MUNI Survival Guide For the Outside Lands Music Festival and the LaPlaya Block Party
Update: I just took a look at the NextMuni/GoogleMaps mashup, and it seems like there's a ton of N's in and outbound...good luck and get home safe everyone!
For those of you headed to the Outside Lands Music Festival this Friday-Sunday, and for those headed to the LaPlaya Block Party on Saturday, heads up: we may be looking at an epic MUNI failwhale festival, as we've previously discussed. However, the N Judah Chronicles does not exist simply to complain, but to try and assist our fellow citizens as they try and enjoy a nice weekend. Thus, I've come up with a list of things you might wanna do to try and avoid too much mayhem as you head to the various festivals this weekend. UPDATE: MUNI has also posted some guides, including "preferred" places to board the N, 71, et al.
1. Don't drive to the festival! - This may seem a bit counter-intuitive given that MUNI may be on the verge of collapse, but trust me - parking really sucks near Speedway Meadow anyway, but with zillions of music fans all trying to drive there, it will only get worse. And you can bet that DPT will be out there in an "Apocalypse Now" kind of deployment to write tickets (insert "Flight of the Valkyries" music here).
2. Take the N or the 71 if you must, but consider alternatives as well. - The easiest way to get to the part of Golden Gate Park is of course, our Mighty N or the 71 Haight/Noriega, but depending on where you're coming in from, other routes might work too. For example, one could take the 38 Geary past Park Presidio, and then hop on the 29 Sunset, which would drop you off sorta nearby too. And of course there is the 5 Fulton.
3. Follow the Outside Lands Festival on Twittter. - You can follow the festival on your mobile device via Twitter, and find out the latest that's up with the festival. Perhaps it may end up serving as a life line of info in case of a big MUNI fail, too!
4. Buy Local for Your Provisions. - If you do decide to take the N or the 71, for example, there are a number of cool local stores you can go to for your food and drink needs. They include Al's Market at Irving and 5th (good for organic items), the 828 Irving Market (excellent wine and beer selection, and anything else you might need), Cheese Boutique (high end cheeses and bargain sandwiches), and so on. I'll amend this list as I come up with more, feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section too!
5. Bring exact change, or buy a day pass way in advance! - When I didn't have a MUNI pass, and would go to things like this, I'd always be sure to keep MUNI fare for the return trip hidden in my wallet away from the rest of my money, so I wouldn't accidentally spend it and get stuck somewhere. The best way to speed things up on MUNI is to have your money ready, or get a pass of some sort so you don't have to bother with paying at the front car of the N. Or, have 6 quarters ready so you can just dump your change in the farebox and not have to fiddle with that pesky paper dollar.
6. Plan ahead for a failwhale and go to a local bar. - Inevitably there's going to be a delay somewhere. Instead of bitching, why not go to one of the many bars on Irving Street while you wait? Between the Blackthorn Tavern, the Little Shamrock, Mucky Duck, and Yancy's (all at the Irving and 9th intersection), or perhaps one of the bars between 19th and 26th on Irving Street, such as Durty Nelly's? I find that a tall glass of Guinness or a Bloody Mary is enough to make a little MUNI angst go away.
These are just some initial thoughts....readers, post your ideas in the comments! Let's see if we can't help each other out should things go south. And if they don't, even better!