Posts Tagged ‘signal’

What Makes San Francisco Pedestrians Unique Isn’t Just Their Horrible Behavior, It’s Their Horrible Attitude Too

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

So sure, jumping the light and loitering in the street, that’s a routine thing, and that’s part of the reason why most* ped deaths due to traffic accidents on the streets of San Francisco last year were primarily the fault** of the pedestrians themselves.***

But to show the proper attitude, make sure to look away from the traffic you’ve been improperly blocking for no reason:

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That’s it, now you’re on the trolley!

*Just a smidge above 50% for 2014, admittedly higher than the typical year.

**And if you’re talking about some partial fault on behalf of peds, then this 50 something percent figure would climb into the 60’s or 70’s. Of course, you’re not legally required to walk defensively, but, of course, it’s nevertheless a good idea. This is why I’m less likely to die as a pedestrian in a traffic accident per hour of walking than you, the more typical SF ped, one assumes

***Per SFGov, your beloved SFGov, which is run**** by that guy that the urbanist-type group(s) you’re a dues paying member of almost certainly endorsed for election.****

****You know, under our Strong Mayor form of government

How the SFMTA Gave Up Its Experiment at the Deadly Intersection of Yorba and Sunset

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

I’ll tell you, our SFMTA is addicted to crazy new ideas. So like if you have an idea that’s untested, and it’s a little out there, you know, a little crazy, or crazy enough that it just might work, well our SFMTA would just loooooove to hear about it.

As it was at Yorba and Sunset. This place was a mess, with HAWK lights that never turned red – what was the point of having a pedestrian-activated light that never turned red? What other cities do things this way?

Here’s what things looked like last year:

 

And here’s how things look now, with a normal signal, one that’s much more effective than the SMART-whatever experiment that was going on before:

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So who was responsible for the HAWK beacon idea?

Nobody?

Oh, okay.

Irate Pedestrian Hectors Bike Riders Individually and Indiscriminately in a Crosswalk at 4th and Market

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

She hectored only the riders who stopped for her at the crosswalk.

She was angered by the riders who went through the red, but they were too far away for her to hector. Her unfocused rage came out against those who were already doing as she wished.

Then after she passed by, riders began to run the red, cause the signal timing of 4th and Market these days is crazy. (Like, who’s doing what now? Like why isn’t anybody using the intersection now?)

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SF has the worst peds in the world…

The SFMTA Gods Must Be Crazy, Masonic Edition: A Green Light for Cars and Bikes, But a Red Upraised Hand for Peds at the Same Time?

Friday, September 12th, 2014

So as the SFMTA is gearing up for its big election this fall, let’s take a look at how it’s doing on Masonic at Evergreen Terrace.

This summer, the newly-installed lights were on a 75-second  timer that ended up stalling traffic on Masonic about 30% of the time, for no apparent reason.

Here’s the next phase – the crude timing scheme is gone, but what’s this? A solid green for traffic next to a solid red upraised hand for peds? I’ve never seen this kind of thing  before:

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One assumes that this is the SFMTA just being the SFMTA and this has something to do with the activation of the pedestrian activated crosswalk buttons. (Or is DPW still running the show here? IDK)

But it almost seems that the SFMTA thinks it knows what it’s doing when it strikes out on so many unorthodox traffic experiments.

SFMTA, you suck, don’t you know that by now? Why not simply strive to be competent?

And are you just testing/installing the lights at Ewing? But doesn’t this photo look “wrong” to you? How many days, weeks, months should you set up the lights like this?

Hey SFMTA, what are you going to do when Prop A loses? What’s your Plan B? Let’s hope it doesn’t involve telling even more of the peds of Masonic to stop and go at the same time…

SFGov Installed a New Traffic Signal on Masonic for Just One Cul-De-Sac and They Put It On a Timer? Nightmare on Ewing Terrace

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

So let’s see here, back in the day a mom living on Ewing  Terrace went to an SFMTA meeting complaining about how it took her “20 minutes” to pull out of Ewing Terrace, so because of that a new traffic signal has been installed.

Check it: 

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Now that this signal has been lit, there’s no way you can miss it because it stops traffic on Masonic every 75 seconds these days.

THEY PUT IT ON A TIMER?!

What’s so special about this tiny street?

SFMTA, do you realize that you talk about speeding up MUNI, but how’s this going to help? Actually, it’s going to hurt. This light routinely slows down MUNI for no apparent reason.

Is this a temporary thing?

IDK.

Anyway, they wanted the support of this mom for the new spending the SFMTA wants to do on Masonic, so they’re all oh, this lady wants a light, so let’s throw her a bone and then she’ll be on our side…

I suppose that worked.

Perhaps eventually, this signal will be pedestrian / user activated?

Perhaps eventually, this signal will be automatically switched to green when a MUNI bus approaches using some kind of transit override function?

