Transit Sleuth Weekly Picture (010)

Double hitter for today, also from San Francisco.

San Francisco Streetcar o' the PCC Era

San Francisco Streetcar o’ the PCC Era

San Francisco, Italian Streetcar

San Francisco, Italian Streetcar

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Average American Lifestyle, What’s Your Excuse?

I’ve left the rat race of the car driving, fast food eating, sprawl living, Nintendo/Xbox/Playstation playing, boob tube watching day to day – or what millions in America call life – and even though there shouldn’t be excuses for living so poorly, I’m collecting what people have heard. So, what have YOU heard people say as an excuse for not living better? For not taking transit or riding a bike to take care of more things in their life? What about for eating fast food, what’s the excuse there?

Please leave comments and such!  Cheers!

Yup... rat race racing...

Yup… rat race racing…

Back in the Photography Game – 7D Action

When I picked up my Canon 7D to start taking high res pictures, one of my main intents is to capture transit in action again. As I have in the past on this blog. This is a shot of the CL Portland Streetcar line just days after opening. Portland got a new streetcar line and I got a new Camera.

Transit Sleuth Weekly Picture (009)

Another market street shot of cyclists, buses, trolley buses, and even the Amtrak bus that goes to and from Emeryville with passengers from the Coast Starlight (and I assume other trains).

Market Street Traffic

Market Street Traffic

A Round About San Francisco

Boarded the MUNI #12 and headed back out to the Mission District. I’d just finished exploring San Francisco for the day. I’ve started writing this at 6:08pm on this the 14th of October, but the adventure started about 8 hours ago.

My night was spent in Bernal Heights, a pleasant neighborhood somewhat removed from downtown view by a large hill. As many things in San Francisco, it isn’t that this hill was anything special, just that it blocked view of anything and also required a high climb to get over it to board the BART, MUNI or to even drive into town.

It All Started

The day started by a steep climb up to Cortland Street and then boarded the #67 Bernal Heights bus to 24th and Folsom. There I had a mission, to check out the first of two coffee shops I wanted to check out; Phils Coffee and Sightglass Coffee. The two are perfectly aligned for a trip via the #67 to Phils, and then the #12 from Phils to Signtglass. Easy peasy.

I arrived at Phils after the massive climb and then drop up and over Bernal Heights on the #67. The buses they use for this route have to have some kind of serious torque for the climb, the hill being no joke. On the decline, we’re talking the same powerful brake to counter the torqued climb. Once down off the hill the route heads up Folsom with an end bound for transfer with the BART at 24th and Mission.

Upon arrival at Phils I analyzed the menu and ordered a coffee at the register. Only too late I noticed I needed to order at the pour over part of the counter. Doh! My mistake. The cashier smiled and pointed me in the right direction. I then ordered, properly this time, and then took a seat on a bench they have to wait for my dark abyss of caffeinated happiness. It arrived and I took a seat in a comfy chair akin to a recliner, without the recliner part. I unleashed my laptop and typed away at my direction and ideas for the day. After catching up with emails, easily 60+ of the things, I dove into playing around with some code and while multi-tasking, checking out the routes in the area on MUNI and figuring out what my lunch would be. I figured out that a deli sandwich would be good after I found the MUNI routes, and packed my computer and off to lunch.

I arrived at the place I wanted to eat, at 2:43pm only to realize that everyone was a little confused. This place was freaking packed with people eating whatever they might call it meal. 2nd lunch maybe, 1st dinner, maybe only the Hobbits of Lord of the Rings might know. With that realization of reality I walked a bit further and found a Thai Restaurant. Thus consuming some delicious yellow curry, I departed forthwith and decided instead of boarding the #12 I’d actually go ahead and walk to the BART at 24th and Mission to board and get into the city.

So with a late lunch, a cup of happy darkness, I entered the tunnels and boarded the BART to downtown. Within minutes a train arrived, I was whisked to downtown, and detrained at the Powell Street stop and started my walk to Folsom and 7th.

San Francisco Buildings are Hard to Get

Upon reaching 7th I turned left to walk the length of 7th toward Folsom. I kept my eyes peeled for Sightglass Coffee. The issues of course, harkens to this problem that San Francisco has. I’m not really sure it is considered a problem, but it can be until you get used to looking for extremely nondescript and downtrodden buildings that businesses are located in. Almost the entirety of SOMA is one big semi-gentrified multi-block region that has building that just look all torn up. Also, throw into the mix, that the buildings often have hidden or decayed signs, with streetscapes that are halfway destroyed, under construction or in some way appearing dilapidated  It makes it hard to actually find something, when often it doesn’t look like there is anything in the buildings anyway. But I do digress.

I finally saw it, or where it should be, across the street and walked across. Once I was about 4 feet in front of the main entrance it was obvious that this was the place. I walked in ready for round two of the black tar of caffeine goodness. The insides of Sightglass were impressive. Newly rebuilt or refinished, the inside was the complete opposite of the external street area. The counter was pretty cool too. I got my beverage and took a seat to hack out some code and finish various articles I needed to write up.

After a great hacking session (code & writing) I packed again and headed to the bus stop. There I boarded the #12 at Harrison and 4th to head off to transfer to the #67 back to my residence for the night. A short I put together…  of the Sightglass Coffee & the #12 arrival…

Once that trip was over I stopped by a small corner deli for some food and then waited for the #67. It arrived and off I rolled for the remainder of my day…

Rapid Ride is Rocking The Ridership in Seattle!

So it looks like the new C Rapid Ride line is by far more popular than the existing two (or I guess the one out to Ballard). Maybe I’m off, but I don’t even recall if they really so a legit ridership spike when the other two opened.

Good for Seattle though, getting that ridership up and people out of their cars! Money back into the economy instead of flowing out to middle eastern (or Russian) places.

Between this and Amazon buying streetcars for service in Seattle, they’re gettin’ some pretty decent bumps in ridership. Now they just need to work on the biking issue… they should be seeing larger numbers biking than do. Part of the crux is the extremely dangerous conditions downtown. How about a single road into and out of town that is bike only? Now that would be Seattle into an actual leadership position (well, maybe not next to Vancouver BC)!

Transit Sleuth Weekly Picture (008) – Market Street Cyclists & Streetcar in San Francisco

This next few weeks of the transit sleuth weekly picture is going to be shots from my trip to San Francisco for RICON 2012 & HTML 5 Developers Conference. After that I’ll have some of King County Transit’s Seattle psuedo BRT lines. Until then, enjoy.

Market Street Cyclists & Streetcar at Commuting Time

Market Street Cyclists & Streetcar at Commuting Time

I really like this shot, as it shows the beauty of San Francisco among all the chaos and busy of Market Street. The volume of cyclists these days since they fixed Market for real throughput, has been phenomenal! I’m highly impressed by this improvement in the city.

…and yes, for those counting, this is an “extra” picture for this week. 😉