Ambulance stuck in traffic at SF General Hospital

Who’s safety are we concerned about?

Shot at 12:30pm Saturday, June 16th, 2017, from my front steps, west side of Potrero, one house south of 21st, ambulance forced to use SFGH’s 21st Street driveway, same driveway that wheelchair-bound patients enter:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLbkUgL8Sec

Please share this video of the Ambulance stuck in traffic at General Hospital and if you can, shoot some of your own and send them to me.
It has come to our attention that the SFMTA did not “share” details of their plans to slow traffic by building traffic barriers around General Hospital.
SFMTA Board intends to “fix” an error they admitted to making at their Tuesday meeting. We are calling for a Continuance to alert the public and any other pertinent groups to this plan. As you can see from the video, this is not the place to slow traffic or remove traffic lanes.

At night and in the rain the lane changes and curvy streets are difficult to see or navigate. This car missed the median and probably stopped traffic for a while on Mother’s Day. Judging from the shadows this occurred late in the day around sunset when the sun can blind drivers, creating the most dangerous driving conditions shown in more videos below.

Car that hit hit median. photo by a neighbor

What is the long-term plan for getting ambulances into SF General?

Shot at 12:30pm Saturday, June 16th, 2017, from my front steps, west side of Potrero, one house south of 21st, ambulance forced to use SFGH’s 21st Street driveway, same driveway that wheelchair-bound patients enter:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLbkUgL8Sec

if you can write a letter or comment requesting a continuance at the Board Meeting! Sample letter with recipients:  https://discoveryink.wordpress.com/letters-and-comments/potrero-avenue-plans/

If you can, please send us any video or pictures along with your explanation of emergency vehicles stuck in traffic.

Uber and Lyft get the last laugh – all the way to the bank

SF City Hall and SFMTA used Uber and Lyft to kill taxis and attempt to remove cars. Now the ride-shares outnumber Muni. They created the Monster. Let’s see how they tame it.

A collection of photos of SF streets by zrants

RIDE-SHARES TECH BUSES OR TAXIS AND PRIVATE VEHICLES: SFMTA welcomed ride-shares as their allies in their attempt to drive SF residents out of their cars. SFMTA removed and privatized on-street parking. Planning removed off-street parking from future developments giving developers a huge windfall in profits. Developers did their part by offering Uber and Lyft credits instead of on-site parking, jacking up the demand for car-shares. The demand for car-shares, created by the parties in their haste to eliminate private cars, is driving the number of car-shares and increasing regional traffic as the car-share drivers are coming in to drive us around the city. Don’t even get us started on the tech bus problems that are effecting everyone around the Bay Area not just SF.

PARKING OR TRAFFIC: The parking problem for some is eliminated, but, there are more cars driving around NOT PARKING than there were before the parking was eliminated. Given the choice between parking and traffic, which is worse? You are going to have one or the other. Decide City Hall and clean up your act.

RETAIL OR DELIVERY: Instead of private people running their own errands shopping in their own cars, and bringing their purchase home, we now have delivery services running those errands for us and double parking of delivery trucks all over town. You do want that pizza hot, don’t you? You can’t expect your new computer, TV, or stove to be delivered by bike. Those come by truck now. Instead of mail once a day, we have multiple deliveries a day from multiple sources, adding both traffic and double parking to our streets. We have replaced retail jobs with delivery jobs. Is that the kind of neighborhood and city we want to live in? Where we interact by digital media instead of human contact? How many jobs may be eliminated by robots?

LOCAL SERVICES OR REGIONAL: We find that we have more traffic than ever pouring into the city. Many of our service companies, such as repair and construction crews used to work out of local warehouses and parking lots have been forced out and must now drive into the city to serve us. This jacks up the price of those services, many emergency in nature, electricians and plumbers, PDR and other businesses reliant on vehicles. Now your plumber must commute in to stop that leak. This leads to more damage and more costly repairs. Don’t even think about getting that roof repaired or your sidewalk attended to with any haste. Fast, cheap or reasonable remodels are a distant past memory.

PLAYING THE GREEN CARD: For those of you who have not followed the history of this anti-car movement, we may direct you to the beginning, which started with a treatise and the uniting of a number of non-profits that run the city. Details are too many to address here now. There was an idea that by stuffing people into large dense cities you could somehow reduce greenhouse gases and save the planet. One the way to that perfect future plan, an amazing happened. The car manufacturers cleaned up their cars and the engines got more efficient, so we are using less fuel and polluting less in our cars. The cost of gas is also going down, as the demand diminished. Many alternate fuels are coming on the market. Thus the green card is no longer sufficient to fight cars.

