These two white posts have been installed at the foot of Golden Gate:
Here’s the view from Market:
I suppose this closes a chapter on the book of the new Golden Gate Ave bike lane…
Here’s the scene at the foot of Golden Gate yesterday during the Evening Drive – what’s new is the orange traffic cones:
So of course these cones are unofficial (unlike this one from last week, when a made member of our City Family put an orange cone near the curb so drivers wouldn’t run over the legs of people warming up in the slow lane of Market inbound).
So I heard that the beginning part of Golden Gate in the ‘Loin, the Tender / Twitter -loin, was going to get a bike lane just a few weeks back. And I says to myself, I says, “I better check it out afore things change.” And I did but then I thought, no, neighboring McAllister is a much better way to travel inbound, even though our SFMTA / DPW just recently rejiggered the traffic lights in front of the troubled Hibernia Bank Building most unhelpfully.*
But then a week later, I saw this – it’s just a paint job, for now:
Speaking of signal timing, I think you’d really need to hustle to make the green lights. I’ll be satisfied to be delayed by just one red light from Polk to Market – prolly the one at
Anyway, speaking of that area, drivers turning right from GG onto Hyde just might get in your way. A lot. We’ll see how this works out.
Oh, and here we go – on the same day, just by coincidence, I came through in a car. Lots of backed up traffic, as one might expect, oh well. See the pedestrian timer? The light turned red soon after and it was stop and go at each intersection even though traffic was not backed up at the intersection with Market, oh well:
So now Golden Gate seems more like the foot of troubled 6th Street, which is the SoMA street what GG feeds into.
IDK, maybe I’ll start using this part of GG every day. The new bike lane is in beta, more or less, so we’re not yet aware of all its issues.
*So they take the trouble to make the foot of McAllister a two-way street and things seemed to be working out, but then they make the intersection with Market a mess with blocked #5 Fultons all over. Perhaps this is due to nearby construction? Our SFMTA has a real problem with traffic light timing – it’s like it doesn’t care a whit. The SFMTA isn’t a safety organization, it’s an un-safety organization. This isn’t a money problem, it’s a management problem. Sry.
Of course I’ve been around in Frisco longer than the SFMTA so I have sperpective on the SFMTA that differs from how the SFMTA looks at itself, like it’s a “forward-looking” agency and whatnot.
Anyway, I’ve never seen this kind of saturation of PCOs on our streets during the PM commuting hours. So take a look at that link and then look at these from Friday.
Like on Thursday at Bush and Sansome, you had a PCO with his hands in his pockets simply waving cars through at the proper time. But on Friday, Here Come Da Judge, handing out tickets with abandon. I’ll tell you, this Prius driver didn’t do himself any favors, as it doesn’t really speed up your commute to improperly sit in a crosswalk for a minute or so. But it DOES get you a fat three-figure “parking” ticket. Sure, try to fight it, but PCO dude just took a digital photo of you, so lots of luck:
What’s this another Prius 30 seconds later? A ticket for you too, prolly, I couldn’t tell. But the Nissan on the left? That’s what the PCO is writing up right now.
So why do some PCOs help wayward drivers from out of town not block the box some days and yet on other days just sit back and ticket away? IDK
Now let’s head over to 6th and Market to see an Uber driver gesturing “what’s a matta you” to a PCO stationed there
Unlike Bush and Sansome, drivers coming down Golden Gate to 6th (and later the 101 or Bay Bridge) actually have a chance of not blocking the box if they creep through the intersection right before a yellow. So maybe this Prius driver didn’t get a ticket after all. Even though he’s yelling at somebody with the power to hand out tickets.
And here’s the PCO, making hand-written notes? Recording a license plate number? Writing poetry? IDK.
Anyway, I’ve seen many sorts of strategies from our SFMTA over the years / decades. I don’t really understand them all. Alls I know is that the SFMTA strives to become bigger bigger bigger each and every year, whether it acts properly or not. Oh well.
And I’ll tell you, I’d never go to Walnut Creek or Mountain View and block the box, and if I did, I wouldn’t go on a loud tirade against anybody who might give me a block the box citation. But, for some reason, out of towners with long long commutes in their Toyota Priuseses do, oh well…
Here you go, this is the former approach, AFAICS. The SFMTA would time the lights* on Bush so that many people attempting to cross Sansome during the Evening Drive would end up Blocking the Box of the intersection. Then a PCO would record license plates to issue three tickets in one signal cycle. It looked like this:
Good times. But that was then and this is now:
See? SFMTA bro stands in the very same intersection to make sure you don’t break the law. Then when he sees a space for you, he’ll wave you through. Much friendlier for our out of town drivers, certainly.
