Posts Tagged ‘traffic’

The SFMTA’s New “Scott Street Traffic Diversion” Proposal

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Well the SFMTA has a new tack on Scott Street betwixt Page and Fell for this year.

So last year, the SFMTA felt that these particular blocks of Scott were filled with “high speed” drivers “speeding” through the place and the SFMTA felt that the simple four way stop intersection of Page and Scott was “confusing for everyone.” Here we go:

With intersecting bike routes and heavy vehicle volumes, this intersection  is confusing for everyone

In fact, Page and Scott is not “confusing” at all. As stated, it’s a simple four-way stop, about as comprehensible as possible. And in fact, Page and Scott does not experience “heavy vehicle volumes.”

Oh well.

But hey, if you want to say that Hayes and Scott has heavier traffic volume these days, especially during the evening drive, well, we agree on that, SFMTA. Before, this traffic would have been on Divisadero, but recent “improvements” to the DivCo have lessened the DivCo’s capacity.

Here is the result of the “improvements” to Divis:

Anyway

But now it’s 2014 and that was then and this is now. The SFMTA is articulating new rationales for doing what it wants to do. They’re contained in the Scott Street Traffic Diversion.

Let’s check it out:

Motorists who drive through a neighborhood – rather than to a local destination – can cause congestion on residential streets.

WELL GEE, I SUPPOSE THAT’S TRUE. BUT MOTORISTS WHO DRIVE TO A LOCAL DESTINATION – RATHER THAN DRIVING THROUGH – CAN CAUSE CONGESTION AS WELL, RIGHT?

The City proposes restricting traffic on Scott Street to make it more comfortable for residents, bicycle riders and pedestrians.

OK, SFMTA, WHY DON’T WE RESTRICT TRAFFIC ON _ALL_ STREETS TO MAKE _EVERYBODY_ MORE “COMFORTABLE?”

An extra-large bulb-out at Scott and Fell will require all southbound automobile traffic to turn right onto Fell Street; bicycle riders and pedestrians can continue on Scott. This will reduce Scott Street’s appeal as a cross-town route, making it a more pleasant place to walk, bike, and live.

SO YOU WANT DIVISADERO TO BE A _LESS_ “PLEASANT” PLACE?

Access will be maintained to all homes and driveways, and changes will be made to improve Divisadero Street to accommodate diverted traffic.

OH, I SEE, YOU WANT DIVIS TO HAVE MORE GREEN LIGHT TIME AND, LET’S SEE HERE, HAIGHT, PAGE, OAK, FELL, HAYES, ETC TO HAVE LESS GREEN LIGHT TIME. ISN’T THIS KIND OF A ZERO-SUM GAME? WHY SHOULD THE CITY BEND OVER BACKWARDS FOR THE RICH HOMEOWNERS OF SCOTT STREET?

Changes to Scott Street were initially requested by neighborhood residents unhappy with congestion and idling vehicles.

OK, SO WHAT ABOUT EVERY OTHER STREET IN SF? ARE YOU GOING TO POLL RESIDENTS OF ALL THE OTHER STREETS TO MEASURE THEIR “HAPPINESS?”

Restricting southbound traffic would greatly reduce this issue for several blocks both north and south of Fell Street. Residents who live on Scott between Oak and Fell would have to approach their homes from the south when driving, but would still have access to their driveways and would be able to exit the block to either the north or south.

WHY NOT THIS, SFMTA? WHY NOT SAY THAT ONLY SCOTT STREET RESIDENTS CAN PARK ON SCOTT STREET? I’LL BET THAT WOULD INCREASE THE HAPPINESS LEVEL OF THOSE MILLIONAIRES EVEN MORE. ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT NEXT, SFMTA?

With the proposed traffic diverter, drivers would still be able to park on both sides of Scott Street on the block between Oak and Fell with a U-turn required to reach parking spaces on the west side of the street. The traffic diverter would not remove any parking spaces from Scott Street, though bulb-outs at other locations in the project area will each remove 0-3 parking spaces.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST COME OUT AND SAY HOW MANY PARKING SPACES YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE OUT, SFMTA? OH, THAT’S NOT YOUR STYLE, HUH?

Biking on Scott Street in the southbound direction will be significantly calmer, with fewer automobiles to share the road with.

FEWER BUSES TOO, RIGHT? IN FACT NO BUSES AT ALL. AND YET, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE RIDE ON BUSES ON SCOTT THROUGH THIS SACRED AREA ON A DAILY BASIS. WHAT ABOUT THEM?

Scott Street will no longer be a convenient route for driving in the southbound direction.