PLAYING THE SAFETY CARD: This brings up the need for a new reason to remove cars. Cars are dangerous. To prove that, most of the state and federal requirements for safety such as lane width, road signs traffic laws, have been altered to the point where few people even know what they are any more. This is called chaos. This is how the SFMTA really makes its mark on our city. No one creates chaos and hatred among the people on the streets like the SFMTA. They are geniuses at playing the safety card against us. Everything they do is geared to confuse and annoy us. Starting by turning our perfectly normal streets into battlefields of zones based on some strange markings that no one understands. They blame each accident on the lack of safety on that corner and target it for change.

PLAYING THE CHAOS CARD: Now that we have animosity on the streets and mass confusion because of rules and regulations no one understands and confusion over the street markings, SFMTA decided it is time to really stir things up by “calming” our straight, easy to navigate and see lanes into movable targets. The days of warning when lanes are merging are over. If you don’t pay attention to the lanes curing in and out of bulbouts, parking, bike and red lanes, you are in trouble. All your attention must go to following the lanes and it is hard to pay attention to the lane changes and the pedestrians, bikers and others who think they have “the right of way” all the time. People who don’t live here can’t wait to leave. They are completely confused.

WORST CASE SCENARIOS: It is one thing to design streets for everyday experience and assume that the power to the Third Street rail lights that “manage” the merging traffic on and off of rail lanes will always works, but, it is another to deal with the reality of unexpected emergencies and power outages. We understand that decisions have been made to ignore the warnings of our emergency respondors in favor SFMTA “specialists” and “experts” on how the emergency vehicles will deal with the realities of emergencies as they arise and become stuck in traffic, or, worse yet, cannot reach fires in high rise properties due to the fact that they have been downsized. According to then Supervisor Wiener, the Fire Department should purchase smaller vehicles capable of handling the narrow streets. Someone must be held accountable when there are repercussions to these short-sided decisions.

THE AFTERMATH: In the haste to remove cars from SF streets, SF invited in the newest tech and anti-car planning teams they could find. They failed on all counts. By any metric or measurement you care to name, the entire program is a failure. We have a much worse regional traffic problem than before. We have a lot more vehicles on our streets.

We have many infuriated drivers and Muni riders, removed off-street parking and building owners are offering Uber and Lyft credits to lure in tenants of those parkless housing developments. Why should anyone be surprised that Ubers and Lyfts are replacing the traffic the city used them to eliminate.

WHO DETERMINES THE FUTURE OF OUR CITY: The public needs to speak up and let City Hall know how they feel about these issues. The plan is flawed and it is up to us to demand an examination of the flawed plan. Hearings are being called. We will be alerting you to those hearings. Please write letters and come to speak out at the hearings if you can. What is your solution to solving this problem?

Bikes win, Fire Department loses in Market Street redo

By Matier & Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt

Impossible to move in traffic like this, photo by Zrants

Score a big victory for the politically potent San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, which won approval the other day for protected bike lanes along several blocks of upper Market Street — despite a Fire Department protest that the reconfiguration will interfere with ladder trucks in an emergency.

“The design materially compromises the safety of firefighters and local residents,” Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White warned in a letter to the Municipal Transportation Agency commission.

At issue is a nearly mile-long strip of Market between Octavia and Castro streets. Under the plan, the city will install protected bike lanes in both directions.

The redo includes a bike lane on two blocks near Octavia that will be located next to the curb and be buffered from traffic by a lane for parked cars.

And therein lies the rub — because, as Hayes-White tells us, the parking lane will be right in the spot where a ladder truck would normally pull up to an emergency scene…

Mayor Ed Lee himself signaled his support for the biking crowd last year when he issued a directive pledging support for protective bike lanes in the city, and calling for at least 13 miles of additional bike lanes and related infrastructure annually.

Safe for bikes, perhaps, but maybe less so for anyone needing help in an emergency… (more)

The self-centered attitude of people who treat the streets as their playground has gotten out of control and City Hall needs to put some breaks on these antics that are putting us all at risk.

How is this different from the leaning sinking tower?

Experts are warning that the public is at risk? Where has the media been on this story as it has been developing over the last few months or years? The first we heard about this was a few weeks ago, after the SFMTA Board had already decided to support the Bike Coalition, with their 300 letters.