Now let’s head outbound on Market to see how things look north of Market. Every single intersection has a PCO telling people where to go:
Here’s another one:
And here’s another one:
It’s like a jobs program for SFMTA workers. Is this a good thing? IDK. Does it help? IDK. But hey, shouldn’t we fund the pensions and the lifetime medical for the SFGov City Family Iron Rice Bowl workers and their families afore we hire more? I think so!
Anyway, I suppose if people are complaining about traffic to our Accidental Mayor, then maybe our PCOs should put down their ticket books for a couple hours to help out? That’s a theory. I don’t exactly see what these people are doing, how they’re helping.
Of course, our SFMTA could try proper design, but that might be expecting too much, oh well…
*On purpose or not – it’s hard to tell. Obviously, if the Bay Bridge is all backed up then that back up is going to extend through SoMA and NoMA. You could start at Bush and Van Ness in a car and I’d beat you to your onramp if I crawled, sometimes, during the Evening Drive. Some of this delay is inevitable and some of it’s not, oh well…
WTF is this? Is this a tow truck towing cars in the Financial under authority of the contract AutoReturn has with SFGov?
I think so!
And yet, in addition to charging you $500 for towing away your ride for being just 13 minutes late, AutoReturn wants to be involved with giving you a lecture from the King James.
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I cry foul.
For the record, PSALM 23:
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’ sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
And then I’ll tow your car.
Sometimes, I just don’t know…
“The colonel’s hostility softened gradually as he applied himself to details. “Now, I want you to give a lot of thought to the kind of prayers we’re going to say. I don’t want anything heavy or sad. I’d like you to keep it light and snappy, something that will send the boys out feeling pretty good. Do you know what I mean? I don’t want any of this Kingdom of God or Valley of Death stuff. That’s all too negative. What are you making such a sour face for?”
“I’m sorry, sir,” the chaplain stammered. “I happened to be thinking of the Twenty-third Psalm just as you said that.”
“How does that one go?”
“That’s the one you were just referring to, sir. ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I—‘”
“That’s the one I was just referring to. It’s out. What else have you got?”
“‘Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto—‘”
“No waters,” the colonel decided, blowing ruggedly into his cigarette holder after flipping the butt down into his combed-brass ash tray. “Why don’t we try something musical? How about the harps on the willows?”
“That has the rivers of Babylon in it, sir,” the chaplain replied. “‘…there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.'”
“Zion? Let’s forget about that one right now. I’d like to know how that one ever got in there. Haven’t you got anything humorous that stays away from waters and valleys and God? I’d like to keep away from the subject of religion altogether if we can.”
The chaplain was apologetic. “I’m sorry, sir, but just about all the prayers I know are rather somber in tone and make at least some passing reference to God.”
“Then let’s get some new ones. The men are already doing enough bitching about the missions I send them on without our rubbing it in with any sermons about God or death or Paradise. Why can’t we take a more positive approach? Why can’t we all pray for something good, like a tighter bomb pattern, for example? Couldn’t we pray for a tighter bomb pattern?”
“Well, yes, sir, I suppose so,” the chaplain answered hesitantly. “You wouldn’t even need me if that’s all you wanted to do. You could do that yourself.”
“I know I could,” the colonel responded tartly. “But what do you think you’re here for? I could shop for my own food, too, but that’s Milo’s job, and that’s why he’s doing it for every group in the area. Your job is to lead us in prayer, and from now on you’re going to lead us in a prayer for a tighter bomb pattern before every mission. Is that clear? I think a tighter bomb pattern is something really worth praying for. It will be a feather in all our caps with General Peckem. General Peckem feels it makes a much nicer aerial photograph when the bombs explode close together.”
Here’s the latest anti-Auto Return bit from CW Nevius.
I don’t know, Neve, what do you want? It sounds like you want the City Family to fight harder for the Commonweal, to make better deals when it deals with private companies.
And that’s fine, but you’re a little inconsistent, you dig?
Speaking of digging, what about the corrupt Central Subway project? The last you wrote about that was all the way back in 2008. Why is it that you write about little fish like Auto Return but not big fish like, I don’t know, AECOM?
Oh what’s that, you actually think the Central Subway is a horrible execution of a bad idea but you don’t want to offend all your sources in the City Family? That’s pretty weak, Neve.
Or what about the America’s Cup boondoggle that you used to cheer lead for so much. Didn’t The City strike a bad deal with AC34?
And what about Recology? You seem to support that expensive monopoly and its dealings.
But that’s small potatoes compared with the deal San Francisco made with Auto Return?
What do you want, you want to get rid of the AutoReturn contract and then hire a bunch of expensive new City employees to tow cars? I guarantee you that that would cost SF more money.
Or maybe you want tow fees to be increased overall in order to subsidize police tows?
Or maybe you want revenge against the company what towed your ride last year, you know, when you were a naive newcomer in the 415?
I think that’s it!
We’ve made a lot of progress today, CW. Leave your check with my secretary on the way out…
Right? ‘Cause after the car of C.W. Nevius got towed in February, he stepped up his campaign against AutoReturn, the company what gets called by DPT / SFMTA when your car is blocking rush hour traffic.
So nowadays, he considers San Francisco’s policy of towing away cars blocking rush hour lanes a “scam,” which means he thinks the whole process is a “fraudulent business scheme.”
Does he think that the SFMTA should just leave cars untouched, making all those “NO STOPPING, NO PARKING” signs merely advisory?
It’s not clear.
AutoReturn: Our name makes us sound like we’re a department of the SFPD – isn’t that funny? WERE UNDER UR FREEWAY, DETAINING UR CARZ:
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Now, what the Auto Return tow truck driver should have done was make up some excuse instead of towing the ride of The Nevius on that Fateful Day. You know, “technical difficulties” or something like that to buy some more time for the San Francisco Chronicle’s least intelligent employee. That would have allowed the Neve to correct his mistake by simply hopping in and driving off to the East Bay or wherever the hell he lives these days.
It wouldn’t be hard to implement a NO TOW NEVIUS policy. You know, back in the day, Willie Brown used to get pulled over all the time by the CHP when he was driving waaaaay too fast* on the I-80 back and forth to Sacramento. After Willie got stopped twice in one trip, he put a hold on the CHP’s budget. So the CHP issued Willie’s photo to all the officers on I-80 with instructions to “memorize this face” in order to give Willie favorable treatment. (Read the whole story below.) The point is that AutoReturn should find which cars CW Nevius parks illegally on the Streets of San Francisco and then give a picture of each one to all their tow truck drivers and then tell them“DO NOT TOW THESE PARTICULAR CARS!”
“From UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004 (formerly eScholarship Editions), it’s:
From four decades ago, Chapter 15, Mr. Chairman:
“One afternoon Brown briskly walked into a budget conference committee meeting late and looking angry. He immediately sat down next to [Senator] Collier and asked for a “point of personal privilege.” Collier granted him the courtesy, and Brown asked to return to an item in the budget to appropriate funds to purchase guns and other equipment for the California Highway Patrol. Brown then demanded that the funds be deleted from the budget. The trust between the two was so great that Collier asked no questions, immediately complied, and struck the CHP equipment appropriation.
At the end of the meeting, [aide Robert] Connelly asked his boss what was going on with the Highway Patrol. “He was so mad, he wouldn’t talk about it.” Finally, Brown told Connelly that he had been stopped not once but twice by CHP officers that day on his way to Sacramento from San Francisco along Interstate 80 in his bright red Porsche. Each time, the officers walked over to Brown and said, “Hey, boy, where’d you get this car?”
Connelly quickly found the CHP’s lobbyist and told him what had happened. “The guy’s eyeballs rolled clear back into his skull. He said, ‘We’ll fix it.’” By the next morning, the CHP was distributing photographs of Willie Brown to officers along the Interstate 80 corridor between San Francisco and Sacramento with orders to “memorize this face.” The CHP got its appropriation back—and more.
Brown championed pay raises for CHP officers by authoring a bill that tied their salaries to a formula based on the salaries of large municipal police forces. The measure gave Highway Patrol officers a windfall raise, and then an automatic pay raise every time one of the unionized city forces got a new contract.”
*You’d see him go past as a red blur, hauling ass. He had a Porsche 911, a Mazda Miata (sold to him at a discount, you know, cause Willie is special), an Acura NSX (sold to him at a discount, per the instructions of Honda USA, you know, because Willie is special), and others.
This is the sequel to Rush Hour, filmed the previous day.
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Not a car in sight.
This is quite a change from five or ten years ago…