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    The Sunday parking behavior does not violate the MUTCD. The illegal placed safe hit posts do not conform to the MUTCD. therefore the city traffic engineers have a legal obligation to order them to be removed. I would personally love it if the city installed more safe hit posts or if the SMFTra installed more posts and did not have them removed by the city. The fact of the matter is that these posts HAVE to be removed from a legal standpoint because its very clear in the MUTCD.



    Enforcement is different than engineering. what the city chooses to enforce is not the same as the SSD engineers deciding they cannot allow citizens to permanently install traffic control devices that do not adhere to the MUTCD


    SF Guest

    If a meter maid were to ignore a double parked vehicle I would agree with your position there is bias in favor of motorists, but even for a blocked driveway complaint it’s known to take over an hour after reporting it for SFMTA to make the trip.

    With respect to pedestrian violations SFMTA is known to ignore jaywalking altogether.



    Thank you for that fine example of the genetic fallacy, a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on someone’s or something’s history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context.



    Nonsense. The SFMTA does literally nothing about double-parking, especially double-parking in bike lanes which is utterly out-of-control and very dangerous on streets like Valencia. Like the police, they pick and choose what laws they want to enforce, and ain’t it funny how their choices are always biased to show a clear preference for motorists over bicyclists and pedestrians? The bias is so thick in the SFMTA, I think we should start calling it the SF *Motorist* Transportation Agency.



    If the city can have “unwritten rules” for Sunday parking behavior that is hazardous, does not conform to state law or MUTCD, or traffic engineering guidelines, then there is no reason why they cannot also have an “unwitten rule” to allow advocates to install soft-hit posts in places where they enhance pedestrian and cyclist safety.



    Two reasons. 1. The traffic cones and double parking are temporary, safe-hit posts are permanent. 2. The SFMTA has dozens of unwritten agreements with neighborhoods and certain areas that allow for double parking. This is one of those unwritten agreements consented by the city traffic engineers.



    Between the skateboarders and cyclists who blow through stop signs…



    If the city cannot allow anyone to install anything onto the city streets, then why are signs and cones placed out on Sundays by local congregations to block lanes and permit double parking not removed? This has been going on for decades and yet SFMTA has done nothing to stop it.



    I’m surprised the driver couldn’t hear the rattle of the spray paint cans in his dark, non-reflective backpack.



    I bet he was wearing all black too, with no visible or reflective outwear. This happened at night.

    They also often adopt crouched postures, again making them harder to see. And they engage in risky, aggressive and unpredictable maneuvers.

    Didn’t we build a very expensive skateboard park for them recently?



    re: skateboarder incident

    I live in this area. Quintara is especially attractive to skateboarders from 22nd-Sunset. Several times I watched kids nearly get clipped from cars in the ROW, with many of them not wearing any protective gear.



    the city cannot allow anyone to illegally install anything onto the city streets that effects traffic. Its as simple as that, it sets a bad precedent. end of discussion


    Dexter Wong

    As for the intersection of San Jose Ave. and Geneva Ave., maybe a three-phase signal might help. One phase for vehicular traffic on San Jose, one phase for vehicular traffic on Geneva and one phase for pedestrians crossing the intersection (a “scramble crossing”). Such crossings have been used successfully around the world, most notably in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan.



    It is articles like this that remind me how important freedom of press is. We have no other way of keeping government agencies focused on their duties – in this case their duty to protect my family and my life as we walk and bicycle our city


    City Resident

    Thank you for covering this, Roger & streetsblog. I hesitate to jump on the anti-SFMTA bandwagon (since they are doing much good – with many Muni improvements and some ped/bicyclist improvements, too). However, it’s very much worth pointing out the speed at which they undue the SFMTrA’s improvements – compared with the excruciatingly slow pace of pedestrian and cyclist safety upgrades. On the matter at hand, kudos to the SFMTrA and shame on the SFMTA.



