Thursday, November 20, 2008

McGoldrick defends peasants who ride Muni

As a regular Muni passenger, I've complained for years about the ads that cover the windows of Muni buses that prevent us transit peasants from having an unobstructed view of our beautiful city.

I now have an unexpected ally in Supervisor McGoldrick. Unexpected since McGoldrick reportedly drives to work because he doesn't have time to take the bus like the rest of us:

Muni ads nauseate: Two members of the Board of Supervisors were looking out for the claustrophobic and motion sick---along with the impatient---on Tuesday. Supervisor Jake McGoldrick introduced a resolution asking Muni to refrain from wrapping buses in advertising that covers windows. McGoldrick said the advertising gives the feeling to riders that they are completely boxed in. "People who suffer claustrophobia or nausea cannot see out the windows," McGoldrick said, adding that it blocked the view of people in general who like to enjoy the beauty of the city (City Insider, Wyatt Buchanan, Nov. 19, 2008).

This practice may be a medical issue for some, but it's always been a clear sign of City Hall's contempt for all the people who ride Muni. Extra income for Muni trumps the interests of its 700,000 daily passengers. My impression is that City Hall and the management of MTA are such elitists they had no idea that the practice annoys passengers. Now that McGoldrick, termed out at the end of the year, has informed them on the issue does anyone really think they will end the practice? None of the other so-called progressive supervisors has ever shown any interest in the issue, including that tribune of the People, Supervisor Mirkarimi.

My objections to the practice from days of yore.

Subject: Hate to Be a Pest...
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001
From: Rob Anderson
To: Matt Gonzalez

Matt:

Here's a "small" issue I mentioned a few times during the campaign but I haven't heard about any action/discussion: the advertising on the sides of Muni buses. I'm sure Muni makes a lot of money on the ads, but they demonstrate management's contempt for Muni passengers. Sitting inside and looking through one of those signs, you see a beautiful city transformed into a grid, like one of those Chuck Close paintings. The moral of the story: schmucks who don't own SUVs and have to ride the bus aren't entitled to a clear view of what is supposedly their beautiful city, too. Is the amount of money Muni makes on these ads enough to justify obstructing passengers' view of their city? Is any amount of money enough to justify it?

Still Ads on the Windows (in SF Examiner, June 16, 2004)
From: Rob Anderson
Subject: Muni Advertising
Date: June 15, 2004
To: letters@sfexaminer

Editor:

It’s good that the ads on Muni buses raise much-needed revenue for the city. On the other hand, once the Muni’s deficit problems are over, we should make sure they no longer take ads that cover the windows obstructing passengers’ view of our beautiful city. We Muni riders want to do our share in dealing with the system’s red ink, but, once the deficit is gone, we expect to enjoy an unobstructed view of our city from inside Muni buses.

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