Sunday, January 7, 2007

Muni Gets an F

I love transit, but this weekend when trying to get from the Mission to North Beach I had an awful time on what should be a rapid transit corridor. Aside from my subway under Geary, I'm going to say that Van Ness needs one too. This is the 101 corridor from LA to Oregon and it's always packed. Muni wants to turn it into a BRT corridor but once again that will just make people mad. Making a 6 Lane Urban thoroughfare into 4 lanes is a good idea most of the time. And people don't go fast on this street because there are too many stoplights.

But in this instance, taking away a lane for buses is A. A bad idea and B. A bad idea. Why? Because making a major road like this go to 4 lanes is like a snowstorm blocking planes at the airport in Denver. No one will get anywhere. If there was a subway, it would have taken me 35 minutes instead of an hour to get where i was going. 25 minutes is a HUGE time savings and worth it to the folks who want to get to the north side of town out of bus traffic. So instead of planning this long term, it should be done now, with the Geary Subway.

But we have no money says MUNI. There is tons of money out there. As referenced in the article above, Don Shoup (king of parking), states that parking in downtown San Francisco is too cheap. I have never driven downtown at any time other than 11pm or Sunday afternoon but the reason is I don't want to have to worry about parking. It's so much easier and faster to just take the train in the subway. But apparently if I did find a space downtown on the street it would be cheap cheap cheap.

While San Francisco has taken steps to make transit friendly and parking harder to come by it comes as no surprise that they still cater to the automobile. It is so entrenched in our society that even the most dense metropolis' can't get away from it. So if we can't get away from it, lets make it as expensive as possible. Another funding source that is being discussed is closing off downtown from anything but Taxi's, buses and rail. This is a great idea and it would raise money for transit, specifically the subways that are in planning but need funding.

No comments: