Two Way Haight Street and Your Muni Ride

71-Haight: 77 Minutes
Photo by Andy B

The SFMTA has just approved the Haight Street Two Way project between Gough and Octavia. How would it affect your Muni commute? Streetsblog reports:

When constructed in 2014, the project is expected to improve transit reliability for the roughly 20,000 daily riders on the 6 and 71 Muni lines by eliminating unnecessary detours that delay buses behind congested car traffic.

The current experience on the 71, said SFMTA Director Joél Ramos, is a ”long and painful ride.”

“I take offense at people who have guffawed at the 3-minute savings,” he said. “When you’ve got a bus load of people, that’s 60 people times 3 minutes each. That turns into hours which quickly turns into days of time for people that are late to work, away from their families, and these are people that are doing the right thing by not driving and getting out of our cars in this transit-first city.”

More from Haighteration:

Currently, Haight Street traffic flows in one direction — westward, away from Market Street — on the block in question. That means Muni buses traveling eastward on Haight Street have to be diverted, turning left once they reach Laguna and then right onto Page. The route brings Muni into direct competition with automobile traffic approaching Octavia Boulevard, which can often make for a painfully slow commute.

What do you think of the Haight Street Two Way Traffic Plan? Good idea to improve your commute?

Flipped SUV Hits 6-Parnassus (update w/photos)

Photos by Spots Unknown

Update (1:35 p.m.): Spots Unknown’s post on the accident is here.

Update (1:32 p.m.): SF Appeal has an update from MTA:

An SF MTA spokesperson tells us that preliminary reports say that a Jeep-type SUV hit the island (the cement place where you wait for the bus, yikes), rolled over and hit the Operator side of the bus. As of yet, no injuries have been reported.

Original post: SF Appeal has the goods.

We’ve received a report from Appeal staffer Katie Doze, who says that a 6 Parnassus Muni bus has collided with an SUV on Market at Montgomery, causing it to overturn. “It does not appear that any other car was involved” says Doze, who happened on the scene moments after it happened.

She says that the accident is blocking northbound buses, so if you’re in the area, prepare for bad traffic.

We’ll do our best to update. Or you can check in with SF Appeal.

Muni driver calls passenger ‘retarded’

Six Parnassus
Photo by Thomas Hawk

Wow. We received the following story from Muni rider Christine on Wednesday, and really don’t know what to say. Sometimes, you think you’ve seen or heard it all … Also, the infraction in question (running a red light) resembles a situation from just a few weeks ago. Remember when the 19-Polk ran a stop sign and crashed into a truck that had also run a stop sign? For the sake of us all, drivers, obey traffic rules. Pretty please?

Oh, and stop calling passengers names! Right now!

I generally don’t go looking for trouble. I’m just your average cranky lady trying to get home after work on Muni. But then …

I was riding the No. 6 Parnassus about 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 when a woman passenger pointed out to the driver that he was running a red light while turning off of Judah onto 9th Ave.

He told her: “It’s none of your business.” She said: “I’m riding this bus, so it’s my business.” And got off the bus. He called out after her: “You’re retarded!” Another passenger on the bus got into the act and shouted “Retarded bitch!” out the window at the woman.

My stop was a few blocks later, and after pulling the cord, I went up to the driver. “What is your driver number?” I asked. He pointed to the number of the bus: 5469. “No, that’s the bus number. Is that your number on your sleeve: 2725?” He nodded. I said: “Perhaps you’d like to call me retarded.” “She was rude,” said the driver. “You have no right to call a passenger retarded even if you think she’s rude or out of line,” I said.

“If you’re rude to me, I’m gonna call you retarded,” he said, raising his voice. “Go on, be rude!” I just got off the bus. “You’re not worth it,” I snapped.

Good heavens, is this what my family is paying $135 in monthly fast passes for? And the SFMTA has the nerve to propose more service cuts and fare increases? I’m filing a complaint to Muni, although I doubt it will do anything.

Blackberry Breaks

(Old) Blackberry
Photo by Flickr user rwkvisual

Editor’s Note: Rider Eric sent in this diary on the 6-Parnassus, where he couldn’t help but notice a heart wrenching exchange on the Blackberry phone next to him.

It’s 6:30pm and I’m getting on the 6 bus to go home. Usually, on my way to work, I catch the underground, but coming home, unless I’m getting produce at the market, I like to get door to fucking door.

I nab my favorite seat-towards the back on the right just behind the back doors. I forgo my iPod for a change, look in my bag for a magazine I know I don’t have, check my watch, and slide down into the glossy brown plastic seat.

