Today In MUNI News: Pain, Suffering on the L, Possible Relief Elsewhere…

Wow, what a day in MUNI news. First, we hear of an incident where a man got his hand caught in the doors of a departing L-Taraval at Embarcadero, and was dragged by the train as it left the station.
I can only imagine how scary this must have been for the aforementioned victim and the passengers on the train – especially when attempts to stop the train for such a mishap didn’t seem to work at first. The good citizens on board the train who did their best deserve some kudos for paying attention and trying to help – instead of just taking the “screw you” attitude some would suggest is more appropriate.
At the same time, I’m also a bit surprised this doesn’t happen more often. So many people will try to jam their hands or feet into a nearly-closed door in an attempt to board, this is bound to happen. And, it’s not like the doors on MUNI trains are all in tip top shape – if you’ve ever been on one where they don’t open, or don’t close, you start to realize the doors aren’t as friendly as those on say, an elevator.
Either way, though, the entire incident sounds like one that I’d just as soon never see repeated again….hopefully the injured party got treatment and is doing ok.
Today’s Examiner has some early reporting on the potential for a Bus Rapid Transit system on Van Ness Avenue. Done right, this could be a big help for both buses and cars. When I used to commute from Marin County to San Mateo County (one of the worst commutes you can imagine), every day I had to drive down Lombard and Van Ness. If they move the buses to their own lanes so they’re not cutting across, and reduce local car trips in favor of faster bus rides, I think the BRT might have the effect of speeding up car rides on Van Ness since the traffic would be a little more orderly.
Or not. Who knows? But this is all in the early stages, so it could go any one of a number of ways.
UPDATE: If you can, try and see local filmmaker Blake Weirs’ film “New Urban Cowboy”, which I mentioned previously. There are showings tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at the Roxie Cinema, and I think many would be pleasantly surprised at the film’s subject and message about how, yes, it is possible to turn a crack town into a nice town. Check it out!

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