Posts Tagged ‘visitors’

Shabby, Rusted Japantown – We’d All Have Been MUCH Better Off Without REDEVELOPMENT, Ch. CCLIX – Concrete And Clay And General Decay

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Our J-Town is sort of a mess, not that I’m complaining, not that I’m calling for a “Fix-It Team” to drop everything and work on the solitary issue, that I, the monomaniacal activist, care about, no not at all. Let me explain.

All this Redevelopment stuff, all this concrete put in in the 1960’s is not up to snuff earthquake-wise – the garage, the east mall, the west mall, just entire blocks of Redevelopment. How on Earth can you bring things up to 2017-era minimal standards without spending a metric shit-ton of (non-existent) money? Well IDK.

And if even if you had the money to spend, how long would it take? How many years? What they’ve been talking about, for years/decades is an entire redo, a Re-Redevelopment, which would entail kicking out all the shops and restaurants, the bustling successful ones along with those just scraping by, and have them go … go where exactly? How about excessively wide Webster Street? I’m talking about the actual street itself – take out a couple lanes and the median and set up temporary shops, you know, Hayes Valley-style. That was a proposal.

And then, tens of millions of dollars (and who knows, nine figures?) could be poured in to seismic up.

(And to pay for this, there would have been a $100k tax on condos, so good luck with that – do you want to build up Japantown with slivers filled up with 500-1000 new condo units? Well, that’s what some people wanted.

Anyway, the moral of the story is for SFGov to not be so goddamned confident with future projects. Kind of like, “Don’t Just Do Something, Just Stand There.” And maybe we should instead spend our money on fixing up our Mistakes From The Past.

JMO.

And now, Japantown, a land of Wind and Ghosts:

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And car break-ins, of course, for tourists and locals alike. The expensive signs make everything better though, some feel:

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So you want to build a bridge, young Designers and Architects and Planners, but you don’t want to maintain it, that’s Someone Else’s Problem? You want to get it on to Make the Baby, but you don’t have the Staying Power to take care of the Baby. It sure as Hell looks that way:

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But newish banners – that’s the solution, so far:

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In the meantime, Concrete and Clay. 

And General Decay

FIN

TWIN PEAKS UPDATE: Pedestrian / Bike-Only Half of the Mountain Proving Unpopular, Except with TAGGERS, SKATERS, and MOTORCYCLE RIDERS

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

See what I mean? This is the part what’s closer to Christmas Tree Point Road, where the action is, so it’s more popular with walkers. But a good portion of them are actually the dreaded Car People who have parked either at the overlook area or in the saddle betwixt the two peaks of Twin Peaks.

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Now this is a similar view, but it’s of the faraway peak area. No peds or bikes, but plenty of sk8ter bois.

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IDK if they are allowed to do their tricks here. This is a more isolated area now, of course. And also of course, if you’re going to put up Jersey barriers, you’re going to get graffiti:

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And of course, if you leave a way for bikes to roll in, you’re going to get your share of motorcycles:

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You know, a small but full-on motorcycle here:

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(And can I ask why a “pedestrian paradise” would have a double-yellow line right down the middle of it? I’m sure it has something to do with something, but it makes the few peds what are up there walk on the shoulder, at least for some of them.)

And generally there are marked SFPD up here all the time, 24-7. But it’s not really the cops’ job to enforce parking, and they don’t, not really. So, our tourists park in the BUS ONLY zone with impunity. See?

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And that causes a bus jam, sometimes. Oh well.

And actually, the laxness of SFGov, SFMTA, SFPD, RPD enforcing any parking rules means that you can always find a place to park up here, even though the SFMTA suggested that all roadside parking was against the rules. Go figure,

Anyway, there’s a bunch of new pavement up there and that made all the broken auto glass, you know, figure more than a thousand break-ins each year, in this small area, REALLY STAND OUT. But then the most recent murder happened and the 24-7 marked SFPD presence began and since then I’ve only seen evidence of just one break-in.

What else, oh, there’s now marking for the new pavement, so that shows progress.

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So I guess SFGov just operates on a different time horizon than I do. So yeah, they’re getting to it, I suppose.

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We’ll just have to wait to see how things go here…

GREENPEACE, San Francisco: “It’s Called Tourist Season, So Why Can’t We Shoot ‘Em?”

Friday, July 14th, 2017

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It’s Happening Already: NUMEROUS Ford Motor Company GOBIKE Bicycle Rentals Being Ridden to MARIN COUNTY, and Back

Friday, July 7th, 2017

This was the fear of local bike rental companies when they heard that Michigan-based Ford Motor Company and New Yawk-based Motivate International were teaming up with SFGov to spend mid-eight figures(!) to market “FORD” around Frisco.

