Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bike guy takes over Muni


Bike guy Ed Reiskin is now the executive director of the MTA. A Chronicle story tries to put his appointment in context:

He faces demands to improve Muni's lackluster record on reliability, to enact the new contract for Muni operators, which came with promises to save money and improve service, and to free up hundreds of millions of dollars for the controversial Central Subway rail extension into Chinatown.

The main reason Muni has a "lackluster record on reliability" is because the city is wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the Central Subway, money that should go to Muni and, while they're at it, paving city streets.

And since when is the Central Subway "controversial"? Only Howard Wong and the folks at Save Muni have steadfastly opposed that boondoggle. Not a single supervisor or a single candidate for mayor has criticized the wasteful project. BART director Tom Radulovich has come out in opposition, but he's the only elected official in the city who has.

Muni, with 700,000 boardings a day, is the transportation agency's top priority. But it also oversees San Francisco's parking policy, traffic management, taxi regulation and pedestrian and bicycle programs---all significant and often contentious undertakings in their own right.

Even though Muni raises more than $180 million a year from parking tickets, parking meters, and parking lots, the city still has to borrow money to maintain our streets!

Muni should be the agency's "top priority," but bike guy Reiskin---who told the Bicycle Coalition last year that he supports slowing city traffic on behalf of cyclists---may not be the man for the job, since implementing the Bicycle Plan on city streets will mean slowing Muni on busy city streets.

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