I look out the window as we pass Powell.  There’s the standard crowd with pocket cameras and fanny packs circling around a group of street performers corralling the tourists like a herd.  I think back to these two boys I once saw dancing for money on the F train in Brooklyn.  One was moving to the beat of the other’s hands. As we approached the stop at Smith and 9th, they came around with a hat and people pulled out change without even looking up from the newspaper. When the doors opened, they ran to the next car.  I watched them through the connecting car windows as the train went underground, the other one now dancing. I look back at the performers at Powell and shrug off the thought that I live in a town that wants to be a city.

I haven’t noticed it until now, but the guy next to me is fiercely thumbing away on his Blackberry. He’s young, unshaved, in ruffled jeans. I never understand why anyone would want a Blackberry if they weren’t a business man.  It’s sort of like a 16 year old choosing to drive a Ford Taurus.

Did I mention how big and bright the fucking screen is on a Blackberry?  So I can’t help but look over at what he’s typing, it’s practically in my face—“You look at things all wrong…that’s not what I meant at all”. He fires it off, drops the phone between his legs and stares ahead, wistfully.

30 seconds later, a buzzing tone comes from his lap. I try to make out what the message says, but he’s cradling the phone towards the window—unaware of me, but still hiding it.  He reads it, lets out a sigh: this isn’t good.
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Muni Mind Reader: Haight-Bus Punker and ‘Service Dog’

Haight Street
Photo by Flickr user Mat Honan

It’s summer. It’s hot. Muni Mind Reader took the week off last week. But never you fear — she’s back and in fine form this warm August Friday. For this installment, Tiffany (aka, Muni Mind Reader) checks in with that colorful character you sometimes see on the 6, 7, or 71. Any of the Haight Street lines, really. He or she is known by many names and aromas, but enough of this intro. Take it away, Mind Reader!

Hey, what are you all looking at? You’re all just a bunch of society-lovers, aren’t you? Oh I’ve seen this before. You look at my duct-taped pants, weather-beaten trench, and standard-issued Doc Martens, and think, “If only he’d shop at The Gap or Banana Republic, he’d be such a nice boy!”

Well, listen up SOCIETY, I refuse to conform to your capitalistic, material-obsessed, world. Lucky for you, I’m not going to try to sit next to any of y’all. Instead, I’ll just sit up front where I can spread out a little bit, have more space for this radio, trash bag filled with other trash bags, sleeping bag, tarp, and duffel bag. The last three items I just picked up from the army surplus store on Haight Street. Incidentally, it’s where I do all my shopping. These pants are really just second-hand army ACU pants. I added the duct tape myself to enhance durability, cred, and had absolutely nothing to do one Wednesday afternoon. If you’re going to be a middle-class, early-20s, homeless-by-choice punk in this city, freakin’ army surplus stores are the bomb.

This is my dog, Warrior. Come here War! We’ve been together a long time. I got her at the SPCA. Now, anyone who has tried to adopt a pet from an animal shelter can sympathize with me over the long-ass process. Originally, I lied and said I had a job, thinking the key to having a pet in this city is to prove you have daily responsibilities and income to provide for the health and well-being of my furry friend. But then they worried I’d be out of the house all the time. So then I fessed up. Hell no man, I don’t live in your conformist world. My job is to let passers-by know they are the enemy and my decision to live under a few bushes in Golden Gate Park is a passionate statement on what’s wrong with the world. That’s when everyone realized I’d be “home” all the time. She’s been really instrumental in helping me carry around all my belongings. That’s why she always gets free passage on Muni. Cuz she’s a SERVICE DOG! Haaa! Stupid society.

Nah, he ain’t got no muzzle. What the hell do you want me to do? Conform some of the time?

So I know you’re wondering why it is I don’t smell quite as bad as I usually do. Usually you can smell the potent blend of my urine, my dog’s urine, weed, BO, and compost before I even get on the bus. I saw you all look up horrified when you heard all the plastic I was carrying rustle. But then you thought, Well that’s weird, I don’t want to throw up in my mouth. FOOLED YOU! I had my monthly visit with the folks. STUPID PARENTS. Nah, I’m just kidding. I love ‘em, and even though it can be pretty embarrassing to be picked up by your parents in the Panhandle (especially when they show up in their vintage Mercedes-Benz) I think they’re proud of me. Yeah, we headed up to Sonoma for the weekend. I got to take a shower, wash my clothes. I gave Warrior a bath too. It’s real pretty up in Sonoma, have you ever been? YEAH YOU HAVE BECAUSE YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM MY FRIEND!

All right, I’m ready to blow this joint. I promised my parents I’d at least fill out one college application today, though really, I’m just doing a 40 run for the kids at camp. Smell me later!

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