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: https://metermadness.wordpress.com/adopt-a-pothole/

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.

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Los Angeles: The City Of Whining About The Car

By Susan Shelley : capoliticalreview – excerpt

There was something very strange about the Los Angeles City Council debate on the day they adopted the Mobility Plan 2035.

On August 11, the council was rushing to pass a 20-year plan that called for removing traffic lanes on busy streets to make room for 300 miles of protected bike lanes. Councilman Mike Bonin told his colleagues how much safer the roads would be once traffic was slowed by the lane reductions.

“Only 5 percent of those hit by a car going 20 miles per hour die,” Bonin said. “Over 80 percent of those who are hit by a car going 40 miles per hour die.”

You don’t typically hear an elected official arguing for slowing city traffic to 20 miles per hour. And then the council members began to hint that the plan wasn’t binding on anybody.

“Every particular project will need to be vetted by you, in your district, with your constituents,” Bonin told his colleagues.

“This is a concept,” council president Herb Wesson said. “If you choose to vote on this today, it will not be put in place tomorrow.”

They called it “a vision statement,” and “an aspirational document.” And then the truth came out.

“This is a document that also helps us get a lot of money from somewhere else,” Bonin said. “This is a document that can help us get active transportation funds from the state. This is a document that can help us tap into cap-and-trade funds because it will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a smart thing to be doing.”

Sacramento has more than a billion dollars available for projects that reduce greenhouse gases, money that is pouring in from new fees on gasoline and diesel fuel that began on Jan. 1. The cash goes into a fund for politicians to hand out to anything green, or greenish.

And that’s why officials have turned Los Angeles, the city of the car, into the city of whining about the car… (more)

Sound familiar? No doubt they plan to take over the city transportation legislation the way they did in San Francisco. By lying about it. Review that here if you missed it. https://metermadness.wordpress.com/actions/

Walking tour highlights efforts to cut traffic fatalities in S.F.

By Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt

The walking tour that departed from the steps of City Hall on Tuesday morning traveled a route not frequented by double-deck tour buses, and it took in destinations not typically sought out by sightseers.

The group of two dozen or so, most wearing suits or dresses, strolled north to Golden Gate Avenue and then through the Tenderloin, passing the crowd gathering for lunch outside St. Anthony Dining Room, then stopping at Sixth and Market streets before heading up McAllister Street to a restaurant near Civic Center.

The visitors, from Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, were part of a state and federal delegation to learn what San Francisco is doing to make its streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists as part of the Vision Zero program.

San Francisco began its version of Vision Zero, an international traffic safety program founded in Sweden, early last year after a surge in fatal pedestrian collisions in the city in late 2013 and early 2014. The program aims to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city by 2024 using a combination of physical changes to streets, education programs and traffic enforcement…

Sixth Street changes

Standing at the corner of Sixth and Market, MTA Vision Zero project liaison and Tuesday’s tour guide Neal Patel described it as one of the city’s most dangerous intersections. He said the city wants to narrow four-lane Sixth Street to a single lane in each direction in 2017 when environmental studies are completed, even though it feeds traffic to the Bay Bridge.

“Will there be traffic impacts?” he asked. “Yes, there will.”… (more)

Question from a reader: “. . . What’s going on around here?  How is this going to make 6th Street safer?”

Answer: Ask the Fire Department and other emergency supporters how they feel about the bulbouts and street diets if you can get anyone to talk to you about it. There is a strange silence coming out of the City Departments as they battle over turf and funds. No one is talking.

Area Q Public Hearing Shows a Neighborhood Divided

hoodline – excerpt

Area Q

Yesterday, a public hearing was held at City Hall to discuss the ever-controversial issue of residential parking permits being proposed for the region around Alamo Square dubbed “Area Q.”

Turnout at the hearing was noticeably smaller than at the November 10th meeting at San Francisco Day School. At that meeting, the auditorium was filled with 160+ attendees. About 50 or so people spoke at that meeting, offering a variety of opinions. As a result, the SFMTA revisited the plan and made significant changes based on feedback.

