Posts Tagged ‘right’

If the SFMTA Wants to Ban “Private Vehicles” from Making Most Turns onto Market Between 3rd and 8th, What About Drivers with Handicapped Placards?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Get up to speed here.

So “Safer” Market Street is going to ban “private vehicles” including Lyft and Uber-type vehicles, but does that include rides with properly-displayed handicapped placards?

IDK. It seems our SFMTA doesn’t want to deal with this issue.

(Actually, it seems our SFMTA deals with embarrassing issues discussed on the SFMTA website by simply deleting webpages/URLs as soon as members of The Public link to them. Boy, it sure seems that way lately. But moving on, moving “forward” as they say.)

Oh look info about the SFMTA not located at the official SFMTA site – so here’s a link I cite without worrying that it will go bad within 24 hours:

• Bob Planthold: Taxi drivers say they can travel where Muni goes as stated by City Charter. The City will need investigate this. Also broader phrasing is needed regarding disability because “Red & Blue Placards” cannot be restricted.

Read the whole thing, if you want. It’s about all the plans the SFMTA has for this area.

So, is the SFMTA going to ban drivers of private vehicles with handicapped placards from turning onto Market at most places between 3rd and 8th?

Serious question. I think they are…

The Empire Strikes Back: UBER Does NOT Appreciate Getting Banned from Turning Onto Market from 3rd to 8th Streets – Petition

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Our SFMTA wants to ban TNC’s from turning onto Market at most places between 3rd and 8th, so now UBER, for one, is fighting back with a petition from Uber drivers.

(Man, this is a quick reaction to San Francisco Chronicle writer JK Dineen‘s article from just yesterday.)

Anyway, here’s the nut graf in the Uber petition:

“If the traffic restrictions are imposed, driver partners will be forced to take longer, more complicated routes to pick up or drop off passengers — increasing congestion around Market Street and making it more difficult, more time-consuming, and dangerous for riders to get from place to place.”

I think they’ll get to the goal of 10,000 [UPDATE – now it’s set to 15,000] electronic “signatures” with a quickness, seeing as how they seem to clocking about 50 supporters per minute now.

All the deets:

THE SITUATION

Over the last several years, Uber has become an integral part of San Francisco’s transportation ecosystem — with thousands of residents and visitors relying on ridesharing services to get them to all corners of the city. Ridesharing has been embraced and supported by the California Legislature, Governor Brown, and several State agencies. What’s more, UberPOOL and similar ridesharing services are taking cars off the road, reducing congestion, and making huge strides toward making San Francisco’s roads safer.

But now we need your help. As the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) revisits its rules for the types of vehicles allowed on Market Street — your ability to take an Uber from Market Street is at risk — and we need you to speak up in support of ridesharing services like Uber.

NEW SFMTA RESTRICTIONS THAT WILL IMPACT YOU:

→ Taxis on Market Street – APPROVED
→ Buses on Market Street – APPROVED
→ Ridesharing on Market Street – DENIED

Market Street is a major artery of the city, and shutting off access to ridesharing services, where an overwhelming majority of residents choose to live car-free, is counterproductive and dangerous. Ridesharing services a significant and increasing share of the transportation puzzle here, and cutting off riders and driver partners from this main artery will only increase gridlock around town while forcing you, the riding public, to criss-cross busy streets and corridors to get to your ride or destination.

If the traffic restrictions are imposed, driver partners will be forced to take longer, more complicated routes to pick up or drop off passengers — increasing congestion around Market Street and making it more difficult, more time-consuming, and dangerous for riders to get from place to place.

Sign the petition and tell San Francisco’s leadership that TNCs need to be included in their rules for Market Street!

THE PETITION LETTER

[Your personal message]

[Your first name] [Your last name] from zip code [Zip Code]
[Email]

###

Dear [Recipient’s title] [Recipient’s name],

I urge you to not to single out TNCs like Uber, and ensure that they have the same access as taxis to pick up riders along Market Street. Ridesharing has become a core part of the way people get around the city and I support giving San Franciscans more choice for transportation options along Market Street. Your inclusion of TNCs will give people like me more transportation choices downtown, provide an equal playing field for all transportation options, and improve safety for riders and drivers alike.