And then somebody(ies) pulled this switcheroo what would’ve turned the “last mile” 30-minute maximum service of Bay Area Bike Share (BABS) into a three hour tour. A three hour tour, sponsored by FoMoCo.

But then things got reversed and so our tourists still need to fret about checking in within 30 minutes, or they face a financial penalty, a pretty severe one, actually, costing some tourists hundreds of dollars (even after getting the 50% discount what they’ll offer you if you complain enough, from Singapore, Bremen, Timbuktu, after seeing an unexpected charge on their Visa bill.)

No matter – here are some of the brand-new FORD bikes returning from Marin County…

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…heading towards Marin County…

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…and heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge or Fort Point or who knows, but even this dude is straying far away from the intended use zone, non?

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Anyway, I’ve got more shots iffin you want me to dig them up. But I haven’t seen anyone pushing them uphill, which would almost be mandatory for most tourists if they wanted to actually try to make it back to town without relying on a ferry boat.

And of course, this Comes At A Time when our local SFMTA just paid some dude $75 an hour (TCOE) to pen this FU letter to anyone else who would dare compete with our local SFGov-approved Ford Motor Company / Motivate short-term bike rental monopoly.

Do these tourists know how much they’re spending, or are they just confused? IDK.

Three-Hour “GoPass” from Ford Motor Company’s Expensive “GoBike” Bike Rental: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Hey, remember Sunday? I do. Well this is how FoMoCo’s GoBike bike rental pricing webpage looked just two days ago:

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But this is how it looked a few hours later on Monday:

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See the difference?

Now it’s not my job to worry about how much money local bidness makes, but the existing home-grown bike rental companies of Frisco have a point when they recall how the focus of Bay Area Bike Share was going to be on the “last mile,” so the upshot was a 30-minute limit on each rental period with SEVERE penalties for taking a bike out all day, ’cause otherwise heavily government-subsidized BABS would be in direct competition.

Well, I guess Ford wanted to get something out of its $50 million investment so the three-hour GoPass was born.

But now it’s dead.

As you can see.

Of course GoPass would not have “killed” our local bike rental industry, despite what they might claim.

And I’ll tell you, it’s already hard enough for our tourists to go uphill on lightweight 21-speed rental bikes in Sausalito, thusly…

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…and thusly…

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…so imagine how much harder would it be or them to make the same trip on heavy, clunky, single-speed, bikeshare-style Ford GoBikes?

On It Goes…

Frisco’s New Tourist Parking Ban at Coit Tower is a Huge Success, or Failure, Your Choice! – Let’s Take a Look

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

It took me a while to figure this one out:

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So residents are allowed to park but tourists, or “visitors” euphemistically, well you can all go to Hell.

I can see how touristas should be limited to two hours or whatnot, but the top of Telegraph Hill is special, apparently.

Anyway, the real reason you can’t park there is that the locals don’t want you queuing up in a line of twenty cars, which was happening last year during construction time.

So guess what, the scary signs have scared away a good percentage of tourists, so the waiting time to park has gone way down, but the vast majority of the spaces are occupied by tourists anyway. Take a look – all these rides are owned by tourists:

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But a handful of tidy German luxocars owned by local millionaires were on hand, see?

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In theory, all the 20 or so rides up here should have these red stickers, but only three had them when I was there.

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In other words, enforcement appears to be VisionZero or zero or whatever this year’s phrase for goose eggs is.

So there you have it. Is this sitch a success or not?

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Scaring away half the tourists makes things easier for the remaining tourists and our local millionaire BMW and Audi owners too.

Of course, Frisco thinks all you tourists are deadbeats who should pay something like $5 or $10 just for the right to drive into town. (I’m srsly.) So you all are lucky to be able to drive up to Coit Tower without having to pass a toll booth.

Anyway, this program is a huge success or a small failure of democracy – it’s your choice.

(Now don’t go crazy and park up there overnight or anything.)

Our SFMTA Wants to Claim It’s Increasing Parking Up at Twin Peaks, But It’s DECREASING Parking – One Simple Trick!

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

What the SFMTA’s Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project is a gonna do is get rid of these, these people from the top of Twin Peaks, particularly on busy dreaded sunny days, like this one:

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Most of the tourists on top of that twin came from all the cars you can see on the left side. But all that parking is gone now, so tourists aren’t going to go to the top of Twin Peaks as much anymore.

