Wrong-side Car – What Would You Do?

I was driving down Diamond Heights Boulevard toward the Safeway. Just before you enter the parking lot, the road slopes down from the Stop sign and splits.  It has a center divide with shrubs and trees, intersected by a couple of gaps that allow you to make a left when you leave the parking lot. The whole area is dimly lit at night. Prime accident territory. A few years ago, I saw a lady in an older car come out of the parking lot, trying to cross the median strip to turn left when another car came zooming down the road and hit her. They both ended up in the median; I hope no one was hurt. car with headlightsToday, I was just entering the dark downslope when I saw headlights … on the wrong side of the road.  A car was facing me.

He’d obviously exited the parking lot, missed the gap in the verge, and turned into the oncoming traffic. I could imagine a head-on collision happening in the next few seconds; it would only take one heedless driver going too fast. So I put on my hazard lights and angled my car across both lanes of traffic and stopped. All the wrong-side driver needed was a few minutes and a clear space to turn around.

Most cars behind me stopped. A few beeped lightly, wondering what was happening. And a few others just nudged past my car. One driver just swerved wildly and zoomed by. My little car really couldn’t block a two lanes effectively. I was relying on other drivers to realize that something was wrong, and hoping they’d give the wrong-side guy a chance to turn his car. But evidently, not everyone did, or maybe they were in a hurry and didn’t care. It did however give the wrong-side car a chance to pull over out of the traffic. I pulled over myself and waited. When he had an opportunity, he did a 3-point turn and got himself facing in the right direction. Everything quickly cleared up. A few minutes later a police car cruised by, perhaps called by one of the people in the traffic. By then, there was nothing to see. But I wondered – what is the appropriate thing to do? What would you have done?

SFMTA Approved Speed Cushions for Warren, Speed Humps for Oak Park

Not so likely now!
Not so likely now!

I got an email from Dan Provence of SFMTA. The measures –  speed humps on Oak Park Drive, and speed cushions on Warren Drive – were approved. This is from the e-mail:

Thank you for all of the input regarding the proposed speed humps on Oak Park and the proposed speed cushions on Warren.  The ballot results found that 89% of responding households were in favor of speed humps on Oak Park and 67% of responding households were in favor of speed cushions on Warren.  We also received 6 emails in favor of the proposals and 3 emails against.  These were presented to the public hearing officer prior to the hearing for consideration.  At the hearing were several residents in favor of the proposals and none opposed.  All of the measures were approved.

We will work with the Department of Public Works to schedule construction and we will be in touch with more details soon.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Dan Provence, Livable Streets Subdivision

He’s at:

SFMTA | Municipal Transportation Agency , Sustainable Streets Division
1 South Van Ness Ave, 7th floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415.701.4448
Fax: 415.701.4343

email: Dan.Provence@sfmta.com

(Note: The photo is of a 2011 accident on Devonshire, but it’s the kind of thing we fear could happen elsewhere.)

Aug 2, 2013 Hearing: Speed Controls on Warren Drive

CORRECTION: AUGUST 2, 2013 at 10 A.M.!

Drunken CarWe’re nearly there on the speed bumps for Warren Drive!  The majority of the neighbors voted for it. This means it’s going on to the next stage, a public hearing.  That’s on August 2nd 3rd at 10 a.m. in Room 416 at City Hall.

What they’re proposing to install are ‘speed cushions.’ Those are even better than speed bumps, being gentler and less noisy. They are “lower and wider” than the usual speed-bumps, and have indentations so buses can pass by without bumping.  (I’ve driven over these things elsewhere, and they really do slow you down without axle-wrecking bumps.)

As many readers know, neighbor Beverly Mack has been working since 2008 to get traffic improvements on Warren Drive, which sometimes becomes a dangerous speed track. Now she – and the neighborhood – need your support to get it done. Please attend if you can, and send a letter (or email) in support if you can’t to Dan.Provence@sfmta.com.

These things could save lives.

speedcushions warren drive

Traffic Calming for Forest Knolls, Soon?

flensed carReaders of this blog may remember that neighbor Beverly Mack has been working since 2008 to get some traffic calming for Warren Drive and Oak Park. If you’d like to read about that, the details are in my September 2012 post: Traffic Calming on Warren Drive: When?

Well, we have Action! SFMTA will be sending round letters and ballots to us all with a proposal for traffic calming. I’m not sure what it will be (Beverly asked for speed bumps).

