Posts Tagged ‘speeding’

Our Inefficient, Money-Hungry SFMTA Wants to Start Issuing Speeding Tickets, But Somehow “They Would Not Be Moving Violations?!”

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Oh, this one’s easy  – we’re going to go from zero to Orwellian in ten seconds.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines:

SFMTA Pushing For Speed Cameras In San Francisco To Improve Pedestrian Safety by Cate Cauguiran

And here’s your nut graf:

“SFMTA plans to present their proposal to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority later this week. The agency says the citations would not be moving violations, and therefore not reportable to the DMV.”

Now let’s review – Papa Homer, what’s a “moving violation?

A moving violation is a violation of the law committed by the driver of a vehicle while it is in motion. The term “motion” distinguishes it from other motor vehicle violations, such as paperwork violations (which include violations involving automobile insurance, registration and inspection), parking violations, or equipment violations.”

So, if the parking ticket agency gives a ticket for speeding, it’s issuing moving violations, right? Now tell us more, Wiki:

While some violations, like parking violations, are civil matters involving a vehicle’s owner, moving violations are charged against the actual driver.

Yep. And then there’s this:

The most commonly enforced moving violation, and the overwhelmingly most frequent reason for a vehicle pullover, are violations of the speed limit.

And what’s the motivation for the SFMTA to float this balloon?

Sometimes tickets are used in a speed trap as a form of fundraising

I don’t use the term “speed trap” myself, but, yes, our SFMTA is obsessed with “fundraising,” certainly.

And lastly:

Examples of moving violations: speeding, which can be exceeding a limit or simply driving an unsafe speed…

Thanks Wiki! And actually, a speeding ticket is the prototypical moving violation, in Frisco and everywhere else too.

Now I’ll tell you, I was surprised earlier this year to see the SFMTA issuing “block the box” tickets, because sometimes the SFMTA DPT shows up at an intersection during rush hour to unblock the box, not to make money from block boxing. And yet, here you go:

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This is a DPT PCO in the middle of the intersection of Bush and Sansome shooting fish in a barrel – busting three vehicles, and then she was Gone In 60 Seconds.

And I thought, well, I suppose the drivers here are parked since they’re idling away, motionless, for a long time, so sure, ticket away, SFMTA, even though you’ve timed the lights to exacerbate this situation, but anyway, sure, these are parking tickets, fine.

But if you want to start issuing moving violation tickets, you shouldn’t lie about it. (I’ll tell you, sometimes I can’t tell if the SFMTA lies on purpose or if it just doesn’t know what it’s doing.)

Now, here’s my MODEST PROPOSAL - traffic cameras for pedestrians, mounted over crosswalks. The cameras would record all the peds who jump the light by starting across a second or two early and then a ticket for $100 would get mailed to the offenders after facial recognition ID’s the peds. (Gentle Reader, did you know that most ped deaths last year on the Streets of San Francisco were the fault of the peds themselves? It’s sort of a secret. It wasn’t a blowout or anything, the peds “won” this competition by 50-something percent, vs. the drivers’ 40-something percent, but isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think, that enforcing the vehicle code upon peds, as unpopular as this might be, could reduce traffic deaths more than how SFGov has handled matters up ’til now? Anyway, I’m talking about how the SFPD apportioned ped deaths in SF in 2014. But don’t talk about it, oh no – that might get you transferred to the Airport Detail, srsly. And bonus! Our new ped cams could “also help us as an investigative tool if someone is committing a crime somewhere nearby.” Moving on…)

Of course, the reason why SFGov wants to go Full Orwell is that paying sworn officers to issue tickets is inefficient and expensive. OTOH, an automatic system, backed up by an appeals mechanism to make everything constitutional, could generate tons of money for the SFMTA, like almost as much as its Household Transit Tax fantasy that it would impose on you, Gentle Reader, in a New York minute, if it could. (It’s what Ed Reiskin dreams of at night – your transit tax would be added to your tax returns, easy peasy, what a dream!)

Anyway, I think saying that a moving violation isn’t is worthy of five Orwells, on a scale of zero to five Orwells:

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All the way to the bottom, Maggie SFMTA – you’ve made it!

If You Think This Rec & Park Pickup Moved a Foot and a Half in These Two Photos, Then It Was Speeding in GGP

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Is there a 5 MPH speed limit for RPD vehicles on paved paths in the parks of SF?

I think so.

All right, here are the two photos – they were taken at least a sixth of a second apart, you kids do the math:

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Oh wait, Gentle Reader, I’ll do the math and I’ll do it without Roman numerals. Today’s lesson is brought to you by the numbers Nine, Five and Six:

Nine feet per second > Five miles per hour, right? [Trust me, Gentle Reader.]

