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  1.  

    Roger R.

    Thanks for the work around. I fixed the first few and will keep that in mind moving forward.

  2.  

    Roger Rudick

    Thanks for the workaround. I fixed the first couple and will keep that in mind moving forward.

  3.  

    jd_x

    Re: Sunday Streets

    One thing that I noticed at Sunday Streets yesterday that really bugged me: going up and down the length of the event on Valencia a couple times, I probably saw a dozen cops on bicycles, walking, and one (obnoxiously) on his ridiculously load motorcycle (seriously? Did he have to drive that down the length of Valencia? And why can’t the cops get quiet motorcycles?). And it hit me: why are there so many cops actually on the beat as they should be (i.e. on foot or on bicycle) when the roads are the safest they are all year!? Why can’t these cops do this the *rest* of the time when the road is *actually* dangerous?

    Once you notice this phenomena, it is truly unbelievable how biased SFPD is: people walking, cycling, and recreating on the streets warrants tons of police attention even though the roads are safer than ever, but when you let all the motorists run wild blocking bike lanes, making dangerous turns, etc then the cops disappear and will nary give a ticket even though their police station is smack in the middle of the chaos. This is yet another sign of why we will never get to Vision Zero with a police force this distracted from what really makes our roads dangerous.

  4.  

    mx

    Roger: if you use the “sharing” links (email, Twitter, Facebook, etc…) at the top of the Chronicle articles, you get links the bypass the paywall.

  5.  

    the_greasybear

    The “Bailout…”, “Season’s First…”, “Glen Park…”, and “BART Director…” stories are all behind the Chronicle’s paywall.

  6.  

    david vartanoff

    Maybe MTC should sell their Taj Mahal to bailout Port Authority Bus Terminal West

  7.  

    Rogue Cyclist

    Make your City CarShare reservations now!

  8.  

    Nicasio Nakamine

    The BART Director story is also available on SF Gate – no subscription required. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-director-got-concealed-gun-permit-cites-7238888.php

  9.  

    neroden

    BART is finally fixing their wheel profile! After only 40 years! Thank goodness!

  10.  

    neroden

    It seems that it’s time to bring back citizens’ arrests. Who else is gonna arrest the criminals in blue?

  11.  

    neroden

    Thanks for explaining that the cops are corrupt and are refusing to ticket you for committing a traffic violation because they’re corrupt.

    Because that’s the facts here. You are parking illegally and the corrupt cops are letting you get away with it. Cut it out!

  12.  

    neroden

    No, it’s actually true that you can’t park there. You should cut it out.

  13.  

    seriously

    shur should ride muni, for free, naturally

  14.  

    roymeo

    The same type of people that chafe at seeing a cyclist ride through a red light.

  15.  

    roymeo

    Wasn’t that in a recent PBB for Outside Lands? Pretty sure some (car share?) drivers were getting tickets for dwelling in bus stops.

    And anyone caught by the cameras on the front of a bus and ticketed after the fact by the officer reviewing the tapes.

  16.  

    seriously

    you can stop there, let the Fire Chief’s buggy speed by code 3 to rescue her station 1 rescue team.from the rogue wave that suck up on the 4 man craft, with 7? If that was average yo ho ho Captain, he’d get a big ticket and fine from the Coast Guard that did the rescue. .Shur should have sfmta remove the red, paint it gun metal gold!

  17.  

    RichLL

    If it were merely “no parking” then that would allow a driver to stop there, say, to set down or pick up a passenger.

    Whereas if Prinzrob’s citation is correct and taken literally then “Red indicates no stopping, standing, or parking” ever.

    I see drivers dropping off passengers at bus stops all the time, taking just a moment. I’d be surprised if many got tickets just for that, even though technically it seems that they could. In practice I suspect the act would have to block or delay a bus to warrant a citation.

  18.  

    RichLL

    Actually I have come around to your view on red zones being used to establish sight lines. That is because driving around this morning I noticed the most red zones at the curbed corners of intersections, and that is clearly to improve lateral visibility. So I’ll concede that one.

    That said, there are red zones for other purposes as well, as previously noted.

    I don’t really see how Suhr’s car prevented a driver from seeing someone already on the crosswalk but I suppose at the margin it’s possible.

    I don’t see why a stop sign or light at that crosswalk would be “financially impossible”. It seems to me it would be quite cheap. If you think that crosswalk is hazardous you should take a look at some of them on Geary out in the Avenues.

    As to who and what can stop in a red zone, I was never unclear on the concept. But I am much more interested in the specific circumstances that will lead cops to ticket one user but not another. And that does depend on the purpose of that specific red zone.

    Finally it would be pointless anyway to issue tickets to cop cars and official city cars, as it would simply be the city paying fines to itself. Such behaviors are best addressed via the city’s internal guidelines.

  19.  

    RichLL

    Which of course does not answer my question.

    Driving around for a couple of hours this morning I paid attention to red zones. It was instructive because based on my travels today the most red zones are not for hydrants but for the curbed corners of intersections.

    (Hydrants are often on corners which confuses the issue slightly).

    So that takes me back to an earlier comment by Prinzrob who said that red zones exist to improve sight lines. I dismissed that at the time but now realize that is the reason for corners being red-zoned. So, an apology to him.

    After corners there are red curbs at hydrants, bus stops, at private driveways and outside important public buildings like hospitals and fire houses.

    So a mix of purposes which indicate that too many simplistic generalizations about red zones can be misleading.

  20.  

    murphstahoe

    100% of streetside hydrants in SF are in red zones

  21.  

    seriously

    Right out the mouth of a City organization,.Giggling,, exact words from SFMTA Color Curb Brochure, good gosh, how much did that brochure$$$$$$ us?

    RED CURBS: NO PARKING

    Red zones are “No Parking” zones. Do not park in a red zone at any time, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES

    Watch for red zones at:

    Edges of driveways INTERSECTIONS DUH,, moving car passes around.. oops~o~no mama, mama you okay?

    Bus stops Fire hydrants Curb ramps: . ,

  22.  

    Prinzrob

    The only context that matters with red curbs is the type of useR, not the type of useAGE. I posted the code section below in my earlier response, so you can read it yourself to understand that none of what you’re tracking about is in there.

    As I mentioned, buses at bus stops and emergency vehicle drivers on active calls have exemptions written into the law. Nobody else gets an exemption, regardless of why a curb is red. Any other useR parked there is doing so illegally, and could be ticketed under the law.

    I don’t think you understand what you’re asking for when you say it would be easier to install a stop sign or signal at every single crosswalk, marked or unmarked, around the city. That would be both politically infeasible and a financial impossibility.

    While you are scoping out the crosswalk red zone this week I encourage you to aslo count the number of drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians there, also as required by law and which also constitutes a significant danger to public safety. Since SFPD is incapable of issuing tickets to those drivers, does that also mean they should be let off the hook?

  23.  

    RichLL

    I am glad you accept that there are a variety of different reasons for a red curb. As you note, some exist for reasons of safety, e.g. allowing access by emergency vehicles. While others serve to reserve access and usage, such as the red zone that extends either side of the curb cut for my garage.

    That is why cops will consider the purpose of a given red zone before deciding whether to ticket someone parked there. To use my earlier example, if the red zone exists to protect access for an ambulance, the cop will not ticket an ambulance there but will ticket others.

    In other words, context is everything. So, would a cop ticket another cop in a red zone? Probably not, and especially if the parked car belongs to his boss.

    If I have a spare hour this week I’ll watch what kind of vehicles pull over into the red zone outside of city hall. I suspect I will see a variety of police and sheriff cars, plus official city cars, cabs, wedding cars and private vehicles dropping off staff and visitors.

    Which of those should be ticketed is something that reasonable people might disagree about, but I suspect it will be neither all of them nor none of them.

    If the crosswalk is really the issue here, then it is far simpler to install a stop sign or light. Crosswalks that are mid-block are often problematic.

  24.  

    RichLL

    Most? How many hydrants are there in SF with red zones, as a percentage of the total number of red zones?

    Data please.

  25.  

    RichLL

    Correct, because it was immaterial to the point being made, which was about context, purpose and enforcement, and not a rigid and overly literal interpretation of text.

  26.  

    seriously

    Most every SFPD, SFFD SFDS. and others feel their “calling?” card is one of the benefits that comes with the “job”. If you are their “friend” by~golly get 3, 4 or 5, wife, kids and some for your friends! I’ve seen hand scribbled notes reading; I”M a SFFD, fireman here on official duty. Do not ticket or tow my 2016 Dodge HP~707, thanks.smokey the Beer… What official business ya got late night in SOMA, close to the “HOT” clubs. parking in SF, $25 day, no wonder everything is broken.. shur, throw me a card.

  27.  

    AndreL

    Insurance and costs of transportation for oversize loads. They are not the same gauge so they can’t just be pulled along normal tracks, they require plank cars etc.

  28.  

    rfkolbe

    I see patrol cars all the time in red zones. The police should set a good example at all times. If there is an emergency, flip on your flashers and let us all know. Otherwise, obey the law like we do.

  29.  

    jd_x

    Another 10% walk to work.

  30.  

    murphstahoe

    “I have no idea what the vehicle code says”

    Quoted for truth

  31.  

    murphstahoe

    Most red zones are for fire hydrants. But hey, whats a burning building when you have an adjacent property owner?

  32.  

    Disqusted

    Sunday a.m. service must start by at least 6 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. You can not take BART to the airport on Sunday morning unless your flight leaves after 11 a.m. There is no transbay public transportation that can get people where they want to go until almost 9 a.m. This means everybody must drive across the bay or to the airport for Sunday morning flights. Ridiculous! We paid for the system, we pay for the tickets, we deserve service on Sunday mornings!

  33.  

    Prinzrob

    “…the purpose of the red zone is not to render the space permanently vacated but rather to reserve the space for special usage.”

    This is why the red curb law has exemptions for transit vehicles, and for emergency vehicle operators when on an active call. Private vehicle operators like you and me get no such exemption for any reason, unless under orders from a police officer, as defined by law.

    The point of why we have red curbs is to prevent things like cars blocking access to fire hydrants, blocking bus stops, or creating a danger by inhibiting sight lines between road users and pedestrians entering crosswalks. These reasons are more important than conveniently “reserved” parking spots for special folks who feel they deserve them.

    Creating sidewalk bulb outs using curb extensions or paint and bollards (as SF and many other cities are already doing on a regular basis citing safety considerations) does not “create large areas of space that cannot be used at all”. In fact, it creates more space that anyone can use on foot, as opposed to existing red curbs which can’t officially be used by anyone, and are only unofficially and illegally used by those who own cars.

  34.  

    RichLL

    OK, yes, if the vote was that close then the bike-path supporters may have swung it. But otherwise I doubt it is possible to quantify how influential that particular provision was.

    Even so, it sounds a little like the tail wagging the dog. Typically the bike lobby are pro-transit and so would probably have voted for SMART anyway. And a huge majority of those who wanted SMART don’t ride a bike and don’t care about the bike path.

    The sponsors presumably understand the priorities.

  35.  

    RichLL

    But again that ignores the fact that, in some instances, the purpose of the red zone is not to render the space permanently vacated but rather to reserve the space for special usage.

    For instance, there are red zones outside of hospital areas. This is to ensure that ambulances and other vital medical vehicles have proper access to the hospital.

    Park there and you will rightly get a ticket and be towed. But ticketing an ambulance delivering a sick patient would be a travesty.

    You can make the same case for many other red zones that protect access for police, fire, the disabled, seniors, kids and so on. Effectively making the side-walk wider by implementing neutral no-go areas is totally missing the point of why we often have these zones in the first place. And would merely encourage double-parking.

    It’s OK to reserve space for special needs and users. It’s not OK to create large areas of space that cannot be used at all, especially in a city where space is at such a premium.

  36.  

    Prinzrob

    BART does provide a discount for people transferring from an AC Transit bus, which I believe is only available for Clipper users. AC Transit themselves have also offered a discounted Clipper rate compared to cash fares for a long time as well.

  37.  

    Prinzrob

    The bike/ped path is listed quite clearly as one of the things Measure Q would fund, indicated multiple times in both the full text of the ballot measure as well as on the actual ballot people used to cast their vote. You can read this for yourself right here: http://www.smartvoter.org/2008/11/04/ca/sn/meas/Q/

    For the voters to pass the measure but not have it find the bike/ped pathway as promised is a bait and switch.

  38.  

    Prinzrob

    Every red curb in the city should just be made into a bulb-out, either via a curb or paint and bollards. Since there is little to no enforcement and we can’t trust SFPD enforce these laws consistently, the red curbs just become “honor system” no parking zones, and there are far too many people willing to take advantage of this.

  39.  

    Prinzrob

    Or small scale indicators of a police force that is either unable or unwilling to enforce the law consistently and protect public safety, as evidenced by their ongoing failure to meet the city’s “focus on the five” mandate, or their willingness to take convenient but illegal parking spots themselves even when doing so degrades public safety.

  40.  

    RichLL

    Ha, I did catch one guy painting his own curb red. He didn’t even use the right color. But official red curbs have the MTA stencil on them, and mine does. And it’s there to protect my sole right to access my garage.

    I understand what you’re saying but I think it’s largely technical. It’s enforcement that matters and it’s rather like the churchgoers who double park on Sundays and never get a ticket.

    In practice a law that isn’t enforced for local reasons is no different from there not being a law at all.

  41.  

    Prinzrob

    So what you’re saying is that you understand that red curb = no parking, but yet you still insist that the red curb painted alongside your driveway is legal to park at, just because you’ve never been ticketed for it? I don’t follow the logic.

