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Panhandle gets red light camera

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Fell and Masonic
The skinny guy in the middle is a red-light camera, ready to catch scofflaws in the act at Fell & Masonic in The City. (Jim Herd/SFCitizen)

Red light violators at Fell and Masonic will soon receive in the mail the worst, most expensive photo of themselves since middle school.

Panhandle left-turning scofflaws, you’ve done it again. First, your impatience and ignorance toward bicyclists and pedestrians damned the Upper Haight neighborhood to a seemingly interminable wait for a very short left-turn light.

Now, your continued inability to play nice and share the street has brought out the real heavy artillery: A red light camera trained right at your license plate. Hope you’re happy.

Happy or not, a $360 ticket awaits anybody who continues to ignore the aggressive traffic controls put in place at this busy intersection. Even though the accidents at this intersection aren’t always the car’s fault.

Avoid some frustration at this intersection altogether with a savvy, native play. Take the bus.

Sure, but actually, if you must drive, take your left turn off of Fell a bit earlier at Baker, instead of Masonic. You still better watch the hell out for bikes and pedestrians heading into the Panhandle, or you didn’t hear this from us.

But you’ll find that most left turns onto Baker not only occur in the flow of traffic, but often times you’re greeted with a nice, friendly green light at Oak, which you can cross and head into the Upper Haight, avoiding the Masonic Street mess altogether.

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

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