Reader Mail — “The N-Judah Is Literally a Lifeline” AKA Why We Need To Save The N-Judah

Reader Paula J. from the Sunset writes:

Hi Greg,
I recently (in December) moved to the Sunset (48th and Judah) and have been taking the N Judah to Civic Center where I work. (I’ve lived in SF for 19 years, but have never lived out here).
Anyway, when the T line caused the N Judah to meltdown, I was dumped off in various locations (along with everyone else) and at all hours of the cold nights. I kept seeing this one older person who seemed very sickly. Through this experience as well as through my work which focuses on the food system, I realized that the N Judah is literally a lifeline for the poor.
Several years ago, my organization and others conducted a large scale food system assessment. Through this assessment, I realized that the Sunset had the fewer food resources that most other neighborhoods, especially for the poor including congregate feeding programs (like Glide and St. Anthonys), food pantries, summer lunch sites, etc. Many of our neighborhood’s poor residents must take the N Judah to get services including food.
I attend the Board of Supervisors’ Food Security Task Force, and have been emphasizing the lack of food resources in the Sunset, especially for the elderly, children and the poor. Without the N Judah, I’m convinced that a significant number of people go hungry.
I really enjoy the N Judah Chronicles, and would be happy to talk more about this.
Paula Jones
PS: Find the Food System Assessment here — check out the maps on page 42 and 48
Also, the Food Bank has a good neighborhood assessment, and the Sunset has over 13,000 people at risk of being hungry, yet we have only 6 pantries for the entire neighborhood.

Reader Paula makes a point that often gets lost in “transit policy discussions”, especially when the bureau-bots and political types get involved. It’s quite easy to forget in the reams of statistics, studies, meetings, and whatnots, that public transit is not just some lofty concept – it’s something people rely on for their daily lives. And endless “talk” does not get the job done – doing something does.
When we all start tolerating, even expecting mediocrity, failure, and incompetence from the well-paid people downtown who are allegedly working for our benefit, it’s not just commuters to good downtown jobs that lose. Everybody loses, and it’s those who don’t have blogs, or well-paid megaphones who lose out the most.
Mr. Ford? Mr. Newsom? MTA Folk? Are you listening? Do you even care? Or are you all paid well enough not to?
Maybe we oughta put them all on a foodbank challenge like the one Gov. Kulongoski took in Oregon.
Then maybe they’d get the N-Judah back online again!

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2 Responses to Reader Mail — “The N-Judah Is Literally a Lifeline” AKA Why We Need To Save The N-Judah

  1. Jeff says:

    Paula, you really should send Ed Jew a copy of this.

  2. sictransit says:

    Hi Greg — It was great seeing you at the MTA CAC meeting tonight, and I’m glad you brought up the issue of people needing Muni to get access to food banks. All too often, Muni delays are treated as an abstraction, an annoyance as you’re delayed n minutes en route to your destination. But people genuinely rely on the system, and all kinds of bad stuff flows from people being delayed on it; some people — often the most vulnerable people in the workforce — can’t just saunter into the office 10, 15, 136 minutes late and brush it off with a “Dude, you wouldn’t believe how much the N-Judah sucked today.” Some folks get written up, docked pay, or fired. Poor service reliability has real-world consequences for folks, and it’s frustrating when people regard service delays as one of the petty irritations of urban life. It’s a hell of a lot more than that, and I’m glad you pointed that out tonight. It’s a point that bears repeating.
    — Daniel Murphy

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