March 6, 2014

Taking a Trip to Los Angeles, Using Only Public Transit? Yes, It's Possible....

Today I am departing for Los Angeles for a number of reasons, including some coverage of the California Democratic Convention (which I'll post on my other blog if it's warranted) and to just get out of town and enjoy a change of scenery.

My goal for this trip, transit-wise wasn't so much to prove a point as to avoid having to rent a car, and since half my trip will be spent downtown, and the other half on LA's Westside, I think this will be do-able. I've received some great advice from Twitter transit fan @ExpoLineLedger, and the LA MTA website has also been helpful. (To be clear, I am flying down there, but I'm relying on BART and Muni to get me to SFO, and a bus from LAX to downtown once I arrive.)

I will post updates for the transit portion of the trip on my main Twitter account, @njudah with the hashtag #njcla2014. Posts relating to the CDP Convention will have the hashtag #cadem2014, so if you're not interested in that topic, you can filter those tweets out rather easily.

If nothing else, I'm looking forward to enjoying some sunny weather, check out various attractions, and get a french dip sandwich at Phillipe's, all sans rental car! I'll write a summary when the trip is over.

At a time when our own SFMTA seems to be sabotaging its own Transit Effectiveness Project which cost several million dollars and received hundreds of hours of public input, and a lack of leadership overall in San Francisco on transit issues, it'll be interesting to see how another California city and region handles such things. Maybe there's a few things we could learn from them, eh?

January 25, 2014

Two VERY Important Meetings That Will DIRECTLY Affect the N and The Neighborhood!

Ok, I know I said I was going to be on hiatus working to FINALLY move this blog off of ancient MovableType and on to Word Press, but there are two meetings that people should know about that will have a direct effect on their commute, both for the short term, and in the years to come.

The first, is a meeting to be held on improvements to Irving Street on January 30th, at the San Francisco County Fair building. This is significant, because Irving Street is due to be repaved in 2015.

The SFMTA is holding a meeting, following up on the outreach done to the public for the Transit Effectiveness Project back in 2007-2008. The changes proposed will have a direct impact on the ability of the SFMTA to speed up the N and make it more efficient, while at the same time ensuring safety for everyone who uses the streets and sidewalks in the Inner Sunset.

You can read the details here. If you cannot attend, you can always send in your comments to the SFMTA directly, as well.

Bear in mind that it's important you speak up now and listen also to the extensive work already done on this - in order to be prepared for the 2015 repaving effort, the changes need to be approved in March 2014. Many changes have been made in other neighborhood with success, and no armageddon for local residents and businesses. Be sure to pay attention to this process as it goes forward.

(Please also note this has absolutely nothing to do with vague proposals about the future of Irving between 9th and 10th. That vague concept is a separate effort, and has absolutely nothing at all to do with improvements between Arguello and Irving/9th).

The second (and third) meetings you should be aware of relate to the Sunset Tunnel Trackway Improvement Project. You can read the details at the SFMTA website, in particular the weekend closures that will be necessary (and oh so fun!) during the project.

This is a big deal, so two meetings are scheduled: one will be held on January 29th at 6pm at the Electrical Workers Union Hall at 55 Fillmore Street.

The second will be held on February 6th at the Park Branch Library Community Room, also at 6pm, at 1833 Page Street.

Be sure to attend if you can, and hopefully we will see some interest from elected officials who represent the N Judah line show up and pay attention as well. Past experience has demonstrated that the SFMTA can always hold a nice meeting, but it's the follow-up and the results that matter more - something that's not always the SFMTA's strong suit.

Remember, you are an owner/rider of Muni, and only you can demand better. You're certainly not going to get any help, from the Mayor on down, without making sure they know you're paying attention this time.

January 21, 2014

The Blog is On Hiatus But Will Return

I haven't been updating this blog for a while now. There are several reasons: part of it has been a bit of burnout, as I've been following all things Muni for 8 years. The other has been that I've had things to attend to in Non Internet Life (aka Real Life) that has taken up a lot of my time. While I've maintained a Twitter & an Instagram account that's part Muni and part personal, it's not the same as doing a blog.

