Monday, September 23, 2013

Safety lie justifies screwing up Masonic for everyone but cyclists

Save Masonic
I agree with Save Masonic on all the points below, except this: "Masonic can be made safer with better traffic signals, improved lighting, repaving, new curb ramps, better enforcement and other measures, while still retaining parking and the full amount of travel lanes."

There's no evidence that Masonic Avenue is unsafe now, especially considering that it carries more than 32,000 vehicles a day and 12,000 passengers a day on the #43 Masonic Muni line. See my analysis of the city's own documents showing that Masonic has a remarkable safety record. The reality: City Hall will screw up traffic for everyone who now uses Masonic Avenue---a major city and regional North/South street---on behalf of an unknown number of future cyclists. The "safety" justification is a lie that the city also used to justify the Fell/Oak bike project and the Polk Street bike project. The backstory on the Bicycle Coalition's long campaign to screw up Masonic Avenue is here. Of course Supervisor Wiener supports screwing up Masonic:

Dear Save Masonic supporter:

Thank you again for helping us in our efforts to bring a balanced, reasonable, safe approach to Masonic Avenue. Unfortunately, and despite far more e-mails opposing the project than supporting it, funding for the Masonic raised cycle track project was approved by the Programming and Allocations Committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on September 11, 2013. (SFMTA sought around $10 million in federal One Bay Area Grant funds; this was approved by the MTC committee. The total project budget is around $18 million; the remaining $8 million is coming from other sources.)

SF Supervisor Scott Wiener, a committee member, urged fellow members to approve the project, claiming that safety requires the loss of parking, rush-hour lane reduction and other elements of the cycle track project, but without offering any good reasons for his claim or any suggestions whatsoever for mitigating the hardship and congestion.

The full Commission will meet on Wednesday, September 25 at 9:30 AM to consider funding.

This is a critical meeting! Please make your voice heard---by e-mail or in person---that the current plan is fundamentally flawed and should not be approved.

There will be an opportunity for public comment, but we are not sure how long the meeting will go on and the Masonic project is part of a large agenda item that includes many other projects, so we understand it may be difficult for you to attend the meeting. Therefore it's critical to e-mail the Committee in advance of the meeting so that your opposition will be part of the public record.

Send your e-mails to each of the following:

info@mtc.ca.gov 
glambert@mtc.ca.gov
khughes@mtc.ca.gov (Secretary to the MTC)

aworth@cityoforinda.org (Amy Worth is MTC Chair)
david.campos@sfgov.org (Campos is a member of the MTC)
scott.wiener@sfgov.org (Wiener is a member of the MTC)

In the subject line, indicate “Agenda Item 9(a)--OBAG--Masonic Avenue Complete Streets--MTC, September 25, 2013”

Please cc us at
info@savemasonic.com 

Meeting location: Joseph P. Bort Metro Center, Lawrence Dahms Auditorium

101 Eighth Street, Oakland (reachable by BART)

Link to meeting agenda:

http://apps.mtc.ca.gov/events/agendaView.akt?p=2113

(see page 14 of the attachment to Agenda Item 9(a))

Go to
www.savemasonic.com for a sample letter and FAQs

Points to emphasize:

Congestion will be increased because of lane reduction during rush hour and parking removal
Not only Masonic, but side streets also will be congested
Target impact not analyzed; Environmental Impact Report is deficient
Emergency response will be slowed down

More congestion means more pollution

Parking removal will create a major hardship

Masonic can be made safer with better traffic signals, improved lighting, repaving, new curb ramps, better enforcement and other measures, while still retaining parking and the full amount of travel lanes

Alternate bike route that includes Baker is less congested, has no buses, and is not steeper than Masonic

Raised cycle track design is untested in these conditions, especially because of large number of driveways
Inadequate/unfair notice

There is significant opposition to the project as evidenced by the petition

Please forward this e-mail to your friends, family and neighbors who support our campaign, and post it to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Save Masonic campaign will continue to oppose this project regardless of the outcome of the MTC meeting.

