Yes, it’s time for a rant again. San Francisco streets need lots of work. We aren’t back east where there’s lots of snow so they don’t need to update the roads as much here, but the street outside my house was last repaved in the early 70’s or maybe even the late 60’s. We have more potholes than pot dispensaries and those white circles spray painted around the smaller potholes are done by the SF Bike Coalition to keep bikers from being thrown into on coming traffic.
I am really beginning to hate driving in San Francisco. It isn’t pleasant and every bump in the road is making my teeth rattle. Giving that I also live in the Sunset district where the streets were built on sand makes roads shift up and down just to give you a bumpier ride. Heavily trafficked roads are the worst because they can’t always shut them down because of congestion and when they do getting anywhere seems impossible.
I drove in to my first day of work yesterday and had my nerves rattled pretty bad by all the potholes I hit along the way let alone the fix it bits that made my car bounce up and down. At time I thought my shocks might need adjusting, but since my car only has 44k on it the shocks should be fine. All the bumps do cause your wheels to need to be realigned every year or so unlike in other cities where they have smoother roads.
If you drive to Daly City just a few minutes from where I live the roads are like glass. You have to work hard to find a rough patch there, but in San Francisco just driving the speed limit makes you feel like your car is going to fall apart. Speaking of which I’ve had cars that have lost nuts and bolts because of how rattling the streets can be.
So please Mayor Ed Lee, lets do something to make the streets safer to drive on instead of having cops pull people over for driving 32mph in a 25mph zone.
“Here comes the rain again, falling on my head and it’s drizzly, falling on my head, but it’s not an ocean.” —with apologies to Annie Lennox.
Yes, we have some rain for the first time since the end of January. This contrary to what many people are thinking is not a bad thing. It used to be that San Francisco was a city with two kinds of weather, raining and gonna rain. I never remember it quite like that as there was a fair amount of heavy fog mixed in that my friends from Los Angeles who didn’t know better thought was rain. No that’s not rain, for you guys it’s rain when water from the sky stings your eyes and rusts out your cars.
San Francisco rain is different. It’s usually pretty mild and we have less stormy days with heavy rains than we do sunny days. Thank you global warming. I can’t even remember the last time I needed an umbrella when I went out in the rain, but I usually only had a short distance to walk to get to my car so that isn’t so bad. Here’s a few things that I like about San Francisco rain:
- I don’t have to water my garden: My father always disagreed with me on this. He was always out there every day rain or shine watering the lawn and the garden in the back. I have found this caused him to grow more weeds that he had to get out there on nice days to pull. Now while our lawn is a little patchy at the moment, but that’s from the gophers we had, we don’t have to run the sprinkler system from December to April cutting our water bill by tons.
- I don’t have to wash the car: Everyone’s car looks wet in the rain. When it’s dry out you have to think about how to make your car gleam and shine if you’re into trying to bag ultra sexy women who will drain your bank account, but I’m happily married and have no need to drain my already drained bank accounts for a piece of eye candy on my arm.
- It helps clean the dirt off the streets: Well, maybe not as much as a power sprayer, but you’d be surprised at how much dirt there is out there on your house and trees and cars. Previous to the rain of Monday morning my car was beginning to look like something from King Tut’s tomb when it was first opened now it looks brand new. San Francisco tends to have rather loose soil that is easily moved around by our rather breezy wind conditions so the rain helps this out somewhat, but it leads to another condition as well…
Pollen run off. This should have been number four, but it’s so big right now that it deserves its own section. When you’re walking down the streets you might see puddles with yellowy streaks running through them, kind of like the picture to the left, but not so much. I was reading sfgate.com about the upcoming storms and someone commented that they were happy because it would wash away the pollen and her allergies would go away for awhile.
I hadn’t really thought of that until we made our trip out to the local Trader Joe’s to try and find some produce that wasn’t already past it sale date. In the puddles as we were walking towards the doors to the shop you could see these yellow streaked puddles everywhere. I was wondering if it was really pollen or not and dropped pollen run off into google and found the picture to the left.
Yep, it is definitely pollen run off you’re seeing in the streets. The storms are supposed to be strongest Tuesday night through Wednesday so hopefully we will get all of this washed away and be left with a much cleaner city in the end. Somewhere along in my life I realized I had developed allergies to pollen and I have no idea why. I suppose I was having too much of a good time and the gods said, “This should fix that.” I’ve notice that I haven’t had as much need to blow my nose as much so I like the rain. It makes the plants grow for free and keeps our city clean. Now maybe if we could have it be a warm rain for a couple of days we could make it OK for the homeless to go naked and get a free shower and wash their clothes.
Everyone thinks that Lombard Street is the crookedest street in the world. Well while it’s sort of become a landmark of San Francisco for being such, I hate to tell you, but that’s not really true.
I do have to say it’s prettiest crooked street since either the residents or the city of San Francisco work hard to keep it looking nice for all the tourists who come to photograph the street or are stupid enough to bother to drive down the street [which yes, I have to admit I’ve done it as well], but it’s really only the best known crookedest street in San Francisco. There’s actually one that’s even more crooked and if you’re in a station wagon or large SUV you won’t be able to make the turns.
This is the street between 23rd street and Vermont street out in the Potrero district. It’s longer with tighter turns and my record for getting down the street is 25 seconds. You’ll have a hard time finding pictures of it, but I was able to find one after some hard searching. It’s not as spectacular and pretty boring, but I took my in-laws down Lombard Street when they were here and then drove them all the way out to the Potrero to get their opinion. I believe I might have had to hose out the car afterwards because it was a scary drive for them. It’s a real rollercoaster of a drive especially if I’m behind the wheel.
There were a few residents outside that we could hear them yelling, “SLOW DOWN!” thinking I had never driven this street before, but I’ve done this many times and had this trip down. This is an old picture and the weeds have been replaced by trees or overgrown weeds and lots of barriers to keep you from driving off and falling onto the freeway which is now to the right in the picture.
This part of Vermont street is kind of the ugly sister of Lombard. It’s not pretty, it’s tough to deal with and if you don’t understand her she will mess you up bad…real bad. I’ve told friends about Vermont and they’ve gone to check it out and several of them have bent fenders to show for it.[mappress mapid=”30″]
My dream for Vermont Street is that one day I’ll be able to rent a little Mini Cooper and shoot down at around 40 mph and see if I can break my record. I don’t recommend this for the faint of heart, but it is definitely the thrill ride in San Francisco and best of all, it’s FREE! Now I might end up catching some flack from people in San Francisco that don’t like me sharing this hidden little secret or perhaps the residents that don’t want people trying to sail down there to beat my time, but too bad. It’s San Francisco and I want people to know about it. There are even locals that don’t know about it.