Bridge panel votes to keep rods, bolts in place on eastern span

By Jaxon Van Derbeken : sfgate – excerpt

A Bay Bridge oversight panel voted Friday to leave more than 2,000 potentially problematic rods and bolts in place on the new eastern span, rejecting a metallurgist’s attack on the $20 million testing program that vouched for their safety as unmerited.

The unanimous decision by the three-member Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee appears to lay to rest one of the biggest uncertainties hanging over the $6.4 billion project — whether hundreds of the steel fasteners will have to be replaced at toll-payers’ expense.

After 32 high-strength, galvanized rods broke in March 2013, Caltrans created a testing program to determine whether the remaining zinc-coated fasteners on the bridge were similarly at risk.

The rods and bolts anchor the bridge’s main cable to the road deck, secure it to the top of the tower and hold down structures designed to keep the bridge from swaying excessively in an earthquake… (more)

32 cracked so far. We know the design is not approved and now we get the message that the rest of the rods that are sitting in water corroding don’t need to be replaced? Who can you trust to build and maintain our bridges these days?

Can we get the names of the the three-members on the  Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee?

Which is more important? Keeping the decorative lights on the bridge or making the bridge safe?

RELATED:
Latest defect: Bay Bridge tower rods sitting in water

E2 Anchor Rods – on the Bay Bridge

baybridgeinfo – excerpt

BATA Presentation on Bay Bridge Delay July 2013

Overview

The eastern pier of the Self-Anchored Suspension Span contains seismic devices called bearings and shear keys. The bearings allow the road-decks to move slightly during a seismic event, while the shear keys prevent the decks from moving too much. The four bearings (two beneath each deck) and four shear keys (one beneath each deck and two beneath the cross beam connecting the decks) are bolted between the roadways and a concrete cap beam with steel anchor rods. When 96 rods were tightened to connect two shear keys to the cap beam in March 2013, 32 broke.

The rods could not be tightened until the completion of load transfer, the process of shifting the weight of the suspension span from the temporary supports to the main cable. The process was completed in late 2012.

There are a total of 288 3-inch diameter rods, which range in length from 9 to 24 feet, anchoring the bases of the seismic devices to the top of the cap beam. Each bearing has 24 rods, and each shear key has 48.

Broken rods

On March 1, workers began stressing the 96 rods fabricated in 2008 for the two shear keys; between March 8 and March 15, 32 fractured rods were discovered.

Engineers and metallurgists have determined that the bolts broke due to hydrogen embrittlement, which requires a source of excess hydrogen, susceptible material and tension. Ongoing metallurgical analysis revealed that the bolts were susceptible due to the steel being harder on the outside than in the middle, or a lack of uniformity in the steel’s microstructure. The steel also showed low toughness and marginal ductility (the ability to stretch).

The excess hydrogen caused the threaded areas to become brittle and fracture under high tension when the bolts were tightened. An ongoing investigation is looking into the source of the excess hydrogen, which may have been both internal (i.e. residual from production) and/or external… (more)

Smart Cities”/Stupid Cities—Walking is a “Technology”

By Stephen Frank : capoliticalreview – excerpt

I have three grand daughters, ages 5,2 and 1. All have learned how to walk, naturally. They lifted themselves up, and then eventually took steps, holding on to things. Finally, walking and running on their own. No computers, no fancy equipment, no high tech needed to learn to walk. But, if you live in a nutty “smart city” you will learn they you need to relearn how to walk via “technology of walking”. Someone is making a bundle out of what Jon Gruber would call “the stupid Americans”.

“In today’s auto-centric culture, the operative question for local and regional leaders as well as transportation planners is this: How do we address the growing list of public externalities ensuing from America’s perceived love affair with cars? Traffic congestion, parking demand, environmental issues, and more garner concern as today’s built environments increase in size and complexity.

Shifting this current trajectory necessitates a new mindset—one requiring city leaders to think more like engineers and behavioral psychologists and less like regulators. Amid this is a new trend that promises to accelerate the movement toward more sustainable ways of getting people from point A to point B.”

Fancy phrase for outlawing cars in dumb cities. Will we allow billions meant for roads to be spent on money losing choo choo trains, horse and walking trails and bike lanes? Apparently we are… (more)

Well put. It is good to see someone pointing out that the emperor is naked. Let’s take the money out of walking. Make walking free for all.

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

sfcitizen – excerpt

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: … (more)

SFMTA Agrees To Dismiss (Some) Tickets Issued Even After They Said They Weren’t Enforcing Meters

sfist.com

“ATTN: No meter enforcement today,” the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency tweeted Thursday morning. The official Twitter account for the City of San Francisco followed suit, tweeting “No Parking Meter Enforcement Today Due to #sfstorm.” Heck, we even reported it, quoting a Bay City News report in which SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said that “parking control officers are more focused on keeping traffic moving and keeping people safe.”

But apparently not all of them had the same focus, as some drivers who didn’t feed the meter yesterday still got tickets, much to their dismay…

Well, that’s certainly frustrating, as that reader will not be one of the alleged nine who will have their slips dismissed. My advice to him, as dissatisfying as it is: Start the dispute process (now available, kind of, online) now, go take a picture of the parking space, and print out those tweets.

And, for the rest of you — watch the mail for those dismissals. And let me know if you don’t get ‘em, OK?… (more)

Need more proof that you can’t trust the SFMTA?