    Yes, I know that parking in front of one’s own driveway is legal in SF, but only in locations where no red curb is painted. My guess is that most red curbs next to driveways were painted by the homeowner unofficially and not the city, but if the curb is painted red that always means no parking, no exceptions. If you can’t point to a code section that allows the use you are describing, then it is simply not legal, no matter how much you and your neighbors do it.

    Again, if reserved parking is needed at city hall then there are options for the city to create this legally. However, these options do not include parking alongside a red curb, which has a very specific and legal meaning of “no parking”.

  42.  

    RichLL

    You stated that “red curbs are established in order to improve sight lines” and that may be true in some cases. But it’s not true in all cases – there are other reasons for red zones that have nothing to do with sight lines.

    I don’t know why the red zone by city hall exists. Maybe it is for sight lines as you claim, or maybe for other reasons such as the examples I gave.

    The thing with the red zone outside my house is that it is related to my driveway. Anyone with a driveway or garage will tell you that they can block it with their own car or a friend or family member’s car and it’s immune. The reason being that even if someone else called it in, the cops demand proof that it is the caller’s garage – by opening it. I can get you a ticket if you park there but you can’t get me a ticket if I park there – a key distinction.

    So there is a de facto immunity from the red zone for the occupant of that property.

    The red zone has the same meaning for everyone, I’d agree. However, depending on where it is and why it is there, some road users may be given a pass to park there due to enforcement priorities that are not necessarily codified anywhere but are real nonetheless.

  43.  

    Prinzrob

    1) This conversation is about a red curb painted ahead of a crosswalk for sight line reasons, which appears to be violated by public officials and police, putting public safety at risk.

    2) The parking you are describing doing in front of the red curbs alongside your driveway is illegal under the law as written. Just because you and other people park at these types of locations frequently and there is no enforcement does not mean it is legal.

    Surely you can understand that it wouldn’t make any sense for red curbs to mean different things in different situations, and leave it up to each individual driver to decide what that meaning is for a given location. The law says simply “red curb = no stopping/parking”. It is very simple.

  44.  

    Jym Dyer

    @Marven Norman – Correct in the abstract, but hasn’t panned out in the Bay Area for a long time. Fortunately(?) so much of the world has gotten so far ahead that we can adopt the tried-and-true and reap amazing benefits.

    Who knows, we might even figure out local and express service someday.

  45.  

    RichLL

    OK, so like I said, the code does not describe the specific motivations for installing every colored zone. Rather it provides a broad catch-all to facilitate the ticketing of vehicles that do park there at the discretion of the cops.

    So again, how do you explain the red zone either side of my garage entrance? It’s not about a sight-line as you originally said. But nor is it true that nobody can park there, because I can and do park there at times and the traffic cops sail by.

    When the traffic cops will ticket a car there is if someone else parks there and I call it in. And that reflects my claim that the real purpose of the red zone is to give me a priority on that space, just like green and yellow zones allow parking for some vehicles but not others.

    And if that’s true there then why not in other cases? Even the cited code gives an example of another priority – for buses.

    Either way I suspect the reality is that official city vehicles, cop cars and other public safety vehicles do not get tickets in red zones for reasons to do with public policy and interest. After all wasn’t the recent attempt at allowing bikes to run stop signs an example of achieving exactly the same kind of thing – allowing technical violations of law by turning a blind eye?

  46.  

    Jym Dyer

    @Jimbo – Not worth it, cars are very inefficient use of very expensive bridge capacity.

  47.  

    Jym Dyer

    ¤ Why are these new BART cars being driven from New York to California if BART has tracks that go all the way to Pittsburgh, which is in the state right next to New York?

  48.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    You might be surprised there. Traffic problems are caused on the margins. If the roads are currently at 100% capacity and you have a day where they go to 104% capacity, Hell will break loose.

  49.  

    the_greasybear

    I worked at City Hall. The mayor, sheriff, higher-ups and ordinary rank and file workers enter and exit City Hall via Grove Street. There is no reason why the Police Chief cannot enter from Grove like all other municipal employees with official business at City Hall.

  50.  

    Prinzrob

    Well, here’s how the vehicle code is written. If you know of any other ordinance which says otherwise I’d love to hear about it.

    21458. (a) Whenever local authorities enact local parking
    regulations and indicate them by the use of paint upon curbs, the
    following colors only shall be used, and the colors indicate as
    follows:
    (1) Red indicates no stopping, standing, or parking, whether the
    vehicle is attended or unattended, except that a bus may stop in a
    red zone marked or signposted as a bus loading zone.