BECAUSE IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT? WELL, WE AGREE ON THAT ON, ANYWAY.

For drivers with destinations within the Alamo Square or Lower Haight neighborhoods, either Divisadero or parallel neighborhood residential streets could be used.

WELL THANKS, CAPTAIN OBV!

For drivers currently using Scott Street for longer stretches, Divisadero will be improved to make it the preferred route through the area.

UH, NO IT WON’T. SIMPLY.

Driving north on Scott Street would not be restricted under the proposal, though raised crosswalks and speed humps will be added.

WHAT’S THE SPEED LIMIT ON SCOTT, SFMTA? HOW MANY PEOPLE “SPEED” ON THESE TWO BLOCKS BETWIXT PAGE AND FELL? OH NONE, ALL RIGHT. BUT YOU’LL PUT IN “SPEED” BUMPS ANYWAY, BECAUSE, BECAUSE…?

Because of improvements the SFMTA will be making to Divisadero in conjunction with this project, neighborhood streets such as Steiner, Pierce and Broderick would not be expected to receive noticeable changes in automobile traffic – in fact, some cross-town traffic on these streets may switch to Divisadero as well.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. IF THE SFMTA WANTS TO FAVOR NORTH-SOUTH TRAFFIC OVER EAST-WEST, IT CAN, OF COURSE, BUT AT THE EXPENSE OF EAST-WEST TRAFFIC, OF COURSE. ISN’T THIS A ZERO-SUM GAME, SFMTA?

Changing the traffic signals on Divisadero Street will ensure that the increase in the number of cars using Divisadero will not slow down the 24-Divisadero, and could even improve Muni service in some stretches.

THIS IS PIE IN THE SKY. THIS IS THE SFMTA’s BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN. OH WELL. HEY SFMTA, WHY NOT CHANGE THE TRAFFIC SIGNALS ON DIVIS RIGHT NOW, IF DOING THAT WOULD BE SO GREAT? SIMPLY, DIVERTING TRAFFIC ON SCOTT WILL NOT IMPROVE BUS SERVICE. SORRY, SFMTA. SORRY TO HARSH YOUR MELLOW, SFMTA.

If You Want to Get From the Panhandle to Downtown Quickly, Forget About the Wiggle and Just Take Oak

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Thusly:

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If you want. There’s really only one block that’s kind of steep, but think of all the stop signs you won’t have to blow through.

They used to have a kind of bike lane on the left side of Oak but it’s gone now.

But the right side looks all right and traffic doesn’t move all that fast so it works.

(Coming back is a different story, much steeper going uphill on neighboring Fell and Page.)

Happy trails.

Octavia Boulevard: What the Hell Were They Thinking? Congested in the Four Middle Lanes, Yet Somnolent in the Four Outer

Friday, January 31st, 2014

And three useless medians are in there as well.

This whole boulevard thing is a complete disaster.

Hey, do you think the side roads were made to be “unattractive to through traffic?” Well, yes they were!

Mission accomplished:

And check this insanity:

“Along Octavia Boulevard it is theoretically possible for a vehicle on a side road to make a U-turn back into the main road lanes, or to make a left turn across four lanes of main road traffic, all while the main road has a green light.”

OMG.

They could have put up signs, but that would have marred the aesthetics, right?

We ought to Bring This Mother Down, shatter the lens and grind it into sand.

I’ll leave you with this: What is the Legacy of Octavia Boulevard?

“Octavia has severely impacted traffic on Laguna at all times, not just peak.”

Octavia is a mess for bicyclists and there are tons of vehicle accidents.”

What has Octavia taught us? Stopped cars/slow idling cars seem to pollute more.”

And what do the Yelpers have to say?

“Who’s the dip-shit that designed this Octavia Street nightmarebetween Market St and Fell St?”

“1) It’s a freeway offramp – slash – playground. Kids and cars!! Who’s the genius??
2) It doesn’t take you across Market Street but rather has you wait at the light — filling the above-mentioned park with your exhaust as you idle along.
3) The “local access” road is a perfect place to die while crossing the street, as some confused driver makes a right hand turn.
4) It got voted in after at least three failed initiatives. During the boom. When the population was more passionate than informed and theHayes Valley Merchant’s Association could sweet talk them with this park bullshit. ”I like parks not freeways! I’ll vote yes!” The old Fell Street offramp was ugly and the dark sidewalks underneath were full of pee. It’s been replaced by a classic San Francisco compromise that essentiallyworks well for no one but makes some smug mofos feel like they discouraged driving when all they really did was put more smog on the street. And now the sidewalks are sunny, but they’re still full of pee. I wonder why an offramp didn’t solve homelessness…?”

