You know, this used to be a helluva good city. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it…
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Well, this is what was promised for today’s noontime transit worker rally at the Old Federal Building on Golden Gate and Polk:
Turns out that Jesse didn’t show. (Here’s what you would have seen and heard.)
But a couple-hundred or so transit workers and allies were on hand at the plaza in front of Big Blue:
And here’s how they got there. How apropropriate!
Are riders and drivers really united? Not that I can see, not in San Francisco. I’m mean, I’m sure that all involved would like Uncle Sucker to rain cash down upon the City, but beyond that, there’s not much uniting these groups. It would be nice to cancel the already-useless Central Subway and use the extra billion (or two or three) that that would free up to pay for transit people are using today, but the system doesn’t work that way, obviously. Oh well.
On It Goes:
Anyway, here’s the spiel:
“Transit service cuts, fare hikes and layoffs affect millions of Americans every day. You can help save transit and counteract the nation-wide transit crisis by rallying with the Save Our Ride alliance.
Save Our Ride was formed by the Transport Workers Union, Amalgamated Transit Union and Reverend Jesse Jackson to raise awareness of the transit crisis and to rally for the passage of transit bills that will allow flexibility of federal aid for transit. The alliance is an advocate for more affordable and efficient transit systems, better air quality and a greener future for America.
You can download the full press release here.
Come show your support:
June 29, San Francisco: Noon, Federal Building on Golden Gate Bridge
July 1, Sacramento: Noon, Federal Building, 501 I street
July 7, Houston: 11 am, Mickey Leland Federal Building, 1919 Smith Street
July 9, Miami: 2 pm, Government Center Building
Download the San Francisco flyer here.
Speakers to include: James C. Little, President International TWU; Harry Lombardo, TWU Executive Vice President; Warren George, President of International ATU; Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Other speakers will include TWU and ATU local leadership, legislators, community and civil rights groups, riders who are suffering from service cuts and increased fares. (speakers subject to change)
Stay tuned to twu.org and ourride.org for speaker announcements and more information as the rallies approach.
The reason your fares have increased and your service has been cut is because the federal government has neglected transit for decades and the country’s on-going economic struggle that has slashed transit revenues has pushed transportation systems into their own crises.
“We can not allow our transit systems to crumble from financial neglect,” said President James C. Little. “We must work together to tell the federal government the neglect must stop.”
Federal subsidies to our country’s largest transportation systems do not allow enough flexibility for operating costs. So transit systems can use federal funds to buy news trains and buses (capital expenses), but not to pay the operators. If your bus doesn’t have an operator, you are not going to get to work on time.
Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), have proposed bills, H.R.2746and S3189, that would allow transit agencies to flex funding to suit local needs. Also, eight senators from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee introduced a bill, S. 3412, to authorize emergency funding for transit agencies to help reverse fare increases and service cuts.
This legislation will help to save our transit systems, provide thousands of green transit jobs, and keep transportation affordable. If you take the bus, train, subway or streetcar to work and use public transportation to send your children to school and if you want to work towards a cleaner environment, less congested streets and green jobs, then come share your story and your voice and Save Our Ride!
Obviously, the person(s) who laid out the Panhandle Bike Path didn’t know what they were doing. Having said that, the question becomes, what can be done to fix things.
Having cars going left from westbound Fell on to Masonic southbound “first” (before the cyclists and peds on the bike path) would help things a bit, as this photo demonstrates:
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And having longer hours for the No Left Turn sign for drivers heading northbound on Masonic at Fell – that would help too.
But a wholesale changes should be considered. Could the bike path be moved somehow?
The best part about the Park and Rec Department’s renewed campaign to punish users of the Panhandle bike path for no good reason is when cyclists get hit from all angles unexpectly.
T’pau! Right in the kisser!
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That will learn people not to ride their bikes on the bike path on those dreaded sunny days…
Oh man, it’s all going to turn around for you now. Why? Cause you’re going to have a chance to join the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board Citizens Advisory Committee.
Yes, you can! San Carlos, here we come!
The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board is seeking applicants for its Citizens Advisory Committee to represent San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The CAC is comprised of nine volunteer members, who serve in an advisory capacity to the board of directors, providing input on the needs of current and potential rail customers.
Applicants should be residents of one of the three counties, and applications are due by 5 p.m., Monday, May 11. The CAC meets the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in San Carlos, just one block from the San Carlos Caltrain Station. All meetings are open to the public.
Caltrain operates 98 trains each weekday between San Francisco and San Jose, with commute-hour service to Gilroy, and hourly weekend service between San Francisco and San Jose. Last year, Caltrain carried nearly 12 million riders, and currently it carries an average weekday ridership of more than 40,000.
Interested persons can download an application HERE or call 650.508.6223.
4/12/2009 – tcb
Media Contact: Tasha Bartholomew, 650.508.7927
San Mateo County Representatives
Santa Clara County Representatives
The Citizens Advisory Committee is comprised of nine representatives from various segments of the community and acts in an advisory capacity to the tri-county Caltrain policy board. Responsibilities include providing input on the needs of current and potential transit users.
The CAC meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Caltrain’s administrative office in San Carlos, one block west of the San Carlos Caltrain Station. All meetings are open to the public. Comments to the board may be submitted to email@example.com.
See? Inbound Market at Octavia in early 2007, no cones, no Safe Hit posts, no nothing:
Consequently, drivers would gain access to freeways taking them to the east bay and the south bay by making illegal right turns. See how this harried yuppie pilots his SAAB into an innocent cyclist? T’pau! The cyclist wasn’t hurt all that bad, but others were.
A traffic study showed that reverse-commuters were making an average of one dangerous, illegal turn every two signal cycles. Here’s the report, from early 2007.
But then, Someone said, “Let there be light-weight cones ‘n stuff placed on the painted line dividing the bike and car lanes.”
And it was good. Or good enough for a quick fix anyway.
These posts and cones, along with other efforts such as stepped-up traffic enforcement from the CHP and SFPD, had an immediate effect. Here’s the follow-up traffic report showing a 90% reduction in the number of illegal turns.
But what about the remaining 10% of drivers who would run over the posts like this?
Well, what about a traffic island, as seen in this Photoshopped proposal from 2007?
Well guess what? After an investment of $50k and a lot of time, we got our island IRL.
So, these days, the intersection looks like this:
But there are no Photo Enforced signs. Why’s that?
Fiona Ma, along with a few of her pol pals, made an effort a couple years back but it wasn’t enough.
Well, comes now the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to say:
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano is sponsoring a bill (AB 2729) which will allow San Francisco to use camera enforcement to ticket drivers who make the illegal right turn. The SF Bicycle Coalition thinks that camera enforcement is a smart solution for this notoriously dangerous intersection. Currently, there is almost no enforcement happening. We need public testimony from people who have been hit by a motorist or have had other bad experiences at that intersection to build support for this new bill.
The bill will be heard by its first committee next week, so if you are one of the unlucky folks who has a story to tell, please take a moment now to write down the details of your encounter and email them to Marc!
So, Tom, who knows all about Octavia, is now giving traffic cameras a go.
(R.I.P. Octavia Lounge)
Good luck Tom.
But what of today? Are drivers still making that illegal turn a couple of years after the island installation? Sounds like it’s time for a new traffic study.
Well, here it is.
Exactly zero drivers made an illegal turn from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM this morning. That’s the same time period measured back in 2007.
However, one driver tried to make a turn, but couldn’t do it easily because he (it’s always a he, am I right ladies?) was blocked by cyclists that he noticed at the last second. So he gave up and went south of Market to get onto the freeway. Amazingly, he wasn’t driving a BMW, Audi or a SAAB. There he is, in the grey Mazda 3 you can see here:
So, can we use some cameras here? Sure, why not?
Now, let’s not get into how we got saddled with Octavia and all its problems. That ivory tower academic from across the estuary already took our money and collected her awards so it’s unlikely she’d want to revisit her creation. Actually, she’s off to laboring on Masonic, where there’s simply no way her notions can hurt people and mess up traffic more than horrible Octavia does now. So that’s a good thing. Anyway, she feels any troubles associated with Octavia are San Francisco’s fault, so you can’t even count her as a defender of this massive planning failure.
(Speaking of which, should we now have traffic engineers work as urban planners, considering that urban planners and architects have gotten into traffic engineering lately? It would only be fair. Oh well.)
You know, down in Mexico City, a ward heeler faced with something like our right turn situation on Octavia would get a crew going and have a concrete traffic island curing in the pouring sun by the next day. It took us about a thousand times longer than that, but we got our island and there are people walking around today because of it.
But it certainly would be nice to have a camera or two to complete the job…
See? At this rate, this part of Market Street won’t stay beige very long.
Still, a lot of those fixed gear bike riders have no other way of stopping, so That’s How It’s Gotta Be.
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(Guess which mark (nicely modulated, made using disc brakes) is mine…)
Wouldn’t green be a better color?
On December 6th, 2009 you might find yourself riding to WinterFest 09 at the SOMArts Gallery on 934 Brannan near 8th Street in the SoMA. Just follow the path laid out on our newly beiged (fawned? fawndled?) streets.
Don’t call it FallFest, nor AutumnFest neither. It’s WinterFest! See you there.
Don’t forget to bring your buddy on your new $1500 Buddy Bike backwards tandem. (Mom, don’t be such a backseat driver all the time!)
All the deets:
WHEN: Sunday, December 6th from 6-10:30pm.
WHERE: SOMArts Gallery, 934 Brannan St. at 8th St.
Free Valet Bike Parking provided of course.
Download the Winterfest Poster (PDF).
Over 1,000 SF bicycling advocates of all stripes — SFBC members, bike industry, local businesses, local artists and politicians coming together for a festive evening to celebrate the growth of San Francisco bicycling. An occasion to raise a glass to the SFBC & our members for being 10,000 current-members strong!
To top it off, the event includes New Belgium beer, DJs Laron & ShOOey spinning all night, the photo booth, food vendors ($) and over 1,000 bike-friendly party-folk.
Winterfest features a fabulous 60 piece bike focused local art auction, plus an unrivaled silent & live auction complete with the hottest bikes, gear and oodles of gift certificates from your favorite restaurants and cultural institutions.
If crafts are more your speed, Winterfest has a robust craft table. Or you could try your luck and enter the raffle for your chance to win a beautiful one-of-a-kind bike quilt. To top it off, the event includes New Belgium beer, music, photo booth, food vendors ($) and over 1,000 bike-friendly party-folk.
We are seeking over 200 volunteers to help make Winterfest run smoothly. There’s something for everyone. Sign up today to get the shift and task of your dreams!
$15 suggested min. admission for SFBC Members.
$40 for people joining at the door (Includes SFBC membership + admission)
Complimentary New Belgium beer, DJ’s, valet bike parking and a photo booth along with a great feeling knowing you’re supporting SF’s most effective bicycle advocacy organization
Flash your SFBC membership card for quick entry into the party. Missing your card? Request one here
All proceeds from our fundraiser go directly toward improving biking conditions in San Francisco so all cyclists have a comfortable, safe and dignified ride about town.
This event is only possible through the generous support of hundreds of sponsorsand through the help of Girl Friday Events and Winterfest Interns: Eliza Barrios (ebx design & tech solutions) Emma Kemp & Kim Quinones.
Let’s try the sidewalk first. Downsides include the illegality and the possible hassle for pedestrians.
All right, now let’s get onto the street. This is not recommended, particularly going outbound to the west, which is mostly uphill. It’s legal, but pretty scary.
By this time, my lungs were aching for air. Pedaling furiously in 27th gear:
Conclusion: Take the sidewalk. Walk your ride if necessary.
Or go around Russian Hill.
Or go over Russian Hill.
Those are your four choices.
Anyway, four choices. Choose wisely.
NB: Don’t touch anything in the tunnel, as everything is covered in soot.
If you’d like, head on over to Robert “Don’t Call Him Crazy Rob” Anderson’s District 5 Diary, which has this bit about how Berkeley and other California cities “require registration and licensing of bicyclists.” The problem with that is that Berkeley licenses bicycles, not bicyclists. And the primary reason California carved out a special law for cities to implement has to do with the recovery of stolen bikes.
That’s something to ponder before people use Berkeley’s law to call for a “state campaign to require bicycles and bicyclists to be tested, registered, insured and licensed and pay appropriate fees for this regulatory service.”
Old bike messengers never die, they just age gracefully. Like this fellow with an old bike messenger license plate, as recently seen on Market Street. Keep on keeping on, man!
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Of course you can call for cyclists or pedestrians or any group of people you don’t like to be licensed and insured, blah blah blah. But let’s be more precise, why not?
[UPDATE: Uh oh, it seems Crazy Rob (check his very own website, that’s what people call him) has started using the majestic plural, the royal we. Never a good sign. But at least he shows he understands the error he made. Applied knowledge, baby – catch it! And now he is (or rather, they are, sorry Your Crazy Majesty) calling for licensing of bikes AND bike riders. And why not license pedestrians as well, while “we’re” at it? The World Wonders.]
[UPDATE II: Note Crazy Rob’s impatience upon realizing his pearls of wisdom wouldn’t get put up on this small corner of the Internet immediately. Sorry CR, but I don’t operate this site 24/7 – sometimes I’m off assisting “Wheezy” at the Help Center.]