I commuted on the streetcar from downtown to Fisherman’s Wharf for seven years with a dense hodgepodge of locals, tourists, 30-child field trips, and the occasional iguana named Skippy. The experience didn’t often match the old-world charm and good intentions, so complaining incessantly about the F-Market/Wharves became my theme. As a newly minted San Franciscan, it was my duty to find a bug for my bonnet and take to the internet with that rage.
But lots of strained relationships improve with time. I can hear the distinctive “whrrrrrrrrrrr honk honk” from my apartment as streetcars fly along the tracks, and can even tell the difference between the PCCs and the wooden, Milanese ones that kick like bucking broncos. I went public with my change of heart, calling it my favorite line during the TotalSF installment of Betabrand Podcast theater.
So let me acknowledge again that I’ve gotten over my attitude problem and am thrilled that the streetcars are back in commission after a long, covid-prompted hibernation. Check out these recent photos from our enthusiastic transit community, and tag us in your own happy snaps of normalcy @munidiaries on Facebook, Insta, or Twitter.
The story behind @boattramsf AKA Boat Boi, as relayed by Chris Arvin, remains a Muni Diaries Live crowd favorite. Listen for it soon on the Muni Diaries Podcast!
You might remember storyteller Nuala Sawyer, News Editor at SF Weekly and haver of what most of us would agree was a pretty shit year back in 2013. She told the story on stage at Muni Diaries Live in November 2018, and it gave us not-so-surprise tears again when we added it to our podcast lineup recently.
The podcast episode ended up having an impact on an anonymous podcast listener, too. That person sent Nuala this handwritten letter to SF Weekly and, just when you think you’re out of Muni-related surprise tears…
“Thank you for telling it. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for placing yourself in a vulnerable position with the man and with the audience of Muni Diaries. As you impressively seem to know, honesty and vulnerability change [sic] people—us as well as those around us,” the listener wrote. We couldn’t agree more, Listener. Thanks, Nuala, for sharing—in more ways than one.
Take for example these two performers. They were kind enough to share their moves for those few passengers still on the F-Market streetcar. Free show, considering they already paid their fare. Or so we assume.
The good people at Curbed have combed through lots of old San Francisco maps, including this 1940s Muni map (courtesy of our favorite map nerd, Eric Fischer). You’ll see that the F used to go through the Stockton tunnel, and there was no M line at the time. Click here to see a bigger version of the map. Oh, and here are some more Muni maps from 1920s and 1930s.
The Curbed story has lots more old fascinating maps of our city. Go on and check ’em out!
In a swift defeat of what could very well be the dumbest idea to hit San Francisco ever (and there sure is stiff competition in that realm), the Super Bowl planning committee has withdrawn their own plan to remove Muni’s overhead trolley wires around Justin Herman Plaza.
A representative of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee apparently said in a phone call to Supervisor Jane Kim’s office that after some analysis the committee decided it would not move through with plans to remove Muni wires.
There was no mention during the phone call of the public backlash to the plan, according to Kim’s office.
Great news, although, as Market Street Railway points out, the F-Market route will essentially be cut in half, with bus substitutes running west up Market Street and streetcars remaining along the Embarcadero. Several bus routes will be rerouted as well.
About the wires, though, Kim had this to say:
“I’m gratified that the Super Bowl 50 committee took another look at the idea of removing overhead Muni wires for the Super Bowl festival, and decided not to pursue that idea. The impact on commute times and work productivity for the folks that make San Francisco work would have been burdensome, not to mention the possible consequences for bicyclist and pedestrian safety. Those were my greatest concerns, so I’m happy that this was resolved.”