SFMTA releases video of 19-Polk crash

Update: Above, video of the crash (thx @ActionNewsSF):

Original post: The following is a press release from MTA spokesperson Judson True. It shows both the 19-Polk and the truck running their respective stop signs moments before slamming into each other.

The SFMTA today released video from the 19 Polk vehicle’s DriveCam system and its onboard video surveillance system. At approximately 12:05 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, this 19 Polk Muni bus traveling northbound on De Haro Street was involved in an accident with a truck traveling westbound on 18th Street.

The DriveCam video is provided as an attachment to the e-mail.

The onboard video can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/6Giiyi. The 164- megabyte file may take a few minutes to download. This video is also available on DVD; e-mail judson.true@sfmta.com to obtain a copy of it.

The video appears to show that the Muni bus rolled through its STOP sign on De Haro Street and the truck ran its STOP sign.

“Video is a tremendous help in our investigation of accidents like this one,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO. “It is a vital tool that helps us improve Muni safety.”

The Muni Operator involved in the accident remains on non-driving status pending the outcome of the investigation.

DriveCam is a driver risk mitigation system that the SFMTA has installed in all of its trolley, biodiesel and biodiesel-electric hybrid buses, to help improve safety on the transit system. The DriveCam system records inside and outside the front of the bus to capture collisions or other driving behaviors. The cameras record and download a few seconds of footage before and after an incident when the vehicle experiences an exceptional force, such as hard braking or swerving. These recordings will be used for safety investigations and Operator instruction.

Because the files involved do not run on Macs, we’re providing the .wmv version of the video here. If anyone can convert this to .mov or upload to YouTube, let us know and we’ll embed it here. We watched it, and it’s clear that both vehicles are at fault.

Muni Party recap, with photos

We got a report Tuesday about the Muni party earlier this month. Quite the rowdy scene, as the video above attests. Here it is, from the organizers’ perspective:

We are excited to say that the Muni Party (November 12, 2009) was a great success. We were greeted at the M-Train stop at 19th and Holloway with a huge crowd of people, photographers, press, and police. We boarded the two car M-Train with 150+ people, and filled up the whole space. We rode toward downtown with high spirits screaming, chanting, and even singing songs by Journey and James Brown. On the way, we even picked up some bystanders who were waiting at Muni stations. We rode all the way to Montgomery Station, and as a group walked to the Muni Party After Party at Otis Lounge, chanting all the way. We had a great time dancing and mingling at the after party. It was an awesome experience, and we are planning on doing this again early next year. This time, we are going to have a ‘secret’ Muni Party by keeping the exact location secret until the day of the event so we can have a little more freedom. The amazing part of the whole Muni Party event is that we did not spend any money in planning this event, just lots of time, and help from sites such as Muni Diaries. Thanks for all of your support and helping us make this all possible!

Brianna & John

Archival SF films show old streetcars, cable cars

By now, you might’ve seen a video floating around the intertubes called, to varying discrepancies, “A trip down Market Street.” If not, go watch it. If our guess is correct, and you have this soft spot for San Francisco in the middle of all your frustrations and angst, you’ll love this footage of our city in its simpler, yet equally fascinating days. It shows the view from a streetcar traveling east toward the Ferry Building, on a Market Street free of cars (easier to do in those days), with pedestrians and horses and buggies crossing the tracks ever so lawlessly.

Owing to the popularity of that video, we came across the above program, sponsored by The Long Now Foundation. The very long program is broken up into easy-to-digest chapters. The un-embeddable chapters we want to call your attention to are: Fillmore Hill Cable Car (lots of great footage of Fillmore and other old cable car lines) and South of Market (which includes archival footage of the Transbay Terminal around 1941). There might be other transit-related bits, but frankly, we haven’t had enough time to watch it all. Here’s a link to the entire program, but you can watch it by the chapter.

The man responsible for the footage, Rick Prelinger, will be presenting more archival video of San Francisco on December 4 at the Herbst Theater.

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