Sunday, October 26, 2014

In Effort to Make Streets Safer And Equitable, City Pilots 'Crosswalk Karma'

Endangered a pedestrian's safety?  Get ready to walk through that same intersection 100 times.
image found here.
Motorists that blow through red lights, stop signs, and otherwise endanger pedestrians during their grueling race against time are in for a rude awaking.  San Francisco officials understand that ticketing a small number of offenders isn't going to do much to stem the rash of injury and deaths in the city. They've come up with a pilot program that doesn't affect a driver's pocketbook.  Instead it forces the offender to cross the same intersection 100 times or more by foot, depending on the offense.  It's called "Crosswalk Karma" and it aims to even out the disparity between people walking and people driving.

Jeff might actually yield to peds in this dangerous crosswalk next time in his car
image found here
Jeff Linger, caught running a red light in a heavily pedestrian area, was sentenced to cross the intersection 156 times during rush hour.  Jeff argued, "this is cruel and unusual punishment" and followed with, "and I will never run though a red light again... those drivers out here are insane!" A few offenders have offered ten to twenty times the normal fine just to get out of this program.  Cheryl Gardner, in tears, said, "I'll be sure to just wait until the pedestrians pass through the crosswalk the next time around.  This area is scary."

Cheryl, agitated, crosses the same street she blew through with her car a month ago.  56 more times to go, Cheryl!
Image found here.
San Francisco projects traffic related injuries and fatalities to drop 100% in one year, but it's not without its opponents.  Amnesty International expressed their "grave concern" this barbaric punishment that puts motorists "at extreme risk of death or permanently disabling injury".  The United Nations is also deciding on whether or not to charge SF with crimes against humanity.   

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Marina Bike/Ped Path Project: "Is The Safety of Thousands of People Every Day Worth Removing 51 Underused Parking Spots?"

Remove underused parking that will undoubtedly lead to some sort of tragedy in the future?  Decisions, decisions...
Photo: SFDPW
The group deciding the future of the Marina bike path project have a difficult decision on their hands. Should they eliminate a scant amount of parking to dramatically increase safety and comfort for the 98% of non-motorized users who use the path every day?  It's certainly not an easy answer if you're contending with a bunch of rich angry yacht owners screaming for free parking.

The only part of the 500 mile trail that has cars weaving around peds, cyclists, children, and the elderly.
image found here
If they remove these 91 parking spots, they only have parking everywhere else. There's nearby parking in four separate lots (the Marina Green lot, the Yacht Club East lot, the St. Francis Yacht Club lot, and the Yacht Club West lot) as well as parallel parking on Yacht Road and other proximate surface streets. 

Cars use the space 2% of the time but get nearly 50% of the space.  The decision to remove parking is difficult indeed.
image found here.
The one year project has been looking for other sensible solutions like somehow teleporting cyclists and pedestrians through the area where 2000 pound machines lumber around and sleep.  They've also looked to putting parking on the arterial street but found cars would face a "dooring hazard".  This is an issue that cyclists and pedestrians currently have on the path, which is perfectly acceptable.  

Some options, like putting car parking on arterial streets (like they do everywhere else in the city) are not suggested.  They put drivers who park their cars in risk of "dooring hazards", a problem that only cyclists are allowed to endure.
image found here.
Tuesday’s meeting of mostly angry rich yacht owners who want free parking handouts will start at 6 p.m. at Moscone Recreation Center at 1800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco.  Stop on by if you somehow think a 500 mile ped/bike path is better if it's unimpeded by car parking.

Comments can also be sent to Mary Hobson and Sarah Ballard of Rec and Parks. The SFBC has posted a template for letters of support for the parking removal on its website.

Stay strong and avoid reason at the meeting, rich yacht owners!  You're more important than the safety of thousands!
Photo: Aaron Bialick

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

SFMTA to Angry Motorists: "Screw it! You Can't Have Nice Things!"

"Does this look like a problem caused by pedestrian safety improvments, public transit and bike lanes, morons? "- SFMTA
Image found here
The San Francisco Metro Transit Association has been under a lot of fire recently from angry, math impared individuals and their poorly written websites, blaming them for everything under the sun.  Finally, after years of taking this abuse, they've finally released an open letter to the angry motorists of San Francisco:

Dear Angry SF Motorists, 

Screw it.  You can't have nice things.  You can't be trusted to drive safely or sanely on a big wide street with multiple lanes.  Is there ever a signal rotation that goes by without one of you jackasses speeding through it?  We have to tell cops to patrol you every single hour of every single day because we know you're doing stupid shit out there.  You treat pedestrians and cyclists like they're obstacles in a game and not real people.  You can't be relied upon to actually move your car after the allotted time so we have to babysit and ticket you.  You can't handle even the slightest traffic jam without losing your shit.  We have to send out traffic babysitters anytime something takes a few seconds away from your precious speedy commute.  

