This morning, whilst working at my day job, I saw this notice pop up on the MUNI TroubleAlert, indicating (as always) after the fact that “some delay” had been cleared between Castro and West Portal.
Then I read this report, and later this one, about how once again, someone decided to just drive into the West Portal Tunnel. And this isn’t the first time this has happened, either.
It does not take a genius to realize that the West Portal Tunnel is not a tunnel for cars. But this incident makes me wonder two things:
1. What is the point of MUNI’s RSS feed for “alerts” if they only alert one after said event occurs? It’s one thing when it’s something like the incident yesterday, but quite another when it’s one of these long, drawn out “drag the car out of the tunnel” incidents.
2. Do we need to go all Teutonic on the driver’s licenses, and start requiring people to go to school for a year or something to learn how to drive? So often I see people driving around town in this little haze of cluelessness, oblivious to anyone or anything around them. That’s fine if you’re a pedestrian walking in the park. It is not fine when you’re driving your SUV around town to take Zutroy and Hortense to a play date.
Carry on. In the meantime, because some of you asked for it, here’s a replay of the Sunset tunnel incident captured on camera by a Loyal Reader just under a year ago. Enjoy!
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Oh, be thankful for the little things, Greg. That quick blurb on 511.org was way more useful than what was coming out of anyone’s mouth on the ground at West Portal.
They conjured up images of the Wizard of Oz. Ignore that bus that says it’s going downtown… what you really want to do is cross a chaotic intersection, hop a train to Balboa Park(!) and catch BART. Oh, no, wait. Cross the intersection again, get on this bus… unless you’re on the train that the bus was blocking.
For the first time EVER, I saw MUNI employees going on a power trip about how passengers had to stand behind the yellow line(s). It was as if their entire mission was to prevent as many people as possible from traveling to their destinations.
They ran metro substitute buses DAILY for, what, two years? It blows my mind just how, after all that practice, it’s nothing but chaos when something breaks.
On the plus side, I witnessed an amusing game of “don’t let the drunk on the train” on the F this morning.
I saw the retinue of police officers getting off the petrol cars and running toward the tunnel exit one block up from the station. I knew shit happened and I went straight for the F car.
Isn’t this the 3rd time cars have driven into the Twin Peaks and Sunset Tunnels in what, about 6 months? When I was in high school kids would get drunk and try to “clean out the tunnel”. That was 41 years ago. At least once a year this happens. The latest was an 87 year old woman who said she got disoriented. One would think that they MUNI would have purchased strips of tire spikes and placed them at the entrances of the tunnels years ago. The 87 year old made it from West Portal all the way to the Eureka St rails that exit the tunnel before Castro St. Wonder how far she’d have gotten with 4 flat tires?
I have to say that I think the best part of this post is the mention of Zutroy and Hortense.
That one driver who freaks out about people standing behind the yellow line is really amazing, especially at the end of the day when all you want to do is go home and try to relax.
@tangobaby: i hear ya…I was trying to go to the mission yesterday for a meeting and had to let not one but TWO 22’s go by as they were super packed full of people way past the yellow line. The joke being of course, 2 more 22’s were RIGHT BEHIND THEM and were almost empty…
“Zutroy and Hortense” has been an inside joke for years…I got the first name from the Simpsons when Mr. Burns tries to con an immigrant worker with a penny.
“Zutroy and Hortense” lol. I might start calling the couple (oft fornicating, always irritating) next door by these names.
We had a loud cellphone talker on the N this a.m. The kind where you’re not really sure there is actually someone on the other end? Although he did keep referring to her/him as “pumpkin.” But when he hung up, he said out loud “twisted bitch!”
My favorite all time N-judah ride was when, on one occasion, the train came to an abrupt (like screeching) halt as it was exiting the tunnel at Church. We were all thrown forward. One woman, who had not been holding on to anything flew forward a good four or five feet and landed on the ground. The driver came on and said there had been a “computer problem.” The lady pulled herself up and said “What? Did a f*cking computer jump in front of the f*cking train?!?!”
I laughed the rest of the way home.
@TDA: that is hilarious!
I’m so paranoid about being the “jerk on the cellphone talking” on mass transit I never use it anymore. Mostly because it’s too hard to hear anyway. Once there was a guy on the 71 who was loudly discussing Something Boring, and was like, all squinty when people told him to be quiet.
Oh, greg and default attorney! You guys are killing me.
I’m SO looking forward to my commute home today! Just cannot wait for it.
That story about the LRV coming to an abrupt halt makes me long for the days of HL controllers and Westinghouse air brakes (like cars 130 and 162 on the “F” line have). Back when BART was having starup problems that made the news here in So Cal, collegues who knew my interest in rail transit would ask me about all the troubles, and my usual reply was, “I think they bit off more technology than they could chew. It’s one thing to have a computer running a machine that just sits there, but when you have trains and people spread over a wide area, things are a lot harder to deal with on a logical basis.”
Here in my area, Metro has been testing some new LRV’s from Breda for what seems like years, and they still aren’t in full time service.
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San Gabriel CA