Sleepless Train: Muni Idles its Rail Vehicles All the Livelong Night

by Joe Eskenazi : sfweekly – excerpt

A Muni operator’s job entails driving the vehicle from Point A to Point B — but it’s still a decent thing to thank him or her when you disembark.
The Muni system’s job entails not needlessly idling its buses for hours on end, which wastes fuel, wears down the machinery, and violates many laws. In June, however, we revealed that Muni was doing just that. Damning city audits had triggered front-page excoriations about idling buses all the way back in 1996, and internal critics had been slamming the practice since the Reagan administration. And yet the buses idled on, for decades…
the department that encourages city residents to sacrifice a degree of convenience but conserve energy by taking public transit will continue to burn through energy — because that’s what’s most convenient.
Until then, San Franciscans waiting endlessly for a train will have to comfort themselves that one will always be running, somewhere…  (more)

The Canary is Dead: With the Central Subway Project, the Only Way Out is Through

Fooled you once, and, as Mayor Agnos would say, “If you trust us, we have a bridge to sell you.”

By Joe Eskenazi :sfweekly – excerpt

News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone. We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge or any other massive construction project. So get off it. In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved. The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.
Willie Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, July 28

Losing by less is the new winning. Keeping your job is the new raise. And being honest about…

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Can we get an amen?

by Tony Robles : – excerpt

OPINION Senior and Disability Action recently learned of the outcome of the case of the elder who was killed in a collision with a bicyclist in the city’s Castro District. The victim, 71 year old Sutchi Hui, was walking across the intersection of Castro and Market Streets with his wife when he was struck by 34 year old Chris Bucchere, a self-described “entrepreneur, software developer, founder and CEO of Social Collective Inc.”
Our organization has been involved in the issue of pedestrian safety, advocating for improvements on the city streets, corridors and areas that pose safety risks for seniors, people with disabilities and the public in general. The tragic incident that took Mr. Hui’s life emphasizes the need for better pedestrian safety and the need to hold bicyclists accountable for their actions…
Senior and Disability Action was dismayed by the breezy attitude of the cyclist, who, after the collision that claimed Mr. Hui’s life, lamented the loss of his bike helmet in a blog:
“In closing, I want to dedicate this story to my late helmet. She died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac…may she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live and ride one. Can I get an amen? Amen”…
We all must adhere to the rules of the road; the rules apply to both motorists as well as cyclists. We recognize that there are cyclists that follow the rules of the road. But this case was egregious, not only in the loss of life, but in the arrogance of the cyclist, who was using an app that gauged his speed and overall performance on the road, offering a prize as an incentive. The metaphors are striking—plowing through an area as if one has the God-given right and too bad if you happen to be in my way. Mr. Bucchere’s actions in the aftermath is evincive of the race and class privilege that has permeated the city, where some lives are evidently worth more than others.
Can we get an amen?

For some reason city agencies appear to be fueling the anger that is growing between extreme bikers and the rest of us, instead of calming it.
This story about the death at the hands of a cyclist is running in the same paper as the story about the SF Bike Coalition’s Memorial to a biker hit by a truck on Folsom Street. Does no one else see the irony in this?
We need someone at City Hall to put a stop to the growing war between extreme bikers and the rest of us.
With the closure of the Bay Bridge and the possible BART strike we need a reasonable balanced transit approach that does not cater to any one group.

Memorial for cyclist marred by SFPD harassment

The animosity that is being instigated between bikers and drives needs to stop. There is no better time than now for the bikers and the rest of us to stop fighting over the roads. A biker’s death by truck, is no more tragic than a pedestrian’s death by bike. Where is the outpouring of remorse for that victim? Did the biking community send flowers to his memorial? It is time for the city to re-evaluate priorities. The voters are fed up with the mess on the roads. The complete streets program is a complete failure.