But – when you get the letter and ballot, please respond! You could be saving lives.

Here’s what SFMTA wrote to Beverly:

From: “Provence, Dan” <Dan.Provence@sfmta.com>
To: “Beverly Mack (bmack4paws@sbcglobal.net)” <bmack4paws@sbcglobal.net>
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2013 3:17 PM
Subject: Traffic Calming on Warren and Oak Park

Hi Beverly,

I wanted to let you know that soon you and your neighbors will be receiving letters and ballots regarding traffic calming on your street.  The proposal included in the letter has been approved by various City departments and now it is up to residents to decide whether or not they would like to proceed with traffic calming measures.  I will be out of the office next week but I will be available beginning July 8 to answer any questions.


Dan Provence
Livable Streets Subdivision

SFMTA | Municipal Transportation Agency
Sustainable Streets Division
1 South Van Ness Ave, 7th floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415.701.4448
Fax: 415.701.4343
email: Dan.Provence@sfmta.com

Daly City Traffic Mess: 11-17 June, 2012

Someone sent me this notification, and I’m posting it here in case anyone’s planning to drive out the week of June 11.

Daly City is bracing for large crowds the week of June 11-17 as golf fans converge on the Olympic Club for the 2012 US Open. Widely regarded as the premier golf event of the year, the US Open is expected to draw more than 200,000 spectators during the week. Although the golf course is located in San Francisco, a majority of the fans attending the event will pass directly through Daly City, potentially causing unprecedented traffic delays in the area near the Olympic Club.

Officials from the United States Golf Association (USGA) have planned ways to mitigate traffic in Daly City, but transporting 200,000 people to the Olympic Club in a single week will undoubtedly affect regular traffic flow along John Daly Boulevard between Junipero Serra Boulevard and Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard).


  • John Muir Drive will be closed to the general public for the duration of the event (residents who live at Lakewood Apartments will be issued parking permits and will be granted access from southbound Highway 35 in the eastbound direction only).
  • Highway 35 will be closed to all northbound traffic between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. during the U.S. Open. Only one lane of southbound Highway 35 (the western-most lane) will remain open to the public.
  • Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Highway 35 north of the Highway 1 interchange in Pacifica. Highway 1 and I-280 are the preferred north/south alternate routes during the U.S. Open.


  • Fans planning to attend the U.S. Open are encouraged to take advantage of free parking at Candlestick Park.  The USGA has arranged free shuttle service from Candlestick Park to the Olympic Club (and back) throughout the event.
  • A shuttle for BART riders will be available from the Colma Station. Absolutely no event parking is available near the Olympic Club.


  • The Olympic Section of Westlake (the neighborhood north of John Daly Boulevard, between Highway 35 and Lake Merced Boulevard) will be accessible only to residents and their guests. On-street parking in the Olympic Section during the U.S. Open will require a permit.
  • Westlake Park, the Doelger Senior Center, Larcombe Clubhouse and the Pacelli Events Center will not be open from Monday, June 11 through Sunday, June 17.
  • The Library and Recreation Services Administration offices will be staffed and open for phone inquiries Monday, June 11 through Friday, June 15. However, no parking will be available for drop-in visitors or in-person registration. If you need assistance from the Library and Recreation Services Department during the U.S. Open, please call (650) 991-8001 or FAX (650) 991-0303.

All Daly City facilities will re-open Monday, June 18 barring any play-off rounds.

For more information about the 2012 U.S. Open, visit www.usopen.com. For more information and a map of the roads around the Olympic Club CLICK HERE.

Beware Speeding on Panorama Drive

If you’re like me, you may use Panorama Drive to cut across the hill to get to Tower Market or Safeway or just onto Portola. We need to bear in mind that it is actually a residential neighborhood. Apparently people have been speeding, and residents have been complaining.

So the police are acting. Here’s from Captain Feeney in the Park Station newsletter:

Speeders Beware!
Radar trailers have been deployed on Roosevelt and on Panorama in Midtown Terrace. Where there are radar trailers there will sometimes be officers with radar guns to enforce the speed limits in these areas. Do not assume that the trailer is out there for decoration and for us to say we have done something about improving traffic safety. We cannot be everywhere all of the time but when we are, beware! We will take enforcement action. We have received several complaints about these and other locations throughout the Park District and I assure you that we will address each of them at one time or another. Please slow down and be considerate of those who live on the street you drive on. If you or your friends drive on Roosevelt or Panorama, slow down or risk becoming a statistic.