Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome to Smart Parking

The SFMTA has officially launched its cutting edge SFPark program.  Linking thousands of sensors embedded in San Francisco streets with an online database, the program promises to make it easier to find parking without circling endlessly.

Further, the MTA has pledged to use the real-time availability data to set the price of street parking such that 15% of spaces on any given block are free at any given time.  In other words, if a block is consistently full of parked cars, the price of parking will be raised until an average of 15% of spaces are empty.  The prices will change no more often than monthly in order to avoid freaking the delicate motorist class out, but the website is already publishing parking data in real time.

And so I give you April 27th, 2011, as seen by SFPark.  Enjoy:

Friday, April 22, 2011

First Do No Harm

Every day, St. Francis Memorial Hospital pulls one or several large trucks up to its "loading dock" on Pine St.  I put loading dock in quotes because it's actually just a curb cut with a garage door cut into the side if the building.  The sidewalk here is all of ten feet wide.

So when a truck longer that ten feet pulls up, the sidewalk disappears.  And, as I said, that happens every day.

For the sake of completeness, I should point out that Pine Street is no lazy cul de sac.  It's been a traffic sewer since the '50s when it was made one-way and widened to four lanes.  But Pine is still a residential street.

A hospital like St. Francis provides an invaluable service to the city, but it should not get a free pass to put its neighbors in danger.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Support Walk SF and Uncover Hayes Valley History

On May 7th Walk San Francisco, SF's pedestrian advocacy organization, is hosting a special fundraising walk created by Joel Pomerantz of Thinkwalks.  The walk will combine a specially designed Thinkwalks tour of the Hayes Creek watershed with a cooperative game that offers a challenge of competitive deduction and recall.

It promises to be a fun afternoon for anyone interested in the history of our city, and anyone who loves to play games with friends!

For more information and to reserve your spot, visit the Eventbrite page.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not Particularly F***ed

The Chronicle Comical, in its infinite condescension, can only imagine how awful it must be to take the bus these days.  Why, Muni's own study shows it's on-timeyness is down "nearly one point!"  On-timeyness being a measurement of how not-too-early or not-too-late a given bus is in comparison to an unpublished schedule that only drivers and people doing on-timeyness studies know.  It's a measurement that offers no insight into the quality of my ride home last night on the K/T, which came as soon as I hit the platform, or on the 47 this morning, which also arrived within minutes but took me to work at a pace barely above walking speed.

I mean, everybody loves to complain about Muni.  Sometimes it can ruin your day.  Sometimes, complaining about the bus can make you look like an entitled princess (and Metro riders - I'm looking at you, N-Judah! - remember that over two thirds of Muni riders take the bus, not your train).

Muni can't be everything to all people.  But is it serving its purpose well or, to put it another way, is it fucked?  A man named Sam Kimbrel put together a clever and attractive site to ask that question:  The answer may surprise you.  Clicking through line after line, I keep seeing the message "not particularly fucked."  I do expect that will change from time to time, nothing is "not particularly fucked" all the time.  But maybe the buses are alright.