We’ll see.

But in the meantime, it appears that the SFMTA just spent Target’s money to slow down MUNI…

 

How the SFPD Reacts to Deadly Accidents at the Poorly-Designed Intersection of Yorba and Sunset Avenue

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

IDK, in any other part of California, there’d be a button to push for peds wanting to cross Sunset at Yorba. And that would make the light go red and then the peds would cross.

But for some reason, SFGov put in a button that merely flashed yellow lights, because, because why? Because a flashing yellow light is better than no light at all? Au contraire, not at all. IRL, the flashing yellow HAWK lights at Yorba are a big failure. The only thing they succeeded in is creating cases for the District Attorney to ponder.

IRL, peds don’t need to push no button and they don’t even need to look before they cross over Sunset – no matter what they do here, any collision will be the fault of the driver. Who designed this set up, one wonders.

Anyway, the SFPD is well aware of the carnage of course, so here’s how it responds whenever somebody gets run over. Look to the right of the photo and you’ll see an unoccupied SFPD van just sitting there to put a little fear into the minds of drivers:

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Is this technique effective? IDK.

OMG, These Stupid Experimental Pedestrian Warning Lights are Still Operating at Yorba And Sunset? Who Is To Blame?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

I’ve heard the local nonprofit-government complex call these unusual pedestrian-activated flashing yellow lights “HAWK Beacons,” but they don’t look like what’s in Wiki.

See? They’re still there:

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These signals only flash yellow, unlike the examples of HAWKs I’ve seen on the web.

Who approved these signals? What was the intent? Was it to save money? Was it to spend money? Why didn’t SF put in traditional lights a long time ago?

And is this crazy set-up* a factor for the DA to keep in mind when deciding how to handle accidents? Well, I’ll answer this one:

Oh Hell Yes.

San Franciscans obvs. can’t handle having a single simple freeway taking traffic from the south up north towards the Golden Gate Bridge, so Sunset Boulevard (or Parkway or whatever people cal it) is part of the solution. But it hasn’t been managed properly.

That is the fault of whom?

IDK.

*I can’t think of a situation where a vehicle vs. ped collision at this intersection could be the fault of the ped, unless the ped had been running in the crosswalk. So you end up with a dead ped and a driver who’s legally at fault – is that a good situation?

 

Confused Driver Gets Ticketed Making the Infamous Left Turn at Fell And Masonic – Why the SFPD Cited Her

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

All right, camera right shows a light-colored Chevy properly waiting at the red arrow light to turn from westbound Fell onto southbound Masonic. The confused driver is in the  blue two-door Honda – she wants to make the same turn to get from NoPA to SoPA but she’s in the wrong lane.

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Of course back in the day, the Honda driver would have been driving properly but things changed at this intersection about a half-decade back. Check it. Anywho, she sat there waiting to turn left even though she had a green to proceed straight on Fell Street.

That pissed off the driver of the car behind her, so then its driver is all “hoooooooooonk!” You know, at the Blue Honda Chick.

She doesn’t budge ’cause she knows she wants to turn left, you know, from the wrong lane.    

Oh, here she goes, around the Chevy:

Now all that honking attracted the attention of the Park Station police, who also made an illegal left from the wrong lane in order to follow the blue Honda driver onto southbound Masonic. Here they are near Oak:

The moral of this story is that drivers will never get used to this unique intersection set-up. The reason being is that the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition overruled the traffic engineers who originally had cars on Fell turning left at the beginning of the green light phase for Fell Street. But you see, that had car drivers “going first.”

Oh well.

On It Goes…

And oh, what you’re supposed to do when you make a mistake driving is to just go with it, go with the flow, you know, respond to stimuli. So like if you’re in the westbound lane and you have a green to go straight then you should go straight for a while EVEN THOUGH THAT”S NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO RIGHT NOW.

Obliviously, you can’t just make up your own traffic rules…

It’s Hard: Spot the Pedestrian in the Uncontrolled Crosswalks of UCSF’s Parnassus Heights on a Foggy Night

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Probably every crosswalk up there should be controlled by a traffic signal:

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JMO

I Am Become Rob Anderson, #2: So This is How They Restriped the Bike Lanes of JFK Jr. Drive in Golden Gate Park?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Please point me to something else in the world what looks like this, on JFK westbound in front of the Conservatory of Flowers.

Here’s what you do, you get a car and then drive west from Stanyan.* And then you think, “Why is my body closer to the left side of the road than the right?”

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Simply, this is a mess.

Could maybe a traffic engineer take a look at this design? You know, at some point?

Note the absence of a stop line for bikes next to the stop sign. I think that’s on purpose…

Oh well.

*Speaking of Stanyan and JFK Drive, there needs to be a traffic signal at the east end of JFK where it intersects with Kezar Drive. Maybe someday…