Oh no, here it comes. Reading today’s the latest pronouncement from Our Mayor on Muni, it looks like the topic of MUNI is about to go through the “talk is cheap” machine once again.
That’s because it’s easy to confuse the rhetorical barb of “eliminating MUNI stops will make it more efficient” with a reasoned, thought out plan, such as the Transit Effectiveness Project is supposed to be. The former is just a reflexive statement with no intrinsic meaning people “agree” to because it sounds reasonable, and the latter is the product of serious, quantitative research.
There’s no doubt there’s a lot of duplication of service, some left over from the days of multiple companies providing service in the Olden Days. And, there’s no doubt that there are some stops that are really unnecessary (why is there a stop at 12th and one at Funston, a short block apart, on the N line?). However, if we go down the road of just cutting stops at random to make MUNI and electeds look good, we’re in for some trouble.
Personally, I question the wisdom of Our Mayor putting all the “Fix MUNI Eggs” in one basket, if only because it seems like at any given moment, whenever one asks the Mayor anything about MUNI, he seems to repeat “TEP” as many times as he can. That’s fine if the TEP lives up to the hype and produces well researched results. It sucks if we get a consensus-built “compromise” designed to appease and accommodate, and make people look good in the short term.
The best way to avoid such a mess is for you, the MUNI rider and citizen, get involved as much as you can with the TEP and force them, and those Elected Folk, to listen to regular people as they deliberate.
Hopefully, when they sit down with all the king’s consultants and all the king’s men, they put our MUNI back together again, and do so in a way that benefits everyone in Our Fair City.
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The most obvious change to make for the N is to make more 2-way stops out of 4-way stops so the train has right of way. There are some really dumb 4-way stops that the N has to make, such as near Duboce Park. Train priority lights like on the T line are another obvious step in the right direction.
Removal of stops? Well, as you pointed out, if the stops are less than so many “walking distance” feet, they should be removed or consolidated.
Have you talked to any of the TEP people? My general impression when talking to them has been positive, but we’ll see if their work gets filed and forgotten, or properly deployed.
Over five years ago Rescue Muni surveyed all of the LRV lines for cheap and easy improvements. Although in a very few cases we advocated removing stops, by far the major problem was Stop Signs. Time and again there is a stop for cross traffic in between two revenue stops. We advocated replacing ALL of them w/ LRV favoring stoplights. Clearly making pedestrian crossings of transit arteries safer is good, but making LRVs stop when noone is there to cross… Surprise! a few of our ideas actually have been implemented.
Currently, when Muni itself wants to speed up the N, they skip all the stops west of 19th Avenue.
I have long fantasized about eliminate Funston and Hillway.
I’d like to see a ‘La Playa Local to 19th then 19th Express to Van Ness’ in place.
I can’t wait for some of MUNI’s excess stops to be eliminated. I only use the N-Judah east of the tunnel, so i don’t have any opinions for that line, but I could nominate *several* stops on the 31, 22, *24*, *21* !!! God willing, these recommendations will go forward and we can speed these turtle buses along!
The consecutive inbound stops at 12th and Funston are mindboggling.
Also, coming out of the Market Street tunnel the train stops before Church then proceeds across Church to stop again a train-length later.
Why not expand the disabled platform to accommodate a couple dozen able bodied adults? Maybe they don’t want to induce anyone to hazard crossing that intersection on foot, maybe there isn’t room along the tracks with that third disused set.
There are three stops in two blocks on the 6 on Clayton/Frederick/Ashbury – consolidating them down to one makes a lot of sense. There are either 4 or 5 stops in two blocks on the 43 in front of City College that could be condensed into probably two.
But the Mayor is right – messing with people’s stops is a quick way to getting a lot of people mad. I’m not hopeful.