These things are all over the place these days:
It’s like we’re living in Japan or something:
Much cheaper to operate than a real car/truck…
1. Well, here’s the news:
“The paint crew began restriping at Hyde Street in preparation for the turn restrictions yesterday (June 23rd), just a week after board approval. The paint crew will continue their work through July along with the sign and meter shops, to install the turn restriction signage and loading zones respectfully. It is expected that the work for the turn restrictions, loading zones, and painted safety zones will be complete by early to mid-August. The signs will be bagged until all are complete, at which time the turn restrictions will go into effect, and will be enforced by SFMTA parking control officers and SFPD.”
I can sort of see how the SFMTA is able to enforce CA’s “block the box” law, as the drivers cited are literally parking in intersections, sometimes for as long as a minute.*
But, I can’t see how the SFMTA is going to be able to “enforce” the coming turn restrictions on Market Street.
What am I missing here?
Is this simply the clumsy SFMTA talking bad agin? We’ll see.
2. And since we’re here at the above link, look at what the SFMTA considers an example of a “news article” – it’s some dude on Medium. What the SFMTA means to say is here are some news articles plus links to fawning supporters, those who’d never pointy out that we operate the slowest, least-efficient big-city transit system in America. I mean how wude for ppl to say that, right?
3. Ah, what else. Hey, SFMTA! Why not now ban SFMTA taxis from making the turns you just banned Uber, Lyft and the other TNC’s from making? Hear me out – we’d be doing it for safety. And actually, the actual position of Uber and Lyft is that taxis should be similarly banned from making these restricted turns. SFMTA board members complaining about the “nightmare” of enforcement should be placated – if you see a taxi making this turn, give it a ticket just like you do with all the other cars. Easy peasy. Oh what’s that, you don’t want to, you’d have to change some rule? Well, then why not do that? Don’t you care about safety?
4. And, what else. Oh yeah, what about handicapped drivers? They’ll be getting four new spaces to park on Market betwixt 3rd and 8th (or between 8th and 3rd, as most people like to phrase it, so I guess my brain’s not hooked up right) but then they won’t be able to make the turn onto Market to get to the spaces? Or, maybe you can make these turns? But then you’d be in a private vehicle, right? I don’t get it. The SFMTA of 2014 wasn’t afraid to discuss this issue, but the SFMTA of 2015 is, apparently.
5. And hey, what about MUNI’s accidents along this stretch of road? Let’s find the stat here, direct from the SFMTA. Oh what’s that, Gentle Reader, is your link busted too. Well, who busted it – the SFMTA itself? Why’s that? In fact, the info on that web page is gone forever from SFMTA.com – it’s down the Memory Hole, Comrade. So let’s go way back, via the Wayback Machine:
“Between 2012 and 2013, there were 162 reported injury collisions on Market between Van Ness Avenue and Steuart Street, including 2 fatalities. 33% of collisions involve Muni.“
So, help me out here. What percentage of vehicles on this part of Market are MUNI vehicles? I’m thinking it’s way less than 10%. (You ever wait for the outbound buses? Just count the number of cars and taxis and cyclists what pass you by.) And yet, a third of the collisions involve MUNI? Hey SFMTA, don’t you have a problem here? Hey SFMTA, aren’t you yourselves a part of the problem?
*Now this is kind of stupid, as SFGov is profiting off of an intersection that it’s in control of, an intersection near the foot of Bush Street what’s managed, by SFGov, poorly, IMO. Nevertheless, the oblivious suburbanites heading home shouldn’t be blocking the box light cycle after light cycle.
Oh, this one’s easy – we’re going to go from zero to Orwellian in ten seconds.
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines:
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.
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:
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!
Of course, the SFMTA could jigger the lights around the neighborhood of Bush and Sansome in a more efficient way, but then this meter maid wouldn’t be able to park her Cushman and then stand in the intersection to generate so many tickets that she has trouble with all the receipt tape she’s generating. See?
Her little machine might have a camera built in, and the GPS and the Wi-Fi and all sorts of things to allow her to bag three rides in one cycle of green yellow red.
Check it. All of these drivers on Bush inbound in the Financh are used to crawling across a San Francisco intersection before the light turns red and then making it out of the intersection before the peds start coming. Except that this is notorious Bush and Sansome, where things don’t work that way.
And then here come the judge – tickets for everybody! It’s like Oprah handing out Pontiacs – YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET!
(Mind you, this is an intersection where it’s quite safe to loiter about, so fret not.)
(Hey, is she recording the Vehicle Identification Numbers of all these rides? I think not. Is that some sort of technicality that will allow you to get out of your ticket after spending hours and hours of time fighting your ticket? IDK.)
Some drivers get stuck, but I’m thinking, well just make the left up Sansome* while you have the chance and then you’ll avoid a painful three-figure citation. But the drivers, then don’t have respect, they don’t see the danger.
And I’ll bet most of them aren’t even aware that they’re getting a citation.
Eventually, the driving culture at this intersection will change** if this woman makes a habit of harvesting money on the Evening Drive each and every day.
I ask you, Gentle Reader, what if the rest of SFGov were as efficient as this PCO?
*Whether it’s legal or not. In this case, that would be a legal turn but even if it weren’t, the chances of getting a moving violation doing that are virtually nil, as opposed to a parking ticket, where the odds are virtually certain.
