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I used to be standing on the Muni platform at Montgomery, with my bike folded, ready for an N Judah prepare to get to Cole Valley for a gathering in regards to the J.F.Okay. Promenade final month. “You might want to fold that earlier than you undergo the fare gates,” I heard somebody say. I circled and standing behind me on the near-empty platform was the clerk from the Muni sales space upstairs. She had adopted me to provide me a talking-to as a result of I refused to fold my folding bike earlier than I obtained down the steps.
Anyone who owns a folding bike understands it’s awkward and doubtlessly harmful to hold folded bikes down stairs–and in my case, it’s additionally a great way to throw out my again. Furthermore, the one motive I personal a folding bike is due to Muni’s idiotic bike ban. And the rationale I used to be in an excessive amount of of a rush to make use of the elevator is as a result of I noticed on the schedule that, in typical vogue, if I missed this subsequent N Judah there wouldn’t be one other one for 20 minutes, regardless that one had left simply two minutes earlier than.
And, after all, the primary motive the steps had been even a difficulty is that I couldn’t switch straight from the BART stage to the Muni stage due to the system’s notorious iron bars, seen above.
All of which makes me marvel, if I wasn’t ideologically pushed to make use of transit, and I may afford a automobile, why the precise f*ck would I trip Muni?
It isn’t simply the petty guidelines and the bike ban, which appear designed to make it as arduous as attainable to get wherever. It’s the aforementioned bunching of trains that may flip a brief journey into an hour-long affair.
Muni’s excuse is that trains get backed up in site visitors. Okay, so cease permitting site visitors on prepare tracks. It additionally doesn’t clarify why trains bunch going outbound once they’re beginning in a tunnel. Furthermore, anyone who’s lived in San Francisco for greater than a minute has watched prepare drivers bounce into two or extra trains on the finish of the road at Balboa Park or Ocean Seaside and depart collectively, fairly than wait and go away at common intervals.
It’s incredible that Van Ness BRT is accomplished and the Central Subway, in the end, is coming on-line, however what about all of the high-capacity, present rail traces nonetheless sitting in site visitors on Judah, West Portal Ave., Ocean, and in all places else transit mixes with vehicles? The voters handed a “transit first coverage” in 2007. And but M Oceanview trains, seen under, nonetheless sit behind non-public cars ready to show left into the Stonestown Galleria.
It’s time to chop the bars between BART and Muni. It’s time to rationalize and combine fares. It’s time to start out operating Muni trains at common intervals. Give trains full sign pre-emption at intersections; get vehicles off the best of means. And sure, enable clients to take their bikes on trains. In October, when SEPTA introduced that it will enable bikes on its gentle rail automobiles, Muni turned the one company within the nation–possibly the world–to nonetheless have a blanket ban on non-folding bikes.
I don’t assume anyone would argue that the passage of Proposition L was an endorsement of Muni administration. Relatively, it’s a transparent demonstration, together with Prop. J, that the individuals need the town to cease dedicating practically all of the house between buildings to non-public cars. San Francisco’s voters have once more made it clear they worth protected streets, bikes, and transit.
The query now could be will the individuals who handle and function the transit system–and the streets they run on–begin to worth the voters who’ve given them the sources and political capital to do higher.
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