How the Supercomputer in Our Pockets Can Help With Road Redesign

By Ryan McCauley : govtech – excerpt

Experimental red lanes on Mission Street were given the red carpet treatment without any repairs on the street. You can easily see the condition of the unpainted lane on the bottom right of the photo. The painted lanes are dangerous in the rain. Photo by Zrants.

This article appears to be written by people in an industry that spies on us by somehow accessing the data on how we drive and move about. Who authorized this use of our personal data? Who is keeping it and for how long and for what purposes?

Public perception may not be the most accurate measurement when assessing a project’s effectiveness. After a massive street redesign project, for instance, residents may complain that parking has been affected or traffic is now slower.

So getting large amounts of high-quality data to city planners so they can objectively judge a project’s true effectiveness is of the utmost importance. And the San Francisco Bay area’s increasing population has forced city officials to think about new ways to accommodate the influx — especially in San Francisco and Oakland, both of which have recently pursued “road diet” projects, which are essentially creating bus- and bike-only lanes to alleviate congestion and create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

“Something I have been trying to emphasize with staff is the importance of collecting data and talking about performance,” said Jeff Tumlin, interim director of the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT), which formed last summer, and was charged with improving mobility in the rapidly growing city while aligning transportation projects with the city’s values on equity…

Traditionally, the SFMTA would rely on collision data and count the amount of vehicles that would pass through intersections to judge how traffic and safety has improved. Through the Zendrive software, which works in the background and measures rapid acceleration, hard braking, phone usage and excessive speeding, the company can measure the behavior of specific drivers and understand where problem areas are.

The company released a report that analyzed more than 1 million miles of driver data on the Mission Street corridor before, during and after the construction. By tracking the data in individual vehicles, the SFMTA was able to recognize exactly where and how the project improved congestion…(more)

Anyone who doubts the true purpose of the road diets can read the words of Jeff Tumlin (a consultant for SFMTA who was fired by the city of Santa Monica for lying about his accomplishments here).

According to Tumlin, SFMTA is “creating bus-and bike-only lanes to alleviate congestion and create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians. No word on how they are helping anyone who drives or takes public transit, because SFMTA wants us to bike or walk. They don’t have the capacity to carry more people on public transportation and they only seem to support corporate vehicles like privatized parking spaces for ride shares that they benefit from.

If you take the Muni, you are costing them money. They are not making any profit off of you. You should be biking or walking instead.

There are a few problems with this plan. We have an aging population that is not likely to ride or bike, that SFMTA is ignoring. They don’t think they need to cater to taxpayers because they are busy hiring lobbyists in Sacramento and Washington to circumvent local taxpayers. If you don’t like it you better support the next ballot initiative that removes their power.

Otherwise, get some walking shoes or prepare to stand on a crowded bus that may or may not get you where you need to go. Watch out for the potholes. SFMTA is too busy painting streets to repair them. Of course you can sue them if you fall and are injured, but who wants that.

If you don’t like the way the SFMTA operates, (even cyclists are mad about the condition Potrero is in and the huge barriers in the middle of the street that force them to cycle on Potrero), be sure to register your complaints with 311 and demand  your supervisors take actions. If potholes bother you, check out suggestions here:

If you feel creative you may want to follow in the steps of a Chicago mosaic artist who sees potholes as an empty canvases waiting to be filled.


3 thoughts on “How the Supercomputer in Our Pockets Can Help With Road Redesign

  1. As I’ve said in previous post. They will intensify the “traffic congestion” issue publicly/media. And then begin to push for funds. They will make it seem as though it’s a “huge problem” which they have caused and frustrated citizens will end up giving them what they want. Gov brown did that gas tax crap saying it’s for pot holes and roads and congestion. But most big sfmta plans namely brt will be receiving funding from the gas tax. As per their budgets and project reports state “possible future funding” that I have posted on your page before.

    I always go back to these examples. “Affordable housing” was turned into these big issues and citizens passed affordable housing bond measures. Which did nothing but allow the city to change below market rate unit requirements and allow the city to sell off more property to developers for “affordable housing”. Total bullshit but mums the word these days right? They don’t mention it. As with the homeless measure. They’ve taken the money into a general fund and sfmta pulls from that fund. On this issue these days again mins the word. No more media.

    I’ve figured out a way to stop the sfmta only I don’t know how to go about it.

    Putting on the ballot the breaking up of the sfmta when muni only took care of muni. Dpt only takes care of dpt. And Dpw only takes care of dpw. It has to be broken up back to how it was when everything was a seperate department.

    Next thing is the sfmta is redesign all streets and corners basically controlling the department of public works. Spending all funds and billions of dollars on the ideology of vision zero of which is not city policy. Who approved of visions zero? Who approved its funding? We approved funding for better bus service not the removal of auto lanes red carpets and bike lanes on every street. They’re implementing vision zero without asking. And screw their “public safety” scam. When an ambulance is stuck in traffic because of vision zero that’s not safety. It’s bs

    Break up and resolve the sfmta let each department handle its own. And stop vision zero.


  2. These guys are getting in on the action as well. Wait until you get to the bottom of the article to see what’s in it. It’s all a scam. “Air quality” and “safety”. I’m. I’m not saying anything on climate change. I’m just trying to show on how the Bay area gov ESP sfmta are using the climate as reasoning to further their agenda.


    • It would be great if departments would be broken up like before. SFMTA is simply inept to control all of these agencies.


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