What’s that, “good,” you say? Well OK, but why doesn’t the SFMTA just come out and say that? Instead, we get this:

Twin Peaks Figure 8 Redesign Project Frequently Asked Questions – April 8, 2016 version:

Will any parking be added or removed? No parking is being proposed for removal. Today, informal (illegal) parking takes place at the center of the Figure 8 and occasionally in the outer lane of the roadway. This project will formalize parking at both the center and south intersections, increasing the number of available stalls. Parking in the travel lane will no longer be possible.

So they’re not “removing parking,” they’re simply blocking cars from getting to the parking spaces? And you can’t park on the side of a highway in CA anymore, is that correct, really?

So the real answer to the question Will any parking be added or removed is:

Yes. Hell yes.

But who are these people so uncouth and “informal” that they think they can park their rental cars on the side of the road and walk up a hill for a look-see? Just fucking tourists, that’s all. And it’s not even the same ones day after day and year after year – it’s a constant flow of new people from all over the Bay Area, California, ‘Mericah, and The Rest Of The World. Those are the people the SFMTA and the Rec and Park (RPD – it’s Frisco’s name for the Parks and Recreation Department) are getting rid of, at least on busy days.

As with most things in Life, there are trade-offs. Our SFMTA wants to deny that, oh well (at 2:10)…

SFMOMA Opening Day 2016: “NEW SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NOW OPEN” – Bigger and Better

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Here it is:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEW SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NOW OPEN – Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Mayor Edwin Lee Joined SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra, Board Chairman Charles Schwab and Board President Bob Fisher to Inaugurate Expanded Museum – More than 5,000 Visitors Welcomed to Museum For Free Today

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The new SFMOMA from Howard Street; photo by Devlin Shand, courtesy Drew Altizer Photography

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Charles Schwab, Robert Fisher, Neal Benezra and Nancy Pelosi, Edwin Lee and Craig Dykers; photo by Drew Altizer, courtesy Drew Altizer Photography

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (May 14, 2016)—With a blizzard of red confetti, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) opened its doors to the public today, May 14. Opening Day festivities were attended by local dignitaries, members of the Bay Area arts community and the general public. After the program, the first visitors were welcomed to the new museum by SFMOMA staff and leadership.

The program included remarks by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Edwin Lee, SFMOMA Board Chairman Charles Schwab, SFMOMA Board President Bob Fisher and SFMOMA’s Helen and Charles Schwab Director Neal Benezra. The museum distributed more than 5,000 free timed tickets for Opening Day to the public. Surrounding cultural institutions including the Museum of the African Diaspora, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Children’s Creativity Museum and many more throughout the Yerba Buena Cultural District also offered free admission and programming to celebrate the return of SFMOMA to the neighborhood.

“After years of planning and construction, it feels terrific to welcome visitors back to the museum,” said Neal Benezra. “With our goal of providing more art to more people, now and for generations to come, we are excited to share the new museum experience we have created that features the distinguished Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, new works gifted or promised to us by 230 generous donors and the Pritzker Center for Photography which deepens our commitment to the medium.”

SFMOMA, which opened today with 19 inaugural exhibitions, underwent a three-year transformation to add a 10-story expansion designed by international architecture firm Snøhetta that nearly triples its gallery space, allowing the museum to show more of its exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art. With free admission for guests ages 18 and younger and 45,000 square feet of free public space, SFMOMA is more open to the community than ever before.

“Today, with the opening of this gorgeous museum expansion, San Francisco affirms our city’s place as a global leader of art and culture,” said Congresswoman Pelosi. “The new SFMOMA is a manifestation of our city’s deep respect for creativity, and it embodies the spirit and the generosity of the entire Bay Area Community. For that, we are very proud, and very thankful indeed.”

“San Francisco is a city of big ideas, and SFMOMA is a really big idea—and now, a big reality,” said Mayor Lee. “Not only is the new SFMOMA a place to showcase innovative art, culture and education initiatives, but it is a piece of art itself in the Yerba Buena Art District. The museum is a major draw for visitors, residents, families and youth from around the world, and its contribution to the Bay Area economy will now grow significantly with its new expansion.”

SFMOMA OPENING DAY EVENTS

SFMOMA’s Opening Day began with street performers on Howard Street including entertainment by the Circus Center, SFJAZZ High School All Stars, the San Francisco Youth Ballet Ribbon Dancers and We Talk Chalk.