Again, thank you for considering the collective voice of thousands of San Franciscans who want more choice in transportation options on Market Street.

THIS LETTER WILL BE DELIVERED TO
TOM NOLAN
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

“SFMTA vs. Lyft and Uber Drivers” Continued – Let’s Hear Why the SFMTA Wants to Stop You From Turning onto Market

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

This was my stab at things yesterday – also coming out yesterday was this:

In safety move, turns onto Market Street to be limited

Let’s take a look to see how “safety sells” pretty much whatever the SFMTA has wanted to do the past quarter-century, with my comments in ALL CAPS, you know, for the benefit of those all-important mobile readers:

“This is focused very clearly on safety,” said Tom Maguire, director of the Sustainable Streets Division of the SFMTA. “This is about how we can get out this summer and find ways to save lives this summer.”

WELL, LET’S SEE HERE. I’LL CONCEDE THAT THIS MOVE WILL HAVE US ENDING UP WITH FEWER CAR VS. PED ACCIDENTS ON MARKET STREET BETWIXT 3RD AND 8TH. BUT IS TOM MAGUIRE SOME KIND OF SUPERHERO, A SPIDERMAN SAVING LIVES (PLURAL!) DURING THE END OF SUMMER 2015? ABSOLUTELY NOT. SORRY. HOW MANY LIVES WILL TOM MAGUIRE ACTUALLY SAVE THIS SUMMER? ZERO. ABSOLUTE ZERO. STATISTICALLY SPEAKING. SORRY.

“…lively and entertaining urban boulevard, it is also dangerous.”

WRITER JK DINEEN HAD THE CHANCE TO USE THE BOGUS PHRASE “HIGH-INJURY CORRIDOR” AND HE DIDN’T GO FOR IT? I’M SURE IT’S IN THE MATERIALS HE HAS AND I’M SURE THE SFTMA WOULD LIKE HIM TO USE THIS NEW CATCH-PHRASE, BUT HE DIDN’T. MMM…

Roughly half of these collisions happened at or near an intersection.

WELL, I SHOULD HOPE THAT MOST ACCIDENTS WITH PEDS GETTING STRUCK HAPPEN NEAR INTERSECTIONS. I MEAN, PEDS GENERALLY DON’T BELONG IN THE STREET OUTSIDE OF INTERSECTIONS, RIGHT? ALSO, NOTE THAT WRITER JK DINEEN IS UNAFRAID TO USE THE TERM “ACCIDENT” – THIS TOO GOES AGAINST THE CURRENT SFMTA PLAYBOOK. “COLLISION” IS THE PREFERRED WORD THESE DAYS. BOTH WORDS WORK, OF COURSE.

The package of traffic improvements, known as Safer Market Street…

THESE MOVES CERTAINLY ARE CHANGES, BUT WE DON’T KNOW YET IF THEY WILL BE ACTUAL “IMPROVEMENTS” RIGHT? WHAT’S A NEUTRAL, NON-ORWELLIAN TERM FOR OUR SFMTA’S “IMPROVEMENTS?”

Vision Zero, an effort to eliminate traffic deaths by 2024.

INSTEAD OF “AN EFFORT,” HOW ABOUT “AN _INSINCERE_ EFFORT,” CAUSE, YOU KNOW, THAT’S CERTAINLY THE CASE HERE?

“Our approach to Vision Zero is not to wait to save lives when we have tools to prevent these collisions and we know how to implement them,” Maguire said.

IF WE’RE TALKING ABOUT PED DEATHS IN SAN FRANCISCO, LET’S SAY, FOR CALENDAR 2014, MOST OF THOSE DEATHS WERE THE FAULT OF THE PEDESTRIANS THEMSELVES, PER THE SFPD, RIGHT? SO, WHY NOT MAKE AN “EFFORT” TO ENFORCE THE CVC UPON THE NOTORIOUSLY ILL-BEHAVED PEDESTRIANS OF MARKET STREET RIGHT NOW? THAT WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE THE EFFECT OF SAVING LIVES OVER TIME, SO WHY IS SFGOV WAITING? OH, BECAUSE OF POLITICS, I SEE. ALL RIGHT. AND OF COURSE, WE’LL NEVER GET TO ZERO TRANSPORTATION DEATHS, ON A STRETCH OF MARKET OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER, BUT PED ENFORCEMENT IS THE LOW-HANGING FRUIT. THE FACT THAT THE SFMTA IS SO AFRAID TO MENTION ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS ISSUE IS TELLING.