And my aging SLR camera takes shots at Six frames per second maximum.

So Nine feet per second divided by Six frames per second equals one point five feet of movement per frame, exactly.

See how that works? If this truck can be seen to be moving more than 1.5 feet per frame then that means it was moving more than 9 feet per second and that means it was moving more than 5 MPH and that means that it was speeding per RPD policy, right?

I’ll note that this is the Panhandle “bike path,” which some people don’t even consider a part of Golden Gate Park – perhaps the rules are different here? IDK.

And perhaps “GPS records” would indicate that this truck was merely going 3 MPH. If that were the case, then I’d know that RPD was mistaken. Or lying. Again.

Your pick, Gentle Reader.

Of course, nobody died here and it’s not like this truck was going 15 MPH down the Panhandle bike path on a rainy night. But RPD workers violate RPD rules all the time, right? So, what to do?

Some race car drivers have a speed limiter button to use while pitting. As long as it’s engaged, then a racecar can’t go more than, say, 15 MPH or something, you know, for crew safety, even though the gas pedal is mashed all the way down. Could something like this work for the speeding workers of the RPD? IDK. Implementing a program like this would be expensive, but, of course, letting RPD workers speed along has been expensive and problematic and tragic (in many ways, in many ways) up ’til now, right?

The Traffic Speedometers the SFMTA Installed on Masonic Don’t Work Very Well

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Masonic is a crazy street with a crazy history. Like, 4 Masonic is more than 1000 feet away from 5 Masonic, for instance – what’s up with that? And on the other end of this street, up around the 1000 block, well, that’s where mayoral wives have lived, like Blanche Brown, you know, our First Lady up until ten years ago, the woman  that most people in town weren’t aware of, and, more recently, Jennifer Newsom, who moved away to Marin just months after husband Gavin was hectoring families to NOT move to Marin County, oh well.

Anyway, there have been three pedestrian / cyclist deaths on Masonic* in recent memory, so that’s part of the reason why the SFMTA installed a pair of speedometers to tell drivers how fast they’re going.

The problem is that they don’t work very well.

Like here. Moments before, it was indicating 24 MPH, but then it jumped up to 32 MPH all of a sudden for no reason. All the cars were moving about the same pace uphill and there was no traffic traveling down the hill:

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Speaking of which, the speedometer for traffic heading downhill is even less accurate. Sometimes it’s spot-on, sometimes it wildly optimistic, and other times it’s blank.

What’s the value in these speedometers if they don’t work?

Oh what’s that, MUNI / SFMTA? You don’t care, because you’ve moved on to other things?

Oh, OK.

*Two were due to very drunk drivers, who both kept on going (one ended up crashing into St. Mary’s and the other got busted near USF) and the other was due to a Trader Joe’s shopper jaywalking across Masonic north of Geary – this kind of jaywalking still happens hundreds of times a day even now.

Chicanery in the Presidio: An Actual Street Chicane Has Been Put in to Slow Down Drivers in a Housing Area

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Here we go:

chicane is an artificial feature creating extra turns in a road, used in motor racing and on streets to slow traffic for safety. Chicane comes from the French verb chicaner, which means “to quibble” or “to prevent justice.”

And here’s an example of one, in the Presidio on Washington Boulevard near Nauman Road by base housing:

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(One assumes that area fire departments would simply drive over these chicanes on Washington Blvd. in an emergency)

Someday I’ll drive through this chicane in a car – it’s on my bucket list.

Nike Women’s Marathon Media Van #2 Going Waaaaaay Too Fast for the Narrow Streets and Lanes of the Western Addition

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Uh, it’s just the 2013 Nike Half-Marathon, it’s not Armageddon, or even Deep Impact. Where’s the fire, minivan lady? I mean, nobody really cares about the Nike (excepting for the concomitant silver bling from Tiffany’s that Finishers so covet), but people will care if you run over a ped, right?

Also, Nevada plates?

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Now, Oregon plates, you know, from California’s Other Deadbeat Neighbor, from Nike’s Home State, well, I’d almost go for that.

In conclusion, I cry foul.

Detailed Report from The Bay Citizen re: San Francisco’s Sub-Par Taxi System – Going to the Sunset? Well, “Good Luck!”

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Turns out that San Francisco’s cab system is more akin to “Crazy Taxi 3 WestCoast (San Francisco)” than not.

See if you agree after perusing this lengthy bit from transportation writer Zusha Elinson

Hey, it’s the video game version of Levi’s Plaza. Check it.

