Wrong Way to San Jose on the J Tracks

Just received this via email from Kiley McEvoy:

Saw this on my way home at about 5:55 PM today
Sorry I don’t have any other info, but the pics pretty much tell the story.


And this tweet from @ewindram fills in some clues:

I feel terrible for the elderly driver who accidently turned onto the muni tracks at san jose/mission 🙁

If you saw this, please comment, and if you’ve got pics or videos, email or otherwise send it in!

Breastfeeding on the 71L

On est bien chez sa maman

In March, we posted a photo of a woman breastfeeding on the J-Church. The post prompted a lot of comments on either side of the public-breastfeeding debate. We learned that it is perfectly legal (of course, why wouldn’t it be?) to breastfeed in public in California — in fact, it is illegal to prohibit anyone from doing so in a public place. But what’s legal might still be considered out of the norm, as you can see from this email that we got from Mary today.

At 5:15 p.m. last night, the 71L was packed with the usual mixed clientele of workers, tourists and street people. At Van Ness a woman with small baby in front carrying pack got on the bus. She was offered a couple of seats as she passed toward the back of the bus, but she said she would stand. She had a cover over the baby, but as she passed me I could see from the side she was breast feeding the baby.

About four stops later the bus driver, woman, stood up and asked that the woman with the baby come forward. She did. After the bus driver spoke to her, she turned around and said to everyone, “Hey there’s no pornography going on here so you can all relax,” as she made her way back through the bus to where she had been standing. As she spoke to the woman accompanying her, she said the driver said several passengers had complained about her showing her breasts.

Unbelievable. It took me back 40 years to when I was breast feeding my son in the reception area of UCSF Medical Center and a security guard came and asked me to go to the restroom to feed my son. Yes, I had a blanket over him and me and “nothing” was showing.

So the most natural and best of motherhood is still not acceptable on Muni in San Francisco.

And as all this played out, two very intoxicated men stood over me swearing and carrying on a very drunk conversation about sex with some tourist woman they had met.

And Muni wants me to pay $1 more a day for this ride!

– Mary Stream

Good for the driver to stand up for this mom. I’m surprised that passengers would have complained to the driver about the mother showing her breasts. If you’ve been a reader of this blog or if you’ve been on Muni at all, you’d know there are plenty of other things to complain about besides breastfeeding.

Photo by Flickr user Raphael Goetter

Update: Teen Slaps 60-Year-Old on the J

We got a flood of comments after yesterday’s post about a teenage girl who slapped and spat on a 60-year-old on the J-Church train (see the original post). Leanne Maxwell, who  reposted the story on SFist, updated us on an account by an alleged witness. The story, as it turned out, was not as simple as the Noe Valley Voice letter portrayed.

First, the 60-year-old who was attacked was a man, not a woman. And according to SFist, the teen was later identified and apologized to the man.

But then the story takes a turn, the alleged witness told SFist:

Sadly, I was there. What seems to be missing from the account is that the man was yelling crude obscenities at the teen and pulled the her legs off of the seats which initally escalated the exchange.

Myself and the passengers around me couldn’t believe he would do that to a young woman, no matter how haughty she was. She responded so inappropriately that it just became a total mess.

Many people ignored what was happening, and looked at their iPhones and it was also very crowded. Some did try to minimally restrain the girl, but I think no one whole-heartedly jumped in to help him b/c he was initially so disrespectful to her. The story was just not as black and white as portrayed.

The worst part was seeing the young children going on a fieldtrip with their moms…ugh, the whole thing was ugly.

Thank you, SFist, for spreading the word of this terrible account. Check out more comments on SFist’s post.

Woman Abused by Teen on the J

Note: See our update from an alleged witness who told SFist that the teen was provoked. Thank you, SFist, for spreading the word and reporting this story.

This shocking letter from the Noe Valley Voice (via reader Randy) had us thinking, “Has it really come to this?” The Muni incident began when a 60-year-old woman asked a teenage girl not to take up three seats on a packed J-Church train headed toward Mission High School. When the teenager refused after being asked repeatedly, things turned ugly. The woman recounts the incident to the Voice:

I very politely asked her if she would move her bag so two people could sit down. She said, “No.” I asked her again and she told me, “F- -k off.” I asked her a third time and told her that I would remove her bag if she didn’t do it herself. I reminded her that this was public transportation and that everyone on the streetcar had paid the same fare to enter and that she didn’t have the right to take three seats. I reminded her that these seats were reserved for seniors and people with disabilities. She told me to “f- -k off” again. I reached down to move her bag and when I did so, she stood up and very forcefully slapped me in the face, knocking off my glasses. I’m 60 years old and the surprise and force of her slap knocked me down. She then proceeded to curse at me, calling me a “f- -king bitch” and several other things.

As if that weren’t enough, the abuse allegedly continued until the teenager got off the streetcar at Church and 18th Street. You can read the rest of the incident in her letter here in Voice‘s May Letters to the Editor (scroll down to “Incident on Muni”).

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Poll time: Worst Muni line

caution: MUNIAt Muni Diaries, we don’t particularly like to quote-unquote go negative. But perhaps it’s just the nature of the beast — a site meant to reflect the goings on of a public-transit system in a major metropolitan city will, at least from time to time, contain nuggets of negativity like this one.

Last night around 11 p.m., an Examiner story caught my eye. The headline “J-Church line called worst performer in City” is kind of hard to ignore, no matter how much wine you’ve had throughout the evening. (Our friend Greg Dewar of N-Judah Chronicles gets a quote in the article.) So I threw it up on Twitter. Of course, I was looking for reaction from the community, as I am with this post. People definitely have their opinions of which line performs worse than the others, and are quick to defend some lines from the verbal spears of other riders.

In your opinion, what’s the slowest, least-on-time line in the city? Let everyone know in the comments. And let’s try to be constructive here and offer the agency some solutions as well.

Below the fold are the responses we’ve received so far on Twitter, in the order they were received (we’ll update the post if we get more).

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J-Church Newbies


Ileana at Bored is the New Busy sent over a diary on the J during the Chinese New Year Parade earlier in the year:

I’m on the outbound J, my second favorite train because it comes second closest to my house. I got on at Powell St. station along with a pile of others leaving the Chinese New Year Parade. The crush of bodies boarding the double-time procession of train cars heading anywhere-but-here is unusually dense and unusually overwhelming. We all feel it. We take shallow breaths, inching closer to the edge of the platform, filling one car after another.

Approaching: Outbound K, followed by 2-carNN, followed by one-car J.

The doors on the K open, no one gets off; no one can get on; the doors close. We wait, hope that the NN has room.

A woman in hospital-issue slipper socks squeezes through with the aid of a walker, mumbling, “Why do I bother? What’s the point? Why don’t you all go back to goddamn China? We don’t need your goddamn parade! It’s like I’m not even a citizen in my own country! I can’t even get on my own goddamn train because of you people. You go back to China. You go back to China, all of you! Taking away my rights as a citizen.”

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