Yes, San Francisco, you are paying for Muni’s accidents
The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that since July 2002, Muni has paid out nearly $66 million to “people who allege injuries, fatalities, and property damage caused by the agency’s transit fleet.” Muni accidents are costing the city millions, and the number of fatalities so far this year sounds pretty awful to me:
Three pedestrians have been killed so far this year by Muni buses or streetcars. In January, a 40-year-old man in the Sunset District tripped and fell under an N-Judah streetcar, which dragged him for two blocks. In May, a 77-year-old woman was struck and killed by a 71-Haight-Noriega bus on Market Street. Last month, a 63-year-old woman died after an N-Judah streetcar struck her in a crosswalk.
Last year, there were eight fatalities, double the number from 2006. In most every case involving death or serious injury, the city is sued. Some of the cases take years to resolve.
Personally I have seen some pretty reckless behaviors like drivers who can’t see cyclists riding in the bike lane or an extremely fast bus careening down the hill (hello 27-Bryant, I am talking to you!). My car’s got a pretty ugly dent from the Mission bus that decided to sidle up to my passenger door a few years ago. According to the Chronicle, accidents like these (Muni hits another vehicle) account for more than half of the claims. Meanwhile, the top safety position at the agency has remained unfilled for the past four to five months, reports the Chronicle.
Have you seen any dangerous Muni behavior or accidents?