5R-Fulton To Be 20 Percent Faster With Traffic Circles And Tweaks On McAllister

: sfist – excerpt

The SFMTA is hailing its experiment, known as the 5L-Fulton Limited Pilot Project, as a success. Already, they say, it’s moved and consolidated stops to increase speed and ridership — on this and other tweaked routes, ridership is up 2,500 trips per day according to a report released this week. Now the renamed 5R-Fulton Rapid will soon improve further with the addition of traffic circles and a few other changes on McAllister Street to reduce travel time by 20 percent (and help the 5R-Fulton live up to its “rapid” name).

“The 5-Fulton is a critical crosstown link for the city of San Francisco, transporting over 20,000 riders daily,” Chairman of the SFMTA Board Tom Nolan said in a release of the bus that travels the length of the Richmond to Downtown. “These improvements will improve Muni’s travel time, increase reliability and support our overall Vision Zero goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities.”

So, 5 riders, get ready to race (at a safe, reasonable speed) around some traffic circles to be installed at McAllister & Steiner and McAllister & Lyon. Note that the bus stop at that latter intersection will be removed… (more)

This is the dumbest idea they have come up with yet. Traffic circles are a waste of road and slow down ALL motor vehicles including emergency ones and Muni buses. Here are some photos of Muni buses trying to get past traffic circle obstacles: https://metermadness.wordpress…
Obviously, SFMTA does not care about the requirements of emergency vehicles or how fast they can operate on the city streets. They are slowing them down all over town. I watched a fire truck sit through four traffic lights on
King Street while the traffic slowly crawled through the intersection at Third. No where for the cars to got to get out of the way.
Stops, no stops, it doesn’t matter to a fire truck.

When A Zipcar Hits His Bike, One Critical Mass Cyclist Attacks With A U-Lock

By  : sfist – excerpt

“[Dont’] pick fights with motorists, even (especially) if they’re itching for one,” writes San Francisco’s chapter of the international cyclist advocacy group Critical Mass.

But apparently violating that dictum and others — such as ‘[don’t] ride into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road — on Friday’s group ride one cyclist ended up doing just that in the Marina District.

The above YouTube video titled “Road Rage Cyclist Breaks Car Window with U-Lock,” was flagged by Redditors and posted by the Chronicle. At around 20 seconds in, cyclists move into opposing traffic. One blocks a Zipcar, staring it down as if to dare it to proceed. This, I’m told, is a maneuver frequently used to keep cars from proceeding towards other cyclists to ensure their safety. But in this case, that car, inching closer, eventually collides with the bike.

“You fucking hit my bike!” shouts the cyclist in confronting the Zipcar driver. After some back-and-forth, the driver begins to (illegally) flee the (admittedly scary) scene of the initial accident. At 1:40 or so, the driver or perhaps a passenger yells that the cyclist is a “psycho.”

As the Zipcar passes by, the cyclist uses his U-lock to smash at it, attempting (but failing) to break the driver’s side window…

In the 2013 words of SF Weekly, Critical Mass is an “anarchic, ostensibly leaderless movement” that served as the San Francisco Bike Coalition’s “battering ram.”…

Supervisor Farrell has released the following statement:

Violence is and will never be acceptable here in San Francisco. The actions by the cyclists caught on video this past Friday evening participating in Critical Mass are disturbing and should never be tolerated in our City – especially the one cyclist seen attacking the vehicle with a bicycle lock repeated times. I understand the history that Critical Mass has in San Francisco as a protest movement, and respect that a majority of the participants are peaceful and respectful of others while participating. But, the participants in Critical Mass must understand that actions like the ones this past Friday reflect poorly on the entire group and hurt the group’s overall message and movement. I have already been in contact with our police department to evaluate how best to prevent similar future incidents from happening. And, I expect and hope that other Critical Mass participants will condemn the behavior seen this past Friday and actively encourage their participants to respect everyone and all the applicable traffic laws while participating  (more)

The cyclists are not stopping one car. They are stopping all the cars coming off the Golden Gate Bridge by driving against the traffic on the wrong side of the street. Whoever is in the car is swarmed by the cyclists. Can’t feel very safe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYAapAQ1urI&feature=share

Many U.S. drivers ignoring new tech features in cars: survey

By Alexandria Sage : businessinsider – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Drivers are steering clear of some new technology in cars, according to a survey released Tuesday, raising questions about whether car makers are moving too quickly to incorporate sophisticated technology.

Carmakers are adding everything from remote car unlocking to self-parking systems in their newest models as they try to make vehicles more connected to the Internet and more automated.

