Muni has solutions right in front them

? “Speed key to Muni transit vision,” Local News, Tuesday

Muni has solutions right in front them

Will Reisman’s story implies that reducing Muni travel times is some kind of extraordinary goal and something “For the agency to strive for over the next 50 years.”

This is completely ludicrous. Why does Muni need half a century to fix this problem?

The Transit Effectiveness Project of 2008 revealed that Muni has too many bus stops and most of them serve only one or two persons per stop. The excessive number of bus stops is one of the main reasons for Muni’s unusually slow travel time (only 8.5 mph) and overcrowding.

These findings were scientifically obtained through automatic passenger counters that monitor the number of passengers entering or exiting the vehicle, and GPS tracking of the vehicle’s speed and location. By relying on scientific data instead of the politics of “my stop versus somebody else’s stop,” Muni is free to make a non-emotional decision about which stops should be discontinued.

In addition to excessive stops, service is routinely interrupted at the end of the line for 10 minutes (or more) while operators take their break. In general, the data indicates that half the time Muni buses are supposedly in service, they’re actually just sitting still.

Despite the findings of the TEP released five years ago, now here in 2013 Muni has not implemented any of the recommended changes and the system continues to drag along.

Discontinuing problematic bus stops and excessive bathroom breaks are simple actions that will provide an immediate improvement and can be implemented with little funding. These are not “lofty goals” that require half a century to fix.

Galen L. Dutch
San Francisco

? “Sewage concerns raised over S.F. waterfront development,” Local News, Friday

Politics cloud condo plan

I attended the highly unusual hearing on the 8 Washington St. project Thursday. Basically, after a protracted interrogation worthy of a criminal court, Supervisor David Chiu accused the Planning Department and San Francisco Public Utilities Commision of malfeasance and conspiracy.

In 15 years, I’ve never seen city agencies thrown under the bus like that for purely political considerations, i.e., a November ballot initiative.

It’s puzzling that no hearings have been called regarding the catastrophic failures of water and sewer lines in West Portal and the Richmond, where real people and property were harmed. The Transit Center and Central Subway, both enormous civic engineering projects that dwarf 8 Washington, are under way without a peep from our supervisors. No mention about the “imminent threat” they pose to SF’s citizens and property.

Since the 8 Washington project would excavate and renovate an outdated sewer line, one must conclude Thursday’s hearing was strictly political in intent.

Tim Colen
Executive Director S.F. Housing Action Coalition
San Francisco

? “San Francisco should revisit zoning rules governing medical marijuana,” Opinion, Thursday

Pot problem needs study

Supervisor John Avalos wants to alter the restrictions on marijuana dispensaries so that such dispensaries don’t cluster in his Mission District. Avalos wants to have a study of “green zones” where marijuana storefronts could be located in future.

I suggest that the supervisors fund a study to find out how many marijuana-using patients actually fall under criteria of serious illness (cancer, AIDS) or chronic pain (arthritis) that was the basis for the approval of the initial Proposition 65 years ago.

When will supervisors and the mayor stop kowtowing to advocates for marijuana and start heeding research about its many adverse effects? The growers and their advocates have gotten a free ride for too long.

Fiona McGregor
San Francisco

After mob thefts, Black Friday offers glimmers of hope for retailers

Shoppers hunted for deals amidst heightened security

By Sydney Johnson
SF unveils plan to encourage holiday shopping at small businesses

Effort includes trolley to take shoppers into neighborhoods

By Bay City News
California leaders must crack down on brazen ‘flash mob’ retail looting and robbery

Group robbery in Union Square and in other cities requires strategic response

By The Examiner Editorial Board