The Siren Song of the N Judah Is Annoying Everyone On the Line…

Our friends at the Ocean Beach Blog had a great post today about the annoying squeal of the N Judah LRVs as they make that epic turnaround at the end of the line. They did their homework and confronted Muni and the SFMTA about this state of affairs.
Those of us in the Inner Sunset, however, have been facing a similar problem at 9th and Irving and 9th and Judah. Trust me, as someone who lives literally 2 doors down from the 9th and Irving stop, I’m well aware of the siren song of the N as it makes a turn. Now, in some ways I’ve been able to avoid it as I accept that given where I live, there is going to be noise no matter what. At the same time, this is one of those stories that needs a trip to via the Wayback Machine to the Golden Years (allegedly, as told by folks in 2011) of the Willie Brown Years.
That’s because the Breda cars you see today running along the LRV lines were chosen not for their techonlogical advantage or suitability for San Francsico’s rail lines, they were chose primarily based on politics under Fomer Mayor (and Regally impaired) Mayor Willie Brown. The SF Weekly chronicled this entire frak-up 13 years ago (funny how the Guardian did not) started with the fact that the replacement for the failwhale Boeing cars ended up going to a company with no business making our current ones.
Add to the fact that they were too heavy for the rails to begin with, had to be lightened up, and oh, get this, the Breda folks used SF as a guide to build cars for Boston (which ended up spending more time in repairs than in service) and you realize, this was one of those epic frak ups with long term consequences. Meanwhile in the year 2011, we mythologize the Brown era as being effective, when in fact it was ONLY effective at delivering boom year cash to his pals, and ending with a landslide 87-13 election of Chris Daly and an epic win of the progressive movement. I mean, how bad do you have to screw up to elect THEM?
So, back to the point:
We have this problem because once again, unto the breach, Muni’s decisions were not made based on what was best for the system or best for the owner/rider back in the 1990s, instead it was based on cronyism and bullsh!t. So when you hear that migraine-inducing turn, be it at 9th and Irving, 9th and Judah or the end of the line, just know that it didn’t have to happen.
And also know the elections have consequences. Stop listening to soundbites and mail pieces and start asking some tough questions. It’s YOUR Muni. Start acting like an owner.

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3 Responses to The Siren Song of the N Judah Is Annoying Everyone On the Line…

  1. Cynthia Price says:

    Greg,
    I’ve lived near the Ocean Beach N turnaround for 16 years, and the screeching is nothing new – it happened with both the Boeings and the Bredas.

  2. Greg Dewar says:

    I figured as much. But the Bredas did cause a lot of problems when they were initially rolled out due to weight, damage to the tracks etc.

  3. Fred Condo says:

    I’ve spent the past 2 & a half months in Europe, principally Nice, France. The beautiful, modern, clean buses and trams here make me want to weep. I will never again see my beloved 24, 48, and J in the same light.
    Spent 3 days in Munich after New Year. I will not describe the glorious transportation system there, as it would make you despair for America.

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