But the 2015 Drive Report from market research company JD Power found that 20 percent of new car owners had still not used approximately half of the technology features available in their vehicles after three months of purchase – the period after which drivers are less likely to adopt new features, researchers say.

The most underused feature was in-vehicle concierge systems that can recommend nearby restaurants or gas stations. It was not used by 43 percent of respondents and followed by mobile routers that turn a car into a Wifi hot spot, unused by 38 percent.

Automatic parking systems were unused by 35 percent of those surveyed, the report found… (more)

Safer San Jose Avenue Advocates Fend Off Attacks From Angry Motorists

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The redesign of San Jose Avenue took a step forward a month ago when Caltrans removed a traffic lane on a Highway 280 off-ramp leading on to San Jose, a.k.a. the Bernal Cut. The plan is the result of decades of neighborhood advocacy for safer streets, but it is running into opposition from motorists who won’t stand for the road diet.

Supporters and opponents of the project are duking it out with online petitions, both launched a month ago. The opposition’s petition currently has a lead on the supporters’ petition. The SFMTA hasn’t released the results from its survey from last fall.

“There is a contingency of drivers that is working against this plan and are very active on NextDoor and talking to their supervisors,” said neighbor Collin Martin. They “seem to accept no alternatives to making this avenue safer and more sane for cyclists and pedestrians.”…

Collins said Caltrans could have done a better job implementing the ramp lane removal, “as it is causing sudden stops” that may contribute to “part of the backlash.”

“The exit should just be one lane and not two merging into one on a curve in short distance,” he said. “This is almost certainly what caused the surge in support to the petition against the road diet.”

The opposition petition calls on city officials to “stop the destruction of effective traffic flow on 280N and San Jose Ave.” The creator, Dave Wang, claims that removing the third lane on San Jose has “caused traffic standstill,” and features a Streetsblog photo of car traffic on Highway 101 in Belmont…

The petition also says that “the SFMTA has provided no data to indicate this corridor is more unsafe than others.”…

While a petition tally shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether to make streets safer, a show of support can stiffen the spines of decision makers and lead them to move forward with improvements. …(more)

Traffic fine policy banned in California court system

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The governing body for California’s court system Monday banned county courts from requiring people to pay traffic fines before they can contest their tickets.

The Judicial Council’s unanimous vote in favor of abolishing the practice comes as state officials have raised concerns that traffic fines and penalties are ensnaring minority and low-income residents. Fines have skyrocketed in California over the past two decades, and courts have grown reliant on fees as a result of budget cuts during the recession.

The Judicial Council’s decision takes effect immediately, and also requires courts to notify traffic defendants that they don’t have to make so-called bail payments in any instructions or other materials they provide to the public.

“I am proud of the rule that has been developed,” California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said in a statement. “This is an important first step to address an urgent access-to-justice issue.”… (more)

RELATED:
New Policy in effect for California traffic courts

There’s now a clubhouse for Uber, Lyft, Sidecar drivers

By CArolyn Said: sfgate – excerpt

Thousands of San Franciscans drive for hire through Lyft, Uber, Sidecar, Postmates, Flywheel, Sprig, Wingz and a host of other on-demand services. All those drivers have one key need in common: A place to heed nature’s call.

A new driver clubhouse called Groove aims to be their pit stop, offering a lounge South of Market where drivers can take breaks, get free coffee, use Wi-Fi and visit the restroom 24/7, as well as buy food-truck fusion cuisine from the likes of Bacon Bacon, Firetrail Pizza, Lil Burma and Dusty Buns.

But more importantly, Groove hopes to help foster a sense of community, said co-founder Emmanuel “Manny” Bamfo, 25. “It’s human nature to want to connect with your peers,” he said.

Groove is located at SoMa StrEat Food Park, a permanent food-truck site in the shadow of the Central Freeway. While the park’s regular hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., drivers will have round-the-clock access to a heated barn-like space with picnic tables and big-screen TVs, as well as a converted school bus with benches where they can stretch out for a quick nap — and of course, the all-important restrooms. (Five stalls each for men and women, Bamfo said.) Another important consideration: The area has lots of free parking….

Will they mingle?

Taxi drivers famously loathe Uber and Lyft, blaming them for siphoning off passengers, and resenting that they operate with looser regulations. Won’t it be a recipe for disaster for cabbies and Uber drivers to mingle?… (more)

Looks like everyone is trying to make a buck off the new “sharing economy”, while lawsuits are being filed to put a stop to it. The sharing economy is creating niche interdependent exclusionary jobs based on sketchy business models. Do you want to hang out with your competition on your break? Makes more sense to meet potential customers.