    The discussion started when Jake said, “would it be the worst thing in the world if people lived in “sprawl” development…?” and I said it would be a bad thing to encourage because the revenues generated in a single use sprawl community don’t come close to paying for the cost of maintaining and repairing the infrastructure needed to serve the community.
    This has nothing to do with touchy-feely liberal ideas about social justice, punishing success or income inequality and everything to do with conservative ideas about fiscal responsibility, economic stability and personal choice.
    Today zoning laws that mandate sprawling single use developments take away the right of the citizens to choose for themselves and lock the country into a spiraling cycle of increasing debt and decay. Eventually it will collapse. We can’t afford to maintain what we’ve already built. Can it be fixed? Yes.
    We could raise property taxes to cover the cost of the services and infrastructure. Triple the taxes in many places, increase ten-fold in a few. But asking people to pay for what they use would not be politically popular.
    We could simply admit that the taxes don’t generate enough revenue and cut off municipal water and cut back road maintenance to balance the income. People can have wells and four wheel drive trucks. This would also be unpopular.
    Or we could change the zoning laws that mandate new sprawl development and let people choose where they want to live. There is already enough monoculture sprawl to satisfy the market for 20 years, and enough demand for walkable neighborhoods to keep the builders busy for 30.
    About 60% of Americans want to live in compact, walkable suburbs like were built before the Second World War. Places like Mayberry, in the Andy Griffith Show. Zoning makes those illegal to build without expensive and complicated exemptions, so the few that get built are quickly bid out of reach of all but the wealthy.
    Change the zoning laws to give people a free choice and the situation will sort itself out without government programs.
    There might even be enough money to subsidize your sprawl.



    And don’t forget all the soft-hit posts “protecting” the bike lane on Division under the freeway that have almost *all* been completely ripped out by motorists. For many, many months. Would it be so damn hard for the SFMTA to replace these in a timely fashion? Of course it wouldn’t, but they simply don’t care. Or how about the fact that almost every motorist cuts across the bike lane on all roads where they exit the roundabout at Division/8th/Townsend? Why can’t we get soft-hit posts there? Like tomorrow.

    So tired of the excuses about how their archaic system can’t address citizen’s safety needs. It seems now we citizens are supposed to serve this anachronistic SFMTA instead of the other way around. But that is unacceptable and I’m happy to see SFMTrA calling them on this. In fact, the entire SFMTA’s way of operating needs to be revamped if it can’t address citizen’s safety in a timely matter, which they can’t.


    Richard Mlynarik


    It’s wonderful that SF Planning and SF MTA staffers and their sundry hanger-on consultants have found another decade of studies to conduct.

    Wayfinding! Sense of place! Community! Intermodalism! Gateway! DO NOTHING! Repeat! Repeat! Repeat! OK!



    Thanks for following up on this, SFSB. The City’s hypocrisy is breathtaking.



    I did not know that you could block individual users. You’ve just solved my Streetsblog problem!



    You can keep beating your head against a wall or block the user and move on with your life. I am tired of seeing 82 comment threads with 41 “This user is blocked” but it beats actually seeing those comments.



    I agree, to a degree, though not in the sense that RichLL is proposing. For all their good intentions, SFMTrA don’t have the means to do things right. Neither are they aspiring to replace SFMTA. As I understand their mandate is two-fold:
    1. Make a point to SFMTA about how easy it could be to put in those safety measures
    2. Give people a taste of what could be …

    As you noted, by all indications SFMTA is trying to protect itself, not cyclists. As for actual causality – if a cyclist falls due to a dislodged post, that will immediately be noticed, but the instances where a cyclist or pedestrian is made safer (or made to feel safer) will never be accounted or acknowledged by SFMTA. So if we go by what one party (SFMTA) dictates, there is absolutely no upside to these activities to counter the potential danger they create – but that is only a part of the picture.


    alberto rossi

    That there are only two comments and that only twenty people came to the open house (how many were SFMTA staff?) just shows how we’ve given up on this area. The Balboa Park Station Area Plan was developed around the same time as the Octavia/Market Plan. While the latter is nearly built out, the former has been tossed aside, even though it’s now the law, part of the SF General Plan. None of the candidates for District 11 Supervisor have this on their radar. It’s all part of the grander scheme to turn District 11 into the new Tenderloin.


