The city has some changes in store for Hayes
Valley, but like everything in San Francisco, the only thing that we
can agree on is that we do not agree on them.
Here’s the short
version of what’s happening: a one-way section of Hayes is going from
one-way to two-way. It’ll bring traffic down to a safer rate of speed,
and that’s objection number one: people who want to zoom quickly through
the neighborhood, like cabbies and cross-town commuters, are bummed out
by the safer speeds. These interests are ably represented by the Chronicle, to nobody’s surprise.
Objection number two is a bit more serious: slowdown for Muni. The
21-already inches along, and the two-way traffic will make it even
inchier. Even worse, there isn’t even a provision in the plan for
improving Muni speed. That’s caused some exasperation over at Rescue
Muni, which still exists. They point out that a bus lane would keep things moving fast (or at least, less slow) for Muni. Of course, it would also require some expensive wire relocation.
And while it’s true that all of these measures reduce capacity for cars, that’s not the end of the world — as Streetsblog points out,
we’ve seen time and time again that when car capacity goes down,
traffic is screwy for about a week and then the problems dissipate. So!
Let’s get started on that bus lane.
Maybe this is something that could be taken up by the SF Transit Riders Union, which still exists. They’re having a meeting next Wednesday
at the Mission Police Station at 6pm. On the agenda: we have no idea,
since the agenda is apparently still unwritten. For now, “make a much better transit system” is the general goal. Sounds good to us.
Parking App Shows Real-Time Spaces
This seems like it’s quickly going to become one of those how-did-we-live-without-it innovations: the new SFpark mobile app shows users, in real time, where they can find available on-street parking.
No more circling the block — a major source of congestion — now
you can scoot your car right over to an empty space, as long as you are
parking in the Marina, SOMA, the Mission, and the FiDi. After this test
phase, the project is likely to expand to cover the rest of the city.
It’s not quite perfect yet, and crashed repeatedly when we tried to
view parking by price. But once a few bugs get ironed out, it’ll be a
sure-fire hit. Except that you’re not supposed to use a mobile device while driving, and that’s pretty much the only circumstance under which you’d need it. So … hm.
One big missing component of the
SFpark program: on-street signage. It’s great that an iPhone app will
tell you where to park, but it would also be nice if you could find
those spaces without tinkering with a mobile device. Of course, such
signs have proved controversial: when they wanted to install massive
parking signs along the Oak and Fell sewers, neighbors were aghast. Maybe something a bit more modest would be preferable.
Treasure Island: What, Me Worry?
Don’t fret, everyone. Everything over on Treasure Island is going to be juuuuuuust fiiiiiiiine.
Despite some serious concerns about daily traffic jams from the island’s 8,000 (!) proposed parking spaces,
the development’s moving ahead with the Planning Commission voting this
evening on the endorsement of an environmental impact report.
Barring any unforseen political roadblocks, which never happen, it moves to some more committees in May, then the full Board of Supes in June, with construction starting in 2012.
Tied to the Muni Tracks, Indignant Reporter, Wii Bike
Some guy seems to have thrown himself on the N-Judah tracks, damsel-in-distress-style, for reasons unclear to anyone. Probably protesting food trucks at Dolores Park.
And a new Wii accessory is basically an exercise bike with a videogame attached. According to CNET,
which still exists, the game gives you some stats on how far you’ve
pedaled and how many calories you’ve burned. It costs $170, which CNET
says is “similar” to the cost of a real bike. Um.