterloin? And there’s crime in the Twitterloin? Wow, thanks for writing the book, Randy. I can hardly wait for it…

*And that’s a New York Times-approved word. How will Randy Shaw occupy his time in the future, will he start up a Beyond Times newspaper and install himself as Editor-For-Life?

License Plate Holders from the Corrupt “CHP 11-99 Foundation” Will Never Die – Here’s the Proof

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Supposedly, we weren’t supposed to be seeing these particular license plate holders because they’re an embarrassment for the CHP.

And yet they’re still all over the place, even on brand new cars:

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The older versions have “CHP” on them and the newer ones don’t, but all of them seem wrong to me.

Like the dinosaurs of Isla Nublar, They Should All Be Destroyed.

The Nordstrom Effect: SFPD Response at 5th and Market vs. 6th and Market – It’s Quite a Difference

Monday, January 12th, 2015

These two shots from longtime Twitterloin resident Bluoz certainly square with my understanding of what’s tolerated on these two neighbor streets.

5th Street, home to Norstrom’s “Flagship Store” (or second flagship, if you count all those Nordie buildings up in Seattle):

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6th Street:

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