Letters: Patrol Special officers provide quality service

I was amused by your Sept. 28 editorial making much ado about one cell phone paid for by some private merchants for the SFPD foot patrol officer serving Bernal Heights. One contributing Bernal merchant called it a “brilliant idea,” and in general, I concur.

However, this brilliant idea of police carrying a modern communications tool, and caring merchants paying to augment local safety services has been done in San Francisco for about 161 years by the Patrol Special Police — who specialize in community foot beats paid by private clients.

Since cell phones became popular years ago, each Patrol Special officer carries one, and of course they have voice mail and e-mail. As a former business client of the Patrol Specials, and a present residential client today in Glen Park, I feel that Patrol Special Police are especially trained and equipped to provide responsive, quality-of-life and ­service-­­oriented policing.

Ann Grogan, San Francisco

Bring SamTrans to Market

SamTrans is the bus service that brings Peninsula transit commuters into San Francisco. Because of an unfortunate Muni decision rendered without thought 25 years ago, SamTrans operates on Mission Street instead of Market, despite the fact that most Peninsula commuters are destined to points on or north of Market. The recent Market Street changes designed to improve the flow of transit vehicles have created a unique opportunity.

If the SamTrans buses were allowed to use Market instead of Mission, ridership would increase. If the routing change were accompanied with a conversion of existing mixed flow lanes on Interstate 280 and U.S. 101 for buses, it would be additional inducement to Peninsula commuters to ride SamTrans.

More cars enter San Francisco every day from the south than from the two bridges combined. Therefore, reducing the number of access freeway lanes from the south while shifting SamTrans operation to San Francisco’s central commercial street would generate many new riders and likely be a substantial reduction in commuter traffic within San Francisco.

Gerald Cauthen, Oakland

No dog ‘chaos’ at Funston

I was disappointed at the sensational, irresponsible article on dogs at Fort Funston in the Sept. 29 Examiner. “Canine chaos unleashed” provided no evidence backing the claim that things have become so much worse at Fort Funston that the GGNRA should now ban off-leash dogs there.

The article glossed over the fact that Fort Funston Dog Walkers, San Francisco Dog Owners Group and the hang glider association have been working together to reduce any problems existing at Fort Funston. We’ve posted signs urging people to control their dogs when walking near the hang glider launch. SFDOG conducts dog-horse workshops to reduce tensions between the two user groups. We can all get along.

At least 750,000 visitors come to Fort Funston every year. The fact that so few bad incidents are reported indicates that shared use there is actually working well.

Sally Stephens, Chair, SFDOG, San Francisco

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