Here’s the call:
And here’s the response:
Look, a petulance parade:
“On Wednesday July 29th from 5:30-6:30 pm, please join us for our first Wiggle Stop-In event. We want to gather 50-100 cyclists to ride around the Wiggle/Lower Haight and stop at every stop sign in single file order. We want to make the point that, in fact, requiring cyclists to come to full stops at every stop sign is a really terrible idea for everyone on the road.
Grab your bike, ride to the Wiggle (the epicenter will be Waller and Steiner), and wait your turn for your chance to come to a full and complete stop at every intersection. Bonus points if you need to negotiate with other “vehicles” about who should be going first.
Let’s show Capt. John Sanford of Park Station that his choice to crack down on cyclists who aren’t following the letter of the law not only doesn’t make anyone safer but actually would create terrible conditions on our roads.”
Here’s your background:
And here’s your prior stab at a media stunt in this area, conducted by someone unfamiliar with, you know, our First Amendment:
Welcome to ‘Merica, Dude:
I’ll tell you, I’m not a big fan of the vaunted The Wiggle bike route and here’s why:
FOR MOST PEOPLE, THERE’S A BETTER WAY TO GET FROM THE PANHANDLE TO DOWNTOWN, TO GET THERE AND BACK AGAIN
That’s why. This was my stab at promoting the Northern Wiggle,* aka the McAllister Pass,** aka the Hastings Cutoff. *** Some people listened, but most did not, oh well.
Anyway, aside from this route being a third of a mile shorter and faster and safer and relatively ped-free, it NEVER gets any SFPD Bicycle Enforcement Actions, the way, say, the intersection of Waller and Steiner gets.
Speaking of which, now more people are joining the SFPD, to “referee the Wiggle,” if only for a short time.
While 95% of cyclists using the Wiggle are really incredibly respectful of other road users, there is that small minority who give us all a bad name. I’ve always wanted to dress as a referee and hand out yellow and red cards to bad cyclists (and maybe some cars and peds too) and I’m using NOW! as my excuse!
Come join me in shaming the few bad cyclists out there and making the Wiggle just a little bit safer and more courteous!”
*I, myself, wiggle from street to street north of the Panhandle on my way inbound to Fulton and Scott – it depends on traffic.
**The pass over Alamo Heights, which the Southern Wiggle route mostly avoids by generally following the route of the former creek what used to drain the kind of valley where the Golden Gate Park Panhandle sits now.
I’ll tell you why.
It’s because the SFMTA dramatically overestimated its popularity and the popularity of traffic circles being plopped down in the middle of intersections.
Isn’t that pathetic? It held all these mini-elections and it lost every last one.
So these days, there are no more mini-elections and the SFMTA is free to spin however it wants.
Actually, this new one on Anza is more of a traffic oval:
Here we go:
“Traffic Circles Then & Now – In 2003, the SFMTA experimented with removing stop signs and installing traffic circles at several locations along Page Street. Many residents complained that the circles were unsightly and deprioritized pedestrians, and they were removed. However, in recent years the SFMTA has installed traffic circles with success and community support, using improved outreach, design, and signage.”
See how that works? Instead of trying to win community support the way it did ten years ago, today’s SFMTA simply assumes whatever it does has “community support.” ‘Cause if the SFMTA had any more neighborhood plebiscites about traffic circles, it knows that it would lose once again.
The SFMTA lost those traffic circle votes of a decade ago by like about two to one or three to one. If it wants to say that the reason why it lost so badly had to do with aesthetics or “outreach,” well, that’s one viewpoint. But, gee, maybe the SFMTA simply had/has a bad idea?
The traffic circles the SFMTA installed on Page and Waller were simply horrible from a pedestrian’s perspective. You could hear a car coming from almost a block away, but you wouldn’t know how fast the driver would go through the intersection. You’d count on the driver seeing you and reacting as opposed to the driver knowing that a stop sign’s there and stopping / California stopping.
Traffic circles or rotaries or whatever you want to call them might work in some locations, but plopping them down onto random intersections SFMTA-style so that the SFMTA has yet another project to spend money on was and is a bad idea.
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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[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.
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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.
[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:
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So here’s something I didn’t know:
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.
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.
Ah, Bike To Work Day, that special day when the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition can bask in the glory that it endorsed the election of appointed Mayor Ed Lee. (Hey, did you know that he was the first Asian-American appointed Mayor of San Francisco? He’s very proud of that, all those years of obsequiousness plus the outright lying required to pull that one off.)
Anywho, this was the scene last night at the intersection of the so-called Wiggle bike route through the Lower Haight area.
One SFPD buckethead was stationed at this corner of Waller and Steiner and the other was cattywumpus across the street snaring those who blew threw the stop sign even while the SFPD is yelling, “Stop sign, stop sign.”
Simply, there was no element of deception involved so, ergo, this cannot have been a sting operation. Case closed.
The cyclists were cautious and confused, mostly. They didn’t know how long to stop. Some stayed there for like ten seconds trying to remember how to signal a left turn. Traffic backed up a bit, as you can see:
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Anyway, the bike coalition people called up SFPD higher-ups to see if there was a “sting operation” going on but of course they said no, because, as stated, this kind of thing isn’t a sting operation.
Oh, here’s Officer Scott’s ride from last night. Ask him about his “Porsche 996″ (aka 911) sports car and get his opinion about whether he considers it a “modern Porsche.” I’m sure he’ll have an answer.
Oh, I saw scores of cyclists and two cops – here’s the racial makeup:
SFPD: 100% African American
Cyclists: 100% Caucasian*
People, you oughtta stay off the Wiggle – you can easily avoid it by turning a block sooner or a block later.
And oh, do you think Officer Scott loves it, just loves it when you all take to the Twitter? Indeed he does.
All right, ’til next time…
* You know, rounding up. Oh, you’re 1/32nd Cherokee or one-quarter Chippewa? Good for you, Caucasian! Good for you.