Call the cops, I don’t give a fuck

I’ve often felt much the same way, although given that I’m often paying taxes, I would probably get screwed if I had to deal personally with the cops. This is in great contrast to those in the neighborhood who rack up 20 warrants before any laws are actually enforced upon them.

By the way, is that a llama wearing a Buddhist robe?

Taxis’ green light to take over bike lanes

For those who haven’t heard, our almighty benefactors at the SFMTA have decided that under certain instances taxis can stop in bike lanes. This new genius-spew is of course ignoring the fact that taxis stop in the bike lanes, all the time, to offload everything. When riding my bike and telling them that it’s a bike lane, they generally just flip me off. I guess I should be thankful that they don’t run me down

Anyways, if you’re a cyclist and have some degree of alarm in SFMTA allowing it (keeping in mind that more sane places like NYC do not) send an email like the one below to Deputy Director of SMTA Taxi Services, Christiane Hayashi (christiane.hayashi@sfmta.com). Naturally, if anyone else has another other addresses at SFMTA to send to, feel free to post them as well.

Christiane,

I’ve only recently heard about the plan to allow taxis to park in the city’s bicycle lanes as there appeared to be little if any public transparency in this.

Let me be one of the many to express incredible disdain for this decision from the SFMTA. Given the general attitude from taxi drivers towards all others on the road (especially bicyclists) and the fact that they already stop in the bicycle lanes to drop off any and all passengers, this will only make a bad situation worse. And, more than the inconvenience of having to swerve around taxis when one is riding a bike and in to vehicular traffic, it sets up the city for massive liability if it is permitting taxi drivers to engage in dangerous driving activities such as this.

Let me emphasize that I am not a member of the SF Bike Coalition. I am just a city resident who uses his bike to get places as the Muni system has become too cost prohibitive and unreliable. I implore you to reconsider this situation as it only polarizes those of us who would simply like to exist and transport ourselves around San Francisco without it becoming an all-out, lawyer-fueled fight for common sense.

Huckleberry Bicycles opens in Mid-Market

A couple of days ago we were thrilled to discover that Huckleberry Bicycles has opened in Mid-Market to be, as co-owner Jonas Jackel puts it, “a gas station on the freeway”. Meaning that their location at 1073 Market Street (between 6th and 7th streets) is at the heart of the busiest bicycle riding artery in San Francisco. Of course, this location, right across the street from the shamefully ever-abandoned Hibernia Bank Building means that they are in a really interesting intersection — in the thick of the blazing glory of the Tenderloin.

In spite of all the challenges they’ve had to overcome to open in this area, they appear to be off to a good start with a full-service bike shop that carries several brands for all kinds of people — roadies, crosses riders, and city commuters (such as the increasingly popular PUBLIC Bikes). They have also been testing the waters by having a bike repair kiosk on weekdays in one of the unused newsstands along Market Street. Inside, though, they have all kinds of accessories, apparel, parts, and of bike tools and gear. It’s a nice shop that took awhile to find a proper spot given that apparently retail spaces along Market Street tend to run from gigantic caverns to small holes in the wall.

But, above and beyond all of this we’re excited about Huckleberry Bikes is moving here because after talking to Jonas, I quickly realized that he “gets” the neighborhood. He and his business partners are one of the first new retail shops to open up in this particular area in literally years given that the pawn shop/check cashing demographic have been the primary renters as of late. He knows that there are issues in the area and what the actual cause is behind them, but also that it can easily be turned around and made not only more livable, but actually helpful to all those who are being left behind with the city’s current approach.

We welcome Huckleberry to the hood and wish them no end of success in their business and promoting a more bike-friendly Market Street and San Francisco. Go say hi on Twitter or Facebook if you’re as excited as you are.

The Mission steals your bicycle

This article on Mission Loc@l (picked up by HuffPo) popped up yesterday letting us cyclists in the Tenderloin know that we can breathe safely in the fact that the number one place to get your bike ripped off is actually the Mission. While some may say, “Bullshit, it’s the Tenderloin! That’s where all sorts of crime, evil, and spicy food happens!”, this analysis of Craigslist data by Phillip Yip is backed up by SF police stats.

Naturally, those in the Mission would say, “Hell yeah we gotz theftz. Just look at the Valencia bike corridor asking you to get your ride on.” Valencia is a truly awesome set of bike lanes despite cartards trying to take cyclists out by constantly double-parking and/or opening their doors without looking. But, without getting in to the hipster/loinster debate again, we also have quite a large cycling crowd in this neighborhood. But, I think it’s safe to say that we know the dangers of bike theft as stereotyped by others and so we watch our rides when we roll. As well as other possessions when we walk around the neighborhood, even when there’s the potential to score

View the original article and graphic here.

