Everyone who's been behind a wheel recently or been stuck in downtown traffic in a Lyft knows what Dianne Feinstein knows: Traffic in San Francisco is worse than it's ever been. Or at least worse than it's been in anyone's recent memory. The ride-share companies probably should get some of the blame for this, since they've added many hundreds of new cars to the streets, a lot of them driving in from elsewhere and roaming downtown all day. But you know what else is to blame: Ingrates who double park, "block the box," and generally don't know how to drive in a city.
As the Chronicle reports via some new data from the SFMTA, citations for blocking intersections i.e. driving into an intersection and getting stuck there when the light turns red, causing gridlock and blocking everyone from moving in the perpendicular direction have gone up threefold over last year, jumping from 4,652 in 2014 to a projected total of over 15,000 by the end of the year, which is in four days.
Also, double-parking tickets have gone up nearly 50 percent, from 22,072 to an anticipated 32,336. Amateurs!!
Now, the categories of ride-share drivers from out of town and people who double park or block intersections because they don't know how to drive in a city do, likely, overlap significantly. But with a booming economy and a consequent influx of people from the East, North, and South Bays driving into town for meetings not to mention heavy construction on major thoroughfares around Union Square and the Transbay District blocking lanes or entire streets we end up with a whole lot of idiot behavior from people who don't know how to operate in city traffic, don't know where they're going, and/or are in an extreme rush to get back onto a freeway where they're more comfortable.
Supervisor Scott Wiener says "we are not being consistent enough" when it comes to enforcement of box-blocking and double parking, and the Chron notes that at some downtown intersections, there is someone stuck blocking the box during nearly every light cycle.
In May, the SFMTA announced it would be stepping up enforcement of traffic violations during peak congestion times, which has clearly resulted in the big uptick in citations, however critics like Wiener say there still hasn't been any change in drivers' behavior.
It should be noted that citations for bike-lane blocking one of Stanley Roberts' constant pet peeves have also doubled, from 1,424 in 2014 to a projected 3,000 for 2015.
And, since 2010, both because of heightened enforcement and worsening behavior by drivers, citations for blocking intersections have gone from the low three figures annually to five figures, possibly rising nearly 1000 percent per this graph though an exact figure from 2010 is not provided there.