Started seeing many tweets just now about an apparent Muni collision near West Portal Station. We’ll try to update this post as frequently as possible with new information. For now, there are reports of 12 injuries, and delays on the K, L, and M lines in both directions. Updates are in reverse-chronological order, beginning with the latest:
Update:(Wednesday) just caught wind, via Twitter, of the first-ever videos of the crash, from SFGateSF Appeal (wtf, SFGate?):
Last night I took the K to West Portal. I don’t know when she got on the train because I was busy playing with the new apps on my blackberry, but sometime between Forest Hill and West Portal I looked up and saw her. She looked like a beautiful, swirly and colorful cartoon. She had stars and swirly things painted on her face. She had fake flowers tucked into her mohawk. I’m so glad I put down my crackberry and enjoyed the ride.
You can tell a lot about a system by how it adapts to failure.
I live in SF, I use both BART and Muni regularly. When they work, they’re decent. When things go wrong, it’s an N Judah-flavored apocalypse. If you’ve got an alternate, you take it. If not, you get a cab or walk. It’s a decent bus town, there’s usually a bus a few blocks away. It’ll probably show up within half an hour, and it’ll get you within half a mile, and it’s probably a nice walk anyway. Unless you’re trying to get back to the Sunset, in which case it’s more like a mile and the walk might be foggy. But anyway, there’s half a dozen good noodle places on the way, and you can bitch on your blog later if you swing thataway.
The last week, though, I’ve been staying in Zurich, and using the SVV tram system a lot. Let’s set aside incidentals like perfect adherence to schedule and good coverage and accurate ETA signs. The other day something melted down on the 11 Auzelg/Rehalp line, which runs roughly north/south along the eastern edge of central Zurich. Residential stuff out on the far-northern Auzelg end, shopping and S-Bahn connections a bit closer in, restaurants and bars towards the middle, and gradually more suburban and residential down South towards Rehalp. The nearest analog in SF would probably be the N-Judah or K-Ingleside.
I had a surprisingly pleasant Muni experience on the way to work yesterday, only because it went beyond my expectations. As I believe I’ve said before, I have a good Muni location, I walk down from the Lower Haight to Church and Duboce, give a quick glance for any incoming N-Judahs or J-Churches, and if I don’t see one, I continue down to Church Street Station and try my luck at an L, M or the dreaded K/T whatever the hell it is. I say dreaded because it is usually only one car, and even though it technically begins just one station away at Castro Street, it is usually packed to the gills. I guess that’s because it’s also a K, and has come all the way from Balboa Street Station. Anyway, when I got down to Church Street Station on Monday I was immediately disheartened because on the incoming train monitor I saw a one-car K was the only train coming. I said to myself, “I guess I’ll be standing all nice and intimate all the way to Powell Street today.” But, I was wrong, for the first time ever on my way to work and since the T was introduced, the train was sparsely populated, well air-conditioned and hauled ass downtown. Just want to give Muni props, that although it seems like you can and should only expect the worst, sometimes Muni doesn’t screw you. You have to enjoy it when it happens.
Rob Nagle works at a free San Francisco daily newspaper that has been sprucing up its Web presence.