Posts Tagged ‘speeding’

Look Who’s Patrolling Masonic for 25 MPH+ Speeders Now: It’s the UCSF Police Squad

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

One assumes the car was headed up to UC’s Laurel Heights propertah via Masonic, and since you’re here anyway, might as well issue a few citations along the way:

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The Anatomy of the Great SFPD SENIOR CITIZEN FACILITY Speed Trap on Fulton

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Here it is, looking west at around 37th Avenue:

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And here’s what you should be looking at – the aging SFPD SUV with radar on the left, the 30 MPH speed limit sign in the middle, and the SPEED LIMIT 25 MPH / SENIOR CITIZEN FACILITY signs on the right:

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Read all about it here, courtesy of a disgruntled Prius driver what got a ticket last year, when the speed limit zones on this stretch of Fulton went 35-25-35. As you can see, these days it goes 30-25-30, but the concept’s the same.

One would think SFGov would want to put in a few more traffic signals in this area, but one would be wrong.

Anyway, here’s the perspective from inside a police car via Stanley Roberts of People Behaving Badly fame: Fulton 500 Speedway.

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:






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.


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?