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And I’ll tell you, the reason why your cabbie doesn’t want to take you way the Heck out there to the West Side in the Richmond District or the Sunset District is that if s/he does then s/he will have less cash in his/her pocket at the end of the shift.

Probably.

Like $3 or $5 or $10 less.

Oh well.

It’s like if you’re a “chicken and water” customer at a restaurant, you dig? You and your three buds look down at the menu and spot the cheapest entree (chicken, at the one chain I’m thinking about) and then the cheapest “drink” (water, natch). You all are just as much trouble for the waitress as regular customers* and yet at the end of her shift, she’s walking home with $10 or $20 or $30 less than she would if she had had more typical customers plus she may very well get chided by her supe for not trying hard enough to “upsell” and whatnot.

So that’s why hacks generally don’t want to take you to 46th and Ortega. ‘Specially when the City is hopping.

*Or more, as chicken and water people have a reputation of being more demanding than average.

Nice Video: “Brakeless in San Francisco” – Two Bros Bike Down Upper Conzelman Without Brakes – Ends in a Crash

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

A mild crash, that is.

Going down the one-way part of Conzelman on Hawk Hill in Marin County USA:

Is 37 MPH Too Fast to Climb Masonic Avenue? It Doesn’t Seem Too Fast, Compared With Fulton, For Example

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

The limit here on Masonic is now 25 MPH.

Are these cars speeding?

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I’ll tell you, the recent deaths on this stretch of road have been caused by epically drunk drivers and/or especially reckless jaywalking pedestrians…

Perhaps we could allow bikes on these particular sidewalks, you know, temporarily?

You know, like this?

Showing How STRAVA, Inc is Dealing with Its Legal Challenges: Here’s What the “Hyde Street Bomb!” Looks Like

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Take a look at this segment created by the “Strava Community” of troubled Strava, Inc. owners, managers, and/or users.

See? This is a bike trip down Nob Hill through the Tenderloin to the Mid Market:

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Note the innocuous-sounding title: Hyde/Market st.

But also note the URL up there. The name of this segment used to be “Hyde Street Bomb!” But that doesn’t look so hot when you’re in the national news for getting sued.

Oh, here it is, have a go on the YouTube – will the cyclist beat all those cagers in Priuseses what stop for red lights? Hells yes:

Now, do you think that the “Strava Community” might have had an effect on the behavior of this cyclist?

You Make The Call.

And oh, here’s how that Strava webpage looked before, was it just a day ago? Two days ago? I don’t know. But this is quite a recent change. Alls I know is that somebody in the “Strava Community,” be it an owner, manager, legal advisor, person following instructions from a legal advisor, cyclist, or, really, anybody in the entire world, created this segment and/or edited it.

The people at Strava, Inc. aren’t what you call transparent, so it’s hard to tell.

Anyway, here’s your Hyde Street Bomb!

Does registering for Strava and racing down Nob Hill in this fashion make you an “athlete?”

Again, You Make The Call.

So Let’s Hear From Michael Horvath, CEO and Co-Founder of Troubled, SF-Based STRAVA, Inc. – Lawsuit Blog Post

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Well here’s The Statement, from a few days back:

“Stand with Us”

UH, “STAND WITH US” WHILE WE GET SUED INTO OBLIVION? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT ON THE EVE OF THE NEWS OF YOUR BIG WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT? OK.

“Posted by Michael Horvath on June 17th, 2012″

JUNE 17TH – LOOK AT THE TIMING, JUST BEFORE THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. MMMM…

Each and every day we strive to improve Strava for you,­ the athlete. We are athletes too, just like you.

LET’S SEE HERE, SIGNING UP FOR STRAVA = BEING AN ATHLETE. GOT IT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME TWICE. OH,  WELL I GUESS YOU JUST DID. UH, ALL RIGHT, YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME _THREE_ TIMES.

As the Strava community grows, we all need to follow a few simple guideposts to ensure that Strava’s impact is positive.

GUIDEPOSTS AND NOT RULES? ALL RIGHT.

This is what we, the Strava community, stand for:

NOW WAIT A SECOND, AREN’T YOU THE FOUNDER AND CEO, MICHAEL HORVATH? I THINK SO. BUT ARE YOU A PART OF THE “STRAVA COMMUNITY?” REALLY? BUT _YOUR_ COMPANY IS GETTING SUED THOUGH, RIGHT? NOT THE “ATHLETES” WHAT MAKE UP YOUR USER BASE. I THINK YOU ARE CONFLATING THE OWNERS/MANAGERS OF STRAVA WITH THE USERS OF STRAVA, JUST SAYING. ALL RIGHT, OFF YOU GO THEN…

We know the rules. Laws and rules are created for our protection. Cycling, running and swimming are inherently dangerous and following the law, and common sense, when it comes to traffic, weather, or conditions, reduces our odds of getting hurt or hurting others. It’s as simple as that.

