Posts Tagged ‘safety’

It Looks Like Somebody Wants a Wider Golden Gate Park Panhandle Bike Path – Or, is Planning for One, Anyway

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

I’ll tell you, in my day the Panhandle Bike Path was a mere eight foot wide. And then it went to twelve foot, the way it is now.

But how about 16 feet – what the heck would be wrong with that? JMO.

Anyway, they just got finished repaving the southwest corner of Fell and Masonic, so the bike path got widened to 14 feet, if only for a short section:

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I’ll get my 16 foot bike path, someday. (Prolly with a laundry list of expensive aesthetic “improvements” that I won’t notice, but anyway, someday…

Examples of Two Kinds of Horrible San Francisco Pedestrian – Human Nature vs. Infrastructure – Why “Vision Zero” 2024 Won’t Be Attained

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Bro on the left with the dog is “jumping the green” – he had to abruptly stop in the middle of California inbound once he noticed outbound traffic:

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Were he and his dog were to be hit, the SFPD would find him at fault, yet people would say, “Oh, he was in the crosswalk. He was Murdered By Traffic through an Act of Traffic Violence.” (And then somebody would point the History of “so-called Jaywalking.”)

In any event, you can live your whole life as a jaywalker and never get hit by a vehicle and, in fact, most people manage to pull this off. Moving on…

To this, the woman on the left who started on a yellow. Now, speaking of infrastructure, should there be a “ped only” signal with a countdown timer here? Sure, why not? Oh, the reason why the SFMTA can’t do something is because it doesn’t have enough money and employees? Well, that’s one viewpoint – that’s the SFMTA’s viewpoint, certainly.

Of course, most of the ped deaths on the streets of San Francisco last year were the fault of the peds themselves. Refusing to acknowledge this aspect of traffic safety, the way SFGov is doing right now, means that Vision Zero 2024 will fail.

Traffic safety is a people problem, not an infrastructure problem…

Germinator 2: Judgment Day – Interim Mayor Ed Lee Wants to Kill All These Street Trees on Masonic – Public Protests April 27th

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

At first the notices were white.

The Public protested the white notices, so now the follow-up notices are here. They’re yellow:

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One assumes that tree lovers will show up at this DPW meeting on April 27th and DPW will (sort of) listen to them for two minutes each and then most of the hundreds of sidewalk trees on this 3000-foot stretch of Masonic Avenue will get chipped later on this year.

One assumes.

This MUNI Bus Operator Drives Over The Line, a Solid Yellow Line, on Fulton – Why That’s a Good Thing

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

As you’re reading, enjoy some Crystal Method:

When you’re getting about the mean Streets of San Francisco, you should imagine that every driver you encounter is an uninsured, recently-released felon who’s driving an unregistered vehicle. That’s how I’ve been doing it the past quarter-century.

Conversely, when you’re driving, you should imagine that all the peds around you are suicidal. That means that you should expect them to dart out from the sidewalk right into your path.

So if you’re looking at things that way, then it makes sense to stay Hell away from sidewalks.

Thusly. All the way up* Ignatious Heights on outbound Fulton past Masonic:

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I’m not saying it’s easy to safely drive an MUNI bus, but I’m saying some drivers are better than others. This driver lacks respect for the SFMTA’s ideologically and politically-skewed impulses, as do I.

Remember, Safety First, Ideologically-Driven “Streetscapes” Last.

*And just look at the traffic coming down the hill – does anybody actually use the suicide lane to turn into the dead-end that is USF, seen camera right? (Maybe USF Security does?) Man, this isn’t how I would handle this stretch of Futon. And, oh yes, SFMTA, you should add a traffic signal on Clayton so the USF dormies can get to their inbound #5 Fulton bus stop, but you already know that, don’t you, SFMTA?

SF Paratransit Vans Now [DO NOT] Have the Name of the Driver on the Side, As If They Were Fighter Jets?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

[UPDATE: Hoo boy, I’ve just discovered the red circles on the sides of these vans are to honor those “who helped make paratransit possible” – see Comments. My bad. But seriously, I thought regular drivers had their names stamped on the side to give them more pride in work, to encourage them to drive and park more safely. (Of course, I still think that’s a good idea, even if the drivers wouldn’t like it…)]

Well, this kind of thing should be mandatory for Toyota Prius drivers:

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And Interim Mayor Ed Lee’s Chevy Volt should have this too, the better to spot when it’s double parked.

If I were a driver, I’d ask for a radio call sign like Maverick, Goose, or Jester…

Ironically, SFGov Plans to Remove This Actual Urban Tree Canopy from Masonic and Geary – Aesthetics vs. Safety, Again

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Now I say ironically because it’s standard practice for our local pols to talk about San Francisco’s “urban canopy” as if we were close to having one already IRL.

But here’s an actual canopy, on Masonic near Geary, that’s doomed for the chipper because of some bogus art project called “Points of Departure.”

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One supposes it’ll be a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine of the big new federally-funded, state-funded “Streetscape” / pork-barrel project go down? (Our SFMTA is working, slowly but surely, on this gig what has turned out to be less “shovel-ready” than advertised…)

One local, beloved blogger has gone as far as calling this slow-motion disaster Arbor-Geddon 2015.

Now here’s a little history about how SFGov works, courtesy of San Francisco Mayor (1996-present) / local lobbyist Willie Brown:

“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. So bless me, father, for I too have sinned. I just did it before everyone had a cell phone camera.”

Delightful story, Willie. Simply delightful.

Anyway, kiss this small grove, improbably near a big #38 MUNI stop, good-bye.

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.

SFPD Chief Stars in Brand-New Traffic Safety PSA – Obvious Tension with Bike Coalition – Die Hard Greg Suhr Gives Off a Bruce Willis Vibe

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

I’ll tell you, I saw a photo of Chief Greg in the papah’ the other week, and I thought Worst Bald Cap Ever. But this, this is much improved:

Now, if our SFPD wants to go Hollywood, they gotta realize they’re going to get reviews.

1. NOBODY’S GOING TO WATCH THIS PSA ON YOUTUBE. You got to give people a reason to pass along a link to their buds. We need virility, not virility, YKWIM? Perhaps people will be coerced into watching, IDK. Next time, have your people call my people and we’ll sex things up and your view counter will go from 150 (and yesterday when I saw this for the first time it was, suspiciously, at exactly 100) up into the millions. Oh what’s that, there were other reasons to make this vid, aside from having people watch it online? Oh yes, I can see that.

2. ALL THOSE CODE SECTIONS ARE TMI. I mean, even for me. Oh, those clips were for the benefit of students of Hogwarts SFPD? I could see that. They are well-made, and they show viewers how state laws are applied on the Streets of San Francisco. So that’s great.

3. CHECK OUT THE SECTION ON BIKES STARTING AT 3:15. So the fourth line on the graphic explaining 21202 was spoken by a different narrator? It sure seemed to be tacked on as an afterthought. This is an awkward edit right in touchy, touchy territory.

4. IT’S NICE HAVING TRAFFIC LAWS EXPLAINED BY A NEUTRAL SOURCE, AS OPPOSED TO GETTING MORE OF THE SAME FROM ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS. So we don’t have the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition talking about how pedestrians “always” having the right of way and we don’t have SFMTA spokesmodel Paul Rose spouting off misinformation (the way he does with the Chronicle, which unlike this YT clip, actually has an audience, so you see, I’m sort of saying that the SFMTA can’t claim its “No. 1 Goal Is Safety” if it has Paul Rose talking nonsense about countdown timers and the like).

5. ASIDE FROM ALL THAT, FIVE STARS OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE STARS. 

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Write a bit about the obvious tensions betwixt the SFPD and advocacy groups like the SFBC and Walk SF. I’ll tell you, if this vid had been turned over to the SFBC to make for $100k under a no-bid contract, it would come off quite differently. And leave us remember that most ped and bike rider deaths in SF County last year were the fault of the peds and bike riders themselves, right? Just a skosh over 50%, per … the SFPD.

San Francisco Cabbie Fights Back: “UBER / LYFT, FINALLY JOBS FOR REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS”

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

As seen by Manys here:

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Oh, and here’s another.

I’ll point out that sometimes it’s the unregistered sex offenders…

Our SFMTA, Which Wants All Cars Off of Eastern Market, Will Impose a Brace of Turn Restrictions in 3 Months – “Safer Market Street”

Friday, March 6th, 2015

IDK, if you asked me what would make a safer Market Street, I’d say, “Well, how about banning all them buses and taxis?” Oh, that’s not practical, huh?

But it would leave us with a safer Market Street though.

The actual SMS plan, I’m not so sure about:

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Anyway, this would seem to slightly improve your north-south flow across Market, but the SFMTA isn’t a mental health agency so there are some issues it’s not equipped to handle…