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A Moment of Truth, Almost Daily, On the N-Judah

Being the kind of person I am, I think about all sorts of things. One, though that crosses my mind almost daily as I take the N-Judah inbound is what I call the "Moment of Truth" when it passes through the Duboce/Church intersection and into the tunnel.

Almost every time, it needs to stop just before it enters the tunnel to allow for traffic from other underground lines headed for the stations downtown. And every time it does, I begin to wonder what would happen if the power was cut (due to technical delays or a natural disaster) and suddenly, all of us on the N were stuck in the car.

There's no easy way out. The space between the doors and the sides of the tunnel entrance are extremely narrow, and even if one could override the doors and open them up, it's hard to see how you'd evacuate everyone out, esp. seniors, the disabled, etc. And I've yet to see an escape hatch on top (although perhaps it's just camouflaged?) like one has on a bus.

I certainly hope neither I, nor any of my fellow MUNI riders ever get stuck there, but if anyone has an escape plan email me ASAP!


Yes! I've thought this often on my way to work since starting to take the N. I'd like to think the answer is that there'd be a way to release the breaks and we'd be able to roll down and forward a bit until the tunnel opens up. At least, that's what I'm going to keep telling myself.

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