SO, I’LL STILL BE ABLE TO HAVE MY TIMES POSTED SHOWING ME GOING 20 MPH OVER THE LIMIT? CAUSE, YOU SEE, THAT’S NOT FOLLOWING THE “LAWS,” RIGHT? BUT I GUESS, AFTER YOU TALKED WITH A LAWYER OR TWO, YOU’RE TELLING YOUR USERS, THE SAINTED “ATHLETES” YOU WRITE ABOUT, TO FOLLOW THE LAW? OK FINE.

We rest. We listen to our bodies to avoid injury and we inspire in ways other than by being #1. We don’t burn ourselves out. We enjoy our recovery days because they too tell our story on Strava.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH YOU BEING SUED? DOES THIS EVEN BELONG HERE?

We kudo sportsmanship. We all want to get kudos by being great at our sport. We are courteous and treat others with respect. We earn our spots on the leaderboards through clean competition.

UH, KUDO IS NOT A VERB, RIGHT? OK YOU KNOW THAT BUT YOU’RE BREAKING NEW GROUND, OK FINE. UH, IS BIKE-RIDING A SPORT? I THINK I’M SEEING THE PROBLEM HERE. WAS CHRIS BUCCHERE ENGAGING IN SPORT WHEN HE WAS GOING WAY TOO FAST ACROSS MARKET STREET? SHOULD HE HAVE BEEN? IS DRIVING A CAR DOWN MARKET STREET A SPORT? SHOULD IT BE? I DON’T THINK SO. AND IF MEMBERS OF THE “STRAVA COMMUNITY” AREN’T COURTEOUS AND RESPECTFUL, DO THEY GET COUNSELING OR SOMETHING? OR DO THEY JUST GET KICKED OUT? CAUSE  I CAN THINK OF A FEW OF YOUR MEMBERS WHO HAVEN’T KILLED THEMSELVES/OTHERS, SO, YOU KNOW, THEY’RE NOT AS WELL-KNOWN AS SOME OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE STRAVA FAMILY, BUT THEY DON’T MEET YOUR STANDARD AS STATED HERE – THEY AIN’T COURTEOUS/RESPECTFUL AT ALL. AND LASTLY, DOES “CLEAN COMPETITION” INCLUDE RUNNING RED LIGHTS? I’M NOT SURE.

We think ahead. We showcase a lot of awesome data about where we go, who we work out with and how hard we push ourselves. If we don’t want everyone to know what we’re up to, we take the necessary privacy precautions before we upload, like setting privacy zones and choosing who can follow us and what they can see.

UH ISN’T THIS A MISH-MASH OF THREE DIFFERENT CONCEPTS?

We’ve got each other’s backs. We watch out for one another. The community does what it can to keep things safe for everyone by looking out for potentially dangerous situations and flagging segments as hazardous.

SO, SELF-POLICING IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY AT STRAVA? HEY, DIDN’T THE “SOUTH PARK DESCENT” GET FLAGGED AFTER KIM FLINT’S DEATH? I THINK IT DID. BUT DIDN’T IT COME BACK, COURTESY OF THE “STRAVA COMMUNITY?” YES IT DID, AND WITH HIGHER SPEEDS THAN WHAT KIM FLINT “ACHIEVED.”

If you want to be part of the Strava community, we’d like you to stand with us and take these guideposts to heart.

SO, YOU’RE GOING TO START KICKING PEOPLE OUT? ALL RIGHT. I DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU AND YOUR LAWYERS ARE SAYING HERE, BUT ALL RIGHT.

AND YOU STILL HAVE NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT KIM FLINT OR CHRIS BUCCHERE?

ALL RIGHT.

Now, let’s hear from Paul Kapustka of Mobile Sports Report:

“Something tells us that if lawyers are getting involved, it’s not going to be as simple as a statement on a blog to prove that Strava.com’s competitions didn’t cause harm. Or that the bad apples aren’t a part of the Strava.com community. There are going to be many who decry the lawsuit as some part of a nanny-state weirdness, but there is probably some legitimate question to be asked whether or not a site that promotes virtual competitions on real streets and trails is responsible for the participants’ actions, much in the way a 10K race must take out insurance to cover its runners. I have a feeling this may be the tip of the iceberg for such sites like Strava.com.”