Another Accident at 8th and Irving…And It Wasn’t Muni’s Fault (again)

carfail.JPGSo there I was, at home reading email when suddenly I heard a loud WHAM! the sound of a car hitting something. I looked out the window and lo and behold, a car crossing Irving at 8th had been hit by a Muni train. This isn’t the first time this happened – just about a month or two ago the same thing happened. Car tries to cross street, doesn’t pay attention, Muni train hits car, car loses. No one was hurt, fortunately, but the resulting delays on the N, the 44, and traffic on the side streets was rather messy.
To be honest, I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often, not because of any problems on Muni’s end (in this case, like the other one, the auto was driving in the intersection without paying attention to the traffic), since I see so many near misses. It’s as if people driving in cars in SF don’t seem to understand basic rules of the road, the concept of a right of way, or the laws of physics. Expecting a multi-ton train to stop on a dime falls somewhere between being dumb and living in Fantasyland.
Even with the traffic calming program which is showing some results, no amount of signage or infrastructure can truly prevent the actions of a driver who’s driving around in a fog, not paying attention. And while I cringe at calling cars “death machines,” in this case, one bad driver blocked up all traffic in the Inner Sunset at mid day, with repercussions for many others, so perhaps “time and transportation
I often wonder what it would be like if perhaps we had a system of training people how to drive in urban and suburban environments, teach people rules of the road, and then we could perhaps certify them with some sort of documentation that would indicate that person is fit to drive. I realize this will enrage the “tea party” crowd and San Francisco “progressives”, but it would seem to be necessary, especially in light of the many accidents and dangerous conditions caused by people who literally do not know how to operate a vehicle.
For now, if you must drive north-south on 8th Avenue at Irving (or similar intersections) , just be sure to look carefully before crossing. You’ll be glad you did!

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6 Responses to Another Accident at 8th and Irving…And It Wasn’t Muni’s Fault (again)

  1. Helene says:

    “I often wonder what it would be like if perhaps we had a system of training people how to drive in urban and suburban environments, teach people rules of the road, and then we could perhaps certify them with some sort of documentation that would indicate that person is fit to drive. I realize this will enrage the “tea party” crowd and San Francisco “progressives”, but it would seem to be necessary, especially in light of the many accidents and dangerous conditions caused by people who literally do not know how to operate a vehicle.”
    I often wonder this same sentiment. This post personally touches me because I was hit by a car when I was walking in a crosswalk (I had the right of way). Yes, I was hit by a car and could have died. For some reason the guy did not even notice me until my brother was running after the car with my body on the hood.
    Anyway, sorry to go off like that, but really, people need to learn to be more cautious with driving. Especially when it comes to a moving Muni train!

  2. MrEricSir says:

    It seems like there’s always going to be some level of risk with automobiles. They’re only as smart and attentive as their drivers. Any way you look at it, it’s a societal problem and there’s not any easy fix.
    I wonder though if our fast-paced culture has something to do with the number of auto accidents. If we stopped rushing and worrying about being on time, would we have fewer accidents?

  3. Jimd says:

    It’s more than just autos. On 9th and Irving where the N gets a protected signal, situations still get quite hairy. I still see people dashing across the street against the oncoming N and don’t walk signal.

  4. TimeDoctor says:

    I was on this train when it got stuck, for at least 45 minutes we waited for a shuttle bus that never arrived and we weren’t even told what happened or any ETA on another train.

  5. Bob Davis says:

    “….the auto was driving in the intersection without paying attention….” There may come a time when autos (or their computers) DO pay attention, but right now the DRIVER has to pay attention.
    And yes, the typical modern American seems to be in a hurry most of the time. Many years ago someone commented: “Back in the old days, if a man missed the stagecoach, he’d bunk down at Ye Olde Inn until the next one came along. Nowadays, people get upset if they miss one section in a revolving door.”

  6. Rebecca says:

    I hate that intersection and try to avoid it all the time because drivers are just that stupid. I usually get around on my Harley and so many morons have almost taken me out as they try to cross Irving from 8th St.
    I also love your idea of better training for drivers. Can we also include in their required training the German rule of Rechtsfahren. If you’re on the Autobahn and you’re not in the right lane you better be passing somebody or they will pull you over. That is a major offense. I would love to see that on American Highways because so many stupid people race across all lanes of traffic to get to the number 1 lane and then stay there driving 20 MPH under the limit. No wonder we have road rage.

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