How can the public weigh in when they are the last to know about these issues?
Where are the Supervisors who are supposed to protect us? Setting up a study to count the minutes it takes to get to an emergency after the fact is pointless and insulting to the Fire Department and the public it serves.

Where were the meetings held on this matter and where are the minutes of those meetings that were held leading up to this decision?

Where are the letters that were written and arguments made against this plan. How will these documents be protected so as not to disappear like the famous disappearing volumes of engineers reports on the tower?

Who will the Bicycle Coalition members who ignored the Fire Department’s warning blame, when the vehicle coming to their aid fails to get to them in time?

I cannot figure out how to comment on the source site, even though I am signed into it. Please post some comments there is you can figure it out.

Traffic Safety Advocates Form Human Chain To Protect Tenderloin Bike Lane

by Walter Thompson : hoodline – excerpt

Calling attention to what they say is the city’s failure to protect bike lanes in high-injury corridors, approximately 15 traffic safety advocates formed a human chain this morning on Golden Gate Avenue near Market Street.

Dressed in yellow T-shirts donated by road-safety advocacy group San Francisco Municipal Transformation Agency (SFMTrA), participants stood in a bike lane and joined hands to create a barrier between motorists and cyclists…

Last month, Muni proposed scaling back a parking-protected bikeway on Turk Street—another corridor in the High Injury Network—to a paint-buffered bike lane, similar to the one on Golden Gate Ave. The change was proposed after fire department representatives said the new configuration made the street too narrow for emergency vehicles… (more)

Bike Coalition Says ‘No Way’ as City Backs off Protected Bike Lanes on Turk

FT9

Fire Truck on Potrero

Painted Buffered Lanes Failed Miserably on Golden Gate, so SFMTA Proposes them for Turk

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC), for the first time ever, is opposing a bike lane.

Protected bike lanes are the proven standard for making streets safer for cyclists of all ages and abilities. However, once again, the city has backed off a protected bike lane project, this time on Turk through the Tenderloin. SFMTA made the announcement of the new paint-only proposal for a door-zone bike lane on Turk at Friday’s engineering hearing at City Hall.

No surprise, the SFBC is livid. And this time, they’ve drawn the line:

On Friday, your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition joined Sup. Jane Kim and local residents in unanimously opposing the SFMTA’s plans to build an unprotected, paint-only bike lane on Turk Street. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s opposition to the SFMTA’s deficient proposal for Turk Street marks the first time we have opposed a bike lane in our 46-year history…(more)

San Francisco is already famous for traffic congestion. Does City Hall want to be known for flaunting Fire Department regulations as well? Fire officials know what they need to do the job we trust them to do.

 

New SFFD vehicles designed to squeeze through narrow city streets

By sfexaminer -excerpt

The San Francisco Fire Department is expected to purchase eight custom fire engines next month that will be better suited for the narrow streets and changing traffic conditions that make firefighting a challenge in The City.

Bus stops in the middle of the street, street changes like bulb outs and the booming ride-hail industry have made it more difficult for fire trucks and engines to rush to emergencies in San Francisco, according to Assistant Deputy Chief Ken Lombardi.

News of the new engines comes just months after Mayor Ed Lee announced a two-year plan to invest $14.3 million into the department to replace its aging fleet, including 13 fire engines, four aerial trucks and eight ambulances.

Speaking to the Fire Commission on Wednesday, Lombardi said that double parking by delivery trucks and the estimated 37,000 Uber and Lyft drivers that navigate The City have created a “nightmarish” situation for firefighters on the streets of San Francisco.

“I don’t know if it’s ever been as bad as it is now,” Lombardi said. “It’s just absolutely crazy.”…

“As we densify our city and build up higher buildings to accommodate higher populations we’re going to need the wider streets,” Fire Commissioner Ken Cleaveland said at the meeting…

San Francisco’s fire vehicles tend to be larger than other cities because they are suited for motors that have enough horsepower to travel up steep hills, Lombardi said. Fire engines also have to carry 500 gallons of water since the department has to combat fast-spreading fires…

Lombardi pointed to planned changes to Hermann Street — near its intersection with Laguna Street — that would turn parking spaces from running parallel to the street to sitting at a 45-degree angle to increase the number of spaces available.

The fire department is working with The City’s transit agency to correct the proposed plan, which Lombardi said violates fire codes that prohibit narrowing streets to smaller than 20-feet wide. Under the plan, parts of Hermann Street would be 18-feet wide.