Yesterday’s hearing, on the other hand, was held at City Hall — well outside the area being discussed — and took place at 10am on a workday, which likely presented a challenge for those with day jobs or other commitments. All in all, about 70 people filled the hearing room yesterday, and of the 35 or so people who spoke, the vast majority expressed strong opposition to the parking permit proposal… (more)

Proof that the war on cars is responsible for the anger on our streets. The best way to calm that anger is to stop the war on cars the way Feds are now attempting to stop the war on drugs. Stop the war. Let the citizens of San Francisco catch their breath and catch up with all the changes… Tell the Supervisors that you want them to take back accountability the SFMTA. Sigh the petition:

http://pol.moveon.org/signon/sign/restore-parking-oversight

22 Fillmore update

Shortcuts By Steven J. Moss : potreroview – excerpt

Muni Moving
: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will not be altering the 22 Fillmore route, as previously reported in Short Cuts. However, Muni will launch a new bus line, the 55 16th Street, to provide connections along 16th Street between the 16th Street Bay Area Rapid Transit station and Mission Bay, in part to serve the new University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital. The new 55 line will serve all 22 Fillmore bus stops on 16th Street between Mission and Vermont streets, with additional stops on 16th Street at Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Fourth streets. The line will operate seven days a week from approximately 6 a.m. to midnight, with a 15 minute weekday daytime frequency… (more)

That is what they are saying. Latest plans were online but they appear to have disappeared. If you care about the details, go to the Open House Wednesday, January 14, 6-7:30 PM at Marshall Elementary School 1575 15th Street. If you Can’t make it  Take the project survey and voice your opinions.

 

RELATED:
Wednesday, January 14, 6-7:30 PM
22 Fillmore Marshall Elementary School 1575 15th Street, San Francisco
If you Can’t make it? Take our project survey! Join SFMTA to learn more, engage with SFMTA staff, ask questions, and share your thoughts! Your feedback is important as we work together to build a strong project for the community. This looks like just a presentation with no feedback. The feedback will have to be comments to the SFMTA Board prior to the next meeting on January 20, where they plan to approve the plan. Copy the Supervisors. (contact SF officials)

 

 

San Diego Sued for Putting in a Bike Lane

by : la.streetsblog – excerpt

A lawsuit filed last week in San Diego [PDF] claims that the city did an inadequate CEQA analysis for a recent road diet and new bike lane on a stretch of Fifth Avenue.

The city’s Bicycle Master Plan calls for a bike lane on that section of the street, and lists it as a priority project. A recently completed water main repair there, followed by repaving, gave the impetus to restripe it and, in the process, the city removed one lane of traffic and added a wide, buffered bike lane…

It’s depressingly reminiscent of the 2006 lawsuit against San Francisco’s bike plan, which caused the city to delay putting in any bike facilities, including bike racks, for four years while it completed an expensive Environmental Impact Report that came to the same conclusions the city had reached without the report: that bike facilities do not create a significant environmental impact.

This lawsuit makes claims similar to those in the San Francisco suit, saying that traffic congestion will worsen, and that vehicles will be diverted to other local streets.

Unfortunately, the state’s Office of Planning and Research has not yet completed its guidance on S.B. 743, under which vehicle congestion will be removed from the list of environmental impacts that need analysis.

The city is trying to do what the state mandated in its Complete Streets Act [PDF] that requires cities to “plan for a balanced, multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users of streets, roads, and highways, defined to include motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, children, persons with disabilities, seniors, movers of commercial goods, and users of public transportation, in a manner that is suitable to the rural, suburban, or urban context of the general plan.”… (more)

San Diego residents should come to SF to see the worst possible outcome of street diets and badly designed bike lanes. Driver down third street at night in the pouring rain and try to figure out what is happening to the street lanes as they weave in and out of the bike and light rail lanes, without warning. (What happened to merging traffic signs?) Then do yourself a favor and LEAVE THE STREETS ALONE if you want the safest solution.

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.