    SF Guest

    The ‘law of unintended consequences’ does apply here as shown from this Hoodline quote:

    “But with one exception, the real SFMTA has been equally dedicated to removing the posts, arguing that they pose a risk to cyclists if they become dislodged.”

    If the SFMTA allows the unauthorized posts to stay they prospectively would subject themselves to legal liability if a cyclist and/or pedestrian is injured as a result of an unauthorized dislodged post.



    Sorry, I don’t have a response to your delusions. You can continue to think that the entire argument up there did not happen or that you somehow won.



    Futility/tragedy – that’s your interpretation, not mine! Not that my actions would be different one way or another!

    You are not my psychiatrist or life ‘guru’. I did not seek your “helpful” analysis, and I reject it as more of your usual bullshit.



    Whoa I thought you meant to point to a comparable situation…
    RichLL — did you change your handle from RoyTT?



    I salute our heros at the SFMTA who have to park in dangerous bike lanes to remove dangerous vigilante obstacles.



    OK, if you concede the futility of your quest than I certainly won’t argue with that.

    But the tragedy is that if your ambitions were more modest and achievable, then your probability of success would no longer be zero.



    Since you have failed to answer to several of my questions, and failed to refute several of my points, I’m afraid the ball is still in your court.

    And by instead making only personal remarks, you effectively are admitting your defeat. That’s really a rookie error.



    Oh, I have no problems admitting that! Doesn’t bother me one bit.



    I’ve already replied to that, so you tell me who is being obtuse?

    You don’t really have an argument beyond slippery slope. I am not saying that is not a good enough or not sufficient – just that it’s all you’ve got. You can call me what you want, it won’t change that.



    OK, so you admit you have no idea of when, if ever, your efforts will succeed. Got it.



    I think the solution being proposed is redesigning streets. But you are correct: increasing taxes would be a ridiculous solution 😀

    FYI: a law prohibiting hand-held smart phone use is going in to effect January 1st 2017. But apparently dash-mounted operation (which is what most ride-share drivers do) will remain legal.



    Renovating this stretch has been in discussion ever since I moved here in 2000. There have been talks and plans to cover over 280, better integrate MUNI and BART, make it more pedestrian/rider friendly, etc. All talk.

    This is one ugly intersection. Wayfinding is atrocious.



    farasz, you continue to be confused here. I’m just not sure whether you cannot understand my argument or are being obtuse. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, for now, and explain further.

    If you really want to know why drivers enter bike lanes even though they know it’s illegal, the simplest way to understand that is to ask cyclists why they fail to stop at stop signs.

    In both cases the act is illegal. In both cases the driver/cyclist knows that. And in both cases they make a judgement that it still makes sense to take the risk and do it.

    The difference between us is that I believe one can support a law in general even while sometimes making exceptions to it personally. You appear to lack that cognitive range and breadth.

    So to be clear, do you support the illegal activities by SFMTrA?



    That is none of your business. I don’t work for you!



    Paved streets date from Babylon about 4000 BC. It’s probably fair to say that predates both bicycles and cars!



    Claude, I think the problem is that you’ve wandered way beyond the scope of this article and into vast national problems of economic inequality that can either only be fixed by a massive change of the national political complexion or, most likely, cannot be fixed at all.

    But generally speaking it is better to invest in winners and improve the economy, than punish the winners and try and save all the losers. That debate was effectively resolved by Reagan.



    Now you’re trying to muddy the waters because you’ve run out of arguments. If there is an emergency, any driver can easily go over the soft-hit posts – as you said yourself, they’re an indication, not an obstruction. Likewise for utility trucks – hopefully with appropriate signs indicating that the lane is closed. AFAIK, there are no soft-hit posts blocking drive-ways anywhere – if there are, they should be removed ASAP. As for cabs, this has been discussed to death already – just because the MTA makes an allowance for cabs to pick-up and drop off in bike lanes in some places, does not mean it is a right that must be extended to every bike lane.

    You can stand by whatever you want to, you’d still be standing on nothing.



