MUNI To Make Long Overdue Improvements
Over the next eighteen months, San Francisco plans to eliminate parking spots blocking almost 1,200 MUNI stops. SFMTA Board of Directors determined each stop should have twenty feet of clearance or more for boarding. At certain stops across the city, riders must sometimes squeeze between parked cars to board a bus. This is inarguably the worst part about riding MUNI these days. City supervisors pushed for the change in a resolution passed earlier this year.
The MUNI stops in question, called “flag stops,” are the type where riders must venture into the street to board. You know them as the yellow-striped utility poles and street sign posts peppered between the sheltered stops. You might not see them often because parked vehicles obstruct them. That’s what city supervisors were concerned with, where between $3 and $5 million will go. Not preventing assaults on passengers or open drug use on buses. It’s the flag stops that need saving.
“It means riders will not have to squeeze between parked cars to navigate their way onto or off buses,” Supervisor Dean Preston told the Chronicle. “It really sends the wrong message when we allow parked cars in bus stops and force people to navigate around them, and it’s particularly hard for seniors and folks with disabilities.”
A 79-year-old woman boarded an inbound 38-Geary at Laguna the morning of Saturday, December 3rd. As she was paying her fare with a Clipper card, a man exiting the bus from the elevated section swiftly kicked her in the stomach. The suspect fled the scene on-foot and remains uncaught. While shaken by the attack, the San Francisco resident still takes MUNI to work. Her desire is that SFMTA staff each vehicle with trained security personnel.
“I just pray, pray to God, please help me get home safe,” she told ABC7 reporter Dion Lim.
Nob Hill, Bayview, Cole Valley and Outer Richmond residents can expect improved boarding access at their neighborhood flag stops.