Tuesday: Meeting to Discuss Rerouting the Muni 67 Bus on Ripley Street

67 Uphill

67ProposalJan2014

There’s been a long-simmering dispute between a group of north Bernal neighbors and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency over the location of the existing 67 Muni bus stop on Ripley Street near Folsom.

Bernalwood is told that a group of neighbors on Ripley really really really want the stop relocated, to avoid gumming up their street with two-way bus traffic.

Here are the specifics of the proposed change, along with the details about a community meeting taking place on Tuesday, January 28 to discuss the matter, via the SFMTA’s public announcement:

Proposed Change

The SFMTA, in response to neighborhood concerns, is proposing a reroute to the inbound 67 Bernal Heights (towards 24th Street BART) via Bernal Heights Boulevard. Buses traveling to the Mission District and 24th Street BART Station would travel on Bernal Heights Boulevard between Bradford and Folsom Streets. Buses traveling towards Cortland Ave. will travel on the existing routing. The proposed routing leads to the following stop changes:

  • The stop at the northwest corner of Ripley St. and Alabama St. would be discontinued.
  • The stop on Ripley at Folsom would move across the street to a stop on Folsom Street before the intersection with Ripley.
  • The stop on Bradford at Esmeralda would move back to the stop sign where Bernal Heights Boulevard and Bradford meet (approximately 80 feet south).

There are no proposed parking changes at this time. There are no planned changes to the street design as part of this project.

Public Outreach Meeting

This proposal will be discussed at a public meeting at the following date and time:

Tuesday, January 28 at 6:00 pm
San Francisco Public Library – Bernal Heights Branch 500 Cortland Avenue

If you have further questions or would like to submit comments regarding the reroute proposal, please contact:

Jeff Flynn
Transit Service Planning Manager – San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Phone: 415.701.4646
Email: jeffrey.flynn@sfmta.com

In advance of the meeting, Bernalwood has received some strongly-worded commentary about the proposed rerouting from several Bernal neighbors. A flyer circulated by Neighbor Veronica says:

Long term residents are been left out of the conversation regarding changes – the notices are limited to a small number of people and not given enough time.

  • We having people who don’t use the service attempt to change something that has been working for over 30 years.
  • The issues they are attempting to tackle can be easily tackled with technology (i.e. communication or mapping devices we use on our phones to see where the buses are.)
  • Our taxes pay for this service.

From your neighbors who use this service all the time, we ask that you support us in keeping this service intact by EMAILING:

Another neighbor summarizes the state of play this way:

The Ripley folks between Alabama and Folsom are lobbying the SFMTA and David Campos to reroute the inbound 67 (toward BART) over Bernal Heights Blvd to avoid the buses passing and getting “stuck” on Ripley.  There’s only one bus line that serves the North Slope and moving the stop at Ripley and Alabama to Bradford and Bernal Heights Blvd effectively cuts it down to ½ bus service.  I use the bus every day to get to BART and I’m perfectly capable of walking to Ripley and Folsom (although my dogs are going to be barking in my high heeled shoes) but there are a number of elderly and disabled persons who may not be able to swing the uphill walk.

A neighbor who now rides the 67 regularly comments:

I moved offices and can now take the 67 every day to work. Its proximity to my house was in the plus column when I bought this place 4+ years ago, after having lived in Bernal 7 years prior. When I had surgery, and couldn’t drive for a month, that stop being across the street meant I could go to the farmers market and up to Cortland for groceries and to be in the world. I would have been isolated otherwise. When I imagine myself being twice my age, still living here, it’s comforting to imagine the same could happen. […]

I worry about the elderly neighbors on Alabama who I think will be more isolated if this goes through. I worry that total ridership might go down and that that might catch the eye of downtown number-crunchers looking at lines to cut. The 67 is really a connector for Bernal, and I don’t want to see that go away.

I’m sure people who live between Alabama and Folsom on Ripley would be thrilled to see the change. That block is narrow and driving it can be kind of a pain. Frankly, though, it feels very Bernal-y, every time I drive that block and see an approaching 67 and pull over so it can pass. The driver and I wave to each other. It’s friendly and neighborly.

And a neighbor on Folsom writes:

Wow! The SFMTA actually listened to the neighbors. I’m impressed. Ripley neighbors will rejoice!

This isn’t so bad, but then, I don’t know anyone who will be directly affected by the changes. I’m not sure how many people use the Ripley/ Alabama stop [that will be discontinued], but making the bus stop at the top of Folsom at Ripley isn’t so bad. I like the idea of the bus stopping at the top of the hill. It seems like people would want that, instead of having to walk a couple more blocks up. There were more extreme options, including making Ripley one way.

My only concern is that there is much more traffic on Folsom that will have to stop or go around buses. Perhaps that will slow people down but… probably not.

Proposals like this are inevitably contentious, so if you have an interest in the matter, Tuesday’s meeting at the Bernal library will be a good place to make your views known.

PHOTO: Top, Telstar Logistics

Heartfelt Introduces Citywide Delivery Service via Newfangled Electric Bike

heartbike

Miss Darcy from Heartfelt on Cortland wrote Bernalwood to give us the scoop on Heartfelt’s new online store and the eco-sexy bicycle delivery service that will support it around town:

Heartfelt is proud to announce the launch of their online store and accompanying bike delivery service within San Francisco.  Our goal is to offer folks an alternative to the sometimes bland online shopping experience of larger companies.  We offer a unique selection of gifts with a personal flair.  [Unsure what to get an acquaintance or even a close friend? Email Darcy Lee at darcysheartfeltpix*at*gmail.com and she will personally send you 3-4 recommendations to choose from.]

