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San Francisco Enlists Bus Cameras For Traffic Law Enforcement 151

Posted by timothy
from the move-along-citizen-and-watch-your-mail dept.
Lashat writes with news that San Francisco's Muni bus system has outfitted 30 buses so far with "cameras capable of snapping photos of vehicles illegally traveling or parking in The City's transit-only lanes," and that 15 months from now, all of Muni's 819 buses will be equipped with the cameras: drivers caught on tape violating the bus lanes will be subject to fines of up to $115. 'The cameras have been instrumental in changing driver behavior. When cars see a bus coming, they get the hell out of the way now,' said John Haley, transit director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni. Now for the scary part: 'We're starting to get a lot of experience with cameras,' said Haley. 'With all the footage, I'm starting to feel a bit like Cecil B. Demille.'"
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San Francisco Enlists Bus Cameras For Traffic Law Enforcement

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  • Re:Temptation (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dupple (1016592) on Saturday February 11, 2012 @12:07PM (#39005009)

    There is a similar system in place in London. Taxi's and motorcycles are able to share bus lanes.

    This report from 2007 show's the enforcement cameras are improving things in London

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/static/corporate/media/newscentre/archive/6042.html [tfl.gov.uk]

    After that it get's more complicated because congestion charging at peak times has come into effect for traffic entering the centre of the city

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2012 @12:08PM (#39005015)

    Apparently.

    From the FAQ:

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    Below and to the right of each comment is a small "Anti"[looks like a flag to me -AC] symbol; click on this, and (optionally) explain why you consider the comment abusive. (Slashdot discussions are and should be robust; only cry "Abuse!" for comments that are utterly without redeeming value -- spam, racist ranting, etc. For everything else, use the other moderation options.) Reported comments will be reviewed and moderated by the editors, if appropriate.

  • by ArcCoyote (634356) on Saturday February 11, 2012 @12:46PM (#39005247)

    I might be mistaken, but I do believe in Baltimore, bus drivers have the authority to issue citations. I once parked in a bus stop and didn't realize it, I'm pretty sure the ticket was written by the driver.

  • Re:Temptation (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2012 @01:12PM (#39005471)

    At least where I live, the public bus only runs between certain operating hours during the day. Normal traffic is allowed to drive in a bus lane outside of those hours, and those hours are posted on signs by that lane every 10ish miles or so.
    The lanes are only "exclusive" for 1/3rd of the day, and so not as large of a waste as you imply.

    If they wanted the lane to be 100% exclusive, they should have put in train tracks, and instead of normal road safe buses, just use trolleys.
    Most people do not argue the right-of-way between cars and trains. Likewise, most people do not attempt to drive up on train tracks. (For the record however, I've seen both happen. The first more so than the second, as people feel being 5 feet closer to the red light will somehow aid their situation)

    In fact it would be pretty hilarious if they installed cow-catchers on the front of the buses! Not too helpful against other vehicles, but none the less hilarious to see the attempt!

    On my normal work-home commute, there is a particular intersection with traffic light, that has a rail road crossing across it. There is room for exactly three cars between the intersection line, and the rail road line.
    If you are the 4th car waiting to go that way, you are supposed to stay behind the tracks.
    Apparently tons of people seem to think "Well if a train comes before the light turns green, I'll have to wait even longer... I know, I'll stop on the tracks, that will greatly improve my situation!" and proceed to do just that.

    I wish there was a way for these idiots to experience the end results of their logic, without risking other peoples lives in a train derailment.
    I have however seen one pickup truck hit by a train stopped over the tracks, totally destroyed, and no derailment happened.
    He did fuck up traffic there pretty bad for a few hours.
    I have no doubt in my mind that he blamed/blames the train for that too.
    Unfortunately he made it out of his vehicle before the train hit it too :/
    If there was any sanity left in the system, not only should he have permanently lost his driving license, but should have been opened to lawsuits from all the rest of us around there who he put at risk. Had the train derailed, many more people would have been killed due to his stupidity.

    Hell he should have been charged with attempted manslaughter once for each other car within 100 feet of that track, plus anyone on the train.
    When I caught the story on the news, all they mentioned was suspended license (implying he can and will get it back eventually) and points on his insurance :/

  • Re:Flag Button (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2012 @01:23PM (#39005537)

    Seems like it changed around Feb. 9th. Here's Google's cache of the old moderation page of the FAQ:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:KMxelxNspVkJ:http://slashdot.org/faq/com-mod.shtml+slashdot+institutes+new+flag+abuse+comment+system&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=Mxw&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&gbv=1&prmd=imvns&strip=1

    Here's Slashdot's previous policy on comments and moderation:

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    No. We believe that discussions in Slashdot are like discussions in real life- you can't change what you say, you only can attempt to clarify by saying more. In other words, you can't delete a comment that you've posted, you only can post a reply to yourself and attempt to clarify what you've said.

    In short, you should think twice before you click that 'Submit' button because once you click it, we aren't going to let you Undo it.

    Why did my comment get deleted?

    The only time we ever delete comments is if the comment contains malformed HTML that is somehow causing Slashdot to fail to display properly. Comments are not deleted on the basis of content. At this point, however, it shouldn't be a big worry. The comment engine is reasonably bulletproof, and it's pretty tough to post a comment that breaks Netscape.

    If you posted a comment and you don't see it now, it may have been moderated down below your threshold (see below). If you set your threshold to -1, you should be able to see it again.

    This is a rather huge change in comment policy that wasn't preceded by any announcement on the site that I can find (honestly, I didn't look very hard, though). Were subscribed Slashdot users notified by this change?

