|Think removing two bus stops on the same block is a no-brainer and is in the best interest of all transit users? Well, you forgot where you live.|
As my vast audience of faithful readers is well aware, Dearest District Five often has harsh and richly deserved criticisms for the SFMTA. Whether they are recklessly wreaking havoc on the world economy by eliminating the profits of Apple, Ferrari, and Disney AND crushing the dreams of children—and during the holidays, no less! Or destroying the economic vitality of the entire San Francisco Bay region and pooping on the grave of William Hammond Hall by completely ruining Golden Gate Park, they often seem to believe that they can and should make changes to our city, which is clearly ridiculous.
We were cautiously optimistic that the changes proposed in the Transit Effectiveness Plan (TEP) would be sufficiently watered-down and compromised away after a series of public meetings. Because when it comes to making decisions in San Francisco, everyone's opinion matters, even when it comes down to removing two bus stops on the same block. So when the SFMTA wants to make even a minor seemingly sensible change, they make sure they get the input of every single person in San Francisco and pay close attention to the loudest and most incoherent people on the planet. And boy, did they do a great job with that here on a project close to both the block of Hayes street between Masonic and Central has not one, but two bus stops. Yes, it is possible to walk from one bus stop to the other without ever crossing a street.
|Which one should we remove? Should we even remove one of them? Why don't we ask everyone in the micro-community!|
Ed Reiskin, the head of a transit agency that employs engineers with transportation engineering degrees from such laughable institutions as Cal Poly State University SLO, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Cornell Unversity, UC Santa Cruz, and the University of Washington did what a true leader does: he turned to the community to make decisions for him. Specifically, the crazy community.
|Removing two stops on the same block should never be an independent decision by the transit authority.|
Like clockwork, the task of removing a bus stop, like the 70% of them that aren't even to the SFMTA's standards, it quickly turned into a SFSS (San Francisco Shit-Show) and all kinds of crazy came out of the woodwork, mainly those who delusionally believed that they could be negatively affected by the removal of a bus stop. The most active party in this case was the owner of Central Coffee, which has thwarted bus removal time and time again. This time they successfully whipped up hysteria by claiming that the entire bus line would soon be terminated if ONE OUT OF TWO BUS STOPS ON THE SAME BLOCK were eliminated.
|The SFMTA is extraordinarily receptive to any kind of hysteria-based conclusions. Even from sub-par coffee shops like Central Coffee.|
Image via SFCitizen
|SFMTA always makes sure to have billions of meetings with angry loud individuals so they can water down perviously approved plans from engineers & experts, like the scrapped Polk Street bike plan.|
"YOU CANNOT TAKE OUR BUS LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!! REMOVING THE SECOND STOP IN A BLOCK WILL DIRECTLY RESULT IN THE DEATH OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE CAN SEE THROUGH YOUR NEFARIOUS PLAN TO ELIMINATE OF THE MOST HIGH-TRAFFIC BUS LINES IN THE CITY BY MAKING A SMALL STEP TO IMPROVE IT AND BRING THIS PART OF THE LINE UP TO YOUR OWN STANDARDS!!!!!!!!!"
Did Ed exercise leadership? Did he respond to each message with a careful explanation of SFMTA's own evidence-based policies and the time and cost savings that would be involved? Did he note that the stop in question is literally without shouting distance of two other stops and on the same block with one of them? Did he assure people that removing one stop is not foreshadowing the removal of an entire major bus line?
The answer, dear readers, is no. No, the SFMTA director of transportation did not take an opportunity to engage with his community and exercise leadership in explaining a decision made falsely controversial by outright lies. He simply rolled over and allowed a loud liar with access to a photocopier and the tired bus riders who saw a scary sign to make city policy. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
|Ed Reiskin is ~all about~ improving Muni, except when it comes to removing bus stops within 300 feet of each other.|