Proposed CEQA changes could push development to disincentivize car use AirTalk | December 4th, 2014, 10:58am

airtalk : scpr – excerpt

A change to the formula used under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) could have a large impact on development throughout the state. Currently, the CEQA process views projects as having a negative environmental impact if they slow traffic. The proposed changes would change the perspective from one focusing on stemming traffic to one with an eye towards decreasing the amount of cars on the road and the temporal length of transportation.

If the proposed changes become final, the slight difference in priorities may change the way developers treat the city and suburbs. Whereas previous attempts under the act expanded car lanes and synchronized streetlights in order to lessen traffic, new attempts would discourage suburban sprawl and instead incentivize options for alternative transport. Those who bike and use mass transit may benefit from the proposed regulatory process, and supporters of green development are supporting the changes with the belief that it will lower greenhouse emissions. Yet for drivers who already have long commutes, driving through the city could become more onerous.

How should the state of California regulate development under CEQA? Do you think your commute could be affected if the development process changes?.. (more)

Thank you for expressing so clearly the objectives of the SFMTA to slow traffic and snarl it. We just had an election in SF where the SFMTA claimed the cars were causing the congestion. Now you have helped us prove that they are causing it on purpose. Thanks once again for proving us right and exposing the SFMTA’s lies, and explaining how the state is s*****g drivers.

We claimed the SFMTA is using taxpayer dollars that should be used to enhance MUNI to harass drivers and your statements support our claims. – ENUF, SaveMuni, Yes on L, No on A and B campaigns.

Safeway Parking Lot Service Issuing Potentially Unlawful Parking Tickets

hoodline – excerpt
Retailers at the shopping center parking lot at 2020 Market Street that is home to Safeway, Starbucks, and Jamba Juice have hired a private company to issue what appear to be unlawful parking “tickets” on cars parked in the shopping center…
The private company that is issuing the notices, Parking Control Services, Inc., settled a lawsuit with the Marin County District Attorney in 2007 when consumers complained that the company was placing parking tickets that looked like government-issued citations on cars parked at free public and private parking lots. Parking Control Services did not respond to our inquiries.

According to an opinion filed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris in 2011, it is unlawful for “private property owners to issue parking citations imposing monetary sanctions to the owners of vehicles parked on their property.”
Absent express statutory authority, a private property owner may not issue a citation to a vehicle owner, and this remains the law even when the owner issues a preprinted ticket claiming otherwise. Moreover, absent legislative authorization and regulation of the practice, allowing private property owners to issue their own parking citations would circumvent many of the consumer-protection purposes embodied in the Vehicle Code statutes governing towing and parking citations… (more)

SFMTA chief signals free Muni for seniors ‘very likely’

By sfexaminer – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is “very likely” to approve free Muni service for seniors and people with disabilities as early as January, SFMTA Transportation Director Ed Reiskin said Tuesday.

The revelation comes on the heels of a news conference called by Seniors for Disability Action and supervisors Eric Mar and Norman Yee to put political pressure on the SFMTA board of directors to approve the program. A similar program is in place for low- and moderate-income youths up to age 18.

“Free Muni is an umbrella on a rainy day,” poet and activist Tony Robles said. “Seniors so often are isolated, and can barely afford to pay rent or get around town.”

Monthly Muni passes are currently $23 for seniors and people with disabilities, discounted from $68 for adult passes… (more)

Who said Prop L lost? One of our requests, for restoring transportation balance, is to help seniors and disabled people. Now they just need to re-install the seats on the buses and transport vehicles they want the seniors and disabled people to use, and re-establish the Muni stops they plan to remove, so more seniors and disabled people can take advantage of the free Muni.

S.F. port official, a friend of mayor’s, cited again

By John Coté : sfgate – excerpt

Port Commissioner Mel Murphy and his company were fined for illegally reinstalling car-parking stackers in the garage at his San Francisco condominium building after the Department of Building Inspection ordered the equipment removed.
San Francisco Port Commissioner Mel Murphy, a politically connected developer and friend of Mayor Ed Lee’s, has been cited for illegally reinstalling parking equipment that increases the value of his new Mission District condominium building after city inspectors had directed him to remove it, city documents show.

The violation is the latest in a string of problems for Murphy’s projects both before and after Lee appointed him in 2013 to the city’s influential Port Commission, which has a central role overseeing one of San Francisco’s most precious resources: 7½ miles of public waterfront.

“I feel like this is on Ed Lee for appointing him to the port,” said Building Inspection Commissioner Debra Walker, a political progressive and adversary of the mayor’s. “I think Mel should be asked to resign or be removed. … The mayor needs to draw a line to make sure things are done by the rules.”… (more)

M

I Made A Mistake: Went to San Francisco

By Peter Wallace : hngnews – excerpt

I won’t be back to San Francisco again unless my work requires it.

When I was in San Francisco on business last week I made a mistake.  I feel especially foolish because I know the city’s reputation – no, not that one – the one about parking.  In fact, a comedian does a routine about how the parking signs in San Francisco are so convoluted that it takes a lawyer to decipher them.

So, here’s what happened.  You tell me if you would have done the same thing…

So, while I did not leave my heart in San Francisco, I did leave $88 for the ticket, $4 for the money I put into the meter, and whatever I paid for lunch.

I find it interesting that cities that depend on tourism also predate on tourists, but I guess that’s another topic all together.

I won’t be back to San Francisco again unless my work requires it.  I’ll also encourage people who do go there to park wherever they want, since they’ll probably get a ticket anyway.  Just budget for $88.  Unless, of course, you plan to park on an elderly nun, in which case you might want to bring $98… (more)

More fallout from the San Francisco parking wars of 2014.