    Stuart, your claim that my arguments are invalid is predicated on your mis-representing my views. For instance I never said that:

    “breaking a law while claiming to support that same law is not hypocrisy when he does it, while simultaneously chastising other people for the supposed hypocrisy of supporting one law while breaking a *different* law”

    In fact, that refers to an observation that you were cherry-picking which laws are worth following.

    If you really want to know why I comment here (your last sentence), why don’t you just ask and I’ll tell you. But it would be better if we discussed the topics here rather than attacked each other, don’t you think?



    When I first started visiting SF in the 1960s, after LA abandoned its last streetcar lines, I would go to the Geneva Car House and watch the morning “pull-outs”. One feature of the facility was a pushbutton on a post where the cars came out onto the street. Pushing this button would set all the traffic signals to red, giving the streetcar a clear path out of the yard. On a number of occasions, the motorman would ask me to push the button–a small gesture of making the automobile traffic yield to mass transit.


    Dexter Wong

    “Cable Cars: Expensive and Impractical, but Still Loved ” is a SF Gate article, not SF Examiner!



    This year’s ballot is atrocious. We elect representatives to make these kinds of decisions, not pass the decision on to us. Few citizens have the time or expertise to make sense of these ballot initiatives.



    What a crock. Paved streets were never intended for use by bicyclists? Where did you get that idea from?





    The places you prefer are already heavily diverting resources from other places to pay for infrastructure that they aren’t paying for now. Which is my entire point.
    The places you prefer don’t generate the revenue to maintain their own infrastructure and have to be subsidized to be able to maintain that infrastructure in a state of ragged decay. These places are “winners” for two reasons. The government takes money from the productive places you don’t like to prop them up and the government zoning laws restrict alternatives to government mandated sprawl.
    Why is the government mandating a single option considered a free choice?
    Why is fiscal responsibility considered a bad thing?
    I might also ask how poor people are expected to move out of the cities and buy magnificent suburban estates when they don’t have any money, but I think your answer will be that America is a free country and we’ll just force them to be free with our only-one-choice-allowed zoning policy.



    Name calling isn’t the only thing that can make someone a troll. The question is whether he’s actually arguing in good faith.

    If he’s genuinely an educated and articulate person who really is capable of the extreme cognitive dissonance required for some of his incredibly illogical arguments to be genuine (e.g., saying that breaking a law while claiming to support that same law is not hypocrisy when he does it, while simultaneously chastising other people for the supposed hypocrisy of supporting one law while breaking a *different* law), then he’s not a troll.

    If, on the other hand, he knows that many of his arguments are nonsense and is deliberately flooding the site with them as a game for his amusement, then he’s a troll, no matter how politely worded his posts are.

    Only he knows for sure which, of course.



    Basically they need to put up physical borders, along with cutting awy at the roadway, making the M’s tracks exposed like it is near SF State, (hence cars won’t be able to drive over its tracks anymore) at the Winston intersection and northbound turn when the M turns off 19th ave near Eucalyptus Drive into its right of way traveling between backyards to St Francis Circle.

    The M along 19th ave could also use signal priority to enable it to cross intersections quickly, which was already mentioned by other people, so that its 19th ave section of the route will be much faster than it currently is. It’s sad that the M and other Muni Metro lines have no true signal priority on their surface sections(you’d have thought at least the T Third would, considering it was constructed in the 21st century).

    Instead of a subway for the M near SF State/Stonestown, I’d rather see a subway along Van Ness ave from Lombard and Van Ness in the north, continuing all down Van Ness, turning onto Mission followed by turning east onto 16th st, terminating at 16th and 3rd sts.. A subway like that could catalyze having a new station being built at the Van Ness/Market intersection. The station would serve the new Van Ness subway, the Muni Metro and BART, since BART’s tunnel is very close to the Van Ness Muni Metro station.

    The other stations it could serve are 16th and 3rd sts,16th and Connecticut, 16th and Potrero, 16th and Mission(shared with BART), Van Ness and McAllister, Van Ness and Geary, , and Van Ness and Clay and Van Ness and Union.