Links of Interest for the Weekend: Sunset Tunnel Closure, Superbowl Sillies, and More!

Quite a lot has been going on lately around town. I was all set to write a few posts about the latest nonsense about the Palace of Fine Arts, etc., but others beat me to it. Between that and the long, dragged out struggle to Fix the Sunset Tunnel, it was easier to revive Links of Interest than try and catch up.

First, if you haven’t heard yet, there’s a “request” (aka a “demand” aka a “do this because we say so and you have no recourse, peasants”) by the NFL to have the SFMTA dismantle (!) overhead wires on Market Street…for a Superbowl party.

Naturally, the NFL has no intention of actually paying for the true cost to the SFMTA, or for the lost hours by commuters downtown who rely on said lines as they are pulled out of operation for a minimum of 3 weeks. I could go on, but why do that when TK does it so well here.

Second, this weekend there’s another Sunset Tunnel closure. In addition to the usual bus shuttle service between Church/Duboce and the Westside, there will also be installation of signal equipment at 9th/Judah. While traffic will be allowed to pass through, the accessible platforms will not be in operation, so the bus shuttle will be rerouted from 9th to 10th Avenue, stopping at 10th/Judah. This is in addition to Central Subway work being done at 4th/King which will affect the N at Caltrain also.

Finally, there’s been some noise about the Palace of Fine Arts being potentially turned into a luxury hotel, or some other harebrained idea by our goofball Parks and Recreation department. All I will say is this- it is patent BULLSH*T that the Parks and Rec Dept. continues to justify the privatization of public parks always using the “city ain’t got no money” line.

That is crap. We are enjoying record economic growth with billions in wealth being created, and we have a city budget that outspends whole states. In addition, we have Supervisors demanding we set aside money to fund the Parks Dept. To suggest that the only way to “save” the Palace of Fine Arts is to turn it into some house of ill repute for the 1% doesn’t add up.

It really is a shame we didn’t have any real candidates for mayor in that last election, isn’t it? Garbage City here we come!

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Seen on the N Inbound This Evening

Seen on the N inbound at 19th-a "shuttle" bus pulled up next to the N Judah train.

A photo posted by G. Dewar (@njudah) on

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Sunset Tunnel Closing This Weekend And So Much More

Thanks again to the delays to repairs for the Sunset Tunnel, instead of having a completed tunnel repair by now, we have more closures coming, the next one being this weekend, starting on Saturday, October 24th. You can read the details here at the SFMTA website, but what you won’t read is how this delay, combined with Other Delays, has had the ripple effect of delaying the completion date until 2016.

If the people who were upset about the noise had said something before the resumption of work, post holiday, in 2015, their concerns could have been addressed and we’d have the work done. By waiting until the work started to get their lawyery selves on, they have ensured the work has been subjected to costly delays. Currently, the schedule so far for 2015 is to have work begin on the weekends of 10/24, 11/7, 11/14 and 11/21. Work begins each weekend on a Saturday at 2am, and ends at 3:30am every Monday. Enjoy the bus “substitutions” lol.

In addition to the regular tunnel work, this weekend will also see work on 9 intersections to improve N Judah service as well. The disabled access platform at 19th will be out of service, and while streets will remain open, you can expect to see work being done all along Judah street.

This isn’t the only work scheduled, of course, as the nightly shutdown of downtown subway service will continue, so anyone wanting to get home after 10pm will need to take a bus shuttle downtown to an awaiting N train at Duboce and Church.

But wait! That’s not all! In addition to all this work, there will be work done on the Central Subway (!) from 11/6-11/14 daily at 4th and King Streets. The N will stop at a temporary platform on King Street, and during this time you can expect some delays. This, as stated earlier, is in addition to the nightly shutdown of subway service.

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Why Removing Cars from Powell Might Not Be a Bad Idea…

An idea has been circulating around for quite a while now to remove private auto traffic from Powell Street, between Geary and Market. This post at Market Street Railway makes some good points regarding the idea, particularly with some unique safety issues cable cars (and their operators) face, as well as the wear and tear on the cable system itself from auto traffic.

A “pilot plan” is up for approval next month, and would allow the SFMTA to decide whether such a plan would work long term. I actually ride the cable cars more often than most, and the swarm of tourists (particularly in the summertime) make driving down there a nightmare to begin with. Plus, the on street parking was eliminated some time ago by the parklets, and removing private cars from this stretch of Powell would help make  this area safer for people in the area, and make operating the cable cars safer and more efficient.

Plus, I’ve seen enough doofus drivers, such as this one from way back when, doing some pretty stupid moves in this are, endangering everyone. This is one of those decisions that people tend to make up  hysterical predictions of Doom and Gloom, only to find that when it happens, it ends up working out fairly well. It certainly is better than say, drilling a big hole into Stockton Street for months or years, right?

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