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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The SFMTA Has a New, Friendly Blog, and Readers Seem Suspicious.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 7:31 AM

click to enlarge PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
Did you know that the SFMTA has a new blog, Moving SF? Seemingly timed with the recent 25-cent fare increase, the parent agency of Muni has decided its image problem has grown dire, and wants to give the everyday commuter (that'd be you!) insight into the workings of one of the most disliked government bodies.

“We want to start telling your our story,” says the Aug. 28 inaugural post.

As SF Citizen already so poignantly put it: That's just bull shit.
But as just as every powerful actor needs a good foil or two, Moving SF’s comments section has already become very lively. Looking beyond the acrimonious debates over the merits of the GBUS TO MTV and its fellow corporate shuttles, it appears that any official attempt at propagandizing the beleaguered strap-hanging populace with the SFMTA party line will at least be matched by well-informed opposition down below. 

A subsequent post brought it all out. An introduction to a new Q&A feature about city streets, it solicited inquiries from readers and got a mouthful in reply:
Why aren’t there cameras on buses? What is median greening for? Why don’t bus shelters have the promised solar panels? Why do timed traffic lights differ from the speed limit on certain streets? Why is the same diamond symbol used for bus/taxi lanes and for HOV lanes? (These were all from the same individual.) 
Let’s just hope the promised responses are forthcoming.

One reason for Muni's desire to lift its approval ratings might be Prop. A, which hits the ballot in November. The proposal to finance transportation improvements via a $500,000,000 bond sounds anodyne enough until you realize that it also grants landlords the power to pass 50 percent of any residential property tax increases onto tenants, but “Going Green” reads as if it’s the first of a long series of articles extolling the benefits of giving this hated agency yet more money to play with. And of course, fares just went up.

Could it be that SFMTA and Muni are attempting to curry favor with ordinary San Franciscans in order to get half a billion dollars at precisely the moment when tenants are feeling the squeeze more than ever? Time will tell. If Moving SF doesn’t want to volunteer its motives, its vivacious commenters just might wring it out of them.

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About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40


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