“The poster child for stupidity in San Francisco. STILL not finished after 25 or so years???

“Unsafe at any speed for:
1.pedestrians
2.bicycles
3.scooters
4.motorcycles
5.marmosets

OHMiGOD are you kidding?? Wow, I looked up this review expecting to see half a star and a lovely littering of ‘fuckity fuck motherFUCKER,’ wowwweee…everyone i talk to in person HATES this addition…

Why we hate the new Octavia Blvd:

1. It is confusing. What is with the extra mini-side lane next to the regular lane? Are you allowed to switch back and forth at liberty? What is the purpose of this mini lane?

2. Why are there traffic lights AND stop signs in front of the mini-lane? When there’s a traffic light and a stop sign, which one wins?

3. The traffic on Octavia Blvd, coming from the freeway, is always atrocious. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. Something about it’s ingenious design allows it to remain backed up 24 hours a day.

4. If you don’t play your cards right, you WILL get forced onto the freeway. You just think you’re along for an innocent ride, and then , BAM, Octa-Nazi Blvd has you marching along in its gigantic oppressive middle lane and it wil NOT let you out, no matter how much you beg.

I don’t get it, I don’t get it! What’s going on with this street monster?”

“This is NOT the haven for cyclists and pedestrians the city touts it as being. Whose idea was it to build the off ramp at street level? It should be RAISED and go over Market or they should build some kind of blockade so that people coming east on Market absolutely can’t try to make a right onto the highway and clip pedestrians and cyclists. That single spot is a death trap.

It’s pretty and it’s great that it’s not a shithole anymore but this is seriously some urban planning gone awry. The shared bike/car lanes on the outside would be great if the cars that drove in them weren’t complete idiots. Sharrows mean it’s my lane too, buddy, so don’t honk at me and tell me to get on the sidewalk, don’t rev your engine behind me, and don’t speed up to 20 to squeeze by me. The middle lane is for fast driving of cars, not the outer lanes. Unfortunately people are unable to grasp this concept and choose to terrorize pedestrians and cyclists who are trying to enjoy the sections of the project supposedly designed to make things better for us.

And the light/stop sign combo… what the hell? It’s maddening. If this is supposed to benefit cyclists, why make it so difficult to make a left onto Market? One must cross Octavia and go onto the sidewalk then cross Market and make the left there, or cross Market then cross the on/off ramp via Market. That second option wouldn’t be so bad except for the fucktards coming down Market who don’t understand what NO RIGHT TURN means and repeatedly take out cyclists at the same spot as they try to turn onto the highway.”

And on it goes.

This is How Masonic Avenue Jaywalkers Die – Between Geary and Bush – Back and Forth to Trader Joe’s #100

Monday, January 20th, 2014

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.

Compare that part of Masonic with the first block of Masonic just north of Geary. See that? All of those people are NOT on crest, they’re on a slope so they can’t see what’s coming.

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.

San Francisco Cyclist Demonstrates the Correct Way to Head Uphill on Fell by Not “Taking the Lane”

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

So lookie here, here’s a cyclist who appears to understand the laws of CA, you know, quite unlike this other fellow.

So yeah, he’s not keeping up with traffic but he’s keeping to the right on this slightly uphill stretch and that’s kosher.

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So what happened a few seconds later was a minivan signalled left and went around him, bingo bango, with room to spare since the rider wasn’t TAKING THE LANE, MAN, and all was well.

Calling BS on “Coastal Motor Escorts” – Motorcycle Security Guards with Seven Pointed Star Emblems to Look Like the SFPD?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Boy oh boy, do you think that this funeral escort motorcycle driver in the Western Addition has taken steps to appear to be an active-duty peace officer with the SFPD or CHP? Well, I do.

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I’m calling bullshit on the seven-pointed star up front and the squares designed to look like blue lights on the rear. I’ll tell you, there was this whole big deal about officers people in the San Francisco Patrol Special Police wearing seven-pointed stars when really they should all be wearing six-pointers. And blue lights? That should reserved for the real popo, non?

All right, Coastal Motor Escorts, you might have had your application rubber-stamped by the SFPD

“8. Oliveira, Michael  669 Bridgewater Circle, Danville 94526  Funeral Procession Escort  OK Permit;  dba “Coastal Motor Escorts, LLC.”  Permit #: 139056  District: U ID: 4971″

…but that doesn’t mean you have the right to impersonate police, right?

