Posts Tagged ‘sfbc’

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Dishonest Approach to Lauding Props A and B and Decrying Prop L

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Here we go:

Understanding This Year’s Transportation Ballot Measures by Tyler Frisbee

Proposition A, Proposition B and Proposition L present stark contrasts for our city’s future, and the November elections will give voters a chance to weigh in on whether they want to move our transportation system forwards or backwards.

EVERYTHING IN SF WILL BE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME REGARDLESS OF HOW WELL THESE PROPS FARE IN NOVEMBER – THIS IS A FACT. THERE ARE NO “STARK CONTRASTS FOR OUR CITY’S FUTURE.” I CAN SAY THAT BECAUSE I’M NOT TRYING TO RAISE MONEY FROM YOU, GENTLE READER.

Proposition A renews current property bond taxes to fund over $52 million for better bikeways, including $22 million for Better Market Street, in addition to $68 million for pedestrian improvements, $22 million for signal upgrades, and $358 million to improve Muni. Since it’s simply renewing a current property bond, Proposition A won’t raise taxes, and it will result in a markedly better commute for all of us.

PROP A. AUTHORIZES “PASSTHROUGHS” SO IT WILL ALLOW YOUR LANDLORD TO RAISE YOUR RENT TO THE TUNE OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, RIGHT? NEGLECTING TO MENTION THIS POSSIBILITY IS DISHONEST.*

In the first year, Proposition B would mean an extra $6 million for Vision Zero projects and an additional $16 million to improve Muni.

AND IN ITS FIRST YEAR, PROP B WOULD MEAN _LESS_ MONEY FOR SAN FRANCISCO NON-PROFITS, RIGHT? DON’T YOU THINK YOUR MEMBERS SHOULD KNOW THAT? OH WHAT’S THAT, YOU’RE A MONOMANIACAL POLITICAL GROUP SO YOU DON’T CARE? OK FINE.

Proposition L is a policy declaration statement that rolls back San Francisco’s Transit-First policy, and would result in the City having to prioritize car traffic and parking above all other modes.

UH NOPE. ITS PASSAGE WOULD NOT FORCE THE CITY TO DO ANYTHING, IT’S BASICALLY A MEASURE OF HOW VOTERS ARE THINKING.

Proposition L would require the SFMTA to value “free-flowing traffic” as highly as human life when designing streets, and would take money away from Muni to build more parking garages.

AGAIN, THE SFMTA WILL BE “REQUIRED” TO DO NOTHING.

END OF LINE.

As for myself, I’m agin Prop A, as I want a better MUNI. Pouring more money down the SFMTA rat hole doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Hey, shouldn’t the head of MUNI be an elected position ala the DA’s Office? Where’s that proposition?

And I’m for Prop B. Some politically-connected non-profits are hopping mad about it, but I don’t care.

And Prop L doesn’t matter, so I don’t care about it. If it wins by a surprisingly large margin, it will end up being a face-punch to the SFMTA and its needy vassal, the SFBC.

*AND OH YEAH, THE SFMTA AND SFGOV PROVIDE THE SFBC WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR – DID YOU KNOW THAT, GENTLE READER? IT MIGHT BE NICE FOR THE SFBC TO POST A NOTE TO THAT EFFECT ON ITS OP-EDS, YOU KNOW, LIKE THIS ONE…

What Those “BICYCLES ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE CVC 21202″ Signs Mean – “The Exception Swallows the Rule?”

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Well, here’s the sign:

I’m reading that as “BICYCLES ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE CVC 21202″

Now here’s what that section of the California Vehicle Code actually says:

“V C Section 21202 Operation on Roadway

21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations…”

That’s the rule.

There are exceptions of course – see them below.

But you don’t want the exception to swallow the rule, right?

Oh, what’s that, you do? Oh, OK. Well, that would explain all the T-shirts, but you’re celebrating the wrong CVC section. What you’re looking for is CVC 21200, actually.

And actually, what 21202 does is take away your right to use the whole lane.

Now of course, in the opinion of some, all lanes are “substandard width lanes,” so if that’s the case, one of the exceptions listed below will “swallow the rule” and, therefore, 21202 doesn’t mean anything.

But IRL, the rule means something, just saying. 

Oh what’s that, you’ve been told different? Well, people tell you different because of their ideology. Hey, would you prefer to hear from a bicycle advocate who’s not an ideologue? Well, here you go:

“Ride to the Right, But Within Limits - When riding slower than the normal speed of traffic, you are required to ride as far right as “practicable” (meaning safe). You are not required to ride as far right as possible, which may not be safe. You are allowed, but not required, to ride on the shoulder. CVC 21202CVC 21650CVC 21650.1 9″

Hey, how would that look as a T-shirt? Not so hot, really. It would sound like a lecture, you know, like we all need to keep to the right ‘n stuff.

But it’s the Truth, like it or lump it.

“(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.

Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.

Amazingly, the Corrupt SFMTA Gives the SFBC Money to Say that the Corrupt SFMTA Needs More Money

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Republican Sean Walker is financing a ballot proposition this fall and the SFBC is not amused:

Despite an official “Transit-First” policy in San Francisco, biking, walking and taking transit in our city have been historically underfunded…

Uh, riding a bike isn’t actually “transit,” which IRL is “a system of buses, trains, etc. that people use to travel around in a particular city or area.”

