S.F. traffic fatalities dip, but not bad behavior

By Heather Knight : sfgate – excerpt

Last January, this column proposed a rather modest, practical citywide New Year’s resolution: “However you traverse the city’s streets — be it in a car, on a bicycle or using your own two feet — calm down. Look around. Pay attention. Be considerate.”

After all, 21 pedestrians and four bicyclists were killed on the city’s streets in 2013, the highest total since 2001.

So how’d we do? Like probably most resolution makers, the city did a little bit better — but not a whole lot.

In 2014, 17 pedestrians and three bicyclists died, according to the San Francisco Police Department. Nine people on motorcycles or in cars also died.

Last year, we griped about the inconsiderate behavior of all users of our streets where speeding, honking, blowing through red lights and stop signs, swearing, showing off a certain finger, using a cell phone and just being completely oblivious seem increasingly to be the norm.

Police Commander Mikail Ali keeps records of all the traffic collisions and deaths and said the majority of them share something in common.

“A lot of it is just really, really bad behavior,” he said…

He shared a Police Department list of the circumstances behind each traffic death in San Francisco in 2014, and it’s true. The behavior — by drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike — is often downright shocking.

The list also makes clear that while many city drivers are awful, the collisions are not only their fault. The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died…

“This is not Star Trek, where some invisible force field is going to be created around people by the likes of city government,” he said. “The public has to do its part, and that means adhering to the rules of the road.”

He said he’s told constantly by people that they cross streets against the light or commit otherwise seemingly minor infractions.

“It’s kind of like playing Russian roulette,” he said. “Eventually something bad does happen.”… (more)

SFMTA hearing to address near-term service response before new light-rail cars arrive

By sfexminer – excerpt

San Francisco officials have celebrated the contract approval for top-of-the-line light-rail vehicles to improve a dismal Muni service, but before the first new cars show up, riders will have years of waiting to do.

That’s why Supervisor Scott Wiener, who has made Muni and transportation infrastructure one of his top political causes, has called for a hearing to learn what the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency plans to do in the meantime.

“We need to know what the current situation is, what the plan is to get us out of this current situation, and how Muni sees the next three, four, five years going,” Wiener said last week. He said the agency’s response should not be: “Riders don’t worry, at some point in the future it’s going to be all fixed.”…

On Friday, Muni spokesman Paul Rose provided some insight into the transit agency’s short-term strategy for improving service.

“We look forward to working with Supervisor Wiener to help share information about the work we are doing to improve Muni,” Rose said. “The procurement of up to 260 light-rail vehicles is the single most significant thing we can do to improve service and we will continue to try new things to ensure our existing equipment works to the best of its ability.”…(more)

Good to see that someone else is starting to want some relief sooner rather than years later. There is no immediate plan other than to ask for more money. Read the report and see if you can find one. These guys only know how to do one thing. Demand money. JUST SAY No on A and B.

Report on Muni’s light-rail trains is latest bad news for agency

by : sfexaminer.com – excerpt

Muni’s light-rail trains, which collectively carry more than 150,000 passengers each day, posted an on-time performance rate of just under 50 percent in May, according to a recent report that is the latest of several pieces of disconcerting news about the transit agency.
Officials from the transit agency acknowledge the systemic problems, including aging trains and the rundown tracks, but say upcoming fixes may correct some of the issues.
On average, Muni’s light-rail vehicles break down once every 25 to 30 days, and the agency has few reserve vehicles to immediately put into service, according to John Haley, director of transit for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs Muni. The 151 trains that comprise Muni’s light-rail fleet should have been completely overhauled about five to six years ago, but that never happened, which is why they’re so prone to breakdowns, Haley said…
The run-down condition of the agency’s trackways also lead to slower train speeds. In addition, a large confluence of bottlenecks — such as the intersection at Fourth and King streets — results in numerous delays. Scheduling for the lines — which carry passengers at street level and below the ground — has not been updated for the current operating conditions, and the agency lacks enough supervisors to monitor performance, Haley said…
One of the solutions for light-rail problems not listed on Haley’s report is seat reconfiguration. Supervisors Scott Wiener and London Breed issued a letter to Muni Transportation Director Ed Reiskin on Friday, asking him to consider rearranging train seats for more capacity… (more)

“the agency lacks enough supervisors to monitor performance”, according to Haley…

They also lack engineers, mechanics and parts, and the ability to keep the the light-rails moving. In fact, the only thing the SFMTA seems to be any good at is infuriating drivers and riders and creating traffic jams. They get an “A” in harassing the public; an “F” in running the Muni.

Now the Supervisors want to remove seats from the trains? How safe is that? Do you really want kids and the elderly standing on trains instead of sitting? Cars are required to have seat belts. Buses are not. Kids in cars are required to be securely belted into car seats. Now you want those same kids to stand on the bus handing onto the seat? Not everyone can reach those high overhead bars, and not everyone can stand up on a fast-moving bus.