Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Motorists Coalition Restoring Car Dominated Transportation Balance to San Francisco - Finally!

If you look around San Francisco, you'll undoubtedly see every street moving car traffic, and cars parked on every street.  What you didn't know is that it's severely out of balance with nine slightly dedicated bus lanes, and six dedicated bike lanes strewn about the city.  Well a ragtag group of motorists are about to change the landscape of San Francisco to balanced levels not seen since - five years ago.  
A Transit only lane? Unbalanced!!!
Geary at Powell Street. Photo: Cheryl Brinkman
The "Motorist Coalition" believes that balanced transportation policies would better serve San Francisco motorists, pedestrians, motorists, first responders, motorists, motorists, taxi riders, Muni riders, motorists and bicyclists, motorists, and it also addresses the unique needs of the senior motorists, children motorists, families with motorists, and motorists.  Hopefully they can be more powerful than the enraged car lovers that managed to severely alter or halt plans on Geary BRT, Van Ness BRT, Market Street, Irving Street, and Polk Street.  
A bike lane wedged between car traffic and dooring zones? Unbalanced!
Image found here.  
Their aim is to restore balance to the City’s transit policy and adopt a 'WWCD?' ideology (What Would Car's Do?) .  All traffic laws should be equally enforced, from the distracted pedestrian walking outside of a magical crosswalk, a cyclist taking an Idaho roll, or an SUV speeding and going through red lights.   Variable meter pricing should not be imposed on neighborhoods unilaterally, because unlike everything else in San Francisco, parking should be free. In short, motorists should not bear the brunt of the SFMTA’s unreasonable regulations and mandates that make parking market based, manageable and effective. 

Unbalanced! It should be 110% capacity and FREE!
Image found here
The Motorhead group also believes that despite the benefits of boosting business by making it easier for drivers to park in commercial districts, to reduce circling time and congestion by improving spot availability, and to subsidize operational costs for the Muni transit service, it was severely unbalanced because it only helped out everyone.

Most of the balance will come from their charter:

1. Parking (not transit) is and should always be super cheap, free, and also available to everyone, somehow.  Parking meters should not operate on any City and County holiday listed on sfgov.org, on Sundays, or outside the hours of 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m. Commencing July 1, 2015, fees for parking garages, meters, parking tickets, and neighborhood parking permits should be frozen for five years, allowing the City to annually adjust thereafter only for Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases.

Image found here
2. Only put meters in places where merchants and household want them, like we do with stop signs, stop lights, and speed limits.  The introduction of parking meters or variable meter pricing into neighborhoods where they currently do not exist should be allowed only upon petition by the majority of the affected households and merchants.

3. Construct neighborhood parking garages in magical space located in all neighborhoods that will be underutilized and far below the market price of anything else that exists in SF.  A portion of any additional parking or motorists' fees and new bond monies earmarked for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) should go to the construction and operation of neighborhood parking garages.

4. Ensure the roads are safe for everyone, but also make it easy for cars to swiftly move through streets free from the distraction of bikers and pedestrians.  Any proposed re-engineering of traffic flows in the City should aim to achieve safer, smoother-flowing streets.

Fair and Balanced
Image found here
5. Enforce traffic laws the same way we treat all laws in San Francisco - manslaughter, littering , vandalism, drug dealing, public nudity. It's all the same!  Traffic laws should be enforced equally for everyone using San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks.

6. Regular Muni riders, pedestrians, and cyclists, are not people who ever drive cars.  There should be people on the SFMTA board who exclusively drive a car so there's a more balanced perspective.  The seven-member SFMTA Board should include not only four regular riders of Muni, but a fair representation of all transportation stakeholders, including motorists. The SFMTA should create a Motorists’ Citizens Advisory Committee in addition to its other advisory committees.

Hopefully with the help of the motorist coalition, we can 
achieve this kind of balance in San Francisco again!

7. Apply a WWCD policy to everything that happens on San Francisco streets.   The Board of Supervisors shall make every reasonable effort to implement the components of this policy through appropriate legislative and administrative acts, including but not limited to acts relating to enacting, repealing, reconciling, amending, and/or ameliorating the components of this policy with other existing laws, regulations, blah blah blah blah blah cars blah.

Hopefully the Motorist Coalition can put a little sense and clarity into San Francisco Street Design, where motorists can have more of most of everything, and free of charge, as god intended.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"If You're Going to Get Hit by A Car, Make Sure to do it in a Crosswalk"

The pressure is on for the SFPD to step up their enforcement of our streets to ensure they are safer. Citations have increased 54% citywide. They are targeting everyone from speeding cars, relatively quick bicyclists, and slow-ass pedestrians.  They've even issued a ticket out to the worst offenders of all, the elderly.

The man was hit by a car walking away from St. Mary's Cathedral on Geary Freeway/Boulevard on Sunday and was admitted to the hospital. The 86 year old suffered a compound fracture, but that wasn't enough.  He was issued a jaywalking ticket soon after he was admitted.  SFPD Spokesman said "he really should have been moving at a snails pace inside of crosswalk.  You know, that small stretch of painted street that keeps pedestrians safe until they magically turn back into car owned space once the pedestrian light stops flashing?"