  • Re:Peterbilt parking (Score:5, Informative)

    by adenied (120700) on Saturday February 11, 2012 @01:30PM (#39005577)

    Not having a car in SF is great if you live near the Market St. tunnel and need to get somewhere on that stretch of the city. Otherwise it's pretty horrible. Sure there's buses and Muni Metro trains that will get you most places, but due to the layout of the city it will generally take you 3x longer to get somewhere via mass transit than driving. As long as this is the case people will keep their cars, even when there's horrible traffic.

    That and in many cases Muni buses will be extremely late or bunched up. It's not rare to see Nextbus saying 30+ minutes and this during what are peak travel times. For me it's often faster to walk if the distance is less than 2 miles. This is not an option for a lot of people unfortunately.

    Also, what do you do if you live in SF but regularly leave the city? Mass transit is OK for specific things, but Caltrain and BART can only get you so far. I work in Mountain View but will soon need to commute to Campbell a day or two a week. To take mass transit I'd have to take multiple Muni buses or trains or take one and walk a mile, take Caltrain, and then get on VTA somewhere in South Bay. At best my commute will be 2 hours one way and if there's any hiccup and I miss the 5 minute transfer window between Caltrain and VTA it's closer to 2 1/2 to 3 hours. When I can drive down 280 in an hour or so this becomes unacceptable as much as I would prefer to be on a train.

    As long as the transit options in the Bay Area are as poor as they are cars will be a necessity for many people. SF would be awesome without them but I just don't see it as feasible. Makes me envy everyone I know who lives in London and NYC.

    If we had transit like NYC or London then I'd be all about getting rid of cars.

  • by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot on Saturday February 11, 2012 @02:28PM (#39006007) Homepage

    There's no automation. Flagged comments will be sent to the editors to review. Our two options once we see them will be to ignore the report or to downmod the comment.

    The comments will still be readable for anyone who wants to browse at -1. The purpose is simply to more quickly find and downmod spam and things like the racist copypastas.

    If you're curious, there were about 60 reported comments when I pulled up the page this afternoon (including the one I'm responding to). I've gone through half so far, and haven't downmodding any yet today.

  • by ciurana (2603) on Saturday February 11, 2012 @02:45PM (#39006145) Homepage Journal

    Howdy!

    I split my time between my homes in San Francisco and Moscow, and more than 50% of my time I'm traveling around major cities in Europe and Asia. I seldom use cars in Moscow, London, Paris, Tokyo, or pretty much anywhere else where trains, metro, buses, trolley cars, etc. are available. I never owned a car or motorcycle anywhere in Europe or in Tokyo because I just don't need to. If necessary, I rent a car for a day or two, then it's back to the metro.

    Public transportation in San Francisco just *sucks* in comparison to other cities, both in the US and worldwide. My beloved city (SF!) doesn't have the flexibility of underground trains like NYC or DC do. MUNI is a joke -- they have lots of buses that have the most inefficient passenger pickup areas in the world -- never have I seen a bus line with bus stops at almost every flipping corner along the route, like in San Francisco. Taxis? More suckiness. Trains? Forget it. San Francisco without your own wheels becomes a pain in the ass very fast.

    "The bus system was great!" - try planning your trip by bus, and being on time without having to leave too early, from any point in San Francisco to your destination within the city. You often have to wait for 20-30 minutes without a bus in sight, then four or five come together, in a bunch, because the MUNI drivers decided to take a smoke or lunch break and end it at the same time. This is a far cry from a place like say, Zurich or Oslo, cities of the same approximate area and with a high automobile density, where the bus schedule is met at exact times (e.g."next bus will be a 10:43" and it shows up at exactly that time).

    I love San Francisco more than any place in the world. Hearing someone praise its public transportation, though, is like hearing someone praise my mentally handicapped kid brother's arithmetic ability as if he were solving differential equations.

    Cheers!

  • Re:Peterbilt parking (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2012 @04:18PM (#39006769)

    And so speaks some utterly clueless twenty something hipster. A life style tourist who spends 5 or 10 years here going to college, partying, "working" at some non-profit non-job but who then discovers that when they actually want to grow up and get a real life that all the politically trendy bien pensant policies they have been pushing so hard while living in the City means that there are no real jobs, housing is ludicrously expensive due to no growth policies and the public schools and services are worthless due to massive one party institutional corruption. And so they clear out of SF back to whatever podunk town they came from leaving SF a complete shambles due to their self-indulgent hypocrisy.

    There is no car problem in SF. The recent recession has cleared out enough of the waste of space hipster types (just like it did in the early 90's) so that parking is no longer a problem in most parts of SF. In fact I have not seen so much parking in almost 30 years. Of course if you have actually lived in SF for decades and had to make a living here you would know that. Because the real locals actually know where all the good parking spots are no matter where you are in the City. I've never had any problems getting around or finding parking.

    The latest insanity in SF is that the 3% of the city population who cycle regularly (70% in SF drive) , who are overwhelming young, white and middle class short term residents, have forced through a huge bike lane program where around 90% of the lanes are in areas where the weekly usage would be in the single / low double digit range. They have removed full road lanes on busy arterial routes for these unused bike lanes causing peak hour back ups on routes where there had never been any previous hold ups. Typical of these arrogant people. Demanding huge public subsides so that they can indulge in their sanctimonious "lifestyle" posturing while other people who are just trying to make a living have even more of their time wasted by these follies.

  • Bus lanes confusing (Score:4, Informative)

    by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Saturday February 11, 2012 @05:00PM (#39007107) Homepage

    last time the wife and I visited San Francisco we unknowingly got caught in a bus lane and had to go a block or so to get out. Hope there is some leeway for us idiot drivers who don't understand San Francisco bus lanes.

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