Posts Tagged ‘vehicle’

Bushpocalypse Now – Frisco Sees Its Worst Traffic Ever In 2017 – Highest Number of Registered “Vehicles” in History

Friday, March 24th, 2017

That stat is as of Calendar Year 2015, but our friends at CA DMV are putting the finishing touch on the numbers for Calendar Year 2016.

So is a trailer a “vehicle?” IDK. IDTS. But 2016 looks to be the year we push over the half-million mark for vehicles registerd in Frisco.

And of course that doesn’t include all the new UBER Lyfts from all over.

So here’s the result, from yesterday’s evening drive. Southbound Sansome is all backed up, but look, you can see a PCO Intercepter cart on the scene, to fix everything:

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I was thinking, it’s morphin’ time – time for another round of three-figure parking/traffic tickets for “blocking the box.” But no, the PCO disappeared with a quickness. Leaving SFMTA Dude in the Bush Street HOV lane all by himself. Turns out he was patiently waiting to proceed behind some more stalled traffic. He was soon gone as well.

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Bush Street is always bad, but yesterday was especially bad. Five eastbound cars sat in the intersection for about five minutes. But then they advanced leaving room for a few buses and cars on Sansome to sneak through north and south.

Bush doesn’t get any more crowded than this:

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Anyway, that’s the update.

 

Troubled Anthony Levandowski’s PRIBOT Prius, Last Seen Banged Up in the Western Addition Six Years Ago

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Was reading this…

Fury Road: Did Uber Steal the Driverless Future From Google? Inside the vicious patent fight over self-driving technology. By Max Chafkin and Mark Bergen

…and that reminded me of this, the last time I saw PRIBOT, the ur-car, left forgotten on the mean Streets of San Francisco:

Poor Pribot!

In closing:

“He’s an asshole, but he’s our asshole.”

 

UBER is Now Recruiting “Vehicle Operators” in Frisco – Help Improve Their Sad Self-Driving Cars – $24/Hr + Snacks/Drinks

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

And then when your ride wants to sail through a red light, say the unexpected one installed mid-block out in front of our world-famous SFMOMA on Third, well, you just might get terminated, with extreme prejudice, oh well.

All the deets, via code1zero:

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OTOH, snacks!

So Much For Frisco’s Oversize Vehicle Overnight Parking Ban on Fell Street – Still Life in Mobile Homes

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

This was the promise, back in aught-twelve:

In 2012 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted a new violation in the SF Transportation Code to address inappropriate parking of oversized vehicles on city streets. SFTC Section 7.2.54 prohibits parking a vehicle over 22 feet in length or over 7 feet in height, or camp trailers, fifth-wheel travel trailers, house cars, trailer coaches, mobilehomes, recreational vehicles, or semi-trailers, between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. when SFMTA signs are posted giving notice.

And yet this is the reality, in 2016. (I’ll note that the one in front has the brand-name “BRAVE” written on it in large letters – that’d certainly be true if the owner/renter planned to leave it there past midnight.)

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The millionaire homeowners of Fell wanted these rides gone from their view, but, well this is what they’re staring out when they walk down their stoops these days.

Of course this photo was made in the daytime, so maybe this caravan moves out every night to neighboring streets without the SFMTA ban? IDK, cause I’m sleeping during those hours, usually.

But actually, a ticket for just $110 sounds cheap compared with the cost of a tiny Airbnb apartment in the 94117 what could go for double that, easily, for one night.

I’ll have to do an RV nose count next time I’m skulking about the Panhandle after midnight…

What’s This, San Francisco has “Reduced Vehicle Ownership” Compared with 2005? How the SFMTA is WRONG WRONG WRONG on This

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Here you go, from CBS SF:

“The number of vehicles towed decreased during the current five year contract with AutoReturn from 71,000 in 2005 to 42,000 in 2015. SFMTA officials said this was due to factors including increased compliance from drivers, reduced vehicle ownership…

OK, let’s add them up. The latest numbers from CA DMV show an ESTIMATED VEHICLES REGISTERED BY COUNTY for Frisco being:

481,790 (leaving out the “trailers,” as one does)

That’s calendar 2014.

Of course that’s higher than 2013:

477,314

And of course that’s higher than 2005:

452,813

(And this doesn’t keep track of all the very towable tourist rides about town and all the unregistered vehicles all over the 415 with license plates from Oregon and Nevada and whathaveyou – I’ll tell you, the number of those vehicles are UP in SF as well.)

Don’t the “urbanist” urbonauts running our SFMTA know this off the top of their heads?

Nope.

Of course they do know how to spend our money – the TCOE* for whomever uttered our SFMTA’s bogus allegation about “reduced vehicle ownership” in SF has gotta be anywhere from $150k (or so) ON UP, perhaps $200k+

[Upon completion, the READER should understand that REDUCED VEHICLE OWNERSHIP over the past decade is a MYTH perpetrated by the SFMTA for WHATEVER REASON]

Thank you, drive through.

*Total Cost Of Employment

The Future is Now: NEIGHBORHOOD ELECTRIC VEHICLES on the Streets of San Francisco

Friday, February 12th, 2016

These things are all over the place these days:

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It’s like we’re living in Japan or something:

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Much cheaper to operate than a real car/truck…

SFMTA Update: New Market Street Turn Restrictions to be “Enforced by SFMTA Parking Control Officers and the SFPD?”

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

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?

Just asking…

*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.

Our Inefficient, Money-Hungry SFMTA Wants to Start Issuing Speeding Tickets, But Somehow “They Would Not Be Moving Violations?!”

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Oh, this one’s easy  – we’re going to go from zero to Orwellian in ten seconds.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines:

SFMTA Pushing For Speed Cameras In San Francisco To Improve Pedestrian Safety by Cate Cauguiran

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.

And lastly:

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:

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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:

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All the way to the bottom, Maggie SFMTA – you’ve made it!

Fish in a Barrel: This SFMTA PCO Can Hand Out Multiple $105 “Block the Box” Tickets in One Minute

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

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?

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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!

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(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!

Uh Oh, the SFPD’s Vaunted “Focus on the Five” Enforcement Program Focuses on the Wrong Five

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Work with me here, people.

Here you go:

“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.”

All right, well let’s look at the stats for last year, via Heather Knight / the District 5 Diary.

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:

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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:

21950

22350

21456

21954

21955

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.

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