The reduction of traffic turning onto Market Street will cut down the chance of someone getting seriously injured or killed by a turning vehicle, say SFMTA officials.

AGREE. POINT CONCEDED, CHEERFULLY

It will mean smoother and faster sailing for city buses…

UH OH. _FASTER_ BUSES? IS THAT WHAT WE WANT, SAFETYWISE? IDK. HEY, WHAT PERCENT OF ACCIDENTS ON THIS STRETCH OF MARKET INVOLVE MUNI OR SFMTA-REGULATED TAXICABS? IS IT FORTY-SOMETHING PERCENT ALREADY? LOOK FOR THAT PERCENTAGE TO RISE…

“Motorists would still be free to cross Market Street. Taxis — but not Uber or Lyft”

HERE WE GO – HERE’S THE POINT OF “SAFER” MARKET STREET. IT’S ABOUT FUCKING WITH THE TNC’S. HOW MANY TENS OF MILLIONS HAVE THE SFMTA LOST DUE TO UBER, LYFT AND THE OTHER TNC’S? IDK, BUT A LOT. THERE WILL BE SOME SHORT TRIPS THAT SIMPLY WON’T WORK WITH UBER ANY LONGER. NOT IF YOU WANT TO DRIVE LEGALLY ANYWAY. WHY DOESN’T THE SFMTA ALSO BAN TAXIS FROM MAKING THESE VERY SAME TURNS, IF THE SFMTA IS SO MUCH ABOUT SAFETY? MMM…

Speak of the Devil, here’s some anti-TNC, pro-SFMTA taxi  propaganda, courtesy of your SFMTA:

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“Local opposition subsiding”

WELL, I DON’T KNOW. HAS ANY POLLING BEEN DONE OF THE CURRENT USERS OF MARKET STREET? SO I DON’T KNOW HOW SUBSIDED THE OPPOSITION IS. I’LL TELL YOU, OBJECTIONS TO THE SFMTA’S “DOWNTOWN CORE” TRAFFIC BLOCKADE DURING RUSH HOURS IS STILL PRETTY STRONG, WELL OVER 50%.

Susie McKinnon, executive director of the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District, said at first she was worried that the changes would push more traffic into the Tenderloin…

WELL, OBVIOUSLY IT WILL. VISITORS COMING UP 6TH STREET WON’T BE ABLE TO TURN RIGHT AT MARKET, SO WHERE ELSE ARE THEY GOING TO GO BUT THE TWITTERLOIN, RIGHT?

…force unregulated car services such as Uber and Lyft off of Market Street.

I WOULDN’T CALL TNC’S UNREGULATED, BUT THAT’S JUST ME. _LESS_ REGULATED, CERTAINLY, BUT NOT UNREGULATED, IMO. AND WHAT HAS THIS TO DO WITH SAFETY? FASTER TAXIS AND FEWER UBERS = SAVING LIVES OVERALL? WE’LL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE.

Eva Behrend, a spokeswoman for Uber, disagrees: “Market Street is a major artery of the city…

YEP.

…and cutting off riders and driver-partners from accessing this thoroughfare will increase gridlock around town…

MAYBE.

…with no improvement to safety.

WELL, THE POINT IS TO “SAVE LIVES” “THIS SUMMER” ON FIVE PARTICULAR BLOCKS OF MARKET STREET – WE’LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE THE EFFECT UPON OVERALL SAFETY ON MISSION, HOWARD, FOLSOM, THE REST OF THE TWITTERLOIN, AND ALL THE REST OF SAN FRANCISCO.

