Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Anderson - The city should not screw up Divisadero.

They are tearing up Divisadero Street and Rob Anderson DOES NOT LIKE IT.

Divisadero does not need Trees! Street Furniture? Ugh!

What Divisadero does need? MORE PARKING!

Glad that your girlfriend can find parking, but the real issue is parking for the businesses, especially the restaurants.

Clearly the restaurants on Divis are suffering. That's why I have to wait 45 minutes to get a table at Little Star, why it's impossible to get a reservation at NoPa, why Fly is crowded, etc...

Not to mention this little joint.,6610,s1-3-12-20548-1,00.html

"REBIRTH: Mojo has helped spark a revival after years of economic decline along Divisadero Street. As dining and nightlife spots have opened around it, Mojo has drawn big crowds of both cyclists and their nonriding cohorts to its happy hours ($2 pints) and nightly live music. When Portland, Oregon-based breakout band Blind Pilot came through San Francisco on a recent bike-powered tour, its Mojo set drew so many people, most were standing on the sidewalk."

Wait a minute - BIKES?

All this stuff will really screw up Divisadero for the hard working truckers who rely on it!

A big rig moving tuck, it seems, got stuck this afternoon at Broadway and Divisadero. SFist reader Dennis sends us word as well as these shots of the stuck United tuck. This happened a little before 1 p.m. this afternoon.

That appears to me to be a "Signifigant unavoidable impact", Rob.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bay Area Transit Quiz

Which Bay Area Transportation Know it All made this ironic statement regarding improving the VTA light rail...

"Any talks of future extensions should strongly consider bus rapid transit rather than light rail," he said. "It is less expensive, has the potential for high ridership and allows us to leverage limited taxpayer dollars."

Answer: Carl Guardino - the patron saint of BART to San Jose. Apparently if it's not BART, taxpayer dollars are "limited" and must be leveraged. But when it comes to the BART boondoggle, anything goes!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Driving to your court hearing on Driving without a license.

This is a good one from Napa

Ten cars were impounded during a court sting Monday, when officers watched people who were in court on charges of driving without a license or driving on a suspended license get in their cars and drive away afterwards.

I love to repeat the mantra that you don't need a license to drive in response to the call to license cyclists. But it seems pretty cheeky to go answer to your charge of driving without a license by driving to court....

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Observations from Boulder - livable streets and cycling

Thanks to some screwups from United Airlines, I ended up spending this past weekend in Niwot Colorado with my parents. This was received with great joy because we have their grandson in tow, so he is being shuttled around to see anyone and everyone. I had a special treat today in that I got to go to the Colorado/Wyoming Football game in Boulder. Not a very good game, but it was nice to get out on a gorgeous day in the foothills.

I paid a lot of attention on the trip into and around Boulder. Boulder County has changed tremendously over the 15 years since I left for good. The tiny hamlet of Firestone Colorado which used to be a truck stop and a couple of farms now seems to consist of an anchor of a Home Depot and several car dealerships surrounded by satellites of fast food and casual dining joints. Bizarre.

Inside Boulder proper there are a lot of what my friends call "shiny places" - chain stores like Applebee's, Best Buy, Whole Foods, etc... and even the Mom and Pop joints have to have signage as if they were part of a 100 store chain, it seems to be what's expected around here. I won't condemn Boulder for that - it's not San Francisco.

Boulder is also not San Francisco in that the bicycle signage was shockingly good. Sharrows, Bike route signage (and I don't mean the obscure "Bike Route 45" type signs you see in SF, I mean "HERE IS THE BIKE PATH DON'T RUN OVER THE CYCLIST" type signs. On campus, crosswalks were setup such that you push a button and immediately lights start flashing telling cars not to run over the pedestrians. And perhaps the most unexpected sign of them all - a sign that said "BIKES USE FULL LANE". It went by fast and I didn't quite catch where it was, but it preceeded a downhill and the signage inferred in some manner that there was a downhill coming and encouraged cyclists to take the lane rather than get squeezed over to the side at speed. I am trying to find the sign on google street view - it is on a road headed North towards Pearl St from Campus, somewhere West of Broadway (probably 9th).