You can't share, you can't be safe, and you can't be trusted for anything.  You don't deserve to have anything nice.
"Does this look like the kind of thing we should have to prevent you from doing?  Can you at least attempt to hold onto one shred of decency when you're in your car?
image found here.
You complain that you don't have enough parking?  We put parking everywhere, even on busy arterial streets like a lunatic, but you still want more.  Are you serious that the ENTIRE LENGTH of the California Coast isn't enough for you?  Why are you being such selfish jerks?  You live in a city that was meant for, at most, 4,000 cars per square mile and now we're at 10,000. We're terribly sorry if you have a problem with simple math and geometry.  We'll gladly pay for a semester so you can relearn grade school math.  
Seriously?  This isn't enough?  This is more than TWICE the mount SF was every supposed to have?  And you wonder why there's car congestion?
image found here
Why are you blaming us for the parking issue?  Why don't you blame your neighbor that hasn't actually used his cars in over a month?  Or that family that NEVER parks in their garage because they don't want to move their pingpong table or clear the garbage out of it?  Why don't you blame your neighbor that has that big "Do Not Park" sign in front of his garage?  You know they never use it.  Quit blaming us you morons.  

We gave unfettered access to the street but you continue to stop in pedestrian areas and blast through stop signs.  Is this what you do with every single street that's designed for you?  You can't even signal properly half the time - Seriously, look at yourselves, you're like children out there with the honking horns and skidding brakes and a complete disregard for anyone but yourselves. What kind of adult acts like this?  
"Has a pedestrian or cyclist ever come even close to creating this kind of carnage?  And you want us to make it easier for you to drive in the city?  Are you insane?
image found here
And for your people who have turned to the internet with statements like "Fix the MTA", do you have any idea what you're even talking about?  Have you even noticed any of the improvements we've made in the past few years?  We're even getting good Yelp Reviews!  Do you even take MUNI?  That's right, you don't.  You've gotten in our way, every step of the way to improve any of the bus lines.  You don't even know what we've done, and you're determined to prevent us from continuing on our successes.  Guess what, we need money to do it and we don't have it and you guys say to fix things before we have the money?  What kind of planet are you from?  You guys seriously are THE. WORST.
Do you even have any idea of what the MTA and Muni is?  The Muni's job isn't to tell you how to get there?  Muni gets you there by public transportation, you idiots.  This is why you don't deserve anything nice.
image found here.
So guess what, we're taking away a lot of your car lanes, we're taking away some of your precious parking spots, and we're going to give the more responsible groups a chance.  You'll be seeing more road diets, pedestrian safety improvements, dedicated bus lanes and bike lanes.  We'll gladly exchange the kind of fresh hell you motorists unleash for the potential of some cyclists rolling through stop signs and more jaywalkers.  So look out transit riders, pedestrians, and pedestrians that cycle, your time has come.  Time to let the people who haven't abused their privilege have reign of the streets.  

Suck it, Angry Motorists.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Biking on Market Street to be Featured on American Ninja Warrior

Are you ready to have an exciting bike ride down Market Street?  Keep your eyes peeled you might see a bike sharrow somewhere along the path!
Image found here, here, and here.
Thousands of people take to Market Street by bike every day, despite the fact that it has every conceivable pitfall a biker could ever face.  Some do it purposefully since every mode of transit is slow as hell and it's the "lesser of the evils".  Other people simply don't know any better and assume a market street that caters to over 100,000 people a day would be bike friendly.  Tourist Kent Wentson said, "Yeah so our family came to San Francisco and we saw all these Bike Share bikes everywhere and so we thought we would give them a spin and go down the city's quiet, pedestrian and bike friendly market street.  Boy were we ever wrong!"

The television show American Ninja Warrior heard about a heavily biked street with absolutely no dedicated lanes for a mile and a half, they quickly realized it would make their most daunting course to date.
Contestants will run over to grab their Bike Share bikes, conveniently located between car parking and double parked cabs.
They will then try and avoid the dreaded cable car tracks.   If you make it past, get ready for cars that might, or might not, swing left!  If it's a cab just assume they are going to cut you off, or worse.
The show's producer said, "We couldn't believe that so many people would bike down a market street given that it's pretty much a huge F U to anyone who needs to bike to work.  And what's with all the cars on it?  This couldn't be much worse if the city intentionally made it that way.  It literally has all the markings of one hell of a Ninja Warrior course"

Weaving around buses, avoiding speeding cars, and fun little landmines like these cheese-grater things
that are sure to take out an American Ninja Warrior.
"It's all so exciting and you never know what it's going to be like.  Maybe there will be a slew of delivery trucks in your way, or a cab doing a u-turn.  No matter what you will find yourself choosing between a variety of pitfalls.  I mean seriously, who came up with this street design and why do they hate bicyclists so much!?!"

Do they choose between bus exhaust or getting squished?
If contestants assume cars are going to stop when they're legally required to, they'll lose big-time.
Once they get to around 6th and Market Street you're almost in the clear!  Eventually there's green paint and almost enough room to feel safe around speeding cars.
image found here.
The producers of America Ninja Warrior haven't gotten a lot of people to sign up because of the extensive legal wavers.  "The fact that we're legally required to call it the 'Urban Death Hole Course' certainly didn't help matters." Producers have expressed other frustrations. "There aren't a lot of people who are going to bike down Market Street just to win $500,000."