At least that’s where I saw all these people this past weekend.
This was Saturday:
Something about SOS and human organ harvesting in the People’s Republic of China, and other things as well I’m sure. Here’s Sunday on the GGB:
On It Goes…
“In 1992, San francisco Beautiful established a taskforce that included publishers, community groups, DPW, and the City Attorneys to forge a plan that would eliminate the clutter and hazards of unmitigated newsracks while preserving the publications right to sell papers. The City instituted a pilot program which resulted in the development of a pedestal mounted newsrack. The response was positive and the Public Works Code was amended to create pedestal mounted newsrack zones. Due to the decline in printed news circulation, these racks have become a contributing factor to cluttering and blighting our sidewalks”
Well, let’s see, some things are just wrong here, with this self-serving account, and other salient matters, like the huge costs this program has stuck all of us with, have been conveniently omitted. Anywho, what comes through is that the ugly busybodies about town collectively known as San Francisco Beautiful got just what they wanted but now they’re not happy.
What would you call this – a tax on the media, a fee on the media? These workers drive over from the East Bay to lovingly maintain mostly empty PedMount news racks and then send the bill whatever media entity what’s still operating in Frisco. It Takes A Village to maintain a news rack – look at all this paraphernalia:
And then they beep the bar code to prove they really came. What is this for?
What a horrible idea this was.
How much has it cost us, over the years?
Well, let’s go way back for starters, back when the Bicycle Thieves Of San Francisco aimed to steal your entire bike. They’d sometimes get caught with stolen bikes and car jacks.*
But these days, it’s bike parts thieves seem to settle for, so cyclists need to protect not just the frame but also the wheels, the saddle and the headset, and other bits too, if you can.
So that means that today’s bike thief needs room to store stuff and that’s where Division Street comes in. It’s been a good place to park a vehicle or pitch a tent without being bothered too much, plus it’s close to the action – it’s close to 7th and Market and the Main Library.
This is what things looked like under the I-80 before Fall 2015 as I remember things:
This is how I remember things being for a decade or two.
But then all of a sudden, instead of a few tents here and there, a bunch of tents popped up. They filled up practically every possible space in lines that stretched from Costco #144 all the way to South Van Ness. I’m guessing this occurred anywhere from mid-to-late November 2015 to early December at the latest.
This is part of the north (aka west) side of Division on Dec. 13th:
Compare that with this shot of the same place on Dec. 9th
And this is the other side of the street closer to 10th Street at the end of December:
I’ll tell you, most of these hundreds of people are NOT bike thieves.
So why did they show up here at the end of 2015?
The Holidays? I could see why the SFPD et al might want to ignore things until after Thanksgiving, Christmas and whatnot.
El Nino? This would be a good place to stay out of most of the rain, of course, and the forecast was for lots of it coming soon.
Super Bowl 50? The corporate party part of Super Bowl 50 had lots of knock-on effects for SFGov – it seemed like each and every SF Department was gearing up. At the time I thought, well, this doesn’t look too good either, if this is the alternative to homeless people hanging out near Super Bowl City in the Financial.
Availability of Tents? I remember seeing truck upon truck delivering stuff here, something like an FM radio station with “Chuy in the Morning” written on the side, something like that. So sure, food, but tents too? IDK.
Those are some ideas, anyway.
I don’t know, if SFGov cleans out all these tents in February 2016, will that end shoplifting at Rainbow Grocery?
We’ll find out soon enough.
Anyway, that’s your brief history of the tents on Division from 2015-2016.
*Stolen from the trunks of boxy Volvos. It was a thing.
Here it is, not too far from notorious 6th Street, a Vision of the Future:
(Complete with smiling peasants, Comrade. This woman prolly scored some happy drugs around the corner on Golden Gate Ave.)
I had to “enhance” the illustration to see what was going on here, but this sure looks like a riveting game of sidewalk chess, which used to be a scene close to 5th Street and which then got kicked over to the other side of 6th Street and which then got regulated out of existence.
But along with the chess came sidewalk craps, shielded from view by the chess people. Other things came along with the chess as well and that’s what led to its demise. One wonders why our City Family kicked the chess ppl out from 5th and Market in the first place…
After years of work and study…
BROADWAY TUNNEL BICYCLE PROJECT: Staff has sent a work order to
the Signal Shop to have the bicycle symbol flash when turned on. (No
…this the result, eastbound – a blank, nonsensical, K-Mart-looking diamond what lights up when cyclists are sensed in the BT:
The old method of alerting drivers was similar, but it actually made sense to drivers when it wasn’t operating.
(The SFMTA seems to think that dreaming up crazy new ideas is its obligation – if you’ve never seen things before anywhere else in the world, that’s proof that the SFMTA is showing “leadership,” apparently)
Now here it is when it’s actually working, which I’ve never seen before, courtesy of Google Maps (from the northern lane – G gives you a choice):
The big issue is how to handle bikes in the tunnel.
My method, westbound, from Chinesetown, is to walk the bike unless I see the rare ped, and then I dismount and stop while the ped passes me. In practice, this usually means riding all the way through. I think this is agin the current rules, but I don’t think I’m risking getting a ticket or anything.
Now eastbound is a different story, since the grade is generally working your way. The technique is to wait for a wave of traffic to go through and then enter when drivers idle at the red at Larkin. You’ll have a few cars pass you, but that’s better than just blithely ignoring traffic the way most do. Or, you can just ride on the sidewalk, remembering that you’re a second-class citizen when doing so.
Anyway, it seems that the generally dull-witted SFMTA is sophisticated enough to understand that going east and west is different thang here, so that’s good.
So do we want to encourage people to ride through this tunnel? IDK. I’ll tell you, westbound, uphill on the Geary Tunnel is worse and the Stockton Tunnel is way better.
I don’t know what the options are at the Broadway Tunnel. I’m sure most of them are very expensive…