Now let’s learn a bit about this outfit from the San Jose Mercury News:

“QUESTION: Mr. Roadshow, the other day I had a scary encounter with a gun-toting security guard on a motorcycle while traveling on Interstate 880 in San Leandro. I was traveling with the flow of traffic when a white BMW motorcycle with emergency-type lights with “Coastal Motor Escorts” pulled next to my vehicle and began honking his horn and shaking his fist at me. I looked down and noticed my speedometer showed I was going 67 mph. I continued to drive and the motorcycle security guard pulled behind my vehicle and began flashing his high-beam lights at me. I was not sure if I should pull over or continue. There was no funeral procession or other activity and this guy was traveling alone.”

Read on for more deets of this encounter, be my guest.

And this isn’t just in Frisco – read on about what happens elsewhere.

So, I know all the reasons why motorized security guards would like to be perceived as being currently-employed peace officers, but I don’t agree with what Coastal Motor Escorts is doing in San Francisco.

I cry foul.

How a Typical San Francisco Cyclist Bikes His Way Up Fell Street, at Night, Without Lights, “Taking the Lane”

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

[UPDATE: FTR, this part of Fell has four lanes and is timed for about 25 MPH and posted for 30 MPH, IIRC. And I'll just say I get all this static nowadays due to my (apparently) quite unpopular views on the Chris Bucchere case. (That's an interesting piece by writer David Darlington, BTW.) I can't tell if people are being sarcastic or not, so forgive me if I don't reply anymore.]

[UPDATE II, Electric Boogaloo: So we have this from another out-of-towner: "SF writer objects to bike riders’ right to take the lane." Well, yeah, the right to take the lane ... at a wobbly 10 MPH during the evening rush hour. Dude should pick up the pace, IMO. Dude was riding slowly on purpose, IMO. Now if you want to talk about a "substandard" lane, you want to talk about the brand new, SFMTA-approved southbound stretch of Divisadero betwixt Geary and McAllister. This is quite an uphill stretch, so the universal bromide of "taking the lane" for seven city blocks doesn't really work. What happens is that cyclists keep to the right and cars and buses sneak around. There used to be more room but the sainted SFMTA decided to put in a big old median. Did the SFMTA intend for cyclists to take the lane? If so, nobody ever does so on this uphill stretch.]

Here we go, heading west on Fell at night:

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Now I say “without lights” because dude is indeed without lights, but you can get away with just one light under CA law just saying. Could have said without “a light” instead. Let’s see, what else – oh, jumping the green, thusly:

This is called running a red light:

And this is called “taking the lane.”

Which you shouldn’t do as it’s agin the law when you’re trucking (slightly) uphill on Fell at about 10 MPH.

Oh well.

Keep in mind that you should view the words “reasonably necessary” and “unsafe” OBJECTIVELY and not SUBJECTIVELY. So like, man, I feel safer riding in the middle of the lane at 10 MPH doesn’t cut it. Similarly, it was like necessary man for me to do what I did also doesn’t cut it. I suppose you don’t need a brake on your bike, because, like, “my legs are my brakes, man.” Like, I don’t need to use the safety on my assault rifle because “this [trigger finger] is my safety.” And, legally, man, I’m a citizen of Hawaii and its not “after sunset” in Hawaii right now, man, so you can’t give me a ticket, man. And on and on.

And keep in mind that it’s not the BICYCLISTS ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE law, it’s the bikes-should-keep-to-the-right-in-at-least-some-situations law.And actually, CVC 21202 takes rights away from cyclists, you dig? That’s why it’s an odd kind of “framing” to celebrate CVC 21202 when it’s CVC 21200 that gives rights to cyclists.

“Operation on Roadway

21202.  (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.”

Wow, the Push to “STOP THE MASONIC PLAN” Seems to be Growing – But It’s Too Late, Right?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I’ll tell you, do you know how many residents put up signs to support using taxpayer money to decrease capacity on Masonic Avenue?

None, zero, nada.

But people on Masonic seem to love putting up signs going against the plan to take out 100-something parking spaces.

I don’t know why the electeds who voted for this project would change their minds now – it seems only a lawsuit* could  have any effect at this point.

The windmill tilting continues – this sign looks homemade:

You can’t fight City Hall, right?

*And even then, I don’t see how you’d win.

A Typical Pedestrian on the Streets of San Francisco: He Waits for the Yellow and Then Starts Walking

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

San Francisco pedestrians are the worst.

They have no fear.

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Here’s the “Solution” for the Deadly Pedestrian Problem at Trader Joe’s #100 on Masonic – Is It Enough? Maybe

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

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.

Just asking.

Moving on…

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.