Posts Tagged ‘SFPD’

Uh Oh, the SFPD’s Vaunted “Focus on the Five” Enforcement Program Focuses on the Wrong Five

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Work with me here, people.

Here you go:

“Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

All right, well let’s look at the stats for last year, via Heather Knight / the District 5 Diary.

And then let’s extract all the five-digit CVC section numbers cited in the official SFPD report, plus let’s also throw in a CVC number for the pedestrian who died last year after getting hit by a MUNI bus on Geary around Baker.

(And let’s ignore all the the lower-case subsections like 21950(b) and the like, treating 21950(a) and 21950(b) as the same violation, for example.)

And then lets throw all the extracted numbers into Excel for a Sorting.

And then let’s eyeball the numbers to separate them out:

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So those are your top “five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking (and bicycle riding, but I don’t think that affects the numbers too much.)

Here they are, in order of frequency:

21950

22350

21456

21954

21955

So how does that compare with this list from politicians?

“Focus on the 23 Five” campaign to target the top five causal factors of pedestrian crashes – running red lights 24 (California Vehicle Code 21453(a)), running stop signs (California Vehicle Code 22450(a)), violating pedestrian right-of-way (California Vehicle Code 21950(a)), failing to yield while 2 turning (California Vehicle Code 21801 (a), and speeding (California Vehicle Code 22350)…

See how that works? 21950 and 22350 are in there, but CVC violations on the part of pedestrians, like 21456, 21954, and 21955 have been omitted from the list.

Is the official “Focus on the Five” about pedestrian safety or “pedestrian rights?”

I’m thinking it’s about pedestrian rights, like the right to jaywalk, that kind of thing.

Is SFGov serious about SF Vision Zero 2024, a “program” that has the goal of ending all transportation deaths in San Francisco long after all the pols who voted for it have termed out?

Well, how can it be if it’s afraid to enforce traffic laws for political reasons?

If you want safety for pedestrians, wouldn’t you want them to be afraid of getting cited for jaywalking?

No? All right, well then keep on doing what you’re doing, but you’ll never ever achieve Vision Zero 2024 the way you’re going about it, SFGov.

Prediction: The First Gold Apple Watch Theft/Robbery in San Francisco Will Occur in June 2015

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Do you love gold?

Lots of criminals do.

And pretty soon, they’ll realize that the value of the gold in some new watches from Apple is very very high.

Let’s see what the SFPD has to say:

“As with any new technology, of course there is a concern that thieves will prey on victims with the new technology,” San Francisco Police Department public information officer, Albie Esparza said. “Criminals are opportunistic. If there is a demand, there will be supply. It’s simple business economics.”

So, I don’t care what security features your multi-thousand dollar gold iWatch has, there’s nothing stopping somebody from taking your shiny and then melting it down to sell the gold for $1000 an ounce.

We’ll see…

Now here’s a guy at the Original Aple Store at 1 Stockton in Union Square trying and failing to shoplift some $350(!) Beats headphones:

Apple realizes that its new watches will need to be protected just as at any other Union Square jewelry / bling bling store.

But once its on your wrist, security will be YOUR problem.

Choose wisely.

The SFMTA’s New DOUBLE RIGHT TURN is Creating Problems – Getting Used the Great Peninsula at Fell and Masonic

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Here’s the situation and here are a couple new photos.

See how the new peninsula juts into traffic? That means that MUNI buses can no longer use lane #3 on southbound Masonic to get across Fell:

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So here’s the upshot: SFPD cars are getting stuck in the #2 lane of southbound Masonic – they are inadvertently “blocking the box,” as this radio car was doing for about five seconds before it could creep forward. I’ve never seen the cops blocking the box like this here:

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I suppose that it depends on the time of day how many people from southbound Masonic head west at Fell or continue south on Masonic, but this change is creating more “traffic” than there was before.

And if you’re on a bike, then you’d need to merge over a couple lanes in between Hayes and Fell, one supposes…

SFPD “Horse Mounted Officers” in Traffic – A Herd on Kearny – What’s Changed in 166 Years?

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Of course back in ’49, you know, 1849, some people were still calling Kearny Street La Calle de la Fundacion – it was the start of the grid system of streets we know today.

Anyway, not much has changed since the founding of the SFPD 166 years ago – a time-traveling gold miner from back then would have no problem understanding this aspect of The Future: 

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Click to expand

Mounted Unit

How the Magic Word “VisionZero” Has NOT Changed the SFMTA’s Half-Assed Approach to Transportation Safety: “Focus On The Five”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s the SFMTA’s official six-figure-a-year spokesperson on the topic of when pedestrians can cross a street, from just last year:

“They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Of course this is wrong, as even Paul Rose himself would admit now, after being corrected.

So, why did he say that? Because he, like his employer, has a half-assed approach to safety, and, one supposes, he, like his employer, is mired in politics.

Now do you suppose that Paul Rose was at all interested in examining why he told the peds of San Francisco that it was A-OK for them to violate CA state law? Oh no, not at all. And do you think he checked with anyone before he spouted off? Prolly not.

Like I say, a half-assed approach.

Now we’re in 2015, the era of SF VisionZero 2024, which has the goal, one that nobody actually believes in, but they have to pretend that they do believe in it, of having no more transportation deaths in San Francisco County starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

It’ll look a little something like this, supposedly:

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Now do you see the beauty in this? By the time SFGov fails to achieve this impossible goal, all the people who glibly made the promise will be out of office, right? How convenient.

