Letters from our Readers: No buses won’t give peds a reason to visit Market

“Market Street minus Muni” according to your Oct. 27 cover story? What is the mayor thinking? Would he reroute the historic trolleys to Mission Street as well?

The problem with Market Street is not too many cars or too many buses. It’s too many boarded-up storefronts and too few people. The sidewalks are already wide enough for lots of pedestrians. Now we just have to give pedestrians a reason to use them.

Michael Zonta, San Francisco

Underground strained as-is

Mayor Gavin Newsom’s idea of banning Muni on Market Street is a new low. I can understand banning private vehicles — which would have as one of the biggest benefits an increase in Muni speed. It makes no sense to expect people to transfer to the underground route, which is already overburdened past its original capacity.

Underground trolleys have a record of frequent delays, overcrowding and causing complete gridlock in the entire system, because, unlike with surface vehicles, you can’t go around a breakdown.

In the 30 years I have been here, “revitalizing” Market Street is what made it into the mess it’s in.

Elizabeth Frantes, San Francisco

War a waste of lives, money

Is there any doubt that President Hamid Karzai will emerge the winner in Afghanistan’s runoff election? We shouldn’t be spending more lives and dollars supporting a corrupt government. The eight-year war has already caused the deaths of 869 Americans and thousands of Afghan civilians, and has cost an estimated $230 billion. This money could have been better spent at home for health care and affordable housing.

I do not believe that Afghanistan will ever become a functioning government, and without a reliable local partner, the U.S. military presence will increasingly become part of the problem, not the solution. It is time for President Barack Obama to announce a realistic exit strategy for Afghanistan that is sooner rather than later.

Ralph E. Stone, San Francisco

Funding for TVs a bad plan

Muni shelters will have television sets installed, according to your Oct. 22 story.

I believe this is a truly bad idea. You will spend money for the TVs to be vandalized or stolen. The money for this foolishness could be going to a homeless shelter for bedding, hygiene products or even food.

Ronnie Turner, San Francisco

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