Thought this unusual ride seen on the Hastings Cutoff route was a bicycle sidecar.
At first anyway.
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Jitsu wa, Gentle Reader, it just the arm of an autumn sweater dragging along.
A mystery solved!
If you want to get there and back again from the Panhandle bike path and Mid Market (and beyond), your best choice is McAllister Street.
It’s waaaaaaay better than The Wiggle route.
Well, why not? McAllister Street (aka the Hastings Cutoff) is shorter and swifter and straighter and safer.
Actually, The Wiggle is The Rookie’s Choice, full of part-timers like CW Nevius (oh he just quit cycling in The City, hardly surprising) and fast fixie riders who don’t know any better.
And The Movement prefers the Wiggle, for some unknown reason. But if you just want to get from A to B, then its Market McAllister Divis and eventually Fell for you.
Like this – that’s UC Hastings, your Hastings Cutoff lodestar, there in the background on the left:
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So you climb a bit more using McAl, like 20 more vertical feet if you add up all the ups and downs, but big whoop.
All right, see you out there on the HC!
Sixteen months ago:
“Here it is- the first run of the new “twitter line”. Guess how many people on board?! pic.twitter.com/YSezC2GF“
From the CalTrain Station to Twitter and back again
So the lesson is this: If you have influence with former Mayor Gavin Newsom and he thinks you can help him fulfill his dream of becoming President of these United States, then maybe you’ll get your own bus line.
Oh, and do you think that this M-F bus line will cost less to operate than it costs to employ just one MUNI employee?
I don’t. But that’s what MUNI is saying…
Oh, and also to speed up the 21 Hayes bus.
Oh, and also to make local homeowners happy. Well, to make some of them happy anyway.
Check it, the stops near Central Avenue,* Broderick, and Scott are all on the chopping block:
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You can try to go down to the public hearing on May 18th, 2012, but it won’t matter – MUNI’s already decided to do this.
Will these changes make MUNI suck less?
Do I approve?
Sure, why not?
*Avenue? You’re no wider than any other street in the nabe. All right all right, Central, you’re an “avenue.” Keep on telling yourself that, but the nearby streets are all laughing at you.
Instead of taking Oak to the Wiggle bike route when you hit the eastern part of the Panhandle, why not take the “Northern Wiggle” route to Mcallister the next time you need to get downtown?
So, from around Masonic and Fell, take the flattest route you can find to get to Fulton and Divisadero, then go one block uphill to McAllister, then ride all the way down to Market Street with a minimum of red lights and cops.
That’s how you do it…
Oh, and you know, those jaywalking pedestrians are a pain, right? Somebody ought to “outreach” them, “educate” them on how to walk, huh?
The San Francisco Chronicle’s worst writer takes on The Wiggle here.
(As usual, his reliance upon quotes from rich, white, older homeowners leads him astray.)
Leave us begin:
Local residents sometimes sit at the corner of Waller and Steiner streets and place bets on the bicyclists as they approach the stop sign.
Worse, when she yelps, “Watch out!” when riders nearly hit her, the response is often, “F- you. Mind your own business.”
“Our message is that pedestrians always have the right of way.”
FALSE. THAT MIGHT BE YOUR MESSAGE, BUT IT’S NOT CORRECT. NOT IN CALIFORNIA, WHERE PEDS ARE ROUTINELY HELD AT FAULT FOR THEIR OWN DEATHS…
“You literally have to play peek-a-boo,” said Marshall.
FALSE. YOU DON’T LITERALLY HAVE TO PLAY PEEK-A-BOO, ONE-PERCENTER. WHY DOES THE MSM ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BE CRYBABIES?
The most likely solution is to create “bulb-out” corners for pedestrians.
ASSUMING FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE, ASSUMING THAT BULB-OUTS WILL “SOLVE” THE ISSUE YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, NEVIUS.
“Bulb-outs reduce the length of the crossing and also forces the bicyclists to slow down because they make the corner sharper,” Hodge said. “And (police) enforcement is increasingly important. We want to work with the police to identify space and behavior that are dangerous.”
UH, IS THE SAN FRANCISCO BICYCLE COALITION TELLING PEOPLE TO STOP AT STOP SIGNS? IF SO, THAT’S NEWS TO ME.
While those sound like good ideas, there is a school of thought that says the more accommodations the city makes for bikes the more entitled the riders become.
OH, IS THERE ALSO A SCHOOL OF THOUGHT THAT SAYS THE MORE ACCOMMODATIONS THE CITY MAKES FOR REPUBLICANS, SUCH AS CW NEVIUS, THE MORE ENTITLED THOSE REPUBLICANS BECOME?
“I’m no angry motorist. I don’t even own a car,” Marshall said. “But once they completed the bike lanes and made it a complete route, in the minds of cyclists it has just given them the license to just go.”