This lack of funding and priority, means Muni is too often overcrowded and unreliable…

Or perhaps MUNI is poorly managed? Oh you don’t care because you get hundreds and thousands from the SFMTA each year? Why don’t you disclose that fact before crowing the SFMTA’s party line? Oh, you used to post your tax returns but now you don’t because you’re worried people might actually look at them? OK fine.

…dozens of people are killed just trying to walk across the streets each year.

Not dozens. Too many to be sure but not “dozens.”

…livable streets…

Our streets currently aren’t “liveable?” What does that mean? How Orwellian is your fund-raising “framing” going to get?

…there is a group of San Franciscans who think that there’s actually too much space given to sustainable ways to get around…

Well now, if you give the voters of the 415 / 628 the chance to freeze for five years the amount of money the SFMTA MUNI makes from parking tickets, they just might say “Aye,” right?

Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be working with partners to make sure our transportation system is moving forward

MUNI is a disaster, right? MUNI is not “moving forward.” How much does the SFMTA give the SFBC every year to say stuff like this?

Our Board of Directors voted last week to oppose this “Transit-Last” measure, while supporting two important transportation funding measures on this November’s ballot, which will advance and truly better balance our city’s transportation needs. The first is the Transportation & Road Safety Bond, a $500 million general obligation bond dedicated to transportation capital improvements, including modernizing our transit system and investing in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Will this allow landlords to up rents in SF? Howard Wong, who is not on the SFMTA payroll, says it will “raise property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

(It’s important to note that this measure will not raise local property taxes, as it only infills expiring debt.)

What does this mean? Is Howard Wong incorrect?

And the second is a charter amendment linking population growth to transportation spending, specifically long-ignored transit & safe streets needs. 

So the corrupt SFMTA gives you money to say that the corrupt SFMTA needs more money?

Here’s the rest of what Howard Wong has to say, FYI:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The Ordinance’s legal language makes no definitive commitment to any specific work:  “Projects to be funded under the proposed Bondmay include but are not limited to the following: 

Then, for eight project types, all eight begin with:  “A portion of the Bond may be allocated to…” 

In financial decisions, never sign a contract when the terms and deliverables are ambiguous.

Throwing billions of dollars at bad Muni projects hasn’t worked. 

Since 2006, Muni has cut service in every neighborhood, decreased annual vehicle revenue miles/ hours, eliminated 6 bus lines, shortened 22 routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs/ switchbacks/ late buses, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters (1,549,518 parking citations annually)…. Large project cost overruns have cut funds for infrastructure and maintenance.  The Central Subway alone has taken $595 million in state and local funds.  Huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.

Bond Does Not Restore Muni Service Cuts

Muni has cut neighborhood transit, cross-town routes, night service and route frequency, hurting the low-income, families, disabled, youth and seniors.  …  Eliminated bus lines will not be restored—Lines 4, 7, 15, 20, 26, 34, 89…  Shortened bus routes will not be restored:  Lines 1, 2, 10, 12, 16X, 18, 21, 29, 36, 38, 42, 48, 53, 67, 88, 91, 108…  Muni has been an integrated citywide transit system, interconnecting outlying neighborhoods.  By cutting neighborhood transit, driving is encouraged—then penalized by more fees/ fines/ parking elimination.

Learning From the Past:  SFMTA’s Poor Spending Habits 

·        In 1999, Prop E created the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) with more powers, more General Fund dollars and a 85% on-time performance mandate.  Instead, Muni falsified on-time performance data and paid bonuses to its Director.

·        In 2003, Prop K extended the transportation sales tax and provided a list of projects.  The Central Subway’s listed cost of $647 million escalated to $1.578 billion.  The citywide Transit-Preferential Streets Program and Bus Rapid Network were never implemented.

·        In 2007, Prop A gave SFMTA more funding authority, revenue-bond-authority and even more General Fund dollars.  Instead, work orders sent the new funds to other city departments.

·        In 2011, voters approved a Road Repaving Bond of $248 million, with $181 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $429 million.  Debt isn’t efficient for maintenance.

·        SFMTA’s budget grew by hundreds of millions of dollars to $978 million.  Number of employees grew by thousands to 4,921.  Salaries have soared.  And riders get service cuts.

Mayor’s Transportation Task Force (TTF) and Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP)

This proposed Bond, a second Bond, future fees and taxes will not meet objectives.  Only 49% of the TTF”s recommended funding goes to Muni.  TTF’s proposed $2.955 billion does not remotely solve Muni’s $25 billion in 20-Year Capital Plan Need.  The proposed TEP continues transit cuts to neighborhoods, shifting service to rapid corridors.  Better planning is needed for a citywide integrated Muni system.  Oppose this Bond Measure.

Sincerely,

Howard Wong, AIA, a founding member of SaveMuni

www.SaveMuni.com

www.SaveNorthBeachVillage.org

Wow, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Goes After Bicycle-Riding Supervisor David Chiu Big-Time – The “David Chiu Injury Counter?”