We think of this launch as a Bernal collaboration of local business. The bike itself was purchased at the electric bike shop The New Wheel, and Heartfelt will be offering gift boxes from fellow Bernal vendors such as Succulence, Little Bee Bakery, Paulie’ s Pickling, and Anda Piroshki.

Wave if you see us delivering around town!

PHOTO: via Heartfelt

Bernal Writer Wonders, “Is It O.K. to Kill Cyclists?”

twistedbike

Writer Dan Duane is a proud resident of Greater Cortlandia, and in last Sunday’s New York Times, he wrote a provocative essay about imbalances in the US legal system that allow many motorists to face few penalties when collisions with bicyclists occur.

Cycling has become a much more popular way to get around town, yet as Neighbor Dan writes:

The social and legal culture of the American road, not to mention the road itself, hasn’t caught up. Laws in most states do give bicycles full access to the road, but very few roads are designed to accommodate bicycles, and the speed and mass differentials — bikes sometimes slow traffic, only cyclists have much to fear from a crash — make sharing the road difficult to absorb at an emotional level. Nor does it help that many cyclists do ignore traffic laws. Every time I drive my car through San Francisco, I see cyclists running stop signs like immortal, entitled fools. So I understand the impulse to see cyclists as recreational risk takers who deserve their fate.

But studies performed in Arizona, Minnesota and Hawaii suggest that drivers are at fault in more than half of cycling fatalities. And there is something undeniably screwy about a justice system that makes it de facto legal to kill people, even when it is clearly your fault, as long you’re driving a car and the victim is on a bike and you’re not obviously drunk and don’t flee the scene. When two cars crash, everybody agrees that one of the two drivers may well be to blame; cops consider it their job to gather evidence toward that determination. But when a car hits a bike, it’s like there’s a collective cultural impulse to say, “Oh, well, accidents happen.” If your 13-year-old daughter bikes to school tomorrow inside a freshly painted bike lane, and a driver runs a stop sign and kills her and then says to the cop, “Gee, I so totally did not mean to do that,” that will most likely be good enough.

“We do not know of a single case of a cyclist fatality in which the driver was prosecuted, except for D.U.I. or hit-and-run,” Leah Shahum, the executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, told me.

IMAGE: Art bike in Bernal Heights, by Telstar Logistics

Lost: Young Aviator Seeks Assistance in Aircraft Recovery Effort

loststratos

nasencrashsite

Well, independent of anything else that may be going on in the world right now, I think we can all agree that this is no fun: Neighbor Nasen got his remote-controlled airplane stuck in a tree over the weekend:

Hello. This is Neighbor Nasen. I’m eight years old and I live in Bernal. I just got a new remote controlled airplane called the Firebird Stratos. I accidentally flew it into a tree at St. Mary’s Park on Sunday morning. This was it’s first-ever flight. If you see it on the ground or if it’s possible to get it down, please contact me. Here’s a video of how it happened:

Rats. As the young aviator is heard to say on the video, “That stinks.”

Totally. Please keep your eyes out for Neighbor Nasen’s spiffy airplane if you happen to be near that tree in St. Mary’s. As an added incentive, Bernalwood and BASA will gladly offer a grateful reward to anyone who recovers Nasen’s lost aircraft.

PHOTOS: via Neighbor Nasen

Muni Bus Backs into Parked Car, Ruins Morning for Bernal Car Owner and Many Commuters

Muni backs up into my neighbor's car in slow mo as he yells, "stop, hey! What the hell are you doing!"  @bernalwood

There was gnashing of teeth (and sheetmetal) on Mission Street this morning as a 14 Limited Muni bus evvvvver sooooo slooooowly  backed into a Bernal neighbor’s parked car — while the owner of the car reportedly watched in horror, shouting “”Stop! Hey! What the hell are you doing!”

Added Bonus: The accident also caused major congestion on Mission at 30th Street, as the stricken bus blocked several lanes of traffic while waiting for the SFPD to arrive. Much honking ensued. Good times…

PHOTO and NEWS TIP: Nathanael Johnson

Parked Motorcycle Is Rorschach Test for Nearby Neighbors

motonote

It’s not just cars that attract snippy notes about long-term parking; motorcycles receive them too. Neighbor Fiid noticed a running series of notes plastered on a motorcycle on Bennington Street.

Apart from the initial complaint written on the note above, notice also (at the very top) the plea for leniency based on the bike’s classic stature.

Indeed, on top of all the other notes, the motorcycle even attracted a purchase offer:

motorcyclenoteb

So is it a motorcycle, a nuisance, a classic work of design, or a potential acquisition target? Or maybe all four?

PHOTOS: Neighbor Fiid

Muni Plan Will Give Bernal Heights the Short Bus

67BernalBusNeighbor Keith is a valiant regular aboard Muni’s 67 Bernal bus line, and he’s rather unthrilled about a service change announced this week:

As a daily rider of the 67 – San Francisco’s friendliest bus route – I’m used to getting up close and personal with my Bernal neighbors. But, at the end of yesterday’s particularly packed small-bus sardine-a-thon to 24th Street BART, our very friendly regular driver happened to mention that Muni has decided to take all large buses off the 67 route for the next three months.

I asked our bus driver about the 67 Short Bus Switch™ again this morning, and she told me that the drivers haven’t been given any reason for the decision (apparently, they are normally told if it’s due to something sensible like the construction on Folsom). So who knows what Muni is thinking in this instance (or, for that matter, ever).

Overcrowding is already an issue most mornings and evenings, and using small buses will only make things worse (unless, of course, Muni is secretly planning to increase bus frequency).

Being squeezed in so tight is obviously unpleasant, but also seems unsafe – those twists and turns can get quite exciting when trying to hang on to a stroller and toddler.

In good neighborly fashion, I’ve submitted a complaint via the online 311 service, but  some noise from Bernal neighbors could help grease the wheels of progress.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics