Posts Tagged ‘right’

The Good and the Bad of Our SFMTA’s Recent Rejiggering of Oak Street Near Horrible Octavia “Boulevard”

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

What’s this? Well, it’s traffic backing up on Oak from failed Octavia Boulevard all the way up to the top of Alamo Heights, like Fillmore.

Why? Let’s hear about the SFMTA’s 2014 to-do list from Rose Garrett of Hoodline:

Restriping Oak between Octavia and Laguna and reconfiguring parking so that two full right turn-only lanes would stretch the entire block of Oak and two additional lanes would continue straight

What’s happened is a change of driving culture so that nowadays, drivers feel less like suckers when they queue up in the right lane of Oak and there’s less line-jumping to the right between Laguna and Octavia:

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None Shall Pass! over this newly painted solid line:

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Some still do of course, but this happens less than before:

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Now’s not the time to get into why the 100% perfectly earthquake safe Central Freeway was ash-canned for this deadly Octavia Boulevard monstrosity. But now, apparently, is the time to try to fix things, you know, a decade later.

Already, those wishing to stay in Frisco now have a clearer shot of escaping this mess by using the left lanes. New construction with $3000-something per month non-rent controlled studios will dominate the north side of this block. We’ll see how this one goes.

It’s hard for a needlessly prideful political animal like the SFMTA to admit that it made a mistake constructing this “vision” of the New Boulevard Movement or whatever the Hell it was called backed when the failed Boulevard Movement was in full swing. But now, after some Berkeley prof has gotten all that money in consulting fees and basked in the glory of those award ceremonies, our SFMTA is less possessive of its creation – it’s more willing to admit its mistakes, if not through a press release, but at least by trying to fix things.

Now, is it good for traffic to back up a half-mile on a regular weekend afternoon? No, but this is an improvement nevertheless.

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 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 your 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.

Tourists Riding Rented Bikes on Fell Street: Which is Worse, Cruising on the Left Side or the RIght Side?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Up first we have the Left Side candidates, who have decided to go without smellmets:

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Cf. the Right Side candidates, spotted a few days later:

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I’m thinking I prefer the right side option, as your typical driver (which of course you should assume just got released from prison a week ago, and is uninsured, and is driving an unregistered vehicle) would be less surprised to see you there.

Mind you, none of these bicyclists was “taking the lane” improperly – all were biking legally.

But foolishly, IMO.

The best option would have been the Panhandle Bike Path, which is just to the left of the left lane of Fell, but these tourists didn’t seem to be aware of its existence.

Perhaps their tourist maps led them astray…

How Riding Market Street Amongst the Buses and Double-Parked Delivery Vehicles is Like the Arcade Game Dragon’s Lair

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Left and right and right and left – you have some choices to make. And you have to look out bike riders who chose not to choose and just stop where they are:

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Just saying.

Looks Like They’re Done Working on Fell and Masonic – How Long Will “DOUBLE RIGHT TURN” Last?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

This was yesterday morning, with the crew packing up, after weeks of work:

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And this was yesterday evening – it looks like they’re done?

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So what’s the deal here? Are they going to pull up the tape on the intersection what forces cars in the right lane to turn right and then lay down some permanent lines, or are they going to go back to the way it was before, back when you had the option of going straight or right?

Maybe that’s what the orange on the signs means, that these changes were only temporary? Or maybe the orange means, “Hey look, here is the new rule?”

I can’t tell.

But if all they were doing was fixing up that corner of the intersection, then what did they do? It looks exactly the same to me. And why did it take weeks?

On It Goes…

Here’s What Bus Drivers, Bike Riders, and Pedestrians Think of the New DOUBLE RIGHT TURN at Fell and Masonic

Friday, February 27th, 2015

This MUNI operator used to be able to pick up at Hayes and Masonic southbound and then easily continue straight on Masonic towards Haight. But now #43 Masonic drivers need to get into the #2 lane as the #3 lane is now a mandatory right turn onto Fell. So click click goes the left turn signal as the bus driver begs the stalled traffic for a little help:

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And if you’re coming from inbound Hayes to southbound Masonic on a bike, you now have two lanes to jink across if you wish to continue on along Masonic:

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This is why some, including those at the SFMTA/SFBC disfavor DOUBLE RIGHT TURNS. Note also the driver who’s improperly cutting across from lane #3 to lane #2.

And of course, now more drivers are blocking the box / sitting on the crosswalk:

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On it goes at Fell and Masonic.

Someday I’ll figure out what the SFMTA is going for here.

Someday.

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…

The SFMTA’s New Mandatory “DOUBLE RIGHT TURN” at Fell and Masonic is Off to a Rough Start

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Well it seems that making the #3 lane of southbound Masonic a mandatory right at Fell is backing the Evening Drive all the way back to Fulton.

Background, from last week.

Boy, these orange and black signs sure look permanent, huh? One supposes that the orange color says, “Hey, look at me, the new sign!”

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This is the view from Hayes looking south…

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…and this is the view from Hayes looking north up towards Mervyn’s Heights:

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You know, I thought the SFMTA hated DOUBLE RIGHT TURNS but now they’re enshrined? Mmmm…

Hey, will people still be able to park cars in lane #4 on southbound Masonic betwixt Hayes and Fell, you know, at least sometimes? We’ll see.

So many mysteries here…

More Changes at Fell and Masonic: A New Mandatory Right Turn

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Here’s your clue to the changes, as seen at Hayes and Masonic:

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And here it is – you can no longer take Lane #3 on southbound Masonic across Fell. These days, the two left lanes go straight only and the two right lanes go right only:

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This could be temporary, IDK.

Last I heard, the SFMTA didn’t like the idea of having two lanes turning from outbound Masonic onto Fell due to the crosswalk on the west side of this intersection – they figured that it would be easier for peds to cross if there were cars parked in the slow lane most of the time.

Anyway, this current change doesn’t seem all that crazy, so let’s cheer the SFMTA for that.

And when it rains, we’ll have less of this, we’ll have less splashing of peds by the #43 Masonic…

Uphill Cyclist Sanctimoniously and Improperly “Takes The Lane” on McAllister: Staring Down Drivers While Huffing and Puffing

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Let’s travel all the way over to the left side of the Bell curve to see what the bottom 1% is up to.

Here we go, at about 4 MPH, staying as far to the left as necessary to prevent traffic from passing you too much. And for good measure, be sure to crane your neck around to give the evil eye whenever you can, to tell those drivers that I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE UP TO BACK THERE, MAN!

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Click to expand

OTOH, “taking the lane” would be just fine heading the other way down this block, down Alamo Heights…