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Whoo wee, where to begin here? Apparently, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition thinks Supervisor David Chiu is the Great Enemy of Cyclists in San Francisco County. Read on, below.

And this is sort of funny because  I’ve never ever seen him in a car. I’ve seen him walking in the Financh, I’ve seen him getting on a bus on Market, and I’ve seen him many many times wearing a dark suit while riding a bicycle, but I’ve never seen him in a car. Isn’t that funny?

All right, a couple opening matters here. Cyclist Chris Bucchere, who actually is responsible for death on the streets of San Francisco has gotten praised, defended and ignored by zealous cycling advocacy crowd of San Francisco.

Praised: Oh, Chris Bucchere is a “good guy.” Oh, Chris Bucchere didn’t do anything at all wrong because he “entered the intersection [of Market and Castro] legally.”

Defended: Oh, Chris Bucchere had a concussion when he wrote all those things. Oh, the people who saw him blowing stop signs before the accident are car drivers so of course what they say is unreliable.

Ignored: I’ll tell you, I don’t think the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has ever used his name – he’s become an unperson, basically. He’s bad for business, of course.

So that sets the bar pretty low, but here comes David Chiu, who, apparently, deserves his own body count webpage, you know, on account of all the people he’s killed on just one street over the years. See below, I’m srsly.

And the other thing is this. You might not know this and it might not look like it but, I have:

More miles,

More hours,

More years, and

More decades

on a bicycle in San Francisco County than anybody at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, at WalkSF, and at the StreetsBlog (And to that tally you can also add driving vehicles and walking around and, perhaps, riding transit but I’m not regularly on MUNI anymore.)

Now, on with the show. This kind of stuff just showed up in my reader about a couple of weeks late. Check it:

Leave us begin

“Why are David Chiu and the SFMTA Turning Their Backs on Your Safety?”

ALL RIGHT, YOU’RE STARTING OFF JUST ASSUMING THAT SUPERVISOR CHIU AND THE SFMTA ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON SAFETY, RIGHT? IS THIS HOW YOU ROLL, SFBC? WE GIVE YOU ALL THIS TAX AND FEE PAYER MONEY, HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR TO DO WHAT? TO PAY YOUR SALARIES, TO PAY THE RENT ON YOUR OFFICE. TO ENDORSE THE ELECTION OF ED LEE SO THAT YOU CAN GET MORE MONEY TO PAY YOUR SALARIES? OK FINE. BUT SINCE I’M BEING TAXED AND FEE’D TO PAY YOUR BUDGET, I’LL SUGGEST A BETTER HEADLINE FOR THIS SCREED – HOW ABOUT, “HERE’S WHY WE THINK SUPERVISOR CHIU AND THE SFMTA ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON TRAFFIC SAFETY FOR A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF USERS OF ONE STREET IN SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY?”

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, March 27th, 2014. David Chiu’s Injury Counter – Collision history from Update to the MTA Board of Directors PAG Committee. Visit sfbike.org/polk for live injury counter. We are deeply troubled to see that Supervisor David Chiu and the decisionmakers at the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) are turning their backs on your safety on Polk Street. Facts are facts: Polk Street is the second most dangerous corridor in San Francisco, according to the City’s official data.

UH, ISN’T MISSION A MORE “DANGEROUS CORRIDOR” THAN POLK? AND ISN’T THE LOWER THIRD? I THINK SO.

Yet Supervisor Chiu and the city’s transportation agency officials are ignoring these facts by promoting a watered-down design for Polk Street that is light years behind what is needed to make bicycling and walking a safe, comfortable experience for all.

HOO BOY. UH, BICYCLING AND WALKING ARE NEVER GOING TO BE “SAFE” AND “COMFORTABLE” EXPERIENCES “FOR ALL.” SORRY. SO S.F. DOING WHATEVER YOU WANT S.F. TO DO ON JUST ONE STREET IN THE CITY ISN’T GOING TO ATTAIN YOUR GRAND GOAL.

And they are ignoring their recent votes and public pronouncements supporting Vision Zero — apparently your safety on our streets is not such a high priority after all.

HOO BOY. UH, VISION ZERO IS WHAT, NOW? IT’S SAYING WE’RE GOING TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE, WE’RE GOING TO ELIMINATE ALL TRANSPORTATION DEATHS IN SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY IN A DECADE, BY 2024. VISION ZERO IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. SORRY. DON’T YOU KNOW THIS, SFBC? OH YOU DO BUT YOU WANT TO PRETEND TO BELIEVE IN VISION ZERO SO YOU CAN BE DISAPPOINTED WHEN SFGOV DOESN’T DO EVERYTHING YOU WANT IT TO DO EACH AND EVERY MONTH OF 2014-2024? FOR WHAT, FOR BEING ABLE TO RAISE MONEY TO PAY SALARIES, FOR FUNDRAISING? OH, BUT YOUR MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS ARE DOWN LATELY? WHY’S THAT? AND YOU MAKE FAR MORE MONEY FROM SFGOV GIVING YOU MONEY THAN FROM SFBC MEMBERS PAYING DUES? ISN’T THAT BACKWARDS? I THINK SO.

This is not acceptable.

