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)

Open letter to Supervisor Weiner

Dear Scott,

Please do not close Noe and Sanchez Streets to left turns onto Market.

There are so few ways to access Market Street; since I’ve lived here we’ve closed off McCoppin, Octavia, Buchanan, Dolores, Church, and Castro Streets to turns onto Market.
As a result, 15th St., 16th St., Sanchez and Noe are often congested 2-3 blocks to get onto Market.
Drivers flood the Duboce Triangle and the Castro trying to go around.

What problem are we trying to solve?

Pedestrian jay-walking is epidemic in the Castro as are bicycle red-light runners.  The recent brown paint  encourages pedestrian to wait in the middle of the street.  See attached photos.

But SFPD does not dare enforce, due to severe backlash from SFBC, and lack of support from both the command staff and city government (according to multiple friends who are officers, and wish to remain anonymous).  Currently peds and bikes get a pass.  But Vision Zero will only work if everyone is accountable.

• We support a left turn arrow from westbound 16th St. to westbound Market St., often backed up 2 blocks / 6 light cycles / 10 minutes.
• We also support the idea of an all-way pedestrian crossing light at Noe/16th/Market, just as we currently have in the Financial District.
• We oppose turn restrictions from Noe and Sanchez Streets.

Sincerely,

—Jamey Frank,

Church Street Neighborhood Association

 

California Appeal Court Finds Red Light Cameras Unreliable

Legal controversy continues to dog California’s automated enforcement programs, despite the best effort of state lawmakers to encourage photo ticketing. The second-highest court in California decided Thursday that the red light camera program in Riverside “did not produce reliable evidence” in rejecting the $500 citation that Redflex, a private, for-profit vendor, had mailed to Viktors Andris Rekte.

Rekte, a lawyer, challenged the ticket he received for allegedly making a rolling right turn a split-second after the signal turned red at the intersection of Tyler Street and State Route 91 on October 26, 2012. Rekte argued the charge should be thrown out because the yellow light was illegally short; he was not provided a copy of the video evidence before trial; the photo ticketing vendor set up equipment in a way that obscured the view of the traffic signal; and the evidence produced by Redflex lacked a proper foundation.

Don Teagarden, a city employee, testified that he “reviewed” the ticket that Redflex sent to him. Since Redflex bills its service as a “turn key” operation, Teargarden proved to have little to do with the process. His direct knowledge of the evidence was limited.

“On cross-examination, operator Teagarden acknowledged he could not tell if the monthly inspections of the equipment conducted by Redflex included verification of the time intervals for the signal lights, and did not know if anyone employed by the city of Riverside checked to make sure the system was calibrated properly,” Justice Manuel A. Ramirez wrote for the Court of Appeal majority…

The majority also expressed disapproval of the dangerous state of the intersection and declared the evidence produced by a questionably calibrated device inadmissible.

An inadequate yellow light interval renders a safe stop impossible, and constitutes an emergency justifying the entry into an intersection when the signal turns red,” Justice Ramirez wrote… (more)

Longer yellow lights make crossing intersections safer for everyone. All modes should be able to judge how long they have to pass through an intersection when the light turns yellow, including pedestrians. The lack of consistency in the yellow light program leads to confusion and panic, which causes more accidents.

 

 

Traffic on Stockton Street and Grant Avenue to Be Modified to Accommodate Central Subway Construction Near Union Square

Beginning Monday, July 30, Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets will be closed to all vehicles except emergency vehicles to accommodate construction of the Central Subway tunnel and Union Square/Market Street Station. To facilitate local access to Union Square, Grant Avenue between Geary and Sutter streets will be converted into a two-way street starting Saturday, July 28…

(more, including a detour map)

Citizens Demand More Time to Evaluate SFMTA’s Meter Proposal

By Keith Burbank : Potrero View – excerpt

“Anti-parking meter advocates from Potrero Hill, Dogpatch and the Mission agree with the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency (SFMTA) that individual parking plans tailored for each neighborhood must be worked out separately. But advocates — organized as the Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF) — want the three plans to be jointly approved because all three neighborhoods share the same concerns and “a better parking management plan in Potrero Hill will help our neighbors in the Mission …” said Tony Kelly, an ENUF spokesman. According to Kelly, City agencies “often try to divide-and-conquer neighborhoods and opponents when attempting to force controversial projects. We feel we are stronger when we are together.” ENUF is also concerned that SFMTA’s primary goal in deploying meters is to raise revenues, rather than improve parking management…

Questions remain about the immediate need for parking management interventions. Two mid-day, middle of the week, informal surveys of Dogpatch and Mission Bay conducted by the View indicated that sufficient parking was available, though finding a spot in Dogpatch can take several minutes, depending on the block.”

(more)

Prop. E to blame for Muni budget mess

Letters to the Editor : SFExaminer – excerpt

Before the creation of the SFMTA, the Muni and DPT were fiscally responsible for balancing their own budget. The creation of the SFMTA changed the playing field by allowing the Muni to use parking funds to help balance their budget. The SFMTA raised the bar one step further by capitalizing on The City’s “Transit-First Policy” which was intended “to make Muni a convenient alternative to automobiles.” The unwritten interpretation of “Transit-First Policy” is now to make Muni a convenient alternative to automobiles by increasing parking fees to make Muni a convenient alternative…I think I’m one of the few that recalls the DPT’s first priority was to ensure unrestricted traffic flow and generating revenue was secondary.

Thanks for reminding us about Props E and A. How the Supes handed broad powers and controls of over Muni finances to the SFMTA in the hope that they would fix Muni and balance the budget. We also know that SFMTA has failed miserably in that attempt, choosing to spend time, money and energy re-designing traffic and bus routes and installing expensive high tech systems for “calming traffic”  rather than deal with the low tech issues of managing a transit system.