A shout out to professional parking

Look at that. There was a Mustang parked in that space just before this dude in a semi cab rolled up and nailed the parallel parking with his tires kissing the curb, wheels turned and all. Let me reiterate this for all of you who somehow got a license but can’t parallel park for dick in this city: this guy parked a fucking semi in the space of a car, in one try. Suck, on that.

If only I had friends to split one with…

At some point, I’ve probably unwittingly shared ex-girlfriends with other dudes because yeah, women are just as slutty as guys and not only if they’re French. But, the thought of sharing a cigar with someone, even if a friend, even if a smaller “cigarillo”, repulses the shit out of me. If I have the cigar, then it’s my cigar. There are no condoms for cigars and I don’t want your smokey lip funk mixing it up with my smokey lip funk. Get your own and smoke it by yourself.

Oh, and while you’re at it, cigarillo-maker, paste your classy ads somewhere more befitting, like the side of the New Century Theater. That’s the kind of place for those who want to split a bit of nasty lip funk, unlike the corner of Jones & Post where you just split a plate of Nasi Goreng at Borobudur.

Give me bike lanes or get you dents!

From the wayback machine, we should mention this great Streetsblog article which talks about the scrawniness of bike lanes when you take in to account dumbshits that open their doors directly in to them without looking. I know I’ve had to always be on the lookout for dim-looking folks who try to take me out. In “crazy socialist” countries in Europe, they actually train people to open the door with their right hand to force them to look over their left shoulder before opening the door.

This explains why many cyclists are still riding on the sidewalk which I might add, is something I try to never do, or if I’m forced to because of road work (like those tards from PG&E), I crawl along at a walking pace. We’ve come a long way to being a more bike-friendly city, but there is still a way to go and painting crap on the ground that make it the cyclist’s problem to look out for parked cars is ridiculous. After all, would people open their doors in to moving cars like they do in to cyclists?

Muni alternatives in the Loin

Wheels. They’re apparently how the Loin moves itself like the dude above cruising along on his bike with a rolling suitcase.

Or how about this dude who’s gone “Husky power” for his skateboard. I’d say that it was a “green” mode of transportation, but those bastards crap a lot. So brown, maybe.

Then there’s this guy who… I don’t even know what the fuck that is. Did he go fishing with a scooter attached to a baby stroller? Mega points for originality on that one (and safety, many regular cyclists don’t even wear helmets).

We gotta add that we took all these shots on the same day last weekend which was apparently the official, “Move your ass a different way” Day. Or just another day in the hood.

Bringing sanity to McAllister

By way of SF Citizen we hear the news that as of August 4th, McAllister will be a two way street (again). As we’ve mentioned before, in the 1950’s, the Tenderloin streets were wholesale converted in to downtown boulevards for through traffic to other neighborhoods. This didn’t turn out so well for the neighborhood, especially the fact that idiot drivers collide on such streets as McAllister because well, one-way streets allow them to get up to speeds that exceed their inherent intelligence.

We’re really happy to see this and hope that the other streets will soon follow. Also, SF Citizen swears that it’s an easier bike ride out to the panhandle by using McAllister to Divisadero. Seeing as how we at Tender HQ have just picked up some new bikes from Bamboo Bike Studio (they do more than bamboo), we are anxious to test this out. Anyone have any opinion on The McDiv vs. The Wiggle?

Gettin’ beat by the one-way stick

A commenter on this Streetsblog article posted a link to a 1948 traffic planning map. While the main article was talking about Hayes Street and the fact that they’re trying to convert it back to bi-directional traffic, it’s important to take note our hood in that map, which would be the one with all the red streets on it–the streets that they decided to change over to one-way streets.

This is interesting to note in that the Tenderloin’s slip in to what it is today came at several points and wasn’t just an overnight event. The first was the leveling of the hood by the 1906 fire which put an end to Saint Anne’s Valley and all the family homes that were in the neighborhood. This in turn created the high-density apartments we have today that make it difficult for families to really live in the neighborhood as cramming three or four people in to a studio or one bedroom apartment isn’t the most amount of fun.

Then came this traffic plan. The “boulevardization” of the Tenderloin was unlike any other neighborhood in that, as you can plainly see, one-way streets were implemented not only from East to West, but also North to South. This has the effect of pretty much killing whatever neighborhood was left as it became a fly-by area for people from other neighborhoods to drive through. Then naturally, the last nail in the coffin came in the early 80’s when Mister Shaw and company started building up the homeless industry that is now housed here as a containment zone that people are still able to blaze past on all the one-way streets, occasionally killing those who dare to walk.

Things are of course changing and the fact that some streets look to be re-two-wayed can only make one hope that it will work to reverse the malformed auto-centric changes that got started some 60 years ago.