Monday, May 09, 2011

$187,500 for new traffic light that cyclists will ignore

Will Reisman tells us in the Examiner this morning what this new traffic light cost city taxpayers. Previous post on the subject here.

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At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

$187k for a NEW traffic light. Not to add a light sequence to an existing light.

But you go ahead and keep stretching the truth, you are getting good at it.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Mike, is that you? What's the big distinction you're trying to make? My point: that it's a lot of money for something that will be routinely ignored by cyclists on that part of the wiggle.

But the symbolism is the important thing, right? You have to be perceived as doing something about safety on the wiggle, especially after the bogus emergency whipped up by the demonstrators at the nearby Arco station

Since you're an MTA guy, why don't you give us a breakdown of what exactly went into that $187,000 bill? I assume every agency in the city that has anything to do city streets got a piece of the bureaucratic action and had their tickets punched on this scam---I mean, "project."

While you're getting that info for us, why not provide a list of the people in MTA that are working in the Bike Program? Interesting that you folks took that info off your website. Three years ago you had nine people, featherbedding in that group. How many do you have now?

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

No, this is me. And I don't work for the MTA. No clue where you got that.

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I was referring to the MTA's Mike Sallaberry, who commented on my first post on this issue. Your comment was made anonymously, so I couldn't have known which Mike it was.

Maybe you can explain why the distinction you make in your comment is significant enough to accuse me of "stretching the truth" about the project.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

You've accused me of working for the MTA in the past. I was just making sure you weren't running with that again.

The first comment wasn't mine. You'll have to ask the person who wrote it. I've always posted under my name.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Rob, don't know who posted the first comment, but if your reading comprehension was up to snuff...

The light at Fell/Scott is not a NEW signal. They just added a sequence. One can "assume" that adding a new sequence costs less than constructing a new signal - there's no construction and it doesn't have to go out for bid.

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Okay, so it won't cost $187,500. But I still wonder why even a new traffic light could cost that much. It still seems quixotic to make these changes to the light sequence at that intersection, since cyclists now ignore the red light when making the left turn onto Fell Street.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Okay, so it won't cost $187,500. But I still wonder why even a new traffic light could cost that much.

--> Because they have to prepare for the inevitable EIR related lawsuits from people opposed to a new traffic light.

It still seems quixotic to make these changes to the light sequence at that intersection, since cyclists now ignore the red light when making the left turn onto Fell Street.

--> One can hope that since the left turn arrow now preceeds the green for oncoming traffic from Scott, that the incentive to run the red is decreased.

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going down Scott St. this morning on my way home from a doctor appt. No less than 4 cyclists flew thru stop signs at Haight as I was approaching the stop sign. I fully stopped, as I always do. the third guy flew thru without stopping, as I was legally entering the intersection.

He narrowly missed hitting my car.

Stupid fuck. This goes on all over the city. It's disgusting. I am a safe, courteous driver.

I will fight and protest as much as I can to my supervisor to NOT spend another dime on any bike related lanes and improvements. I sent this same comment to my supervisor Scott Weiner.

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drunk driver killed someone the other night.


At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Absolon Poah said...

I agree the price is totally insane, but you can blame UNIONS for that, not bikes.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Michael Baehr said...

I live at the top of the "wiggle", so this light is part of my daily commute unless I'm feeling Butch and take Fulton home instead.

I notice that the majority of cyclists are continuing to run it out of force of habit. It's certainly not doing them any good. If you wait until you have a left arrow, and then make your turn, you make it to Divisadero shortly before it turns green.

If you risk life and limb and run the light early, you end up waiting at a red light at Divisadero. There's no point, but people are so used to it due to the broken old arrangement.

Every time someone runs the light, and I then catch up to them while they're waiting at Divisadero, I start up a little conversation, starting with "hey, how do you like that new traffic light?". Hopefully I've educated a few. Usually they don't even know it's there because they've been turning early for years. The lightbulb usually goes on after I point out that they're currently waiting at a red.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

As I cyclist, you're surprisingly naive about the psychology of your fellow cyclists. Cyclists run red lights and stop signs all over the city because they think the traffic laws don't really apply to them, that, unlike motorists, they are special and exempt. Some---a significant minority---fancy themselves as rebels against The System and flout traffic laws as a matter of both principle and perceived convenience. If they perceive no immediate danger to themselves, they will do what suits them in traffic.

The thing I notice walking through that intersection almost every day is that when cyclists approach the intersection on a green light from Scott, they tend to ignore pedestrians already in the crosswalk, refusing to make eye contact, often intimidating them with a quick left turn into the bike lane.

In short, cyclists at this intersection often treat pedestrians the same way motorists treat cyclists---as an impediment to be ignored and/or intimidated out of their path.


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