Reader Mail: The “Humane Bell Request” Petition for MUNI Streetcars.

Loyal Reader Eric Gregory writes to us today with this piece of news:

Perhaps you’ve heard about this, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.
There’s a petition going around to change the door-can’t-close sound from the awful high pitched beep to something more tolerable.
According to the SF Weekly Muni agreed to address the issue if the petition can get 1,000 signatures.
– Eric

Thanks, Eric! I hadn’t actually read all the way through my latest copy of the SF Weekly yet, and missed this article, which goes into detail regarding the online petition by Ms. Susan Hellein.
While I agree that the high pitched, skull splitting sound can be annoying (especially when the doors are broken and they keep opening and closing over and over and over again), I’m not sure what one could replace it with that would A) be more humane and B) still warn doofuses to get the heck out of the way.
Your suggestions? Post in the comments section, and let’s see what the creative citizens of Our Fair City can come up with!

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9 Responses to Reader Mail: The “Humane Bell Request” Petition for MUNI Streetcars.

  1. MattyMatt says:

    Of all the things we could be petitioning Muni to change.

  2. Tara says:

    I agree with Matty, but I’ll take any change I can get. How about no sound, but electric shocks that grow increasingly severe each time the door fails to close. These could also be run through the railings/handles/kicking bars. Alternatively, perhaps, radical and disorienting multicolored strobe lights could overwhelm the car until the door shuts. On a more serious note, Cantonese classical music, with its pot-banging and shrill howling melodies might do the trick.

  3. T says:

    A simple ‘Please move away from the doors’ would suffice, as I have heard on other transit systems.
    Ooo get Sean Connery to do it. 007 is NOT someone you ignore.

  4. Greg says:

    I think you’d need Sean Connery and some woman with a good voice. The military did some research and found that jet figther pilots responded faster to a woman’s automated voice when in the midst of aerial combat!

  5. will segen says:

    bells, beeps, and belches are annoying. yes. but i’ll take what i can get if it arrives.
    like other civilized 1st, 2nd, and 3rd world nations we need schedules at each bus stop. Not headways. (the time between buses). a bus every hour would even be ok if you knew the time it would arrive.
    that’s it. will

  6. shmoozilla says:

    If the numbskulls who don’t seem to realize that another train *will* come would stop forcing their limbs between closing doors, there would be no annoying beeps. Hello?!

  7. Greg says:

    @shmoozilla: Good point. It never ceases to amaze me how people push and gouge and claw their way into a bus or train like if they don’t get on, they’ll be left behind as the marauding armies of doom and darkness advance.

  8. MattyMatt says:

    I’ve been thinking about this some more, and you know what I think might be more effective? A recording of a mechanical rattling broken-grinding noise. To somebody standing in front of the door, it sounds like the door has suddenly broken and is going to do something weird, which would induce them to move out of the way. But it’s not such an unpleasant noise that it would split the skulls of other passengers.

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