OH, OK, SO WHY DON’T GIVE BACK ALL THE MONEY WE’VE GIVEN YOU OVER THE YEARS? AREN’T YOU A GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED INSTITUTION NOW? SO WHY DO YOU TAKE ANY MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESPISE SO?

To hold these City leaders accountable, we launch the David Chiu/MTA Polk Street Body Count clock, tracking the number of people hurt on Polk Street on their watch.

SO IF DAVID CHIU DOESN’T BEHAVE EXACTLY THE WAY YOU WANT HIM TO, THEN HE’S RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION DEATHS ON ONE RANDOM STREET IN SF? HAHAHA! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? HAVE YOU ALL THOUGHT THIS THROUGH? SO LIKE WE’RE LIVING IN “STRONG MAYOR POLITICAL SYSTEM,” SO WHY NOT CALL IT THE “ED LEE / SFMTA POLK STREET BODY COUNT CLOCK” INSTEAD? AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT A “BODY COUNT” IS? IT’S, “The number of people killed in a war, disaster, etc.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/body%20count SO I THINK YOUR HYSTERICAL “COUNT” IS OFF BY ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE. AND ACTUALLY, DAVID CHIU DIDN’T KILL ANYBODY ON POLK STREET.

We will keep this clock up until Chiu and the MTA get serious about safety by bringing to the MTA Board of Directors a true safety-first Polk Street proposal of separated bikeways the entire project length.

I SEE, SO DAVID CHIU, THE BIKE-RIDINGEST SUPERVISOR EVER, THE DUDE YOU SEE ALL THE TIME ON A BIKE WEARING A GOD-DAMNED PIN-STRIPED BLUE SUIT, THAT GUY, HE’S THE GREAT EVIL OF CYCLING IN SF? HAVE YOU ALL THOUGHT THIS ONE THROUGH? I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE, SFBC.

We are hearing from Chiu that he believes the watered-down design shared publicly this week is a compromise that is “good enough.” But have no doubt: the only thing this proposal compromises is YOUR SAFETY.

WHOA, ALL CAPS. “SO ANGRY.” BUT IRL, THE WAY TO INCREASE THE COMMONWEAL IS TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF EVERYBODY. THE WAY TO DEACREASE THE COMMONWEAL IS TO GIVE IN TO NARROW, GOVERNMENT-FUNDED, MONOMANIACAL PRESSURE GROUPS.

Hundreds of people have reviewed the lackluster design and voiced their concerns to Chiu and the MTA, but to no avail.

WELL, TO _SOME_ AVAIL, RIGHT? AND IF THAT FIGURE WERE THREE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE LARGER, LET’S SAY SOMETHING ON THE ORDER OF HUNDREDS _OF THOUSANDS_ OF PEOPLE, WELL, IF THEY ALL WANTED THE EXACT SAME PLAN FOR THIS ONE STREET, THEN THEY’D GET IT, RIGHT? BUT JUST HUNDREDS ON ONE SIDE AGAINST THE WHOLE REST OF THE CITY, WELL, THAT’S NOT MUCH A OF A FIGHT, RIGHT?

Instead, they are responding to a vocal minority of people opposing bicycle safety improvements on the street.

UH, I THINK _YOU’RE_ THE VOCAL MINORITY, SFBC, RIGHT?

The resounding message from people who bike and walk on Polk Street is that the current design is a recipe for mass confusion and dangerous conflict.

YOU’RE ATTEMPTING TO SPEAK FOR A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO LACK YOUR MONOMANIACAL VISION, SFBC.

The proposed bikeway zig zags between parked cars and the curb, stops and starts, sometimes completely disappearing for blocks at a time, leaving you hanging while biking and leaving drivers confused and stressed out.

WELL GEE, WHY NOT LEAVE POLK STREET THE WAY IT IS THEN? OR JUST REPAVE IT AND CALL IT A DAY – IS THAT AN OPTION? ACTUALLY, THE BULK OF SAN FRANCISCO JUST MIGHT PREFER EXACTLY THAT. WHAT IF THAT WERE THE CASE? MMMM… AND WOULD DRIVERS GET MORE “STRESSED OUT” BY HAVING SOME PARKING OR NO PARKING ON POLK STREET? IF YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT DRIVER STRESS, THEN YOU’D KEEP TYHE EXISTING LAYOUT OR GO BACK TO PREVIOUS DESIGNS, ACTUALLY.

We’ve heard loud and clear that all road users desire orderly, predictable street designs that minimize opportunities for conflict.

WHO TOLD YOU WHAT NOW? DOES THE SFBC NOW SPEAK FOR “ALL ROAD USERS?” I DON’T THINK SO. HAS THE SFBC EVEN HEARD FROM “ALL ROAD USERS?” I DON’T THINK SO. IN FACT, MANY PEOPLE PREFER WHAT DAVID CHIU PREFERS. AND ACTUALLY, THAT’S THE VERY REASON HE DOESN’T DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT HIM TO DO 100% OF THE TIME. OR DO YOU ALL THINK THAT DAVID CHIU IS IRRATIONAL?

So we ask: Do David Chiu and Ed Reiskin really imagine that parents will guide their child through this proposed biking slalom course that disappears entirely at times?

HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE I SEEN RIDING BIKE ON POLK IN MY LIFE? MMMMM… I KNOW THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A FEW, BUT I CAN’T RECALL ANY. AND WOULD THE SFBC THEN PREFER THE CURRENT NON-SLALOM SET-UP? OR PERHAPS SFGOV NEEDS TO GIVE SFBC ALL THE MONEY IT WANTS AND, IN EXCHANGE, SFGOV SHOULD IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD TO GIVE THE SFBC EVERYTHING ELSE IT WANTS, SFGOV SHOULD IGNORE ALL OTHER MONOMANIACAL PRESSURE GROUPS IN THE CITY AND GIVE IN TO JUST ONE, FOR SOME REASON.

Is this their vision for a bicycle-friendly San Francisco?

YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET A BICYCLE-FRIENDLY SAN FRANCISCO, SFBC. YOUR GOAL WILL NEVER BE ATTAINED.

What happened to Chiu’s call for 20% of trips by bike by 2020?!

WELL, AGAIN, JUST AS WITH VISION ZERO, THE 20% BY 2020 GOAL WON’T BE ATTAINED. AND WASN’T THE SFBC ITSELF THE PARTY THAT WAS CALLING FOR THIS PIE IN THE SKY? I THINK SO. HOW MUCH ARE POLITICAL PROMISES WORTH IF EVERYBODY KNOWS FROM THE BEGINNING THAT THEY WON’T BE ATTAINED? AND WHY ARE THE TIME-FRAMES FOR THESE GRAND FLOURISHES ALWAYS ENDING IN THE 2020′S, BY WHICH TIME ALL OF THE IMPORTANT POLS WILL HAVE BEEN TERMED OUT? MMMM…

Do they think that drivers of delivery vehicles want to do a new round of mental math every block to figure out where it’s OK to park?

SO DELIVERY DRIVERS WOULD PREFER ZERO PLACES TO PARK OVER SOME PLACES TO PARK? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY SAYING, SFBC? I THINK DELIVERY DRIVERS WILL DO JUST FINE FIGURING OUT WHERE TO PARK WHETHER IT’S LEGAL OR NOT – THERE’S NO MATH REQUIRED.

Do they think that San Franciscans will welcome confusing and antagonistic conditions on the city’s official north/south bike route, which is already experiencing a record-number of injuries among people biking and walking?

IRL, POLK STREET IS PRETTY SIMPLE. IRL, POLK STREET ISN’T “CONFUSING.” IRL, IF YOU WANT A “CONFUSING” STRETCH OF ROAD, LOOK TO THE EASTERN SECTION OF SFBC-APPROVED JFK DRIVE IN GOLDEN GATE PARK. IRL, IF SOMEBODY DIES AFTER GETTING HIT BY A MUNI BUS OR A CYCLIST GOING FOR A STRAVA KOM ON POLK STREET, IT’S NOT ACTUALLY DAVID CHIU’S FAULT.

But it’s not too late to steer the Polk Street project back to safety.

UM, IF BY “SAFETY” YOU MEAN WHICHEVER PLAN YOU’VE DREAMED UP, SFBC, THEN YES IT IS TOO LATE. YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET ALL THAT YOU WANT, SFBC.

We ask you to join us now to stand up to David Chiu and let him know that cowardly decisions today have direct, life-and-death impacts on real people like us.

WHOA!

Hold David Chiu (who represents much of Polk Street and is running for State Assembly this Fall) and MTA decisionmakers accountable by telling them loud and clear that they cannot not continue to turn their backs on your safety.

OH, I SEE, THIS IS A FUNDRAISING APPEAL TO STAVE OFF THE DECLINING MEMBERSHIP ROLLS, I SEE.

Call Supervisor David Chiu’s Office: 415-554-7450

OH, SO WHO’S THE “VOCAL MINORITY” NOW?

Call MTA Director Ed Reiskin’s Office (leave a message at the general front desk): 415-701-4500

AND ED REISKIN WORKS FOR ED LEE, RIGHT? WHY NOT INSTEAD JUST CALL YOUR BODY CLOUNT CLOCK THE ED LEE BODY COUNT CLOCK AND BE DONE WITH IT?

Tagged as: Connecting the City, David Chiu, Polk Street, Safety, SFMTA, Vision Zero

PERHAPS YOU’VE LOST YOUR WAY, SFBC…

(more…)

OMG, the San Francisco Police Officers Association is Giving Away Kryptonite Bike Locks – Bicycle Theft Workshop at the Twitter Building March 13th

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Pretty much:

“1st 45 people who bring an old cable lock to SAFE Bikes event will get a new @kryptonitelock u-lock! http://www.safebikes.org/events.html  @SFPDBikeTheft

Check it:

But they have a few questions for you:










OK fine, but the Twitter Office isn’t all that exciting. Consider it a victory if they let you out onto the roof.

Oh and it it looks like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has nothing to do with this event, except for parking bikes out front. Mmmm.

Anyway, enjoy.

The SFMTA’s New “Scott Street Traffic Diversion” Proposal

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Well the SFMTA has a new tack on Scott Street betwixt Page and Fell for this year.