 

San Francisco’s Prop. L: Are motorists being put at the back of the bus?

: KALW – excerpt – (includes audio track)

San Francisco paints itself as a green city, a city of walkers and bicyclists, a transportation friendly city. But some say San Francisco has taken its pro-pedestrian stance too far.

A group called the Restore Transportation Balance Coalition wants to take back the roads. That’s the goal of Proposition L, a declaration of policy to make the city’s parking meters, garages and traffic laws more car-friendly. But at what cost?

San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood recently debuted a glam pedestrian-friendly makeover. The main drag of Castro Street now has palm trees, rainbow crosswalks and wider sidewalks.

But there were some trade-offs for this fresh new look. On-street parking was monopolized by the construction, and now the much narrower street makes it harder for Muni and delivery trucks to get through…

“If you live in San Francisco ask yourself, has traffic gotten worse within the last 10 years? Have my buses? Has ontime wait for Muni increased? Has my bus service improved? Do I feel safer navigating the streets of SF?” he asks.

“The answers almost universally to those questions are no, so obviously what’s going on right now is not contributing to the solution, it’s part of the problem so we need to change things,” Clark says.

And that’s something both sides can agree on. San Francisco hasn’t found an effective solution to the increasing number of cars, and people, on the streets. So it is fitting that the solution itself is at a bottleneck… (more )

Facebook’s bus drivers push to unionize

By Kristen V. Brown : sfgate – excerpt

Some bus drivers who ferry Facebook employees to and from Silicon Valley want to unionize, saying they are underpaid, overworked and unfairly compensated for time on the job

The drivers enlisted the Teamsters, a powerful labor union, to pressure their employer, Loop Transportation, to allow them to organize.

The Teamsters are also putting pressure on Facebook, which contracts Loop Transportation to manage its shuttle operations. On Thursday, the top Teamsters official for Northern California sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to throw the social network’s support behind a union for the drivers… (more)

Ballot measures

It’s looking likely that San Francisco voters will get to weigh in on the redevelopment of an aging waterfront pier, whether the city should be barred from installing lights and artificial turf on Golden Gate Park soccer fields and whether the city should adopt a “balanced transportation” policy protecting motorists’ interests.

Supporters of all three proposals turned in thousands of signatures Monday aimed at qualifying the measures for the November ballot.

The measures each need the signatures of 9,702 registered San Francisco voters to qualify for the election, which will take place November 4…

Then there’s the group calling itself Restore Transportation Balance, which turned in 17,500 signatures for its proposed proposition to establish a nonbinding policy declaration of policy that would include prohibitions on charging at parking meters on Sundays, holidays and outside the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., putting new meters in neighborhoods without the consent of residents and merchants, freezing meter rates for five years and enforcing traffic laws “equally for everyone using San Francisco’s streets and sidewalks.”… (more)

Streetsblog LA’s Damien Newton: Everyone on the road breaks the law.

By Carla Hall : latimes – excerpt

Damien Newton, bicyclist, bicycle advocate, founder and editor of Streetsblog LA — and owner of three bikes and one car — listens as I tick off complaints from drivers about bicyclists on the roads of Los Angeles: They blow through stop signs; they ride against traffic; they ride on sidewalks.
He’s not surprised. Or sympathetic.
“Pretty much anyone who uses the road breaks the law on a regular basis. But people excuse their own breaking of the law,” he says.
He turns from the cafe table we’re sitting at in Mar Vista (his neighborhood) and points to a car that just cruised through the bustling intersection. “No one was upset that that car blew through the red light. But if a bike did that, they would get upset — because they’re ‘the other.’ For a lot of people driving cars, bicyclists are the others.”.
FULL COVERAGE: Sharing the road in L.A.
He’s right, of course.
Despite the upbraiding that Streetsblog LA can deliver to city officials or commentators defending drivers’ right to road space (I’ve been on the receiving end of a tart rejoinder), its founding editor is less enfant terrible than amused observer of L.A. as it struggles to become a road-sharing city of drivers, bicyclists, mass transit users and, oh, pedestrians.
He doesn’t care if you’re on a bike; he cares that you stop thinking of bicyclists as an odd nuisance — and stop framing the debate as “drivers vs. bicyclists”:
“The subtext is ‘We need to get along with these weirdos, because they’re out there.’ ”… (more)

 

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