The difference between safe legal walking and illegal and reckless crossing known as "Jaywalking"
image found here.
While some "walk nuts" have argued that the burden should fall on people who choose to drive a 2 ton vehicle at a high velocity on city streets.  Others believe that even if 60% of the accidents are the result of motorist negligence, people like the elderly, children, bicyclists can be equally at fault to the eyes of the law.  "It's about enforcing the law, not just about public safety." tweeted a motorist speeding down Van Ness Avenue.

Get in the crosswalk if you're going to struck, idiots!
Image found here.
A new Chicago Department of Transportation study shows that most pedestrian accidents occur in crosswalks. They happen even when the pedestrian has the right of way.  SFPD Spokesman said, "We really want to get the message out to people that they need to get struck inside the crosswalks and not outside of them. That's the best place to be, for, reasons."  The SFPD hopes these measures teach everyone in San Francisco a lesson, and not just the people who can inflict bodily injury and property damage.

Crosswalks, they're "Saaaaaafesque"!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why do I Hate Bikes so Much?

Some of you have been asking, "Bobby G why you hate on bikes?"  And my answer is simply, "shut your goddam mouth and mind your own business."


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Facing Tough Drought, California Applies SF Parking Methodologies to Address Water Shortage

California is facing one of the most serious droughts in decades, and to help ease concerns and shortages across the state the Drought Management Board is looking for new and innovative ways of regulating our water supplies.  CA Spokesman Lenard explained, "We all know that there's a shortage and we initially thought of regulating water more heavily and adjusting prices to help manage supplies better, but it really doesn't make the population very happy.  We took a look at how Mayor Lee and Ed Reiskin plan to manage their car parking based on voter concerns, and realized it was a much better way to go."

Water, parking, it's all the same.  Leave it unregulated and free and it all works out for the best.
Images found here and here.  
To address parking shortages, the SFMTA has foolishly implemented parking enforcement on on Sundays.  They claim it accomplished the following:

  • Double the average time drivers take to find a commercial parking spot on Sundays.
  • Reduce turnover by at least 20 percent, meaning that fewer customers can park in each space.
  • Cut the availability of commercial parking during Sunday business hours in half.
  • Reduce occupancy of underutilized parking garages on Sundays by 13 percent.
  • Bring more revenue into local businesses and appease the Commerce Department that defends Sunday parking enforcement.  
  •  Bring in $9.6 million in annual revenue to an already underfunded SFMTA.  
  • But Mayor Lee thinks it's a lot better to leave it free on Sundays, and that's just the kind of solution CA has been looking for in terms of water management.  Effective today they are going to allow everyone to use as much water as they need, free of charge, on Sundays.  They hope this helps ease everyone's concerns about water shortages.  

    Parking citations on Sunday, noon to 6 p.m: an absolute inescapable part of life, until now.
    image found here.
    Not everyone agrees with Lee's stance, and Ed Reiskin has come up with a better way to mitigate parking shortages.  He proposes to keep parking meters running on Sunday, but just tell everyone it won't be enforced and no one will get cited if they go over their allotted time.  Upon hearing this, the Drought Management Board decided to adopt similar policies and tell everyone who needed water, to conserve it as much as possible, but it will be unregulated and unenforced if they take more than allotted

    When asked what will happen with the lack of revenue from fines and fees associated with water usage offenders, the Drought Management Board said they would simply get a bond measure approved, akin to the one that Mayor Lee plans on recouping the $9.6 million in annual revenue due to abolishing Sunday parking.  Lee assured everyone that a bond is "magic money" and a lot better than providing a steady source of revenue every year.

    To gain popularity points with the city, the SFPD is also looking at ways to implement relaxed enforcement policies on Sundays as well.  They've been toying with the idea of "Enforcement Free Sundays" for traffic violations, and half off misdemeanor fines.

    Hopefully more agencies turn towards these simple populist answers to our state's most challenging problems.

    "Turn yourself in if you want, or, whatever."
    image found here.  

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    Looking to Bike or Walk to the Devil's Slide Trail? Here's an Easy Way!

    What a beautiful path, that should be open to cars, not dirty bike hippies.
    Photo found here.  
    The new Devil's Slide trail looks amazing (sans the bike paths), but you're going to have a difficult time getting there with just your stupid bike.  There's also a serious parking shortage once you drive there, courtesy of bike-nuts, probably (they could easily add 1.3 miles of slanted car parking instead of the bike path).  Here are a few easy tips to help you get there!

    Step 1: Put your bike back in the garage.  It's not easy to get to the Devil's Slide by bike, so just hold up.

    Do you really want to bike through this?
    Image found here.
    Step 2: Go to the nearest car dealership.  Look for a good model to buy and let someone side hug you while you do it.

    "I just can't wait to drive out to walk and bike!"
    Image found here.  
    Step 3: Now that you have a car, why go for a bike ride?  You can now participate in the glory of drive-through fast food and going to far away malls!  If you need money for gas you might as well sell that silly old bike.  You won't need it anymore.

    Doesn't this look more fun anyway?
    Image found here.