AND PLEASE NOTE THAT BOTH TOM MAGUIRE AND EVA BEHREND ARE IN THE SAME BIZ – THEY’RE BOTH IN THE ABUSE-WORDS-ENOUGH-AND-THEN-YOU’LL-GET-COMPENSATED-WITH-SIX-FIGURES-A-YEAR-PLUS-BENEFITS CLUB…

TTFN.

SFMTA vs. Lyft and Uber Drivers: Forget About Turning Left or Right onto Market Betwixt 3rd and 8th – Orwellian SMS

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Let’s see if I can pay off on the headline here.

This is the Safer Market Street proposal, which used to be a part of Better Market Street? Hey, is SFS a kind of “chop shop project,” the likes of which is the SFMTA’s excuse for not doing anything until it gets a more massive project implemented? And it’s to support “Vision Zero” 2024? (That. of course, is the promise of absolute transportation safety. It will fail only after the terming our of our Interim Mayor and all the Members of the Board of Supervisors. Not a single promoter of Vision Zero actually believes we’ll get to zero transportation deaths, / injuries on or near Market Street or anywhere else in town, within nine years, or ever at all…)

Now here’s what I’m talking about not being able to make turns – all those red arrows show what you won’t be able to do anymore:

Captureggg copy

Will TNC drivers be banned? Hells yes! That’s the plan last I heard. Will taxi drivers be similarly banned? No, the SFMTA wants to promote taxis and the SFMTA hates, just hates, TNCs.

Note that when the SFMTA calls this proposal a proposal, that means it’s a done deal.

Note that when the SFMTA calls a street a high-injury corridor, it means that the street is a corridor, which is, of course, “a (generally linear) tract of land in which at least one main line for some mode of transport has been built.” Would the SFMTA care to ID a similar number of low injury corridors about town? No? That’s ’cause if a street has a low number of injuries, it isn’t a corridor at all. So, that means that high injury corridor means plain-old corridor. Moving on…

To this – look, the SFMTA has invented, in the Year of Our Lord 2015, a device called a “sign,” ’cause, you know, drivers is stupid.

“WAYFINDING SIGNS Driving on Market Street can be confusing for residents and visitors alike. Wayfinding signs help drivers “find their way” to specific areas while on the move. To avoid confusion while driving through this area, we want to ensure signs pointing to destinations are easily visible and understandable for drivers to safely navigate through the streets. Signs will be posted on streets surrounding Market to give drivers enough time to plan their approach. Special attention will be given to popular destinations, including off-street parking and major roadways. Using iconic San Francisco destinations and simplistic designs, these wayfinding signs would help keep cars moving and enhance the City’s unique visual identity.”

And did you catch that? Why should our SFMTA use a simple word like “simple,” when it can use a $5 word like “simplistic,” you know, facile? Does the SFMTA really mean to crittercise it’s Brand New Thing? IDK.

That was the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:

“The City is one step closer to Vision Zero pending SFMTA Board Approval of the Safer Market Street project.

Market Street is the City’s premier civic and commercial corridor hosting hundreds of thousands of people arriving by means of transit, walking, biking or driving. More bikes travel down Market Street than vehicles, making it one of the busiest bikeways west of the Mississippi.

High collision rates, however, also make Market Street a high-injury corridor, with four of the top 20 intersections for pedestrian-injury collisions and the top two intersections for bicycle injury collisions. Safer Market Street is one of over 24 Vision Zero projects being expedited to address the recent spike in fatalities along high-injury corridors such as Market Street. The proposed changes, including a package of turn restrictions, the extension of existing transit-only lanes and supplemental safety treatments, will help the city reach its Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities by improving safety conditions for all users.

The team recently submitted its environmental documentation to the planning department and completed its third round of outreach, in which it met with community organizations and concerned property owners to inform them of the proposed changes and address any questions or concerns.

Years of analysis and outreach to the community have informed the proposed changes and pending the approval of the SFMTA Board of Directors June 16, 2015 construction can begin within the month. The turn restrictions would be unveiled as a package once complete later this fall.

Question or concerns please contact Kate Elliott at kate.elliott@sfmta.com

Date, time and location of SFMTA Board of Directors Meeting:

City Hall Room 400, June 6, 2015 1:00 pm
1 Charles B. Goodlett Drive
San Francisco, CA 94102

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 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.

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.