After remarks, at the museum’s new entrance on Howard Street, the speakers and architect Craig Dykers, founding partner of Snøhetta, ceremonially opened the museum by pressing a large red button with the new SFMOMA logo on it, releasing a blizzard of red confetti from the roof of the new museum and adjacent buildings. The Golden State Warriors Aftershock Drumline played while SFMOMA staff members in red shirts paraded with large red balloons. Ribbon dancers from the San Francisco Youth Ballet led the first visitors into the building.|

Free admission on Opening Day was made possible in part by PG&E, a partner in making the new SFMOMA a model for energy efficiency for art museums through participation in the Step Up and Power Down and Savings by Design programs, The Yerba Buena Community Benefits District and the museum’s Premier Sponsors Bank of America and Cadillac.

SFMOMA HOURS AND ADMISSION

SFMOMA is open to the public seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Labor Day. Free public spaces open at 9 a.m. daily. The museum hosts extended hours on Thursdays until 9 p.m., giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy exhibitions and programs in the evening.

Annual membership begins at $100, and members enjoy unlimited free admission (with advance reservation). Adult admission to SFMOMA is $25 and admission for seniors 65 years and older is $22. Admission for visitors ages 19 through 24 is $19. SFMOMA provides free admission to all visitors 18 and younger, furthering its goal of building the next generation of art lovers.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, a thoroughly transformed SFMOMA features significantly enhanced gallery, education and public spaces. With six art-filled terraces, a new sculptural staircase and Roman steps where the public can gather, access to 45,000 square feet of free art-filled public space and free admission for visitors age 18 and younger, SFMOMA is more welcoming and more connected to San Francisco than ever before.

Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.

A Few Beefs with the SFMTA’s Marketing of Its Plan to (Somehow) “Increase Access” to Twin Peaks

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Here you go:

Making Room to Enjoy Spectacular Twin Peaks by Aaron Bialick
Friday, April 15, 2016

But the SFMTA isn’t really making anything is it?

Access by foot and bike is pretty limited, the road that loops around the mountain top in a “figure 8” is underused by car traffic and the loop’s intersections are confusing.

OK, well, “access” by foot and bike will still be “pretty limited” after the SFMTA completes the scheme it came up with, right? And let’s take a look at that road, on a dreaded sunny day:

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Now, would you say that the east (left) side of this figure 8 is “underused?” No, not at all!

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Hey, is being “car-free” a good thing? Like is it as good as being something like herpes-free? One wonders.

On Tuesday, the SFMTA Board of Directors will consider approval of a pilot phase…

This means that the SFMTA is going to do what it wants to do, with the little bit of money it can scrape up to enact its ideology.

The project was shaped with community feedback…

First of all, there’s no community up there atop Twin Peaks. Second of all, if there is, it’s tourists (international, national, regional, and local) and this plan cooked up by the SFMTA is about as anti-tourist as one could imagine.

We’d also create legitimate parking spaces at the center and south intersections to address the illegal parking that already occurs.

WHAT WHAT? So all these People With Cars, the hundreds of People what congregate up there sometimes, they’re parking on the side of the highway “illegitimately?” So it’s legal but it doesn’t comport with SFMTA ideology? Or maybe it’s illegal, but our SFMTA hasn’t seen fit to put up signage what explains things nice and clear for visitors who don’t really have a good handle on English? And so all the scores of places where people park now and, indeed, the past century, all of that was not and is not “legitimate?” Whoo boy.

So the plan is to decrease access IRL and advertise this paint job (that doesn’t add ANYTHING) as one what will “increase” access.

Will that cost anything? Yes.

Will it cost the vaunted SFMTA anything. No, not really. Just a bit of paint…

 

Our SFMTA’s Plan to “Increase Access” at Twin Peaks WIll Actually Decrease Access – Trying to Figure the Figure 8

Friday, April 8th, 2016

IDK, man. On the one hand, SFGov promotes the 49-Mile-Drive, but OTOH, SFGov wants to make it more difficult.

Take a look here down below – where are all these cars going to go after this plan gets going?

The plan, advertised as one what would “increase access,” will decrease access, obviously. Parking areas will be decreased by a whole lot. Oh what’s that, that’s a good thing AFAYAC, Gentle Reader? Well, fine – but let’s agree that taking out scores of places for people to park is going to make for a less-busy Twin Peaks, for better or worse.

And hey, are these people glorious Pedestrians / People With Bikes or are they terrible, horrible People With Cars? One simply can’t tell. Some locals walk and bike up here, but I see very few tourists attempting to do so. Mostly they come by tour bus or car, FWICS.

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On It Goes…