Posts Tagged ‘traffic’

Here’s Why the SFPD’s “Focus On The Five” Traffic Enforcement Goal is At Least 40% Wrong

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Here’s your set-up, from The StreetsBlog:

“…only one of the 10 police stations is actually meeting its goal of issuing at least 50 percent of traffic citations for the five most common violations that cause pedestrian injuries.”

But, IRL the the five most common violations that cause pedestrian injuries actually  include:

CVC 21456 – Walk, Wait, or Don’t Walk 

CVC 21954 – Pedestrians Outside Crosswalk / CVC 21955 – Crossing Between Controlled Intersections*

Under the CVC, jaywalkers can either be in a crosswalk (or close enough – if you’re one or two feet away, that might be close enough to be considered “in the crosswalk”) (and, of course, these can be marked or unmarked crosswalks) but doing something wrong (like starting too early or too late or going too fast (running) or too slow (just standing in the crosswalk, for ex.) OR crossing in the middle of a block.

If you look at the math, there’s no way that these violations can be out of the top five.

That’s just one reason why there’s not even a prayer of a chance that SFGov’s “Vision Zero” 2024 can “succeed.” (Oh what’s that, Sweden experimented with VisionZero and it succeeded? Well, not it didn’t. Oh what’s that it was good to try anyway, even though they didn’t get to actual zero, they had a big reduction in injuries Well, France, among others, didn’t implement Vision Zero and yet it had greater success over a similar time period, right? Oh what’s that, Vision Zero is just a “framing” phrase, a meaningless platitude that pours old wine into new bottles? Well, finally we agree.)

Of course you’re never going to beat drivers Failing To Yield for the number of pedestrian deaths in San Francisco County. But do you think lying about things like Focus in The Five helps your cause?

And are there reasons why it’s far easier to comply with the demands of non-profit pressure groups in the Richmond District as opposed to other districts of San Francisco? Yes there are. Take the same Captain and put him/her in another district and then watch your compliance numbers fall. Why’s that? Do you suppose that the SFPD has a mission, has a job not 100% congruent with “urbanists” straight outta Park Slope and pricey prep schools like Punahou?

 

Something to think about.

*These are twins, basically. 

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

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See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. If you pressure it to plant trees in the middle of the street, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down now so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won't really affect me, myself, I don't think. Seems selfish to think that way, anyway. What happened with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it'll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it's hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project. Then, what will the affects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

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Big Sugar Causes a Traffic Jam on Chestnut Street on the Eve of the Prop E Vote, Same As Any Other Day

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Let’s take a look here, aging Rolls Royce* on the left and lots of stalled cars ahead, starting at the 2000 block of Chestnut – this is just another day in the Marina Landfill:

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Oh, here’s the culprit:

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And here’s the payload, trying to hide behind a passerby.** Hey, take your time, Coca Cola!

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Do the vaunted “planners” of San Francisco have a plan for this kind of thing? Oh no, you all just don’t want to deal?

Don’t you think this kind of situation lowers your credibility, Planners?

And oh yes, Prop E 2014 itself. Well, all the money coming in from out of town certainly has had the effect of making certain local institutions look foolish, that’s fo sho. There are pros and cons to it, of course. Direct intake of liquefied sugar certainly can be a factor in getting the diabetes, but there are others too, right? Perhaps Dr. Scott Wiener will help you work on those after the election…

*That would be your Old Marina, you know, Facie Terraemotus. Now make sure you don’t say nothing bad about Saint Joseph DiMaggio, the Patron Saint of the Marina, in front of Old Marina – they’ll get super pissed off. But, you know, before Joltin’ Joe had left and gone away, he was known for being a big jerk on Chestnut Street. Yelling at barbers for no reason, stuff like that. There’s an appointment system, Joe – what makes you so special? Anyway, area Supervisor Mark Farrell remains a big fan of DiMaggio, for some reason… 

**That would be your New Marina, you know, Post Terraemotus.

The Trouble with Moving to a Place on MUSEUM WAY and then Getting Testy During THE MUSEUM’s Busiest Four Hours of the Year

Monday, October 27th, 2014

The problem with doing that is that you end up looking like this noticeably-irritated turkey in the Nissan:

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Cf. living on AIRPORT DRIVE and complaining about airplane noise.

Cf. living on Lombard Street and complaining about how all those tourists make you not want to go on living any more…

If You’re Going to Jaywalk Across Masonic to Get To and From the Trader Joe’s, This is How You Should Do It

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

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:

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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…

Octavia Boulevard Update: Anybody Who Claims This Short Road Has “High-Speed Motor Traffic” is Lying

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Simply.

Now if you want real “high-speed motor traffic,” well then look to the 280 freeway.

But if you want a poorly-designed glorified freeway offramp with lots of slow-moving bumper-to-bumper gridlock, well then Octavia is your bingo.

