Random News, Reader Mail and Obama's Transportation Nominee...Oh My!
Posting from now through the end of the year is going to be light because I need a bit of a break, and I need to do some work to upgrade the system that runs the blog, so I can also update the look and mechanics of the site as well. However, when there's breaking news or reader mail, we'll be sure to post.
First, don't forget our local shopping guide for any last minute gifts you may need. And, don't forget you can still order our "N is Near" and "80th Anniversary of the N" shirts from Zazzle.com at any time. Since they're located in Redwood City, shipping to most places in California is rather speedy.
Next, many people have asked me what I think of President Elect Obama's choice of Rep. Ray LaHood as Transportation Secretary. He never appeared on any of the "short lists" for who President-Elect Obama might appoint, and frankly I barely heard of him before myself, so to be honest, the answer is "we'll see." (And what is up with all this bicycle stuff and LaHood? I mean, yeah, bikes are great, but we will never see the streets filled with bikes, a la Beijing circa 1978, despite the dearest of hopes of bike advocates.)
True, he isn't part of the "anything not a car is Satan's doing" caucus in Congress, but beyond that, it seems as if they had to appoint someone with an "R" next to their name to the Cabinet, and just as President Bush appointed Democratic Congressman Norm Mineta, it seems Obama's continuing this new tradition. The good people at Streetsblog have a roundup of reactions as well.
And now, for some Reader Mail. Reader Karena writes this morning with some interesting news:
Hi Greg, I was taking the N to work yesterday morning and noticed that a MUNI employee was selling transfers. It was probably the quickest boarding at that stop I'd ever witnessed. My train was packed this morning and I couldn't look out the window to see if he was there again. Is someone at MUNI finally listening?
I think they are. Not everyone who rides MUNI is going to buy a pass or have a Translink card handy - there are plenty of people who are only casual users of MUNI and try as we might, there will always be someone paying cash. MUNI's Nate Ford noted at the meeting a few weeks ago that he'd personally observed just how crowded Carl/Cole can get with people trying to pay a fare during the day.
Carl / Cole and UCSF and Irving / 9th get a lot of casual riders, and that's where inevitably you get a bit of a wait. UCSF has patients and visitors whose number of visits don't warrant a pass (or are coming from out of town), and Irving and 9th is getting a lot more people due to the Academy and the park's events. Since we're not going to be able to fund a comprehensive solution and/or make people buy Translink under penalty of death, this is probably the best solution we'll get in the near future.