Studies Show Car Traffic in San Francisco is Dropping

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

Car traffic has dropped in San Francisco in recent years, despite an economic boom and a growing population, according to studies by the SF County Transportation Authority.

A newly updated study (reported by SF Weekly) by the SFCTA counted fewer cars at 11 of 15 intersections during evening peak hours this year, compared to earlier counts taken between 2009 and 2012. Driving speeds, meanwhile, are “increasing moderately.”

As SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi pointed out, the data fly in the face of anecdotes from drivers — who almost universally feel that car congestion is always getting worse. And given the city’s booming economy, population, and construction in recent years, that’s one scenario that certainly would have been plausible had the 20th-century status quo continued… (more)

Why is traffic getting worse if there is less of it? Because the SFMTA is removing traffic lanes and causing the congestion they claim to be fixing. SFMTA put one over on the drivers this time by claiming they are solving the gridlock problem when they are causing it. How hard is it to figure out the the fewer traffic lanes you have to drive in the more crowded the streets will be?

STOP THE STREET DIETS!

RELATED:
The Slow Lane: The City’s Anecdotal and Statistical Traffic Studies Collide

Wiping Out While Riding the Wave of “Smart Growth”

alerts : motorists – excerpt
Editor’s Note: In a recent e-newsletter we discussed how planners want to remake the urban landscape to discourage automobile travel. But as often happens with such schemes, the law of unintended consequences comes to bear. This is what happened in in Long Beach, California, as described in this first-hand account by a California NMA member.

So-called Smart Growth has already become a reality in my former home, Long Beach, California. For the first six or seven years I lived there, traffic flow through the city was amazing. With freeway access at the east and west ends of the city, and the development oriented along the east-west shoreline, the city had set up alternating one-way streets through downtown. You could get off the freeway even during commute hours and, if you happened to land on the right timing, never have to stop, riding the wave of timed lights all the way across downtown.

If you hit a red light, it would be the first one, but you would then ride that same wave all the way through. You would see the beauty of lights turning green ahead of you, progressing not at the speed limit, but at the higher, yet still cautious and prudent speed that most people actually wanted to drive. It was wondrously efficient, both in time and also fuel- and emissions-minimizing vehicle operation. It turned out that this operation depended on having three one-way lanes on each street.

Then the hippies and totalitarians got together “for the good of mankind.” They reduced the two streets configured this way, which connected the prime business areas with the freeway, to two lanes each, to make room for a dedicated bike lane separated from the car lanes by a wide empty space. This eliminated the ability of the roadway to accommodate any sort of obstruction. Somebody has to slow or stop to make a turn? Commercial vehicle unloading inventory in front of a store?… (more)

Bulb-outs, other traffic measures to help cut 9-San Bruno travel time

By sfexaminer excerpt

 

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Muni’s 9-San Bruno line providing service between downtown San Francisco and Visitacion Valley is expected to see its overall route travel time drop by three to five minutes thanks to eight recently approved bus bulb-outs and other projects on the horizon.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors this month approved the bulb-outs and relocation of certain bus stops and parking spots along the route. The stop at Folsom and 11th streets will be eliminated. Three of the bulb-outs will stand as islands, allowing bikes to travel between the bulbout and the curb.

Bulb-outs, which are essentially sidewalk extensions, are planned throughout the 9-San Bruno route — one at Market and 11th streets, one near the U.S. Highway 101 underpass as Bayshore Boulevard becomes Potrero Avenue, two at Harrison and 11th streets, two at Bayshore and Oakdale Avenue, and two at Bayshore and Cortland Avenue… (more)

The SFMTA plans to move the bus stop right in front of one of the busiest night clubs where the patrons congregate on the sidewalk. There are a lot of bike and motorcylce parking spots in that area, and a thriving pizza place. Where will the delivery people park? Has SFMTA sent out any notices or done any public outreach on this one? Costco is right across the street. and there is a busy intersection at 11th and Bryant.  This plan is guaranteed to create more gridlock. Vote No on A and B and Yes on L and stop this madness.

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