SF politicians, bicyclists and others gear up for bike lane changes

Supervisor Hillary Ronen is living in fear.

Her husband takes their young daughter to school nearly every day on the back of his bicycle and, nearly every day, she’s haunted by mental imagery of the two of them being doored or sideswiped or otherwise coming to grief on Valencia Street. San Francisco’s major cycling artery is also ground zero for Uber and Lyft drop-offs and pick-ups, a mixture about as combustible and ominous as locating a match factory next to the lighter fluid depot.

These are the sorts of things that wander into Ronen’s mind during endless public comment sessions in Board of Supervisors meetings.

Valencia Street forms the border between Ronen’s District 9 and Supervisor Jeff Sheehy’s District 8. Sheehy — who worked as a bike messenger when he arrived in this city in 1988 to underwrite food, beer and $300-a-month rent — recently donned an aggressively yellow shirt and served as a human protected bike lane.

So, the supervisors overseeing both sides of the street are on the record in calling for protected bike lanes to keep Ronen’s family and Sheehy’s bike-messenger successors from tragically commingling with some dude in an Uber. Everyone says they want the same thing — but San Francisco is a peculiarly political town. And, very much in spite of our self-styled reputation for progressiveness, it’s also a place that’s often stridently opposed to change.

Right now, everyone is, ostensibly, on the same page. But this book is long.

When bike lanes were first proposed for Valencia Street, Department of Parking and Traffic boss Bill Maher had a succinct message: “Over my dead body.”

Those lanes were installed in 1999. Maher is still alive and well.

So, clearly, this city’s relationship with cycling and cyclists has transformed, as has Valencia Street. Rather than mortal opposition, our elected leaders and city staff are growing increasingly amenable to cycling and are keen to reach out to what is now a constituency. But this city has a number of constituencies and, in this neighborhood and, specifically, with this proposed project, they’re commingling to the same degree as Ubers and bikes. This endeavor may end nearly as badly.

On Nov. 13, the Board of Supervisors will, all but certainly, greenlight a proposed $145,000 study on how Valencia Street’s bike lanes could be upgraded. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will be the body undertaking the work, but the Board expedited this process by offering to pay for the whole thing; Sheehy’s office will kick down $50,000 in transportation improvement funds. So, it’s clear that getting this study started, tout suite, is important for members of the board.

But that’s when things slow down. The study’s timeframe calls for its results to be presented in December of 2018. The crucial “stakeholder outreach” component of this study — i.e. finding out who is going to declare war on whom depending on what the study concludes — won’t be completed until September of next year. Actually doing the stuff the study recommends we do, if we actually do it, will take years more. And, all during that time, the scenarios that necessitated the study won’t be improving.

And perhaps that’s why, last week, Ronen proposed that Uber, Lyft and other app-hailed services stop picking up and dropping off riders on Valencia and instead pull onto the numerous side streets.

For San Franciscans who would have reveled at the sight of Travis Kalanick slinking off via the perp walk, this proposition was likely well-received. But Ronen knows she has no regulatory authority over app-hailed services; that’s the domain of the California Public Utilities Commission. And striking a “deal” with Uber et al. is a bit like Lando Calrissian trying to drive a hard bargain with Darth Vader. None of the city’s progressives, in fact, have much faith in Mayor Ed Lee to demand significant concessions from any manner of tech company.

And yet, those countless Ubers and Lyfts dropping off countless folks on Valencia aren’t doing so merely for the joy of driving through the Mission. “If you think restaurants are not going to freak out about not having Lyft and Uber doing pick-ups, well, that’s crazy,” summed up a longtime city official.

Ronen’s proposal was inspired by the well-meaning and understandable desire to keep cyclists from being run down. Everyone wants that. But no one wants to give up something that’s working for them. And this is why a year of studying this and proposing “solutions” may move everyone further apart rather than closer together.

Installing  protected bike lanes of the sort everyone professes to want on Valencia is going to require overcoming two sorts of obstacles: logistical and political. It’s not clear which will be more difficult.

Without tumbling too far down the rabbit hole of traffic minutiae, let’s discuss the physical problems first. These are significant. Several blocks of Valencia sit below overhead power lines and bus wires. This sets up a battle both with the SFMTA and the Fire Department. Pushing traffic further toward the middle of the street would potentially require a firefighter’s ladder to a burning building to go right through those wires — which is a nonstarter. There’s a long list of proposed cycling lanes that the Fire Department has held up over similar concerns, including a stretch on Upper Market that was approved by the Board and had the money earmarked and ready to go. Furthermore, any attempt to move those wires could trigger California Environmental Quality Act requirements. That’ll have a molasses effect on the process.

So, there’s trouble brewing with public city institutions. And, on other stretches of Valencia, private institutions may be spoiling for a fight.