So last year, the SFMTA felt that these particular blocks of Scott were filled with “high speed” drivers “speeding” through the place and the SFMTA felt that the simple four way stop intersection of Page and Scott was “confusing for everyone.” Here we go:

With intersecting bike routes and heavy vehicle volumes, this intersection  is confusing for everyone

In fact, Page and Scott is not “confusing” at all. As stated, it’s a simple four-way stop, about as comprehensible as possible. And in fact, Page and Scott does not experience “heavy vehicle volumes.”

Oh well.

But hey, if you want to say that Hayes and Scott has heavier traffic volume these days, especially during the evening drive, well, we agree on that, SFMTA. Before, this traffic would have been on Divisadero, but recent “improvements” to the DivCo have lessened the DivCo’s capacity.

Here is the result of the “improvements” to Divis:

Anyway

But now it’s 2014 and that was then and this is now. The SFMTA is articulating new rationales for doing what it wants to do. They’re contained in the Scott Street Traffic Diversion.

Let’s check it out:

Motorists who drive through a neighborhood – rather than to a local destination – can cause congestion on residential streets.

WELL GEE, I SUPPOSE THAT’S TRUE. BUT MOTORISTS WHO DRIVE TO A LOCAL DESTINATION – RATHER THAN DRIVING THROUGH – CAN CAUSE CONGESTION AS WELL, RIGHT?

The City proposes restricting traffic on Scott Street to make it more comfortable for residents, bicycle riders and pedestrians.

OK, SFMTA, WHY DON’T WE RESTRICT TRAFFIC ON _ALL_ STREETS TO MAKE _EVERYBODY_ MORE “COMFORTABLE?”

An extra-large bulb-out at Scott and Fell will require all southbound automobile traffic to turn right onto Fell Street; bicycle riders and pedestrians can continue on Scott. This will reduce Scott Street’s appeal as a cross-town route, making it a more pleasant place to walk, bike, and live.

SO YOU WANT DIVISADERO TO BE A _LESS_ “PLEASANT” PLACE?

Access will be maintained to all homes and driveways, and changes will be made to improve Divisadero Street to accommodate diverted traffic.

OH, I SEE, YOU WANT DIVIS TO HAVE MORE GREEN LIGHT TIME AND, LET’S SEE HERE, HAIGHT, PAGE, OAK, FELL, HAYES, ETC TO HAVE LESS GREEN LIGHT TIME. ISN’T THIS KIND OF A ZERO-SUM GAME? WHY SHOULD THE CITY BEND OVER BACKWARDS FOR THE RICH HOMEOWNERS OF SCOTT STREET?

Changes to Scott Street were initially requested by neighborhood residents unhappy with congestion and idling vehicles.

OK, SO WHAT ABOUT EVERY OTHER STREET IN SF? ARE YOU GOING TO POLL RESIDENTS OF ALL THE OTHER STREETS TO MEASURE THEIR “HAPPINESS?”

Restricting southbound traffic would greatly reduce this issue for several blocks both north and south of Fell Street. Residents who live on Scott between Oak and Fell would have to approach their homes from the south when driving, but would still have access to their driveways and would be able to exit the block to either the north or south.

WHY NOT THIS, SFMTA? WHY NOT SAY THAT ONLY SCOTT STREET RESIDENTS CAN PARK ON SCOTT STREET? I’LL BET THAT WOULD INCREASE THE HAPPINESS LEVEL OF THOSE MILLIONAIRES EVEN MORE. ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT NEXT, SFMTA?

With the proposed traffic diverter, drivers would still be able to park on both sides of Scott Street on the block between Oak and Fell with a U-turn required to reach parking spaces on the west side of the street. The traffic diverter would not remove any parking spaces from Scott Street, though bulb-outs at other locations in the project area will each remove 0-3 parking spaces.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST COME OUT AND SAY HOW MANY PARKING SPACES YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE OUT, SFMTA? OH, THAT’S NOT YOUR STYLE, HUH?

Biking on Scott Street in the southbound direction will be significantly calmer, with fewer automobiles to share the road with.

FEWER BUSES TOO, RIGHT? IN FACT NO BUSES AT ALL. AND YET, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE RIDE ON BUSES ON SCOTT THROUGH THIS SACRED AREA ON A DAILY BASIS. WHAT ABOUT THEM?

Scott Street will no longer be a convenient route for driving in the southbound direction.

BECAUSE IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT? WELL, WE AGREE ON THAT ON, ANYWAY.

For drivers with destinations within the Alamo Square or Lower Haight neighborhoods, either Divisadero or parallel neighborhood residential streets could be used.

WELL THANKS, CAPTAIN OBV!

For drivers currently using Scott Street for longer stretches, Divisadero will be improved to make it the preferred route through the area.

UH, NO IT WON’T. SIMPLY.

Driving north on Scott Street would not be restricted under the proposal, though raised crosswalks and speed humps will be added.

WHAT’S THE SPEED LIMIT ON SCOTT, SFMTA? HOW MANY PEOPLE “SPEED” ON THESE TWO BLOCKS BETWIXT PAGE AND FELL? OH NONE, ALL RIGHT. BUT YOU’LL PUT IN “SPEED” BUMPS ANYWAY, BECAUSE, BECAUSE…?

