I’m guessing no, they do not.
I suppose I harp on this Trader Joe’s issue…
Get up to speed here.
The limit here, betwixt Pine and Geary, is 30 MPH
This is poor planning.
This is San Francisco.
And here’s the caboose of this jaywalking / jay-running train:
I’ve been tilting at this windmill for a while now. At first on SFist back about 2007 or so and then on this tiny blog. The first TJ’s shopper death came a few years back. The next will come tomorrow or next year or in another five years, something like that.
What’s that, the speed limit here is 25 MPH and cars come through “speeding” all the time? Well, not really. Average speed for southbound traffic is fairly low. And for northbound, it’s not all that fast either. And oh, the limit on this stretch of Masonic is 30 MPH.
What’s that, Planning and DPW and the all-knowing, all-seeing SFMTA have a plan for Masonic and it’s coming soon? Well, not really. The project wasn’t as “shovel-ready as promised so they’ve loaned the Masonic-designated pork for other stuff. A “new” Masonic will eventually come, but not above Geary and TJ’s and all the photos you can see are all from north of Geary.
That’s the update for 2015.
I suppose I’ve been harping on this issue over the years.
Who created this problem? SFGOV, including the Planning Department, for starters.
Who can do a better job of fixing things? SFGOV, including the SFMTA, for starters. And IDK, SFPD and DPW? And Trader Joe’s as well.
Here’s a recent example, just a couple of Bros on the west side of Masonic wanting to get to a parked car on the east side, just above the SFMTA’s Presidio Yard. (Note that they might not even be TJ’s customers, but their transit across four lanes of traffic is at the same place where shoppers do it.)
All these southbound cars have stopped for the red light at Geary. So far, so good:
But uh oh, cars are now coming up from Geary in the northbound lanes – it’s time to rethink and try again later:
Or, in this case, spend 2.5 minutes going down the hill to Geary, wait for the green light, and then ascend back up Masonic.
This is the choice people face. Sometimes they err and get hit by a car.
I’ll tell you, if you look at the death rate in Frisco due to earthquakes the past century vs. the death rates of Trader Joe’s shoppers jaywalking in front of TJ#100 the past decade or so, they’re about the same.
What can SFGov and TJ’s do now to fix things, to account for Human Nature?
This is typical, this is routine – people parking on Masonic northbound and then jaywalking across five lanes of traffic to get to Trader Joe’s #100 and then jaywalking again back to their rides
Why do people do this? Well, ’cause getting from northbound Masonic to southbound, which is the only way to get into the parking lot, is a PITA. Drivers are banned from simply turning left into the parking lot because that would end up blocking half of northbound Masonic, and of course Masonic is the Great Connector betwixt The Avenues and the Place Where People Want To Be.
And even if you get yourself facing southbound, you still have to queue up to get into TJ’s ridiculously small parking lot. Hey, couldn’t they have built an underground garage? Well, sure, but you’d have to talk with the Planning Department about that. And hey, couldn’t they have built parking on the roof? Well, sure, and actually they did but you’d have to talk with the Planning Department about that because the average shopper isn’t allowed to park on the roof.
And actually, the current parking situation is better than before. Our vaunted Planning Department did a very poor job with this project and now we’re left with a kludgy fix that commits part of Masonic to TJ’s shoppers idling and parking and waiting.
So that’s the situation, that’s why people say I-don’t-wanna-deal-with-all-that and simply park on northbound Masonic on the east side of the street.
And that’s fine, that’s legal, but then the shoppers see that northbound Masonic has long stretches when it’s empty (because drivers need to wait at a red for a long time to let traffic on Geary go through) and they see a bunch of stalled traffic on southbound Masonic (because of the shoppers queuing up and also to wait at a red for a long time to let traffic on Geary go through). So they march across 30 MPH Masonic to get to the store.
How many TJs shoppers do this on a busy day? IDK, hundreds. It’s their thing, it’s their routine.
So can you die doing this? Sure. Does TJ’s know about this situation? Sure. I don’t see how they couldn’t be aware. I mean, when you have journalists calling up your store asking about how somebody died, I assume that you’re aware of the situation.
What’s the solution? Well, people’d be safer walking down to Geary and crossing legally, but they all already know that.
You see the problem is that they don’t know how dangerous it is to do what they’re doing.
Hey, you know how many people die at Ocean Beach during a typical year? A lot. So many theat they have a special sign:
How about similar signs for shoppers at this unique store:
People Jaywalking Have Died Here
How about that?
Unique situations call for unique signs, right?
Are you going to do anything at all, Trader Joe’s #100?