However, I am actively working to move this site off of orphan software and finally onto Wordpress, which will allow me to post faster, and from my phone, as well as be easier to customize. Once that's done, as well as some other things I'm involved with, I'll resume the blog with some new energy and focus.

In the meantime, please peruse the 8+ years of posts in the archives. Thanks for your patience and support.

October 14, 2013

Celebrate the N Judah Line's 85th Anniversary Next Week With A New Shirt Design! UPDATED

UPDATE: Zazzle pulled the design off our store, saying it violated their terms of service, which of course it did not. They are claiming that drawing pictures of streetcars somehow involved "copyright" which again, is BULLSHIT. Ironically, they didn't pull the 80th anniversary design. Even worse, we already went through this bullshit once before, and after said dustup, they put all our stuff back online and admitted THEY screwed up.

Anyway, Happy N Judah Birthday, etc. I'm going to take down our Zazzle store for good this week, because I'm sick of their bullshit.


Did you know that our Mighty N turns 85 next Monday, October 21, 2013? Probably not. Well now you do, and there's now a new series of products we have started producing to celebrate the Big Day.

First off is a basic T Shirt, which you can customize color, etc. You can find it here and there will be some more products (women's t-shirt, a mug, etc.) posted later this week.

Whether you buy something or not, be sure to say "Happy Birthday" when you ride the N next week!

Enjoying Your Choco-Ration, Muni Riders? AKA How's that 3 Car Muni Metro Working?

You have to give credit to Muni and the SFMTA for one thing - they sure know how to spin the news media in ways that would make the Ministry of Truth blush in 1984. There are many such examples but I'm going to focus on just one today - the news about "test runs" of three-car Muni Metro trains, as reported in various outlets, including The Examiner.

Now, to hear what's said at SFMTA meetings, the press and whatnot, the MTA did oh so much hard work to make this pilot happen. Why, what a smart idea! Make the trains able to take more passengers when things are busy. What a great idea ! Huzzah for the shopkeep! Huzzah for the Salaries at Muni and the MTA!

There's just one little problem with all of this ballyhoo for this allegedly brilliant idea - that is how the system was supposed to work in the first *&^%! place. Yes, you read that right. When the Muni Metro system was designed, trains were supposed to have the option of three, even four cars as needed. Really.

The only reason we haven't had them since the introduction of the Breda cars in the 1990s? Well, that's because the Breda cars, to put it mildly, suck. You can read about how our esteemed ex-Mayor politicized and screwed up this process, but what's more important is the fallout for you, the rider - you got your services cut, and you didn't even realize it. The Breda cars had serious problems staying stuck together in a more than 2 car configuration, and somehow, only now, has the MTA bothered to even try and fix the problem.

(Or, if they had, despite all the Salaries, they failed for 15 years).

So while I applaud seeing an extension of service, and hope to maybe see a 3 car train on the N Judah line someday, I'm not going to hold my breath, and I'm certainly not going to jump for joy when my choco-ration is "increased" by 10 grams when it's actually been cut by 50.

July 23, 2013

Two Local Events You Should Be Aware Of: Sunset Boulevard Open House and A Really Big Garage Sale!

There's a couple of events happening here locally that I thought people should be aware of. The first is a hearing by the Public Utlities Commision regarding the future of Sunset Boulevard. The goal is to find ways to better use the green parts of the street to manage stormwater, and to make other improvements to enhance this unique street in San Francisco.

The hearing will be held on July 25th from 5pm to 8pm at the Sunset Recreation Center, 2201 Lawton St (between 28th and 29th). For more details on what the meeting will discuss, follow this link to the PUC website.

The other event is a multi-family "flea market" being held at the "Yes We Can!" House at Irving and 6th. The market will be held from noon to 5pm and you get a free ice cream after your purchase. Attendees are encouraged to bring dollar bills and loose change. If you'd like to reserve a table to sell for $25, contact Barbara at 415 246 4748.



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