Even at 20 feet, fire trucks and engines have to drive slightly into the oncoming lane of traffic when turning onto narrow streets, potentially causing a safety hazard… (more)

We need to follow state guidelines and keep the wide streets that accommodate everyone. How is making the streets more narrow making us safer? We need a new Muni management that isn’t intent on changing the world, just getting people where they need to go. The world is changing and they are not changing with it. They are trying to force their theories down our throats.

Masonic Streetscape Project To Break Ground In June

by R. A. Schuetz : sf.streetsblog – exccerpt

In June 2013, funding to redesign Masonic Avenue from Fell to Geary was approved, after years of outreach by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and community organizing both for and against the project. Now, the construction, originally forecast to begin last May, is finally preparing break ground in June. It’s expected to last until late 2017…

The contract for the project was awarded to Shaw Pipelines for $18.3 million. Including soft costs and construction support, the project will cost a total of $26.1 million.

One of the major concerns for residents was the removal of 167 parking spaces on Masonic, to accommodate the raised bike lane, widened sidewalks, and enhanced bus stops. But before construction begins in June, 22 new back-in angled parking spaces will be added on Turk Street between Baker and Central.

According to the SFMTA, “Changes on some other streets under consideration are on hold, given operational and technical concerns expressed by members of the community and the San Francisco Fire Department.”…

The reason we are posting this story that ran in March is to emphasize the fact that there are technical as well as political issues involved in the pause in implementation  of the Masonic project. There may also be some litigation.

There are three important things to look at here, the number one being the “operational and technical concerns expressed by… the Fire Department. that effect emergency services. Quite a number of people from Planning Commissioners to Supervisors, to Federal representatives have voiced concern about the major traffic snarls in the city and some of them are addressing the issue of health and safety where the ability of emergency vehicles to transverse the city fast in emergency situations.

The SFMTA plans to slow traffic on Lombard, Van Ness, Masonic, 16th Street, Mission Street, Folsom, Potrero and Cesar Chavez. How is anyone supposed to get across town fast in an emergency situation? How can ambulances access hospitals?

We know there are slowdowns and there may have already been lawsuits over these delays. A lot of cases are settled against the SFMTA and the city all the time that are not covered in the press. We also know that the SFMTA and DPW have been required to fix some of the technical mistakes they have made in curb designs and bulbouts that effect the ability of their MUNI buses and other large vehicles to turn. Removing and narrowing the lanes is a major problem.There are state laws that specify lanes widths that are being ignored or excused on state streets.

Our city government is hard at work trying to change some of those laws. Using our city streets and SF citizens as guinea pigs under the guise of pilot programs is one way the SFMTA attempts to skirt state laws and regulations. We will be looking into this later.

Money is a big issue this year. SFMTA claims they can do more with less, even though they are broke. We have seen no record on how much these mistakes are costing or how these errors are being paid for. Where on the budget do we find these fixes?

Stay turned for an OpEd that will attempt to take these matter into account as we go into the budget period in which the Mayor has asked all departments to cut back, due to a shortage of revenue this year.

 

San Francisco Adds Mass Casualty Transport Buses to Medical Fleet

jems – excerpt

‘AmbuBus’ to provide mass casualty emergency care and transport during potential disasters

The City of San Francisco (CA) Fire Department (SFFD), in cooperation with the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA-Muni) and the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DFOEM), recently placed two Mass Casualty Transport buses in service for mass casualty emergency care and transport during potential disasters.  These units will also be used to provide the needed surge capacity at the many special events throughout the city. The SFFD ambulance busses are outfitted to care for and transport 12 – 15 stretcher patients and 10 seated patients… (more)

RELATED:
More on Vehicle Operations from JEMS.com

Community Meeting on SF General Hospital Parking and Transit

From SF Health Network:
September 30, 2015   6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
SF General Hospital, 2nd Floor Cafeteria
City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) is hosting a community meeting to update you on activities and proposed plans for changes at SFGH and in the surrounding vicinity. This meeting will be next Wednesday, September 30th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm in the 2nd floor cafeteria of the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.
Topics of discussion will include the following:
·         Status of the new acute care and trauma center
·         Potrero Avenue Streetscape Project
·         Neighborhood Transportation, Traffic and Proposed Garage Expansion
·         Proposed new UCSF Research Building on the SFGH Campus

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.