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And Now, Another Crusade: Making Irving and 9th and Judah and 9th More Safe

Hopefully, all of you Loyal Readers had a fun Fourth of July holiday. I went to a party at SF Metroblogging's Anna whose place featured the groovy view you see in the accompanying photo. Thanks, Anna!

However, as I was out and about on all these sunny days we had, a problem which won't go away, despite everyone's attempts to ignore it, reared its ugly head as it does most every day - the unsafe intersections at Irving/9th and Judah/9th.

Right now, the status quo is simple: no one wins. Every day you see plenty of near-misses as N-Judah trains try to make a left turn going outbound, or trains trying desperately to sync with the traffic lights, but can't because of other delays.

Cars are not having much fun - they're often stuck in the middle of the intersection and end up turning as the light changes to red, clashing with pedestrians. And people walking or riding a bike? Well, even for those who can sprint across the street, it's a crapshoot, and for our seniors and disabled citizens, it can be really tough. This is not working for anyone.

The funny thing is, we were promised a fairly obvious solution to this rather serious issue way back in November 2006, when assorted citizens and Sup. Mirkarimi challenged MUNI management on this issue.

We were told we'd be seeing a solution sometime in 2007, in the form of "scramble" signals, like the ones you see in Chinatown or Downtown, that allow for pedestrians to cross separately from the lights for traffic. Such a solution would make MUNI run faster, make the intersection safer for people on foot, and help clean up the traffic for cars.

Logical, right? This is not something that needs a freakin' TEP to get done - it's just a matter of basic safety and efficiency.

However, I've learned that not only has MUNI gone back on this promise, they're even resisting "countdown" signals (the kind that at least tell you how many minutes you have left before a red light). This is ridiculous and it's time to put a little pressure on Those In Charge.

This time, I'm trying something new. In all these little Google ads, there are repeated promises of "getting a blog and affecting policy" at the Mayor's re-election site, so I signed up for one for the purposes of bring up this issue. (NOTE: The N Judah Chronicles is non partisan, and being on the ActLocally site is purely to advance this particular issue and does not constitute an endorsement of any candidate).

I'm going to start posting every few days and raise this issue there until we get some answers, not in the form of "thank you for your input" but "we are going to do something today to make the N run better and safer for you on day XX." I would urge anyone who feels as I do to post a comment here - but also post a comment at the Mayor's site as well.

Maybe that way we can bring this issue up and get someone's attention. I tried bringing this up at the Mayor's "Town Hall Meeting" a few weeks ago, but was unsuccessful. Let's give this a try and see what happens!

Comments

Hi Greg Dewar,

I am an intern at SPUR (San Francisco Planning Urban Research) and I am doing research on a topic that involves street intersections similar to Irving and 9th and Judah and 9th. By any chance, do you have the accident statistics for those intersections or if you can suggest where I can get them. If you can get back to me I would appreciate it. Thanks

Regards,
John Thai

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