A Sort Of Update On The New Signals for Irving/9th and Judah/9th

Reader Donald made an observation on a post from March regarding the new signal upgrades for the Irving/9th and Judah/9th intersections that made an interesting point, so I decided to make a few calls to find out what the situation was, and got a mixed bag of answers.
It should be noted that in the original memorandum from the SFCTA, who is paying for the upgrades, this project had a 90-day schedule for completion. What was not made clear was exactly when that 90 days started, making it difficult for the average citizen to take out a calendar and start marking days.
Given how the wheels of government turn, especially when multiple agencies are involved, just saying “go do it” isn’t enough – money has to be moved, etc. to get something done.
The new signal equipment is installed, but the entire project, according to Judson True, a MUNI spokesman, is “very close to completion” – however no firm date has yet been set. He did indicate that testing of the signals may begin this week, although no delay of the N Judah is expected as a result.
As I get more “real” information from MUNI, the MTA and the SFCTA, I’ll update this post. And, if you happen to spot anything in your travels in and around the Inner Sunset, feel free to email me and let me know what you’re seeing.
UPDATE: For some reason this post only appeared just recently, but was supposed to go up at 3pm. Odd.
Anyway, I had the chance to talk to the actual person actually in charge of actually doing this project, and the word is that most of the work is in fact done. The only thing that kept this project from being completed in the original 90 day window were some unforseen issues that required additional digging underground for cabling and the like.
Word is that testing for the system will begin next week, and once it is confirmed to be working, will be unveiled as quickly as possible.

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5 Responses to A Sort Of Update On The New Signals for Irving/9th and Judah/9th

  1. Patrick Ledwith says:

    I watched a guy set up cones on the east-southeast corner of 9th/Irving this morning, lean against his truck for about 30 minutes, and then leave. He was on his walkie-talkie the entire time… I guess they only freed up enough cash for an hour of labor today.
    Do you know what the white camera-like things they mounted atop the light posts are? There seem to be a half dozen of them.

  2. Greg says:

    @Patrick: Actually those cameras you see are the sensory equipment that will be used to track the train cars. There was an option to build sensors into the pavement – however that would have required MUNI to completely dig up both intersections and interrupt service for several months.
    The system chosen will instead rely on camera-like sensors. I can get more info from MUNI, you can also check the original post which has links to the Memo from the SFCTA who is actually paying for it with prop K funds.
    It remains to be seen how it will all work out, but at the very least the trains and cars won’t be fighting each other in the intersection and we’ll have countdowns on the crossings so people can make an intelligent decision as to whether to cross or not.
    Fingers crossed – c’mon MUNI you can do this….

  3. Patrick Ledwith says:

    I didn’t recall any mention of them in the initial post, but I’ll certainly go back and look. From a technological perspective, I’m kinda curious as to how they work.
    “…so people can make an intelligent decision as to whether to cross or not” – THAT’s the problem, without a massive multilingual public-education campaign about the CVC (with special emphasis on 21456 [http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21456.htm]) followed by writing thousands of jaywalking tickets citywide to emphasize the point, the new countdowns are going to be pretty useless.

  4. Greg says:

    @patrick: well it was kinda buried in the original stuff, I linked to the SFCTA but did not expressly quote it….but there’s some background info on why it is they can even use Prop K money for this – apparently one of the mandates of Prop. K is to spend money on ways to speed up buses and trains.
    as for the second part, well I agree…I am still amazed at how people, seemingly normal, walk around a busy urban area in a sort of haze, not really aware that gawrsh, them big train things is big and can crush ya like a bug!
    I don’t ever wish anyone to be hit by a MUNI vehicle, but plenty of times I’ve seen people who really don’t seem to understand they’re not walking in an empty space. And don’t even get me started on the bicyclists who blast through stoplights and signs, with that smug “I ride a bike I can do what I want” attitude. Then they wonder why the Big Truck runs ’em over….sigh….

  5. Doc says:

    thanks for the update. Really looking forward to completion.

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