The big problem with the approach that SFGov is taking is assuming that traffic deaths are a street design issue, as opposed to a human behavior issue. So most of the emphasis appears to be upon SFGov spending more money, which of course SFGov loves to do anyway.

And the part of VisionZero SF that’s focuses on behavior seems misplaced, for political reasons.

For example, there’s this:

Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

So if the SFPD started handing out tickets for jaywalking, you know, in a big way, that would certainly help with traffic safety, over the long term, to at least a slight degree, but that would take the SFPD away from its “Focus On The Five” goal.

The problem with Focus On The Five is that it ignores Vehicle Code violations on behalf of pedestrians, one supposes for political reasons. In fact, the cause of most pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year in San Francisco was the behavior of the pedestrians and cyclists themselves.

And what’s this talk about “automated enforcement?” How about this, how about hooking up all of the SFMTA’s vehicles to an automated enforcement mechanism that would detect speed limit, stop sign and red light violations using on board sensors and GPS? Then, after Ed Reiskin parks his government-paid SFMTA car or an operator parks her bus, SFPD tickets would be issued, you know, daily. Whoo boy, what are the odds of something like that happening?

So that’s SF VisionZero 2024, a buzz-phrase that means absolutely nothing.

 

 

What It Looks Like When a Visit from President Barack Obama Shuts Down the California Street Cable Cars

Monday, February 16th, 2015

It looks like this:

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Old SFPD Crown Vics Never Die, They Just Go OUT OF SERVICE

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

I don’t think this SFPD Ford Crown Victoria will be with us much longer:

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The funny thing is that I’ve been seeing a lot of civilianized former police cars on the streets of San Francisco and I can’t tell them from the merely out-of-service SFPD rides.

Anyway, all of the SFPD’s Crown Vics are not long for this world – they’re not going to get driven for decades the way some SFGov trucks are. No no, iconic Crown Vics, both the 80’s-style origami kind and the swoopier 90’s-style rounded kind, will soon be gone.

Last time I drove one was when Hertz gave me a “free” “upgrade” to a “premium” rent-a-car. It cost me more on gas, but you can’t say a Crown Vic is uncomfortable* to drive – it’s a barcalounger on wheels.

Soon enough, all our CV’s will be OOS.

*Unlike, say, the Toyota Camry “CE” stripper I rented one time. Yish.

Look Who Else was Doing Chalk Ads on the Sidewalks of San Francisco: Paramount Pictures – “What is CLOVERFIELD? 1-18-08″

Monday, February 9th, 2015

This one flew under the radar, AFAIK:

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Seven years later, here in 2015, you can’t get away this kind of thing anymore…

Uber Beats Lyft Again! – They Both Put Illegal Chalk Ads on Our Sidewalks, But Only Lyft Gets Busted – Plus, a Shakedown

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

A couple years back I passed by this scene on Market, so then I contacted the Uber people by email on my cell…

uberr1a

…and I was all, “Can you do that? I don’t think you can do that.”

Why? Because it’s a chalk ad on a Frisco sidewalk and that aint kosher. I mean, I didn’t know for sure, maybe somebody had approved this and the Uber people had permits, who knows. I was simply “issue-spotting,” as they say.

So then, a half-hour later, the Uberers had these ads hastily obliterated, more or less, as best they could.

And that was that, back in 2013.

And now comes Lyft in 2015 with hopsc0tch chalk on the Streets of San Francisco:

Lyft copy

Except that SFGov is now lowering the boom on Lyft.

(And there might be some shakedown to take money from Lyft to give it to those ugly “SF Beautiful,” people, who are now infamous for suing the City and County of San Francisco? That sounds wrong.)

Anyway, Uber beats Lyft, once again.

NIMBY’s vs. the SFMTA: Local Objections to New Traffic Signals on McAllister at Broderick and Scott for the 5 Fulton

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

This effort appears to be similar to the SFMTA’s attempt to add traffic signals on Haight at Scott and Pierce.

This isn’t the worst example of NIMBYism, but I’d say it’s fairly alarmist, fairly absurd.

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I’ll just say that, generally speaking, it’s generally harder to get around town these days by car, by bike and by MUNI, compared with ten or twenty years ago. Part of this has to do with our newer, absurdly-wide sidewalks, designed for pedestrian “comfort.”

And yet, most ped and cyclist deaths in San Francisco involve fault from the peds and cyclists. Here’s 2014:

The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.” 

(I should do a video on how to be a pedestrian in SF. It might involve some jaywalking but it would also involve extreme alertness on behalf of peds. You see, the way to prevent a lot of ped deaths in SF would be to get inside their heads to see what’s going wrong.)

IMO, the SFMTA should leave McAllister alone and then start taking out as many bus stops as politically possible.

I’ll tell you, not that many cyclists pass by Broderick and McAllister compared with Scott and McAllister, it seems, owing to geography. So looking at McAllister and Scott, it seems that the lights will be timed against cyclists using FULTON DIVISADERO MCALLISTER eastbound as an alternative to the already-overcrowded Wiggle route to get from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to the Financh.

So for my own selfish reasons, I’d prefer that MUNI not make these changes, but who am I to stand in their way? What the MUNI people are saying is that we’ll all be better off overall, and 40 seconds each way each day will add up to millions of seconds, eventually.

In conclusion, meh. If MUNI wants to put in lights, we should let them do it.