**In the old days, the SFMTA would tell its PCOs to stop handing out tickets during the Evening Drive and start directing traffic at busy intersections. Those days are over. This woman can pay her salary and fund her generous benefits and retirement package in one or two minutes of her shift. Remarkable!
Work with me here, people.
“Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”
And then let’s extract all the five-digit CVC section numbers cited in the official SFPD report, plus let’s also throw in a CVC number for the pedestrian who died last year after getting hit by a MUNI bus on Geary around Baker.
(And let’s ignore all the the lower-case subsections like 21950(b) and the like, treating 21950(a) and 21950(b) as the same violation, for example.)
And then lets throw all the extracted numbers into Excel for a Sorting.
And then let’s eyeball the numbers to separate them out:
So those are your top “five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking (and bicycle riding, but I don’t think that affects the numbers too much.)
Here they are, in order of frequency:
So how does that compare with this list from politicians?
“Focus on the 23 Five” campaign to target the top five causal factors of pedestrian crashes – running red lights 24 (California Vehicle Code 21453(a)), running stop signs (California Vehicle Code 22450(a)), violating pedestrian right-of-way (California Vehicle Code 21950(a)), failing to yield while 2 turning (California Vehicle Code 21801 (a), and speeding (California Vehicle Code 22350)…
See how that works? 21950 and 22350 are in there, but CVC violations on the part of pedestrians, like 21456, 21954, and 21955 have been omitted from the list.
Is the official “Focus on the Five” about pedestrian safety or “pedestrian rights?”
I’m thinking it’s about pedestrian rights, like the right to jaywalk, that kind of thing.
Is SFGov serious about SF Vision Zero 2024, a “program” that has the goal of ending all transportation deaths in San Francisco long after all the pols who voted for it have termed out?
Well, how can it be if it’s afraid to enforce traffic laws for political reasons?
If you want safety for pedestrians, wouldn’t you want them to be afraid of getting cited for jaywalking?
No? All right, well then keep on doing what you’re doing, but you’ll never ever achieve Vision Zero 2024 the way you’re going about it, SFGov.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have a rear light to ride your bike around at night. But you do need to have some kind of reflector, which this cyclist doesn’t have, as you can see, if you can see him:
If this bike had the rear reflectors that most bikes are sold with these days, then I’d have seen them in this situation, oh well.
Anyway, this is what it looks like at night when you have no rear bike light and no reflectors…
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.
This is one of them “ice bikes” from Fortune Hanebrink.
Use it to tow your sledge to the South Pole.
As seen a few years back in the Western Addition:
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All the deets:
“Engineered and handcrafted 8000 ft above sea level in Big Bear Lake, California, HANEBRINK Electric All-Terrain vehicles are the confluence of ingenuity, ecology, and luxury. The capabilities of the HANEBRINK are as limitless as your own sense of adventure; as a commuter vehicle, it is smooth and dynamic.
Nearly 10 years ago, national champion cyclist, bicycle innovator, and NASA aerospace engineer, Dan Hanebrink was approached by an Arctic explorer looking for an alternative to skis that could take him and his equipment across the icy terrain of Antarctica. Hanebrink created a bicycle unlike anything ever built before. The original “Ice Bike” by HANEBRINK had no plastic parts and used superfat, low-pressure tires that devoured all surfaces in all conditions silently and effortlessly. Today, our drive to create innovative outdoor recreational vehicles continues and is reflected in our mission to satisfy and serve the adventurous worldwide.
The HANEBRINK Electric All-Terrain Vehicle is the evolution of the original, revolutionary HANEBRINK design, combining state-of-the art green technology with an on-demand hybrid electric system and the latest in bicycle technology. Crank the throttle and the 600 watt motor powers the HANEBRINK to speeds up to 20 mph. If you want to go faster, just start pedaling.
Three design features help the HANEBRINK achieve outstanding on and off-road performance.
• The widest tires in the industry. The 20 x 8 inch tires radically increase the surface area where rubber meets road for enhanced stability at all speeds, added traction on rough terrain, and unprecedented float on sand and snow.
• A mid-mounted, bracket supported motor optimizes the vehicle’s center of gravity beneath the rider and enables tight turns, rapid weight shifting, and provides more stability.
• 14 speed gearing tuned for a wide variety of surfaces, grades, and utility applications including a low range capable of carrying up to 300 pounds of bulky cargo up steep terrain or deep into inaccessible areas.
With a single Lithium ion battery (LiFePO4), the HANEBRINK has a one hour run time and three hour recharge. For longer excursions, the rear rack can be fitted with up to five lithium ion batteries, a run time of over 5 hours and more than 100 miles of riding. The wide rear rack is standard HANEBRINK equipment and can hold up to 100 pounds of cargo.
The HANEBRINK can truly go anywhere on the planet while maintaining minimal environmental impact and zero-carbon emissions. Where can you go with one?”
I don’t actually know if they’re enforcing the new RV parking restrictions in the Panhandle part of Golden Gate Park yet, but here are the brand-new signs, anyway:
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Of course, 22 feet is pretty long – that’s enough to cover your Ford Excursions, your Chevy Suburbans and even your Maybach 62‘s. And seven feet is pretty high, so the rules seem fair enough if the goal is to kick the RV liveaboards out of the Panhandle.
But I haven’t heard or seen any RVs getting the heave-ho yet…
We’ll see how it goes.
But you might need to prepare yourself for more of this:
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