UH NEVIUS, JUST BECAUSE SOMEBODY SAYS SOMETHING AND BELIEVES IT, THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT TRUE. IMO, THE POPULARITY OF FIXIES HAS HAD A GREATER EFFECT. AND OF COURSE, THE WIGGLE HAS BEEN A “COMPLETE ROUTE” SINCE THE 1800′s.
Bike advocates would probably disagree, but Beckstead suggested a simple test.
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SAYING, NEVIUS? WHAT THE FUCK DOES THIS MEAN? THE WORLD WONDERS. BIKE ADVOCATES DISAGREE THAT BECKSTEAD SUGGESTED A SIMPLE TEST?
USE YOUR WORDS, NEVIUS.
This has been a mystery to me.
You’ve just come from the Lower Haight by going behind the Church Street Safeway to end up at Point A and, of course, you want to use Market Street to continue your journey inbound so first you’ll need to get to Point B.
Most cyclists just ride in the crosswalk, as dude in the photo is doing, but that’s illegal in CA currently, is it not?
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I guess you are supposed to walk your bike across Buchanan and then wait for the signal and then walk your bike across Market and then continue your journey.
Otherwise, you’re doing it wrong…
[UPDATE: And, you know, I guess I hadn't considered the one-way streets. Particularly inbound, they can get you there fast if you're up for lights timed at 20-something MPH. I've seen people on Oak and Golden Gate inbound, but, due to geography most likely, I haven't seen that many using the outbound analogs Fell and Turk. See footnote.]
Well here we go. This shot from United 931 shows, in high relief, why you’re better off talking McAllister Street, Bike Route 20, to downtown from the Panhandle and vice versa.
You see Alamo Square inside the red box on the lower left? It’s the summit of Alamo Heights, sitting there in the sunlight jutting in from the left.
The vaunted Wiggle bike path takes you from the Panhandle through Lower Haight and then behind the Church Street Safeway to Market Street and beyond. Your preferred alternative has you leaving the end of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle by taking Baker north to Fulton to Divisadero up to McAllister. That’s the pass over Alamo Heights – it’s the intersection of McAllister and Divis. Then it’s all the way downhill to Market.
You’re going between the camel humps, between Alamo Square and Kaiser Heights (seen in the sunlight on the left side).
Now it’t true that Route 20, aka the Snickerdoodle, does have you climbing up, outbound, 20 more feet vertically, net, than the Wiggle (and also inbound – there’s one block of Divis that’s uphill a bit) and it’s also true that Route 20 has a couple steeper blocks betwixt Fillmore and Pierce in the Western Addition.
But, Route 20:
Is a third of a mile shorter
Has better pavement
Has you waiting less time staring at red lights (which is nice when compared to the Wiggle’s concomitant Market Street section with the Octavia Boulevard obstacle, which has traffic signals biased for car drivers heading north-south using Octavia)
Avoids hated Octavia Street / Boulevard entirely (cause Octavia simply doesn’t exist as a road in the McAllister area – it’s like you have a permanent green light)
Has less traffic
Has fewer peds to deal with
Has fewer cyclists to deal with (cause, you know, especially in the Lower Haight area, you just don’t know what those cyclists are going to do)
Is, due to the factors cited above, safer
Avoids the ridonculas behind-the-Safeway-to-inbound-Market puzzle that makes no sense (that I can see – I don’t know how to get across Market at Duboce legally without getting off and walking in the crosswalk)
Has zero cops sitting around handing out tickets (because you’re avoiding Fell and Scott, and Duboce and Steiner, and Haight and Pierce, and all the other places the SFPD hangs out during those periodic stop sign and red light enforcement actions)
Has Gallery 1269 to look at (optionally)
So, I don’t care, go whichever way you want. I’m just saying the Wiggle is the wrong way to get the Panhandle (and Beyond) from Downtown.
And vice versa.
*I suppose that jinking over to Oak and taking it all the way (almost) to Market might be faster still, although you’d have to decide which side of the street to go on. (The left side has more room, but there’s no longer a dashed line to keep left lane traffic out of your way. The wait at Octavia Boulevard might slow you a bit, however.
Oh, and there’s Golden Gate Avenue as well, inbound…
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.”
I suppose this longboarder could have taken The Wiggle bike route, but he’s carving down McAllister instead. See?
The hilly part of McAllister – it’s a couple blocks:
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So, if you are headed from the Financh or Mid-Market to the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, taking McAllister to Divis is:
1. Shorter (by about a third of a mile);
And there are no cops handing out tickets for those who California-stop through stop signs. (The Wiggle is a cop magnet, of course – look for them on Haight and Scott.)
And, best of all, Octavia Boulevard, the place where Wigglers generally need to stop to watch the cars go by, is just a nothingburger by the time it gets up to McAllister Street. (The last thing our failed Octavia Boulevard needs is more activity, that’s for sure.)