Bill to Allow Cyclists to Roll Through Stop Signs Fails

Bike crossing on Panhandle path en mass at traffic light – photo by zrants.

A proposal to allow bikes to roll through intersections has come to a skidding stop — for now.

AB 1103 would have let bicyclists treat stop signs like yield signs. On Monday, the measure stalled in committee.

The American Automobile Association opposes the measure, as does the California Police Chief’s Association.

Supporters of the measure are holding off until next year when they plan to re-introduce the bill. They decided they needed more time to convince their fellow lawmakers… (more)

Everyone is safest when we all follow the same rules.

 

 

SFMTA Releases Final Proposal For Upper Market Street Safety Project

 

On Thursday, the SFMTA released its final project proposal for the Upper Market Street Safety Project, which aims to increase safety and comfort for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike on Upper Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and Castro Street. The project has been a long time coming, after months of meetings, presentations and most recently, an open house in May(more)

Traffic moved for decades without much trouble. Why is it such a dilemma now? Could it be the wrong people are in charge of it as has been suggested by a lot of people? Time for a change in personnel.

The fastest way to make the streets safer is to hire a new traffic light manager who knows how to move traffic. Left turn signals are a good start. Longer yellow lights would also help. In November the voters will get to voice their opinion on the red street carpets.

If the reaction to the Mission Street mess is any indication, they will vote the red carpet masters down.

 

Proposal Approved, But It’s Not Over Yet!

Apr 25, 2016 — update on the Twin Peaks petition and meetings.

Hi.

As you may already know, at the meeting on 4/19/16, the SFMTA board approved the proposal to prohibit vehicles on the east side of the figure 8 and make the road two-way traffic on the west side. About twice as many people testified against the proposal as those in favor, and I gave a detailed statement on the safety hazards, but the board decided to go ahead with it anyway.

That being said, things may yet change. There is a meeting of the City-chartered Bicycle Advisory Committee on Monday, 4/25/16 at 6:30 PM in room 408 at City Hall, and I will be there to discuss the unfortunate consequences if the proposal is implemented. Information on the committee is here:
http://sfgov.org/bac/about-us
And the agenda for the meeting is here:
http://sfgov.org/bac/bicycle-advisory-committee/meeting/2016-april-25-agenda

Meanwhile, please continue to spread the word, and get more people to sign the petition. The proposal is considered a “pilot” by the SFMTA, and if negative effects come to light, such as onerous traffic jams at the overlook, they may consider canceling the pilot early. Petition signers will get timely updates when the pilot is being evaluated, so that additional input can be provided when that’s most important.

Thanks again.

Jeff

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)

Local: In The Mission In The Mission – Local News, Information, Events and Photos Harassment on MUNI and BART? Oh Yes

By Laura Wenus : sfgate – excerpt

BART and MUNI records of catcalling, groping, rape and other types of sexual harassment on stations and vehicles indicate that this public nuisance is rare. Only twelve incidents have been recorded in the past two years. BART’s numbers are even more impressive, with no incidents whatsoever in the Mission since 2012, and only 20 incidents in all of San Francisco.

Talk to women on the streets, however,  and it quickly becomes clear how misleading the official numbers are. In only 19 interviews, Mission Local turned up six victims of sexual harassment – half the official number reported in two years. Extrapolate out and it is likely that among the 700,000 boardings a day on Muni and 117,000 on BART, sexual harassment incidents number in the thousands.

A MUNI spokesperson said the SFMTA and SFPD work closely together to try to make transit as safe as possible. “Muni is an extension of San Francisco’s city streets,” she wrote. “The same care and attention one takes on the street should be taken on Muni as well.”

Except, on the street, women aren’t crushed up against men… (more)

Russian Hill and Polk Street businesses oppose SFMTA road safety plans

By: : examiner.com – excerpt

Business owners and residents on San Francisco‘s Polk Street see cyclists as typically culpable in accidents with cars, scoff at the notion of global warming, and are strongly opposed to the SFMTA’s suggestions for improving their neighborhood.
This was the tone of a public meeting organized by the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association at the Old First Presbyterian church, Monday night March 18th.
View slideshow: Saving Polk Street
The Middle Polk Neighborhood Association has aligned itself with a movement called Save Polk Street, which has opposed the SFMTA plan in a poster campaign.
MPNA chair Dawn Trennert repeatedly had to appeal to Save Polk Street supporters in the crowd to show respect for pro SFMTA speakers. Mr. Reiskin was loudly booed and shut down while attempting to outline his plan for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements along the stretch of Polk Street from Union Street in the north to McAllister in the south…

Continue reading

19th Avenue double fines may become permanent

By: Mike Aldax : sfexaminer – excerpt

Two of the busiest streets in San Francisco could have double-fine zones indefinitely under legislation proposed by Sen. Leland Yee.
The state senator authored legislation in 2008 that more than doubled fines for recklessly driving along the 19th Avenue corridor and Van Ness Avenue. The temporary law is set to expire this year, but Yee says it should continue because it has lowered pedestrian fatalities…
Various groups advocating for seniors and residents along the heavily-trafficked streets have supported Yee’s new legislation, Senate Bill 219…
“We need to protect pedestrians and particularly seniors from unnecessary injuries due to irresponsible drivers,” said Jazzie Collins of Senior Action Network.
Under the law, the a $50 ticket for driving up to 15 miles over the speed limit increased to $181 when adding the double-fine zone as well as local and state assessments. A $500 ticket for recklessly driving causing great bodily injury has increased to $2,400… (more)

Oak/Fell bike lanes discriminate against disabled

by Howard Chabner : district5diary.blogspot.com – excerpt – OCTOBER 15, 2012

Below is a comment by Howard Chabner on the proposed Fell and Oak bike lanes. Turns out that the project is not only against the interests of those who have to drive and park on neighborhood streets, but it’s even worse for the disabled.
Dear Chairman Nolan and SFMTA Board Members:
I have lived on Fell Street across from the Panhandle since 1988. The importance of promoting bicycle safety and encouraging bicycling is undeniable. I urge you not to approve the proposed Oak and Fell Street cycle track for the following reasons:
Putting an increased volume of bicycle traffic on these streets (especially Oak), which already have a heavy volume of fast-moving motor vehicles (around 30,000 vehicles daily on each of Fell and Oak, according to a presentation from SFMTA staff) and timed traffic signals, will greatly increase safety risks for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists
This is especially true given the large number of residential and commercial driveways on these blocks, and the large number of motor vehicles turning into and out of them. Many of the garages are narrow, and visibility is limited for drivers pulling out of them; with a cycle track it would be difficult for drivers and cyclists to see each other. There is a heavy volume of motorists turning off of and onto Oak and Fell, Divisadero and the side streets; even with traffic signal improvements, cycle tracks will create more conflicts among bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists. An already complex situation will be made even more complex and hectic.
Instead, using Hayes and Page, which have stop signs instead of traffic signals, and which have a much lower volume of motor vehicles, would be safer. I know experienced bicyclists who use Hayes and Page often and believe these routes are much safer than any cycle tracks on Oak and Fell would be. Installing cycle tracks along two of the fastest and busiest vehicular thoroughfares in San Francisco contradicts SF’s stated goal of encouraging novices to bicycle by providing safe spaces with no pressure to go fast.
The Haight Ashbury Improvement Association has proposed a safer alternative for cyclists, using Hayes and Page Streets, but SFMTA has not seriously considered it. Here is a link to the HAIA plan

HAIA plan
The proposed plan would negatively impact safety, parking, traffic, air quality and disability rights; it should not be adopted.

Thank you very much for considering this e-mail.

Howard Chabner

(More)