See? This is typical. Traffic has been jammed up here starting about a week after this road opened. This is exactly what low-speed traffic looks like: 

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A note to advocacy journalists who think it’s their job to lie:

No it’s not!

Lying hurts your case. Lying doesn’t help your case.

 

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.

Well, Here It Is – Here’s Your Newly-Repaved Kezar Drive, July 2014

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference between the bad, terrible, bumpy old Kezar (seen in the background) and the new, wonderful, freshly-paved Kezar (seen in the foreground), you know, except for the color.

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So Yeah, Kezar Drive Will Be Closed Until July 3rd Starting Today, But Only at Night – From 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: Here’s a FaceBook posting from June 20th, from a less-than-reliable-source, one that earlier stated that this job already would have been done by now, that I don’t think you could find even if you searched for it, that’s designed mostly to take credit for a “job well done” (as opposed to informing the affected public (most of whom don’t even live in District Five)), that doesn’t even mention the terms SFMTA or DPW, that I suppose is a kind of official notice.]

Earlier, I read this sign as Kezar Drive Closed From June 23rd to July 30th, so I was baffled as to why there was nothing posted online on this topic.

So now, after taking a photo and looking at it, I see that the closure is for just 11 scheduled days and only at night.

See?

Click to expand

I’m still baffled as to why no SFGov entity has posted anything about this online, oh well.

Anyway, this thing kicks off tonight – here’s the foreperson getting ready for work.

WINTER IS COMING to the Sunset District: “FULL ROADWAY CLOSURE” for Kezar Drive Begins June 23rd – Grinding and Repaving

Monday, June 16th, 2014

[UPDATE: The mystery, she is solved – this closure will be at night only.]

Uh, is Kezar Drive going to be totally shut down 24-7 for weeks starting next week?

I think so. Here’s the ominous sign:

Click to expand

So here’s something I didn’t know:

Kezar Drive is scenic, but bumpy

Actually, it’s not scenic at all, but no matter, ’cause apparently it’s “bumpy?”

So who’s the poster child for this particular issue? Comes now Sunset District resident Wesley Dere:

“Sunset District resident Wesley Dere watches cars navigate bumpy Kezar Drive. Dere says his car has been knocked out of alignment twice.” 

So this is nice because we’ve got the word “says” in there. (Like, “Fisherman Buford McGee says he was abducted by Martians.”) But, oh man, if the alignment on your Impala has gotten “knocked out” twice by Kezar Drive, then there’s something wrong with you, the owner-operator of said Impala.

Who, oh who, will solve this problem for us? Well guess what - London Claus is coming to town with a grand gift for the residents of the western reaches of District Five, Supervisor London Breed is Fixing Kezar Drive:

“I am very happy to report that after some rather insistent lobbying from our office, the Department of Public Works has identified funding to grind and repave Kezar Drive, the street that connects Lincoln to Oak and Fell. This is a major East-West artery that has been left crumbling for years. My office navigated a bureaucratic maze to see this project through (the road is technically Rec and Park’s responsibility and is somehow ineligible for most paving funding sources). Now it looks like we will have a smooth road by the end of June.”

Well, substitute “July” for June, but this thing is a “go.”

So, who deserves the credit for this grand gift? IMO, credit should go to the little elves, all those tax- and fee-payers who did the work that got taxed and fee’d enough to provide the funding to pay for this project. OTOH, in the opinion of the Office of London Breed, credit should go to London Claus. As always, You Make The Call, Gentle Reader.

Now I suppose it’s good to pave roads, but this looks like a Cadillac solution to a Chevy kind of problem, this looks like weeks (or months?) of trouble for Our Neighbors In The Sunset, those poor souls out there in San Francisco County, all for sake of letting Wesley Dere’s Chevrolet slide.

Of course I don’t really care about all this, not really, as I’m not likely to be affected and I wouldn’t care even if I had to deal with this each and every day. I’ll note that the grid’s ability to recover from temporarily losing the use of this choke point has been degraded over the recent years, so Waller’s not going to be an option and “cutting through” the Music Concourse isn’t going to be an option and yada yada.

Perhaps Kezar really is in bad bad shape and I just don’t notice because my aging Toyota had unfashionably small wheels even when it was new and, you know, the City and County should go out of its way to accommodate drivers with 22 inch wheels and 30-profile tires.

Perhaps. I just don’t know how a regular town, one without district elections, would handle* something like Kezar Drive…

*And I also wonder if other towns would try to post something on the Internet once it’s decided to do something, as this electronic sign was my only clue about this big news.

STINGER:

Alvord Lake Bridge is not a bridge, it’s a pedestrian tunnel. Discuss. Oh, I’ll start – it’s wider than it is long, so how many bridges fit that bill?

Alvord Lake isn’t a lake, it’s a very small pond, smaller than some koi ponds people have in the backyard. Discuss

Inbound Kezar Drive should have two lanes instead of just the one in the area of Alvord Lake Bridge. Make It So. Oh, what’s that? No, I don’t care, just make it so.