Oh so classy!
I mean, what could be classier?
Take that, Paris!
This was Geary and Powell over the weekend – a whole bunch of nothing was going on as traffic on Geary was backed up as far as the eye could see. It looked like the staging area for our annual Chinese New Year parade. Why?
Well, somebody decided to shut down Audi Avenue to Lyft, Uber and everybody else ‘cepting for the Travis Bickells of the SFMTA. Why?
IDK why. Our SFMTA really really really hates what Uber and Lyft have done to revenues at … our SFMTA so it wants to spend more money while doing less.
But look at this mess – southbound Powell is now a mandatory right turn at Geary, except for cabbies. So you had countless SFMTA employees operating the mostly closed Audi Avenue, cycle after cycle. This dude here would try to signal the tech operating the big green box you can see on the right side of this shot:
After all the peds crossed Geary and drivers entered Geary, you’d get a half minute of nothing going on, with nobody using the green on Powell. The upshot is that Geary backed backed up, Is this how the SFMTA imagined things? I mean, you have the big green box open to control the intersection but you can’t control the intersection? Or it takes 30 seconds to change the light? Trained monkeys would have done a better job…
Here’s your now “activated” Powell Street, with a whole bunch of nothing going on – this encourages jaywalking of course.
But look out, here come the taxis
But not the Ubers and not the Lyfts.
Would the SFMTA ban the Uber and the Lyft if it could?
Oh yes, in a heartbeat. But of course it can’t do that, so instead it’ll just keep limiting turns and limiting access for Lyfts and Ubers until those drivers come begging the SFMTA for an A-Card, which guess what – they’re now having a sale! They’re waiving the $255 fee these days. So it’s SFMTA carrot and stick time, big-time.
On It Goes…
It’s on! All the deets.
And here are your Upcoming Special Events:
December 3 – Single in the City: A Single’s Event
December 5 – Learn to Curl Event
December 10 – Drag Queens On Ice
January 1 – Polar Bear Skate*
January 9 – Learn to Curl Event
January 18 – Last Day to Skate
*Grab your bikinis – it’s a New Year’s Tradition now
Hey, you know how pissed off our slow, inefficient, politics-addled, ideologically-driven SFMTA is at Uber and Lyft and all the rest? EXTREMELY! So our SFMTA is doing all it can to reign in and profit from the Uber Lyft. But until our SFMTA can rope those cash cows, it’s going to fence off parts of Frisco to Uber Lyft as much as possible. Our SFMTA is going to do whatever it can to Fuck With Uber until Uber Pays The Man. I’m srsly.
And our SFMTA will do it in the Name Of Safety, as always.
Anyway, here are all the deets on the changes (you can’t really call them improvements until they’re done and then you can see if they’re actually improvements, right?) coming to the PoBeGa, Powell Below Geary.
(Speaking of which, I call the lower end of Powell “Audi Avenue” because, well, it’s Audi Avenue.)
Join us at an open house to learn about safety and sidewalk improvements proposed for Powell Street!
The Powell Street Safety and Sidewalk Improvement Pilot will test the effectiveness of vehicle restrictions on transit delay, traffic volumes, loading patterns, and cable wear and tear. It would prohibit all vehicles except Muni, taxis, and commercial vehicles from driving on Powell Street between Ellis and Geary Streets. Stop by to learn more!
Thursday, October 8th, 2015 from 12:30 – 2 PM
The Handlery Hotel (351 Geary Street)
This open house is being hosted by the Union Square BID.
For more information about the pilot visit the project webpage.”
I suppose somebody is selling something here?
Well, sure, the stop is less crowded, but at that point, the cable car itself is super crowded, right? And how many people are going to get off to make room for you, Gentle Reader? About zero, right?
I cry foul.
And the next stop up the hill?
“The stop at Powell & Post Street, at Union Square, is known locally as “Fantasy Island,” due to the unlikelihood of being able to board a cable car at that point and the persistence of visitors in believing otherwise.”
Hey, is this sign legal, per SFGOV / SFMTA / SFDPW? IDK.
(I think this shot is from Frisco. There’s a better photo what pops up on Google, with beefcake too, but it’s actually from Indiana.)
All the deets:
“The Polar Bear Skate Returns to the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Bank of the West – California-Style Polar Bear Plunge Becomes Tradition in San Francisco’s Union Square
WHAT: The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Bank of the West is putting its own spin on Canada’s “Polar Bear Plunge” with the San Francisco-Style Polar Bear Skate. In this version, ice skaters are encouraged to come in their favorite bathing suit and beach apparel.
WHO: The Public; Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Bank of the West
WHEN: Thursday, January 1, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Union Square, San Francisco.
About the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink:
Since 2007, the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink has delighted children and adults with a holiday-themed ice park located in San Francisco’s Union Square. Ticket prices are $11 for regular admission and $7 for children eight years old and under. Ice skate and hockey skate rentals are $6. Ice rink hours are from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. daily. A portion of ticket proceeds benefit the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. For tickets or more information, please visit www.unionsquareicerink.com or call 415-781-2688.
Bon appetit, bon courage…
IMO, writer Tony Hicks has got things spot-on right here in the San Jose Mercury News:
I just took the media cruise for the new-ish “Sunset Duck Tour” from Ride the Ducks San Francisco – it starts at 7:30 PM.
Here’s Captain John:
Quacking away with people in another duck boat while passing by:
So that’s how things start in Fisherman’s Wharf. Then you begin a circuitous trip to the launch ramps down south of AT&T Park. I’ve never been up so high in an open vehicle, so this was a new experience, kind of like what I imagine the “hop-on hop-off” city bus tours are like.
So off you go, past the working part of Fisherman’s Wharf…
…past the Gary Danko (perennial No. 1 in the Bay Area for “Food, Service and Popularity” per Zagat)…
…through North Beach and on to Chinatown, where you look down upon the #30 Stocktons as you pass them by…
…and then through the tunnel to Union Square and then through SoMA to the launch area.
I gotta say that that was the touristy part of the tour, so check out Beth Spotswood’s take on that in the Tourist Trapped Culture Blog of the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate.com if you want more on that.
So finally you get to launch – it looks like this:
And then you’re slowly cruising the bay, albeit near to shore for the most part.
You might catch a little spray from the bay but most likely you won’t.
This riding-on-the-water part in a military-style vehicle with not all that much freeboard is an experience – I recommend it.
Then after puttering around on the water, you drive out of the water to take the Embarcadero back to the Wharf.
Interacting with happy passersby on the way home…
…while zipping past the historic F-Market streetcars:
These ducks look somewhat menacing at night, huh?
And there’s your trip:
So, you need to show up at least 15 minutes early to keep your reservation, I think.
And this tour can get quite cold and windy, needless to say.
If you want to see some more photos, there are some good ones on Yelp.
This was a great experience – I think it’d be good for tourists and locals alike.