Instead of heading up the hill to get back to their ride, these gals walked downhill a few paces and then used congested traffic near Geary to their advantage:
That’s better than most, of course.
What they’re doing is turning a complicated, deadly game of chicken into a simpler chore of waiting for northbound traffic to get a red and then shuffling across two lanes…
These people parked across the street from our popular Trader Joes on Masonic, as many people do, ’cause the TJ’s parking lot is too small, ’cause that’s what nearby residents wanted.
Our Planning Department created this disaster and then moved on to more important work, such as the failed 8 Washington project, oh well.
Fixes have been tried, but still we’ve got this parade of customers jaywalking back and forth across this stretch of 30 MPH Masonic, thusly, from a few days back:
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Cars were coming in the fast lanes both northbound and southbound, so their only choice was to wait for the black car to pass and then sprint behind it.
Let’s start of with how people get across a different part of Masonic Avenue a bit lower down Mervyn’s Heights – note that that area is at the crest of a hill.
As here – MUNI bus barn to the right, TJ’s to the left:
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Note the driver of the dark minivan tapping his/her brakes for the ped:
The ped was distracted here by the traffic that just popped up heading south
And now she’s picking up the pace:
This is the situation, 100% created by SFGov.
You see this sign? It’s the one you see as you exit TJ’s #100 on Masonic near Geary, assuming you’re not driving or riding.
It was put in as a response to all those shoppers who jaywalk to their cars on the other side of Masonic.
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People still jaywalk of course, owing to the ease of parking on the northbound side of Masonic and the difficulty encountered trying to park in the TJ’s lot. (There’s a lot of history here on this example of bad planning.)
Did I call for this sign? Yes I did. So it’s good that it’s there now. It wasn’t there a couple of years ago, so good on you, SFGov.
But can SFGov and TJ’s do more? Sure. Hey, why don’t the Powers That Be take the opportunity revisit this whole situation before others kill themselves?
Right? I mean I’m not talking politically, ’cause the politics part of getting a new gro sto here is already done. But, you know, morally.
Now here’s an example of people actually taking the several minutes required to get back to their cars by walking down to Geary and waiting for the four-way signal.
This gal here broke from her shopping group to jaywalk while her friends did things the legal way.
(Until this, I’ve never noticed a person not jaywalking,)
So here she is, sitting pretty whilst waiting for her friends, exulting in her ability to not get hit by a car on this occasion:
I don’t notice this kind of scene as much these days so that’s good.
That’s the update.
These were the final two I saw after just passing three others ALL walking/jogging west to get to Trader Joe’s. This is my personal best, after all those years.
Oh yeah, I know all about the history of jaywalking and about Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Red Car and so forth. So what. How does that kind of stuff help us here? Answer: It doesn’t.
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Here’s what I said about Trader Joes #100, a half-decade ago, on the old blog:
“Of course, everybody needs to be on the lookout for all the Frogger-like jaywalkers carrying their groceries across six lanes of parked and moving cars. (Somebody is going to get hit one of these days.)”
Now that got a bit of attention from TJ’s Corporate. (I know because I saw the logs indicating such.)
So what the reaction? Nothing, basically.
Stuff like this is what the TJ’s people spent their time on instead, it would appear.
Now this is what occurred last year. Actually, it’s the one-year anniversary of the death of 25-year-old Suzanne Monaco.*
Did the San Francisco Planning Department plan things well? No, obviously.
Is the SFMTA doing anything about this particular block? No. They have plans to put a whole lot of useless trees and a useless median south of Geary but they don’t seem to care about where TJ’s parkers park and where they walk.
Yes these jaywalkers are illegally crossing the street and yes they are 100% responsible for their deaths when they get killed but what can be done to prevent future deaths right here in this one location?
I don’t know, a parking garage, an enforcement action, a ban on parking on the east side of Masonic on that particular block of Masonic, a traffic signal and crosswalk, opening up Emerson Alley to allow shopper parking on the roof, you know, just throwing things out there.
This situation is one giant FAIL for SFGov.
You should all be ashamed, SFGov.
Leaving you with one reaction, from Jessica Levin:
“I saw the flower memorial outside Trader Joe’s, and if that is the spot where she crossed, then she must have had a death wish. That’s a busy high speed corridor in both directions and she crossed near a blind crest. She didn’t deserve to die, but if anyone gets the blame, unfortunately it is the pedestrian. I parked across Masonic exactly once (and I did jaywalk to get back to my car) but I was careful to cross at the crest where I could see traffic coming from quite a distance, and even then I was extremely nervous. That was two years ago, and I have never done it again.”
*Was she really carrying “an armful of groceries” while heading “west” back to the store? Probably not.