7.19.2006

The bus lane

Twice as I was writing that title, I mistyped it as "The bug lane." This may be a Freudian typo (is there such a thing?) because I am about to write a bitter rant about another of San Francisco's public transportation abominations, the diamond lanes devoted exclusively to buses. Now, I've heard the Muni representatives complain about how there are always cars in these lanes, and how if they're going to be expected to run their buses on time, then SFPD needs to step up its enforcement of people driving and double-parking in the bus lane. With which I'm wholly in agreement, in a strictly technical sense.

Unfortunately, as any SF denizen knows, nothing in this city works in the strictly technical sense! And in my opinion as both a driver and experienced public transport passenger (in cities across the world), here in San Francisco, the problem begins with the buses, with their dangerous and unpredictable swerving out into traffic (and I'm talking about the driving lane) after picking up passengers; their slow driving so they block not just the bus lane but the driving lane too; their slowing down at green lights about to turn yellow (because hey, we all know they're not in a rush); and their erratic schedules, which mean the dedicated bus lanes are often completely underutilized for spans of 45 minutes at a time.

I'll be honest, in my four years of commuting down Mission Street (the SOMA portion of which has a dedicated bus lane), there really aren't all that many citizen automobiles double-parked there during rush hour. I'm not sure why this is, but, while I'm perfectly ready to complain about inconsiderate jerks double parking on Valencia or Haight (and I'd be more than happy to share my compassion with the bus drivers who have to contend with that nuisance on a daily basis), I can't give them that on Mission, and yet the buses still run erratically and obstruct traffic horribly. This leads me to believe that the erratic, traffic-obstructing Muni driving is due to something other than bus-lane violations, and the Muni guy should STFU when he's using this as an excuse. It's feeble!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Riddle me this. Riddle me that.

What walks on four legs in the morning?

two legs in the afternoon?

And walks on three legs during twilight?

Stop complaining, no one listens.

Jennifer said...

ah, the rude anonymous comment...a blogging ritual...

Thanks for reading and processing my post! That's really what motivates a writer ^.^

Nick said...

I totally agree with this post. I can't tell you how often I see buses pulling into the car lane when they already have their OWN FREAKING lane. Muni please keep to your own lane thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if you want rude buses, try Boston. There, when you are trying madly, but safely, to get away from the rude bus, somebody in a Taurus will drive up beside you and threaten DEATH!! And have a GUN!!
Give me the rude west coast anytime. But I do agree with you. If the whole world would just follow the rules of anything, I think we'd all be better off. oh, but wait, i break rules all the time...

jfh said...

Hey, MH, I like your new look.

Anonymous said...

MAN, that's the answer to the riddle. If anyone cares.

1. infant

2. young man

3. oldman with a cane

It's the sphinx's riddle for christ sake. :(

The Artist Formerly Known as Y.E.L.R.A. said...

Yes, Anonymous, we've all seen The Neverending Story.

One of the things that is taught when you first get a drivers license is to use traffic signals to indicate a change of lane. Somewhere down the line the Muni drivers forgot to learn was how to properly use their signals. I can't tell you how many times I've almost been hit because of this.

Jennifer said...

I haven't been to Boston but have heard horror stories.

AFKAYELRA: couldn't agree more about the turn signals thing (and thanks for wonderfully stating the obvious to our friend Anon ;)

minnie said...

stupid muni. muni smells too.