And we in San Francisco cry to get "Bikes ALLOWED use of full lane".

Much like Purdue, the CU Boulder campus had a lot of cyclists, and not a lot of helmets. Probably because they are thinking about not crashing, instead of how to mitigate a crash. Come to think of it, when I was 17 and did long bike rides on busy roads I didn't even own a helmet. This included riding to Jamestown and back as well as riding to Loveland on US-287.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Now this is the way to block a bike lane, Boilermakers!

This week I was at the Purdue University Engineering Career Fair.

I'm not very observant, the first thing I noticed was that the bike riders at Purdue...

1) Don't wear helmets
2) Ride on the sidewalk

I am willing to forgive #1, especially since they are generally riding very slowly on mountain bikes with underinflated tires, and typically this is apparently done on a pretty decent network of separated bike lanes. Something I noted after my confusion that the shorts and tevas clad cyclists were weaving through the suit clad interviewees on the sidewalk.

Then I saw why they were riding on this particular sidewalk...

Bike lane FAIL on Twitpic

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My neighbor the jerk

I say "jerk" because sometimes I decide this needs to be a family show.

Saturday - up in Healdsburg - after watching the "Not so Fighting" Illini get destroyed by Mizzou, we decided to wander down our street to Christopher Creek Winery and drown our sorrows in a few tastes. On the way home Sunday I pulled over and took a shot for perspective's sake.

This road is a narrow "2 lane" road with no shoulders. For all intents and purposes it dead ends just behind the perspective in the photo, veering right as a one lane private road. The four of us were walking down the road, "taking the lane" as there is next to no traffic on the road, but when it comes it behooves you to be visible. There were 4 adults, plus my son being pushed in a baby stroller. The residents of this lane frequently walk down the road, with their children, dogs, whatever. There is a sign posted as you head Eastbound, at the point where the road really starts to narrow, that says "Slow Down Please", painted all nice and flowery with a horsey on the sign.

Going the direction of the photograph, we were just past the winery seen on the left when a red SUV approached us going the better part of 55 MPH from what I could tell. Independently, all four of us did a "reverse raise the roof" gesture - both hands pushing down towards the ground to indicate the following...

We looked back as he sped by, and he slammed his brakes in front of the winery. Great, another dumb tourist goes speeding down Limerick Lane and almost flies past the winery. But no.... he shifts into reverse, hits the accellerator, and speeds back towards us!

He gets even to us, rolls down the window, and spews out in some crazy Eastern European accent "Vat did eyeee just meese just naaaaw". We looked at him puzzled, and he went on to say "Vat ees yoor prahhhblem?".

The response was a bit muddled as all four of us, 3-4 beers into our day indicated our displeasure at his driving, he hastily replied "Zeee speeed leemit is 45 MPH and I was going 35 MPH, vat is yoor prahblem!" I said "Bullshit the speed limit on this podunk road is 45 MPH and you were going the better part of 55. Where the hell are you going anyway?" He replied "Eye om going hooom!", probably thinking we were just a bunch of tourists ourselves. We pointed out that we lived just down from him and our displeasure that people would drive like such tools, he sped off halfway into the lecture.

Oh... as if it matters... I took one more photo...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Comedy Gold

Waiting for the 72X to Santa Rosa at the GG Bridge, I had some time to burn so I decided to get pissy and pointed at a driver of a delivery van who was on his cellphone and did the whole miming of a cellphone pressed to my head. He looked at me and yelled something about "Yeah go ride your little bike", adding more distraction to his driving. Not surprisingly since this was the approach to the bridge where several lanes become three lanes, his taunt was quickly followed by the blaring horn of the BMW he almost plowed into as he veered out of his lane. Crash - as well as the pure comedic gold that would have followed - averted.

While riding the 72 to Santa Rosa, perched high in the giant 45 ft MCI bus you get to see a lot of things. Cellphone use was there, of course, but actually far less prevalent than I would have predicted. 2 text messagers, 3 people eating some form of fast food, one guy with a cellphone in one hand and an apple in the other, and someone reading the newspaper. I tried to turn on my flip camera and catch some of the best shots - alas I had no power. Next time.