On some blocks of Valencia, there’s a center turn lane. On some there isn’t. Removing that lane would allow the installation of bike and buffer zones without losing parking. But on the blocks where it’s not there, parking is going to have to come out. That will rankle people.

We’ve come a long way from Maher’s “over my dead body” era. There have been winners and losers over the past two decades as Valencia Street has hyper-gentrified. But, writ large, nobody can say that increased cycling amenities are incompatible with booming business.

Writ small, however, removing parking spots irritates business owners. Especially, City Hall officials note, if it’s their parking spot, the place in front of their business they arrive at early in the morning and where they feed the meter throughout the day. Times are changing, but some things never change.

Putting serious money into improving Valencia Street’s bike lanes, when much of the city isn’t nearly as safe and accommodating to cyclists, is a debatable decision. But Valencia is the backbone of the city’s cycling network and the place we’ve rolled out the green carpet for would-be riders. And, city officials tell us, if San Francisco can’t get it right on this street, then it can’t get it right, period.

“If ever there was a corridor on which to push progressive transportation policy, it’s Valencia,” says one. “The merchants are young. The raw material is fabulous. I think the timing is right. Let’s just hope Hillary and Jeff work it out so it doesn’t become political.”

And let’s hope that, whatever we do, it’s done before Ronen is worried about her daughter riding around with a grandchild.

Source:-missionlocal.

Everything You Need to Know About For Honor’s Season Two Gear Changes

Everything You Need to Know About For Honor's Season Two Gear Changes

With Season Two of For Honor’s Faction War beginning tomorrow, Ubisoft implemented four distinct changes to gear. The developers aimed to reduce the gap between high and low level gear, have more stat varieties, show the actual stat values each piece carries, and introduce the Epic rarity sets. In addition, the costs to craft gear has been significantly reduced, though the salvage values after dismantling gear has been slightly reduced as well.

All of these gear changes will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC alongside For Honor Update 1.07, tomorrow on May 16.

Base Gear Stats

When you have basic gear (gear score zero), you should still added bonuses:

  • Arms: defense + 0.8%
  • Body: + 0.9%
  • Head: + 0.6%
  • Weapon 1: + 0.8%
  • Weapon 2: + 1.0%
  • Weapon 3: + 1.2%

For example: Weapon 1, 2, and 3 would be the blade, crossguard, and hilt, respectively.

Developer comments: We observed difficulties for certain players to play with new heroes without gear with the new gear values. To help this, default gear now has stats. To note, this does not apply when gear stats are disabled.

Epic Gear

Once Update 1.07 arrives, you should be able to scavenge Epic gear post-match if you are at least Reputation level five.

for honor season two gear

Because of the new gear rarity, the scavenging rules have been tweaked:

  • Rare gear loot rules changed from Reputation level one up to the end of Reputation level six to Reputation level one to the end of Reputation level four.
  • Heroic gear loot rules changed from Reputation level three until Reputation level 30 to Reputation level three to the end of Reputation level six.
  • Epic gear loot rules added to Reputation level five until Reputation level 30.

Developer comments: To accommodate the addition of the new gear, we tweaked the way the gear is looted. To make sure the progression is comfortable, we reduced the amount of levels at which could be looted Rare and Heroic gear.

Overall Gear Stats Revamp

for honor season two gear

Gear Stats have been rearranged on all stats bundles and gear slots:

  • Weapon 1: Attack, Defense Penetration, Block Damage
  • Weapon 2: Attack, Execution Regen, Revive Speed
  • Weapon 3: Attack, Revenge Gain, Revenge Mode Attack
  • Helm: Defense, Exhaustion Duration, Debuff Resistance
  • Chest: Defense, Revenge Mode Defense, Revenge Mode Duration
  • Arms: Defense, Stamina Use, Stamina Regen

Developer comments: To support all our balancing changes, we removed, merged and moved stats to better focus on interesting and varied builds, with more meaningful choices.

New Gear Stat Values

  • Lower rarity gear now has higher modifiers than before.

Developer comments: Common gear wasn’t impacting the gameplay as much as we would have liked. With higher starting values, gear of all levels now feels more satisfying.

  • Modifiers increase faster per level at lower rarities than at higher ones.

Developer comments: Players advising each other on gear strategies always said the same thing: Save your steel for Heroic gear. This means that many players saw very little gear progression until they got their first hero up to Reputation 3. Something that takes a long time. So by making the curve steeper at the low end and flatter at the top, we hope that players will see it as valuable to buy and craft gear of all rarities.

  • Stat penalties have been increased significantly.

Developer comments: Players were hard pressed to even notice the effect of their penalties at anything but the highest gear levels. We hope that by increasing the size of the penalties and removing skills that are of limited use we’ll make all your future gear decisions that much more interesting.

  • New type of stats offering only small and balanced bonuses even at high levels.

Developer comments: We needed to offer a more moderate option for players regarding gear, for players that liked the initial balance of the hero and didn’t want to upset it with powerful bonuses and penalties.

UI Change to Represent Gear Stats

for honor season two gear

  • You can now see the exact numeric values of all stat bonuses.

Developer comments: While gauges are excellent at showing relative strengths and weaknesses of the gear, it was hard to decipher the impact they would have on the gameplay. To actually allow players to make meaningful choices and know the effect of their gear, we changed it to numbers.

  • Added a proportional indicator when comparing gear

Developer comments: To allow to choice gear at a glance and evaluate gear quality, we added arrows right of the gear stat values when comparing gear.

Attack Stats No Longer Affect Feats

  • The gear stat Attack now only affects normal attacks and not Feats or Bleeds.

Developer comments: Having gear affect feats and bleed was both hard to understand and very powerful at higher levels.

New Crafting Prices

Here are the new Salvage Material costs to improve gear:

  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Common gear
    • From: Level 1: 20 / Level 2: 30 / Level 3: 40 / Level 4: 50 / Level 5: 60
    • To: Level 1: 10 / Level 2: 13 / Level 3: 16 / Level 4: 19 / Level 5: 23
  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Rare gear
    • From: Level 1: 100 / Level 2: 150 / Level 3: 200 / Level 4: 250 / Level 5: 300
    • To: Level 1: 55 / Level 2: 80 / Level 3: 110 / Level 4: 130 / Level 5: 155
  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Heroic gear
    • From: Level 1: 260/ Level 2: 390 / Level 3: 530 / Level 4: 660 / Level 5: 790
    • To: Level 1: 195 / Level 2: 255 / Level 3: 295 / Level 4: 335 / Level 5: 375
  • Upgrade Cost in salvage material for Epic gear
    • Level 1: 400/ Level 2: 520 / Level 3: 650 / Level 4: 800 / Level 5: 960

Here are the new Steel costs to improve gear:

  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Common gear
    • From: Level 1: 30 / Level 2: 55 / Level 3: 75 / Level 4: 100 / Level 5: 125
    • To: Level 1: 25 / Level 2: 30 / Level 3: 35 / Level 4: 40 / Level 5: 45
  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Rare gear
    • From: Level 1: 150 / Level 2: 170/ Level 3: 195 / Level 4: 220 / Level 5: 245
    • To: Level 1: 75 / Level 2: 85 / Level 3: 95 / Level 4: 105 / Level 5: 115
  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Heroic gear
    • From: Level 1: 270/ Level 2: 290 / Level 3: 315 / Level 4: 340 / Level 5: 360
    • To: Level 1: 150 / Level 2: 170 / Level 3: 190 / Level 4: 210 / Level 5: 230
  • Upgrade Cost in steel for Epic gear
    • Level 1: 270/ Level 2: 290 / Level 3: 315 / Level 4: 340 / Level 5: 360

Here are the updated salvage values rewarded by dismantling gear:

  • Salvage Value for Common gear (unchanged)
    • From: Level 1: 5 / Level 2: 6 / Level 3: 7 / Level 4: 8 / Level 5: 9 / Level 6: 10
  • Salvage Value for Rare gear
    • From: Level 1:30 / Level 2: 35/ Level 3: 45 / Level 4: 50 / Level 5: 55 / Level 6: 65
    • To: Level 1: 20 / Level 2: 23 / Level 3: 26 / Level 4: 29 / Level 5: 32 / Level 6: 35
  • Salvage Value Heroic gear
    • From: Level 1: 95/ Level 2: 110 / Level 3: 125 / Level 4: 145 / Level 5: 165 / Level 6: 190
    • To: Level 1: 55 / Level 2: 60 / Level 3: 65 / Level 4: 70 / Level 5: 75 / Level 6: 80
  • Salvage Value for Epic gear
    • Level 1: 100/ Level 2: 115 / Level 3:130 / Level 4: 145 / Level 5: 160 / Level 6: 175

Developer comments: Our data showed players had a hard time to level up new heroes and would not craft early gear as much while having an excess of crafting material at higher levels. To improve this, we changed the cost of steel and crafting material as well as salvage value for gear. We hope to offer a smoother curve while keeping higher level gear a long term goal for high level players.

All of For Honor’s gear changes and class changes in Update 1.07 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on May 16.

Get into our YouTube channel to find out which games are worth your money this month, including PREY and INJUSTICE 2.

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7th Pay Commission: Changes In Pension, Defence Pay Matrix And More

The Cabinet had in June last year approved implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations

he Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved important proposals relating to modifications in the 7th pay commission recommendations on pay and pensionary benefits including those of defence forces. The benefit of the modifications will be available with effect from January 1, 2016, the date of implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations. The Cabinet had in June last year approved implementation of the 7th pay commission’s recommendations with an additional financial outgo of Rs. 84,933 crore for 2016-17 (including arrears for 2 months of 2015-16). With the increase approved by the Cabinet, the annual pension bill alone of the central government is likely to be Rs. 1,76,071 crore.

