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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Tourist traps... when can the locals have some fun?

I hate to say it, but San Francisco is a tourist trap, especially downtown, the Cable Cars, and Pier 39.

Regardless of where you live, you must have some sort of tourist trap, from an overpriced souvenir shop, to a major chain restaurant like Hard Rock.

Here in San Francisco, I'm fed-up with tourists and the traps out to snare them. When can the locals go out and enjoy the time and have some fun too?

A good example is our Cable Cars, one of the most legendary thing about San Francisco's history. But when you go during the summer, it's always packed with tourists, and long lines just to get onboard. Muni also rips you off by charging $5 a ride, and it's unfair to the locals that sometimes depend on the route to get to work, and those that just want to enjoy the nice weekend.

Anyone who rides the F-line historic streetcars knows about how extremely crowded they are, and how long the lines are. Can't they just buy some more of those streetcars to fix with the overflow? Especially bad is that those tourists don't like to stand in the back, and that upsets me because I can't get onboard while I'm screaming at people telling them to move back! What are you afraid of back there? If you believe that's where the "bad" people sit there, we've got a big problem.

Pier 39 is the worst of the worst of tourist traps. High prices on food and products, floods of tourists snapping their cameras away, and parking so expensive that the local resident's wallet would scream in pain because it is empty.

But the nice thing about being a local, you get to push and mess around with the tourists. One time, I was going down the ramp to exit the Pier 39 garage, and some bozo with an SUV stopped in the lane and went to prepay his ticket at the machine. I honked my horn for an entire minute because (1) they knew that they were supposed to prepay before exiting, (2) the machines were at each pedestrian entrance to the garage, (3) and you don't just park your car on the main road to get out!

Some tourists are also extremely STUPID, and I really mean STUPID. Here's a great example. I'm driving home from some grocery shopping in Daly City's Trader Joes, and when I pass by the Zoo on Great Highway, I see a family of four: husband and wife, an older daughter, and a grandfather with a cane. I noticed about 500 feet away that the husband and wife crossed over a barrier to get across (j-walk) the first two lanes of the Great Highway. The grandfather and daughter were waiting for their chance to cross too.

Here's what's so STUPID! Why attempt to cross a road that has a speed limit of 45, has no traffic spacing (there is no traffic signal before the j-walking site), cars frequently driving on the road, and why have an old guy who has a cane attempt to illegally j-walk?

Tourists in downtown are especially stupid to attempt to cross on Geary Blvd. at Powell when the signal clearly says not to do so. But they sure try. Now whenever I drive through that intersection, I have to have my hand ready on the horn to tell them to move the F---- back! It's my green light, not yours!

Let's summarize my rants
Tourism sucks when you live in a city full of tourists
Yes, it is good for the economy, thanks Mayor Newsom, but I still hate tourists
Pay attention! Follow the rules and laws, and you won't get hit by a car!

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