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Archive for the ‘Traffic’ Category


Richmond District police crack down on talking drivers

The Examiner reports today that our local fuzz has been cracking down on chatty motorists.

Richmond officers also have given out hundreds of tickets this year to chatty motorists, more than anywhere else in The City, according to police station Capt. Richard Corriea. Already in 2010, Richmond police have given out 282 tickets for talking while driving, compared to 1,388 citywide.

Most of the focus has been on the major thoroughfares in the district such as Park Presidio Boulevard and Fulton Avenue. The stretch on Fulton between 10th and 25th Avenues is considered one of the most dangerous.

Bicyclists are not exempt either. Captain Correia said they will warn or cite bicyclists who don’t follow traffic laws.

So be careful driving around the neighborhood while talking on your cell phone. Do yourself and your fellow drivers a favor and invest in a headset or better yet, pull over to make that call or send that incredibly important text message.

Sarah B.

2:19 pm | Posted under Crime, Traffic | 4 comments

Bay to Breakers this Sunday

Photo by AGrinberg

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the craziest running race of the year, The Bay to Breakers, hits the Richmond District on Sunday. The last half of the race will wind its way through Golden Gate Park’s JFK Drive to the finish line on the Great Highway at Ocean Beach (see course map).

If you’re planning to cross the park via car on Sunday, keep in mind that the only thoroughfare that will be open all day is 19th Avenue / Park Presidio.

Routes in the park that will be closed:

John F. Kennedy Dr. | Closed between Stanyan & Transverse: 5am – 6pm
John F. Kennedy Dr. | Closed between Transverse & Great Highway: 5am – 3pm
Great Highway | Closed between Fulton & Sloat: 12am – 3pm
Lincoln Way | Closed between Great Highway & 32nd Avenue: 5am – 3pm
Martin Luther King Dr. | Closed between Great Highway & Transverse: 5am – 3pm
see course map

If you’re a fan of the wild floats that enter the race, note that official entries will be starting at Civic Center this year and ending near the Conservatory of Flowers. So if you want to watch them, be sure to position yourself accordingly.

Another big change this year is the location of the post-race celebration (“Footstock”). Normally it’s held at the Polo Fields but organizers have moved it to MLK Drive where racers usually engage in the post-race, cooldown walk. The two booze booths, Anheuser-Busch Beer Garden and Barefoot Wine Bar, will only be serving from 9:30am – 1pm.

Good luck to all the runners! I look forward to the crazy photos and stories.

Sarah B.

1:17 pm | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Sports, Traffic | Comments Off

Bike tour of the Presidio Parkway construction, May 15

Curious about how the new Presidio Parkway project is coming along? Want to get your fill of rebar, concrete and construction planning?

Then head to the Presidio on May 15 for a special bike tour of the Presidio Parkway construction area where you can learn the best bike routes during construction and get a sneak peak at the future trail network.

There’s also an afterparty at the Sports Basement near Crissy Field. Free food (pizza from Pizzeria Avellino – yum!) and drinks plus ride participants get 20% off all Sports Basement purchases that day.

The ride lasts from 10am to 12noon and meets at the Sports Basement in the Presidio, 610 Old Mason Street.

And a reminder for you Presidio cyclists and walkers out there: Lincoln Boulevard will be closed in front of the National Cemetery (between McDowell Avenue and Montgomery Street) from mid/late May 2010 until late 2011. More info

Sarah B.

7:10 am | Posted under Events, Recreation, Traffic | Comments Off

Park Presidio Neighbors’ Town Hall Meeting, April 28

Next Wednesday, the Park Presidio Neighbors group will hold their annual Town Hall meeting at the Hebrew Academy, 645 14th Avenue, 7pm.

This year’s meeting will cover the latest information about the removal of hazardous trees in the Park Presidio greenway, the status of gardeners for the parkland, traffic calming in the avenues and the Park Presidio Boulevard traffic signal upgrade project.

Representatives from San Francisco Recreation and Parks, the Richmond Police Station, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority and Supervisor Eric Mar will be in attendance.

More about Park Presidio Neighbors

Sarah B.

10:57 am | Posted under Community, Eric Mar, Events, Traffic | Comments Off

Bye bye Marina – Final Doyle Ramp Closure Takes Effect Feb. 17

Starting Wednesday, February 17 at 8pm, the southbound ramp that connects Park Presidio Boulevard to Doyle Drive will be closed through 2011 (more info). This is the ramp you might take when trying to reach the Marina District from the Richmond.

Unlike the northbound ramp closure, there really is no convenient detour for this route. If you want to get to the Marina from our neighborhood, you’ll need to take surface streets or travel through the Presidio.

So hunker down because we have a long wait until these shortcuts are back in operation. It was nice knowing ya, Marina!

For more information on the Presidio Parkway project, visit their website.

Sarah B.

7:23 am | Posted under Traffic | 1 comment

Richmond part of SFpark pilot program

You may have noticed new white bumps next to some metered parking spaces on Clement and Geary. They are part of a system the city is testing in their SFpark pilot program, designed to make parking in the city easier and convenient.

The white bumps are wireless “smart sensors” that transmit real-time information on parking space availability. According to the program’s website, “drivers will have access to real-time garage availability information by text message, on the web, and on a new network of variable message signs in key locations which will be complemented by supplementary wayfinding signs.”

Aside from the potential added convenience to drivers, the sensors will also help the city gather and analyze parking data to determine peak parking times. They can then use this data to offer “just right” prices for parking that can better balance the load between metered street parking, parking garages and lots, and block parking; or encourage drivers to park at off-peak times.

The ultimate goal is to have at least 10% of parking spaces in the city free at all times – that’s about one space per block by SFpark estimates.

According to the SFpark website, “Adjustments will prevent prices that are “too low,” which encourage drivers to double park or circle and wait for an inexpensive spot on a crowded block to open up. These adjustments will also prevent prices that are “too high” causing drivers to look elsewhere. Rather than too high or too low, SFMTA will use “Just Right” pricing.”

The city anticipates adjusting parking prices every 4 to 6 weeks. “SFpark will use “Just Right” pricing to adjust prices at SFMTA-managed parking garages every four to six weeks to encourage drivers to park in garages yet ensuring that SFMTA garages always have space available. Similarly, for metered on-street parking, prices will be adjusted every four to six weeks to help redistribute the demand for parking.”

The program also calls for upgrading meters to be able to accept payment with coins, credit cards, and the SFMTA Smart Card.

At a forum about the program last month, SFpark manager Jay Primus told attendees that the program will also help MUNI run more reliably and efficiently. MissonLocal writes, “At Thursday’s downtown forum, he blamed circling and congestion from parking issues for “why Muni isn’t as fast or reliable as it could be.”

According to MissionLocal, the outer Richmond is being used as a control group during the pilot program. Data is being collected but no adjustments are being made to meter pricing in our area.

It’s unclear how safe this kind of parking notification system will be. Driver distractions are at an all-time high (video); even Oprah is promoting a no phone zone pledge for drivers. Has the SFMTA ever looked closely at the current vulture-like behavior of SF drivers when it comes to parking? Split secod u-turns, driving across double yellow lines, three point U-turns on a side street to get a spot on the other side… we know all the tricks.

When I read about a system like this, I envision drivers racing around corners to get to the block where a spot is free. Or double parking to consult their smart phones to find an open parking space.

Even if they’re not using cell phones, do we really want more signage along our streets, displaying wholly uninteresting things like “There’s 1 parking space on Clement and 3rd Avenue”? Oh wait, I am sure each sign will have space for an ad or will rotate in ads between messages. More $$ for the city!

MissionLocal also raises an interesting point about languages. In a multicultural neighborhood like the Richmond, will signs also be in Chinese, Russian and even Spanish? I get a dolor de cabeza just thinking about it.

In the SFMTA’s most recent budget proposals, paek and off-peak meter parking pricing was noticeably absent. Mayor Newsom has said that he would not support metered parking in the evenings, but he is in favor of meters running on Sundays, primarily to help turnover for merchants.

What do you think? Will a program like this help alleviate parking problems here in the Richmond and across the city?

Sarah B.

3:06 pm | Posted under Traffic | 4 comments

Hey drivers, JFK Drive is closed today

RichmondSFBlog reader Chris sent in a note to me today about the JFK Drive closure in Golden Gate Park. Normally, the area is only closed off to cars on Sundays, but due to the MLK holiday, it was also closed off with barricades this morning.

During his morning jog, Chris noticed the barricades and realized it was due to the holiday. He was looking forward to a car-free run (in the rain?) but said, “I was not long jogging on JFK when I encountered on-coming vehicle traffic! I followed the car back to where I could see it come upon the barrier blocking its egress from the supposed car-free zone, and watched the driver get out, move the barrier, and drive through.”

Chris said he tried to call 311 but they hung up on him. Chris saw several pedestrians in the road, walking, who like him assumed that JFK Drive was closed to traffic.

Chris also called the police and after awhile, they did show up and immediately put the barrier back in place. The cops said that most people don’t think of MLK Day as a holiday that would result in a car-free Golden Gate Park.

So then, why San Francisco, do you leave up the barricades and not enforce the closure? If you don’t have the police to enforce the closure, just leave JFK Drive open to cars. Then pedestrians will know to stay safe on the sidewalks.

And to those drivers out there jumping the barricades I say, really? Really? Wouldn’t it be a clear signal to you that the road is closed when a barrier is strung across it?

Sarah B.

1:49 pm | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Traffic | 1 comment

Early morning Doyle Drive ramp closures, Jan. 19 & 23

To prepare for the upcoming Presidio Parkway construction project, the southbound Doyle Drive/Hwy 101 to southbound Hwy 1/Park Presidio Boulevard will be closed for brief periods on:

Tuesday, January 19: Midnight to 5am
Saturday, January 23: 4am – 10am

This is the ramp that you would use when returning from Marin. As an alternative, you can exit immediately after the GG Bridge toll plaza and wind through the Presidio to get back to the Richmond via 15th or 25th Avenue. Advisory and detour information.

Sarah B.

7:53 am | Posted under Traffic | Comments Off