Here are highlights of some of the important decisions of the Cabinet:

The Cabinet approved modifications in the recommendations of the 7th pay commission relating to the method of revision of pension of pre-2016 pensioners and family pensioners based on suggestions made by the committee chaired by Secretary (Pensions).
The modified formulation of pension revision approved by the Cabinet will entail an additional benefit to the pensioners and an additional expenditure of approximately Rs. 5,031 crore for 2016-17 over and above the expenditure already incurred in revision of pension as per the second formulation based on fitment factor.

It will benefit over 55 lakh pre-2016 civil and defence pensioners and family pensioners. In order to provide the more beneficial option to the pensioners, the Cabinet has accepted the recommendations of the Committee, which has suggested revision of pension based on information contained in the Pension Payment Order (PPO) issued to every pensioner.

The Cabinet also approved the retention of percentage-based regime of disability pension implemented after sixth pay commission, which the 7th pay commission had recommended to be replaced by a slab-based system. The decision which will benefit existing and future defence pensioners would entail an additional expenditure of approximately Rs. 130 crore per annum.

The Cabinet has approved further modifications in the pay structure and the three Pay Matrices, i.e. Civil, Defence and Military Nursing Service (MNS).

The 7th pay commission had recommended a compact Pay Matrix for Defence Forces personnel keeping in view the number of levels, age and retirement profiles of the service personnel. The Ministry of Defence raised the issue that the compact nature of the Defence Pay Matrix may lead to stagnation for JCOs or junior commissioned officers in Defence Forces and proposed that the Defence Pay Matrix be extended to 40 stages. The Cabinet decision to extend the Defence Pay Matrix will benefit the junior commissioned officers who can continue in service without facing any stagnation till their retirement age of 57 years.

Index of Rationalisation or IOR for Levels 12 A (Lt. Col. and equivalent) and 13 (Colonel and equivalent) in the Defence Pay Matrix and Level 13 (Director and equivalent) in the Civil Pay Matrix has been increased from 2.57 to 2.67: Variable IOR ranging from 2.57 to 2.81 has been applied by the 7th CPC to arrive at Minimum Pay in each Level on the premise that with enhancement of Levels from Pay Band 1 to 2, 2 to 3 and onwards, the role, responsibility and accountability increases at each step in the hierarchy.

This principle has not been applied in respect of Levels 12A (Lt. Col. And equivalent), 13 (Colonel and equivalent) and 13A (Brigadier and equivalent) of Defence Pay Matrix and Level 13 (Director and equivalent) of the Civil Pay Matrix on the ground that there was a disproportionate increase in entry pay at the level pertaining to GP 8700 in the 6ht pay commission regime. The IOR for Level 13A (Brigadier and equivalent) in the Defence Pay Matrix has already been revised upwards with the approval of the Cabinet earlier. In view of the request from Ministry of Defence for raising the IOR for Levels 12 A and 13 of the Defence Pay Matrix and requests from others, the IOR for these levels has been revised upwards to ensure uniformity of approach in determining the IOR.

To ensure against reduction in pay, benefit of pay protection in the form of Personal Pay was earlier extended to officers when posted on deputation under Central Staffing Scheme (CSS) with the approval of Cabinet. The benefit will also be available to officers coming on Central Deputation on posts not covered under the CSS.

 

 

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Twitter Changes Product Head for Third Time in a Year

Twitter Changes Product Head for Third Time in a Year
Twitter Inc appointed Keith Coleman, founder of startup Yes Inc, as head of its product team, the third executive to lead the division in less than a year.

The micro-blogging service said it has acquired Yes, the maker of apps such as Frenzy and WYD-What you doing, which allows users to connect with their friends.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

(Also see:Twitter Exodus Continues as COO Bain Decides to Leave)

“Yes! Keith and team are joining Twitter to help lead and strengthen our service!,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted on Thursday.

Jeff Seibert, who was recently head of product, stepped down in June after being in the role for about five months.
Kevin Weil, who now heads Facebook Inc’s Instagram product division, was with Twitter for more than five years and was vice-president of product development before Seibert.
Twitter, which faces stagnating user growth amid stiff competition from rivals, has for months been rumored to be up for sale and hired bankers last month to field acquisition offers.

(Also see: Sale or No Sale, Changes Could Come to Twitter Users)

Companies including Walt Disney Co and Alphabet Inc were reported to be interested in the company.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Twitter, Twitter Product Head, Keith Coleman, Twitter Acquisition, Social, Apps

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