Because of improvements the SFMTA will be making to Divisadero in conjunction with this project, neighborhood streets such as Steiner, Pierce and Broderick would not be expected to receive noticeable changes in automobile traffic – in fact, some cross-town traffic on these streets may switch to Divisadero as well.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. IF THE SFMTA WANTS TO FAVOR NORTH-SOUTH TRAFFIC OVER EAST-WEST, IT CAN, OF COURSE, BUT AT THE EXPENSE OF EAST-WEST TRAFFIC, OF COURSE. ISN’T THIS A ZERO-SUM GAME, SFMTA?

Changing the traffic signals on Divisadero Street will ensure that the increase in the number of cars using Divisadero will not slow down the 24-Divisadero, and could even improve Muni service in some stretches.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. OH WELL. HEY SFMTA, WHY NOT CHANGE THE TRAFFIC SIGNALS ON DIVIS RIGHT NOW, IF DOING THAT WOULD BE SO GREAT? SIMPLY, DIVERTING TRAFFIC ON SCOTT WILL NOT IMPROVE BUS SERVICE. SORRY, SFMTA. SORRY TO HARSH YOUR MELLOW, SFMTA.

Driver and Writer CW Nevius Goes on a “Rant” Against the “Militant” Pedestrians of SF – Do They Have the Right to Jaywalk?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Here’s the latest effort from CW Nevius, who’s taking a break from being spokesman for San Francisco’s right-side-of-the-aisle  political faction to go on a “bit of a rant” against local pedestrians. But what’s up with this?  

“Even when they are in the right, I worry about them. When the traffic light countdown gets to five or six, they step confidently into the crosswalk — which is their right…”

But pedestrians don’t have “the right” to do so. It’s agin CA law – check out V C Section 21456,* which is dealt with by Rule #3 of the Five Rules for Pedestrians.

Don’t you have an editor, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have an editor, and plus, editors cost money, that’s right.

But don’t you have a fact checker, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have a fact checker, and plus, fact checkers cost money, that’s right.

But don’t you have a photographer, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, photographers cost money. So all your observations, we’ll just have to take your word about them. OK fine. BTW, [sarcasmmode ON] nice stock photo you’ve got there, Neve. “Cause a stock photo taken in the People’s Republic of China, you know, from more than a thousand li away, well, that really illustrates how “militant” and “freaking nuts” San Francisco peds are, huh? [sarcasmmode OFF]

And oh, BTW Neve, the peds of SF aren’t militant, not at all. Try to find a different word for what you mean.

Of course you’re new in town, I get that. Sure, welcome to San Francisco, Neve.

But you’re doing a half-assed job doing your half-time gig.

You need to try harder.

*”Walk, Wait, or Don t Walk

21456. Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:

(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.

(b) Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.

Amended Ch. 413, Stats. 1981. Effective January 1, 1982.”

The Five Rules for Pedestrians and Crosswalks in California – Or, How to Make Sure You Win Your Lawsuit Against That Uber Driver

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

1. YOU NEED TO BE IN THE CROSSWALK WHEN YOU GET HIT. This one’s pretty basic. And actually, it’s pretty flexible IRL. So let’s say you’re over the line a bit, your foot was 18 inches away from the white paint, well that could be OK. This rule becomes important if you’re halfway between blocks and you start jaywalking – a top cause of death of peds in SF. There’ve been many cases of this on the streets of San Francisco lately, like Hayes, Lombard, Masonic, Market, I could go on and on.

2. YOU CAN’T START TOO EARLY. This is called jumping the light. So of course, you’ve got to wait for the green light (or green WALK signal), you already know that. BUT THAT”S NOT ALL. You’ve also got to wait for traffic legally in the intersection to clear the intersection. So, GREEN DOES NOT MEAN “GO.” Green means you need to look for traffic clearing the intersection. And if that traffic isn’t over the speed limit and if that traffic entered the intersection on a yellow (which is totally OK under CA law, generally) and you step off and get hit, then, surprise, you’re the one at fault. So yes, you were in the crosswalk, but the collision is your fault, sorry.

3. YOU CAN’T START TOO LATE. This means that DON’T WALK means don’t walk. Now, in many places about town, you don’t have a ped-only signal telling you what to do. So, you’re allowed to start crossing on a green all the way until a yellow light appears. Effectively, the yellow light is your DON’T WALK signal. Of course this means that you might still be in the crosswalk when the light turns green for cross traffic. But now the law is in your favor, ped. The law says that cross traffic needs to wait for you to clear the intersection.

4. YOU CAN’T GO TOO SLOW. This one’s easy – it means you’re not supposed to stop during your trip across the street as best I can figure. (Leaving aside the law, there are standards for how long peds should have to cross an intersection, but they get thrown out the window when SF deals with 100-foot-plus wide monsters like horrible, horrible Octavia Boulevard, oh well.)

5. YOU CAN’T GO TOO FAST. Ooh, joggers. Your California Vehicle Code was written without concern for joggers, pretty much. So if you’re sprinting into an intersection and get hit by a MUNI, look for the SFPD to put the blame on you, yes, even though you were in the crosswalk.

