Sunday, March 27, 2016

City Hall will start screwing up Masonic in June

Hoodline's recent update on Masonic Avenue (Masonic Streetscape Project To Break Ground In June) got more than 150 comments. Like the story on Vision Zero last week, it shows how much people are concerned about what the city is doing to city streets during rapid population growth and gentrification:

In June 2013, funding to redesign Masonic Avenue from Fell to Geary was approved, after years of outreach by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and community organizing both for and against the project. Now, the construction, originally forecast to begin last May, is finally preparing to break ground in June. It's expected to last until late 2017.

Instead of helping the city deal with population growth and the traffic that comes with it, this project---it's essentially a bike project, not a "streetscape" project---will make traffic worse in this part of town, creating protected bike lanes by taking away parking lanes on both sides of this important regional north/south street between Fell Street and Geary Blvd. Those parking lanes are now converted into traffic lanes to help ease the morning/evening commute.

The Bicycle Coalition and its many enablers in City Hall have been the main supporters of this project from the beginning, a campaign of lies about the safety of Masonic that began almost ten years ago:

It’s been two years since our last update on the project, so here's a quick recap. The city identified this stretch of Masonic Avenue as one of the 12 percent of San Francisco streets where more than 70 percent of the city’s traffic collisions take place. From 2009 to 2014, Masonic between Geary and Fell saw 113 collisions, according to the SFMTA.

Hoodline's earlier "update" on Masonic was seriously deficient as I pointed out at the time.

The city's numbers on "collisions"---that's the term used to suggest there's no such thing as "accidents"---can't be trusted about Masonic or any other street in the city. Under the foolish and deceptive Vision Zero policy/slogan, the city now simply hands out accident numbers to uncritical city writers. It no longer publishes its annual Collisions Reports that used to provide some analysis about where and why accidents happen on city streets. 

The implication of this approach is that if the city just keeps making so-called safety "improvements" to city streets people will no longer be injured or killed in traffic accidents by the magical year of 2024. Not surprisingly Vision Zero so far has had no impact on preventing accidents on city streets:

In an effort to improve safety on the high-traffic corridor, the streetscape improvements will include a new median, raised bike lanes, widened sidewalks, new pedestrian-scale sidewalk lighting, sidewalk bulb-outs, and enhanced bus stops. A number of other improvements, such as work on Masonic's underlying sewer infrastructure and water distribution and the creation of a new public plaza, will also take place while the street is under construction.

None of this will improve the safety of Masonic Avenue, except perhaps the separated bike lane that will be made by removing all the parking on Masonic between Fell Street and Geary Blvd. 

Not many cyclists use Masonic now, and of course the city has no idea how many will use it after the separated bike lanes are installed. According to the only in-depth study the city has ever done on Masonic, there have actually been few cycling accidents on that busy north/south street (my analysis of the study: Big lie on safety to justify screwing up Masonic). 

And most of those accidents have been at Fell and Masonic, an east/west intersection issue that has nothing to do with safety on Masonic overall. Those accidents continued to happen even after the city created a left-turn lane and a special bicycle-shaped traffic light at the intersection (See Report debunks Big Lie about Masonic and Fell).

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At 4:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Anderson..

This is all part of plan Bay Area(ABAG) a full plan for the 7 counties of the entire Bay Area created by the Sfmta/MTA whom live in the same building.

Please click this link and read through it. It's from 2002. They lay out plans for the barriers they installed 13 years later on the Golden Gate Bridge. Speaks of the bike roadway on the bay bridge years before it was completed. Speaks of the toll fee on to treasure island when they've only begun to mention that last year. Speaks of a new caltrans station at oak dale hence they are now discussing tarring down 280 at 16th.

Mentions Geary and Vanness brt .

I can go on and list them all but better to click the link.

You stop plan Bay Area then you stop all the bullshit going on in the city. This is only one out of many many many pages to available to read. One must dig as to make it difficult to find. Spur is a "branch" of ABAG amongst many other non profits.

Plan Bay Area is what needs to be stopped. You stop that you stop the Sfmta and the SF planning department.

One of the many pages available: this link provided info from 2002

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Here's a clickable link for that PDF.

Yes, there's a lot of overlap for these planning fiascos that all revolve around anti-carism, but the struggle must take place in local jurisdictions, since there's no way to dump ABAG itself.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Rob, you are on the wrong side of history on the bike issue. Now we can print out our own bikes: This Custom $200 Bike Frame Could Be 3-D Printed In Your Living Room

Give me your mailing address, and I'll send you a replica of my ass you can kiss.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger glinda said...

Thanks for all the Chabner posts! Across the Bay in Alameda, we mobility-impaired are having our own battle against the Complete Streets [for bicyclists] screwing up our island. A guy who works for SFMTA somehow got to be president of our Planning Board and he is pushing the SFMTA agenda in Alameda.
The project list for Alameda streets looks just like the pdf you link to for SF projects.

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Local jurisdictions? With the idiots living in SF today? I doubt it. Pass a bill for funding just so they can paint nice colors over pot holes and then turn around and pass another funding bill for those same pot holes receiving only more paint. Most are delusional these days.

SF is receiving if not received already around $40 billion for this plan Bay Area. Which is pretty much the money they are using for brt and redesign of streets not to mention being paid millions for each development (not including developers money)

There are more orginzed people pouring more money from counties outside of SF such as Marin and alameda counties then there are coherent SF citizens that show up to vote. Like the last election no one shows up.

As a native I gave up on trying to rely on SF citizens. If the plan itself which is not even law is not stopped we're in for a serious shit show.

Remember the original robocop movie? Detroit? Broke ass abandoned city with one privatized company running everything?

Yet these idiots working for the city and the bike fucks will be living back in Rhode Island or wherever the hell they came from.

P.S. Upper haight st will be changed around the same time as Masonic. Haight ashbery has historically never given into anything. Yet the street is being changed. I'm sorry but we're all fucked

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I agree.

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've said it before and will say it again, there are much better streets than Masonic to put a bike lane...heck 90 percent of bikers will not take that hill!!!!!

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sfmta transportation planner. John Knox White. Became a city of alameda planning board member around "2012".


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