Thank you!

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13 Comments:

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does this screw up anything for pedestrians?

 
At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How does this screw up anything for pedestrians?"

Only hipsters and techies walk, so who cares.

 
At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"SF Supervisor Scott Wiener urged fellow members to approve the project, claiming that safety requires the loss of parking, rush-hour lane reduction and other elements of the cycle track project"

You'll notice that Wiener is not removing any street parking on Castro Street in his district for bike lanes, no loss of parking for his constituency.

 
At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Safety lie justifies screwing up Masonic for everyone but cyclists"

slight correction, should be:

"Safety lie justifies screwing up Masonic for everyone but cyclists and pedestrians and bus riders"

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Untrue. Obviously you didn't read the links I provided, like to my blog post based on the city's own study of Masonic Avenue. See page 13 of the city's "Masonic Avenue Street Redesign Study":

"According to recent counts, the intersection of Masonic at Fulton Street has the highest volume of pedestrian traffic with an average of 1,013 people counted between 5-7pm.Masonic at Geary had the second highest volume, with 938 people."

On the same page we learn that there's been only one injury accident to a pedestrian at the Fulton/Masonic intersection in six years. And there are no accident and/or safety numbers on those who ride the #43 line probably because there are no injury accidents to the more than 12,000 people a day who ride that line.

No, the Masonic Avenue project is nothing but a bike project, dressed up with some landscaping and a lot of flim-flam---aka, bullshit---about pedestrians and Muni passengers.

 
At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


No, the Masonic Avenue project is nothing but a bike project, dressed up with some landscaping and a lot of flim-flam---aka, bullshit---about pedestrians and Muni passengers.

So what's the problem? Sounds good to me!

 
At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't find the part in the study where it said the redesign screws up Masonic for pedestrians and bicyclists, which page is that on?

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You couldn't find it, moron, because that's not the point being made: the project will screw up traffic for the more than 32,000 vehicles that now use Masonic every day and the more than 12,000 people who ride the #43 line every day. According to the city's own study, Masonic is now safe for pedestrians, and very few cyclists use it.

How many cyclists will use Masonic after the project is implemented? The city has no idea.

Hence, the city will screw up traffic for more than 44,000 present users of Masonic on behalf of an unknown number of future cyclists. This is traffic management by the Bicycle Coalition.

 
At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, your headline states that the safety lie screws up Mason for everyone but cyclists - can you kindly explain how it screws up Mason for bus riders and pedestrians? Thanks!

 
At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I couldn't find the part in the study where it said the redesign screws up Masonic for pedestrians and bicyclists, which page is that on?"

You simply need to look at the proposed design. Every building on Masonic has a garage. MTA doesn't like to deal with streets that have curb cuts.

Next the raised cycle track is on the sidewalk. Pedestrians must step over the cycle track before they cross the intersection. Bus #43 riders must step over the cycle track to reach the sidewalk. How smart is that?

Buried in page 12 of the Masonic Final Study says "the current PM peak volume was counted as 20 bikes per hour at Masonic and Golden Gate Ave."

For these 20 bicyclists MTA is spending millions of dollars for a raised cycle track. Total waste of money.

 
At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bus #43 riders must step over the cycle track to reach the sidewalk. How smart is that?"

Smarter than what it is now: crossing a lane of car traffic.

"For these 20 bicyclists MTA is spending millions of dollars for a raised cycle track. Total waste of money"

It's the same 20 bikes every hour? Which page is that on?

 
At 12:29 AM, Anonymous Rick B. said...

So, according to your numbers, those 46 people's lives forever altered, or the 7 people whose lives were ended is just a small sacrifice to make for the "more than 32,000 vehicles a day and 12,000 passengers a day on the #43 Masonic Muni line."

Just to be clear, you'd rather have 32,000 vehicles/day get through masonic a few minutes faster than give those families back their children.

 
At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh shut up Rick. Those children made a choice to put their lives at risk.

 

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