Cars Are Cool. Really!
Cars are cool.
Yes, I said it. Cars can be really cool sometimes. Much as I enjoy taking the N, or sometimes a cable car, to my intended destination, the reality is that sometimes the best efforts of MUNI, BART or any mass transit agency can't meet the needs of the average resident.
Recently I sold my groovy IKEA desk to a loyal reader, and the reality is that trying to haul that thing on a MUNI car would have been a fool's errand. Not to mention the glares I'd get from my fellow passengers. So I rented a U Haul van for a very reasonable price, and was zipping all around town. It was great!
Now, that said, I quickly found myself in the quagmire that is San Francisco parking. Unbeknownst to loyal readers, I once had only one super-power, and unfortunately it's nothing as cool as bending time and space, or flying. It was my Jedi-like ability to find parking in even the most difficult neighborhoods of SF. When I had my super cool (but just a bit too big and awkward) car in San Francisco, I managed to find parking all the time. However, that power has gone by the wayside it seems. I began to wonder if somehow the city had bent space and time to actually make it harder to park a freakin' van.
But it was then when I realized what the real problem was. When you need a car, either to haul something big and ugly, or to take small children safely from place to place, or to accomodate an elderly parent or relative, you really need the streets to run smoothly and the parking situation to not suck as much as it does. I can only imagine the frustration parents must have in San Francisco taking kids to a music lesson or the doctor when traffic + parking conspire together to make one's day suck.
Which, ironically is why you really need MUNI to work properly, and not be a hotbead of fingerpointing, dysfunction, and a daily example of lurching stupidity. If people who really don't need to drive are offered an affordable, pleasant way to avoid the parking/traffic two step from Hell, they will - and free up the street for deliveries, and for those who can't take a MUNI because it just doesn't work.
We all need to take our heads out of the sand on this one. A good transit system makes it easier for cars to get around when they really need to - and takes them off the road when they don't. If we build something that works, and we show people it's worth the risk - they'll do it. San Francisco was once the City That Knew How - let's take it away from those who now make it The City That Knows How To Whine, and see what happens.