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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bad San Francisco DPW... Go to Time Out!

Since yesterday afternoon, the city closed down Upper Great Highway in both directions from Lincoln to Sloat. While I haven't heard any reasons why, it's likely due to the heavy winds from Sunday and Monday that caused the beach sand to pile up on the roadway. At this time, both directions are still shut down and most are taking Lower Great Highway.

As usual procedure, if DPW must shut down either direction (or both) of the Upper Great Highway portion, the city must always put Lincoln and Sloat on 4-way stop. They do this so drivers become aware of the steel barricades closing-off the road.

When the city fails to do their job and keeps the intersection signals on a three color cycle, it puts drivers at higher risk for collisions and cars making the left turn going west on Lincoln to go south on Upper Great Highway won't notice the barricade until it is too late (a huge blind spot).

I've warned the city multiple times of the dangers of not switching to 4-way stop when that road is closed, and it happened again. When it was closed yesterday afternoon, I called the DPT hotline and the call was forwarded to "public safety" where I informed the lady why I was calling and expected someone to fix it as soon as they can.

When I arrived at Great Highway & Lincoln at 8AM today, the signals were still running on three colors and many cars were running the red light to make the turn. I called DPT again and got someone from the signal shop to explain the issue. Even then, the guy didn't even believe me that both directions of Upper Great Highway was shut down and he said that DPW is responsible for fixing the signals in the event the road must be closed.

For the love of god, I've had to tell the city over a dozen times in just a year about this exact problem. This city government is an insult and there are no excuses for continuously screwing up.


Tom Prete said...

The four-way flashing red is a fine idea with one overwhelming problem: Many drivers have not the slightest idea what to do when they see a flashing red. I've seen many near-accidents at Sloat/GrtHwy when the flashing reds are on. When there is little traffic things usually work themselves out, but when there's a lot of traffic it's a different story. Perhaps it's because the intersection is so broad, but the turn-taking that occurs at a normal four-way stop doesn't happen when there's a lot of traffic. People just charge through, go out of turn, hesitate indefinitely, and so on. When there is any substantial volume of traffic at Sloat/GrtHwy I think the flashing red is far more dangerous than just leaving the normal lights on and having everyone wait out the signals for the closed direction.

Akit said...

Tom: You have a good opinion, but leaving it on normal lights also has its problems too. Sideswipes from cars is risky especially when a green light means four lanes going southbound becomes two going eastbound at GH/Lincoln. At least on 4-way, drivers use a little more caution and drive slower.

Akit said...

My biggest concern of leaving the lights on regular cycle is there is not a large margin of time to slow down before reaching the barricades closing the stretch.

The speed limit is 35, and cocky drivers who don't notice the barricades (especially at night) and just sees a green will just speed through and destroy the barricades and their vehicle. Just last month, some idiot driver destroyed another barrier.