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Monday, February 14, 2011

Outwalking Muni -- the Story That Never Gets Old

Posted By on Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 9:45 AM

click to enlarge Sometimes walking is the only option - JIM HERD
  • Jim Herd
  • Sometimes walking is the only option

If you haven't read Will Reisman's recounting of his attempt to outwalk the 30-Stockton, you should -- it's nice that the Examiner is allowing its talented staff to express its creativity via a means other than unearthing novel synonyms for "criminal."

In any event, while Reisman didn't win his matchup with the bus line that has been the bane of his existence, it was still entertaining to read his blow-by-blow. And though the 30-Stockton rolled past Market one block ahead of a man on foot, that doesn't ameliorate the fact that this bus line -- and many other Muni routes -- are hideously slow.

A fun article that makes a salient point? That's a good thing. Just as it was back in 1998 when a pair of Chronicle scribes tested whether a pedestrian could outhoof the N-Judah (he did).   

So, while this was a creatively written article, it was hardly a creative premise. But that's not a criticism -- as Monty Python put it, "It's not necessarily a good thing just to be different ... No, quite, there is equal humor in the conventional." Thirteen years after the Chron's pedestrian vs. Muni article, the line is still molasses-like enough that such articles are warranted.

Sadly, that's because -- as SF Weekly wrote last year -- a number of methods of speeding up Muni available to the system have not been employed (Muni is, in fact, the slowest major metropolitan transit service in North America). These solutions -- transit-only lanes, expedited boarding, etc. -- aren't "creative" either. But they, too, would work just fine.

And they'd be a fraction of the price of the farcical Central Subway project that will one day supplant Reisman's white whale, the 30-Stockton. Say what you will about the godforsaken bus, but it manages to fail for less than billions of dollars.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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