Click to expand

So that’s reality.

But if you’d prefer a distorted, rose-colored view of reality, feel free to surf on over StreetsBlog SF (Straight Outta Park Slope!), or the SFBC (declining membership these days, despite being sponsored by SFGov SFMTA MUNI DPT) or Walk SF (sponsored by let’s-build-high-near-the-Waterfront real estate interests).

Your choice.

White San Francisco Progressives Oppose Free Sunday Parking But Berkeley “Progressive” Randy Shaw Does Not – Why?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

I’ll tell you why.

It’s because east-bay government contractor Randy Shaw is in the tank for Mayor Ed Lee.

So whenever Mayor Ed Lee changes his position on some issue, Randy Shaw just might very well put on his cheerleader uniform (it still fits!) and start waving his pom-poms.

Thusly.

“All San Franciscans should cheer Mayor Ed Lee’s plans to return to Sunday free meter parking.”

Is Randy Shaw a “journalist?”

“San Francisco’s Tenderloin is the city’s last remaining working-class neighborhood. And it is the only residential neighborhood in the city without any residential parking program.”

Is that true? NOPE!

“Tenderloin residents cannot park in front of their apartments or SRO’s…”

Suffer the poor SRO residents who can’t park for free all day long right in front of their buildings like a rock star! East Bay resident Randy Shaw weeps for them.

“Free Sunday parking should be sacrosanct.”

All right Randy, you know what we should do?  We should poll all the mansion dwellers of Berkeley, CA and then use the results to determine parking policy for San Francisco, why not?

And Randy? Why not work on spending our money better?

Ouch: Membership Dues Have [Fallen] at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

[UPDATE:  Per the SFBC, "...you should have read Part VIII, lines 1b and 2a, of the 990s for both the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Education Fund."

So, here's 2010:

1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn't help.

And 2011:

Again, 1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn't help.

And here's 2012:

(And the Bicycle Coalition Education Fund 990's don't really factor in all that much, like $10 or $20 grand each.)

So IDK, would you, Gentle Reader, suppose that different strategies were applied for 2010 and 2011 vs. 2012? I would. Because the "non-contribution portions of membership dues" went from $0 in 2010 and 2011 all the way up to $135,933 in 2012. Is there any explanation for this? Did the accountant(?) for 2011 and earlier fill out the 990 forms incorrectly? IDK. Is this kind of a thing a big deal, worth amending a bunch of other recent returns? IDK.

(Did IRS laws on this topic change the past several years? I don't think so, as this guide from 2008 remains unchanged.)

Now when I say "membership dues," what's actually written in there for 2012 is "memberships." Now memberships is a different thing, IMO. Memberships is what the SFBC spent a lot of time crowing about when memberships were actually increasing. But these days memberships are decreasing. Why is that? I ask.

So, what the SFBC is now calling it a 3% "membership income change" I'd call it a 3% membership dues decrease. And this comes at a time when the population of San Francisco is increasing and at a time when SFGov and the SFBC officially "expect" a sixfold increase in the number of trips made by bicycle in San Francisco by 2020, all the way up to 20%. ("20 by '20" or something.) I don't think anybody believes in this fantasy, you know, actually, but, well, there you go.

So, membership dues at the SFBC have decreased more like 3% year over year, rather than 40-something percent.

But if I were running the SFBC and I were as sensitive about giving out my 990's as this...

"The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's annual reports discuss our biggest successes and challenges, and present a broad picture of our income and expenses. If you have specific questions about our finances, please contact Leah Shahum, Executive Director, 415/431-BIKE x306."

...I'd amend my returns so that they would be self consistent, at the very least. END UPDATE]

And by the past year, I mean let’s use the most recent Form 990, the one* that was filed about four months ago, and compare it with the one what was filed for the year before.

Check it. Here’s the 990 for 2011 - $344,663 in reported membership dues:

Click to expand

And here’s the 990 for 2012 – just $185,921:

Now, what could explain this sudden and dramatic drop in “support?”

Well, we had the Chris Bucchere accident in the first quarter of 2012 and some members didn’t exactly approve of the way that SFBC officers dealt with the issue. Perhaps revenue went down in the following quarters?

And we had the shocking SFBC endorsement of Republican-backed Mayor Ed Lee near the end of 2011 – I doubt that paying members would have approved of that had they been given the opportunity.

You know, this guy, the one who always looks up to the formerly-despised Willie Brown:

Of course, people can always do a Barter Membership, but you’d think that dues-paying members would volunteer anyway, right?

Take a look at the numbers on the tax returns, it seems as if the SFBC is just another arm of the SFMTA or, indeed, of SFGov. (Except it’s an agency that can officially endorse Ed Lee for Mayor.)

Oh well.

Anyway, this is why the SFBC no longer boasts of increasing membership anymore.

[UPDATE: Did the 10% discount for SFBC members at Rainbow Grocery really make that much of a difference? IDK. See Comments.]

*There’s also something called the Education Fund, which also gets membership dues – $10k for 2011 and $20k for 2012. But if you throw those numbers in you’re still looking at a 40-something percent decline year over year.