Pedestrian Hit By Muni

Tonight at approximately 5:41 pm an elderly woman was struck by an outbound N train as it made a turn onto 9th avenue from Irving. According to various reports she is in critical condition at SF General Hospital. The entire scene was shut down for a couple of hours during the rescue and cleanup.

The 9th and Irving corridor has been a focus of traffic calming efforts by the Inner Sunset Neighborhood Association and the Inner Sunset Merchants Association for at least the past 3 years. Unfortunately the MTA and City’s Investigative periods are not timely, and continue as of today. Combined with the fact that several city departments, including the Police Department and Fire & Rescue do not want to see Traffic calming in the Inner Sunset as they say it would affect response times.

The “response times” defense seems all too common these days, as it was pulled out when community policing was being strongly advocated for, both by the voting public and the mayors office.

To get involved with Traffic Calming in your neighborhood let your supervisor know and get involved with the MTA’s official programs.

Further reporting on SFGate and The N Judah Chronicles. More photos of the scene are available here.

16 Comments so far

  1. Aaron B. Hockley (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 9:15 pm

    What part of "Look both ways before crossing the street" is hard to understand? Are there particular line-of-sight issues at this intersection that prevent someone from seeing an oncoming train?

    And what the heck do traffic calming measures have to do with it? Are you suggesting speed bumps for the trains?

  2. Richard (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

    Interesting idea Aaron, but no, I’m not suggesting speed bumps for trains.

    However, calming includes such measures as increasing the time between traffic light cycles to accommodate slower moving citizens. Todays accident being a prime example of how calming contributes to safety for pedestrians in SF. Roadway narrowing also could make a big difference in this neighborhood.

    Of course the whole effort is moot if Muni drivers refuse to acknowledge traffic signals.

  3. anna (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 10:06 pm is also covering this

  4. anna (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

    Ah sorry – you of course got that already- didn’t see it!

  5. Adron (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 11:02 pm

    Sad, yet pathetic.

    I don’t care how old you are, but if you get hit by a slow moving, hear it from 200ft away, massive rail based train vehicle that is on a CLEAR PATH, no remorse.

    …and seriously, traffic calming hasn’t helped keep people alive in Portland (and we’re pros at it up here). People get hit, they get hit. It’s sad, but sometimes the only person that can do anything to stop it is the pedestrian themselves. …and sometimes, the pedestrian even with the right of way needs to PAY ATTENTION TO THE HUGE ASS TRAIN!

  6. Jason D- (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 11:08 pm

    Adron, it’s not a clear path. The train makes a left turn there across a crosswalk. It does it while dealing with lights that are timed for card and pedestrians and there is no count down on the light so if someone starts to walk and they are into the intersection and the light goes yellow the train starts to move. The woman was 90 fucking years old and the tracks were slippery from the rain. The train was at a dead stop 15 feet before it hit her and the driver had to be looking right at her as they made the turn. I’ve seen it a thousand times there. The drivers are in a hurry to clear the intersection for traffic and nearly clip people all the damn time. It’s not a matter of paying attention to the train. It’s a matter o the driver paying attention to the people and NOT RUNNING THEM OVER!

  7. Richard (unregistered) on January 7th, 2008 @ 11:34 pm

    Adron, you are amazing. To think you have the gall to refer to yourself on your blog as the "Transit Slueth". Seemingly indicating that you somehow care about Transit and its benefits for society at large and then make a comment like "I don’t care how old you are, but if you get hit by a slow moving, hear it from 200ft away, massive rail based train vehicle that is on a CLEAR PATH, no remorse".

    I’m sure you’ll advance the argument for sound transportation policy with the aforementioned reasoning.

    Oh and don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back Einstein.

  8. Dan (unregistered) on January 8th, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

    I have been almost hit by a train there and I am fast. The muni drivers often ignore the light, often leading to people getting a green light to cross in the crosswalk just as the train starts to make it’s turn. You assume the driver is going to give you the right of way, and they usually do, but I’ve had them not slow down at all and come close to clipping me. I am 30 and a really fast walker.

    Not to mention the fact that this old lady probably slipped and fell and couldn’t get out of the way of a train that should have been going slow enough to stop in time. Maybe it wasn’t going that slowly.

  9. TB (unregistered) on January 8th, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

    Traffic calming?

    Please … real simple answer:

    Put up MUNI only signals at 9th & Irving and up at 9th & Judah.

    No walking. No driving.

    Make them into three way signal intersections.

  10. Luba Muzichenko (unregistered) on January 8th, 2008 @ 6:21 pm

    I agree with TB on this one. Unfortunately, the train drivers are ruthless at that intersection and at Judah and constantly run the lights there. I can’t tell you how many times I sat in a car on a red light, and JUST as my light turns green (thus the driver’s light turns red) the driver starts that train a’going! MUNI only lights would help – but the drivers would have to be held accountable for sticking to them, and risk losing their jobs if they didn’t. That would be the only way to truly prevent more accidents such as this one.

  11. Hermis (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 11:16 am

    I would just like to make a comment to all the negative comment makers about this Tragedy! I was parked in front of "On the Run" when this occurred right before my very eyes! You don’t know what your talking about! The woman slipped and fell and was stuck & the MUNI streetcar barreled right over her and mutilated her…end of story!!!

    The Muni driver did NOT even EXIT the streetcar to help her, HE just stood there dumbfounded in the window, when all the passengers were exiting is streetcar!!!!

    The intersection is NOT safe & people do FALL…so for the people who think they know sOOO much, you need to WAKE up and the MUNI drivers need not to be sOOO careless and aggresive to make their schedules!!!

    I was there and if you want to read my entire comment(s)…GO TO "N Judah" for much more detail of just how IGNORANT PEOPLE REALLY ARE!!!

  12. Adron (unregistered) on January 17th, 2008 @ 11:23 am

    Let me add some clause to my statement.

    Person gets hit by already slow moving train.

    Train gets bad press.

    People stop riding trains.

    Press complains about trains not being ridden and costing the general public vast amounts of money.

    People begin to complain more.

    City’s start slowing trains down more.

    City’s cut up more streets to force people to ride.

    City Governments change political view and transit is immediately removed from the table as an option.

    City decides to tear up transit and replace with buses.

    Even less people ride those.

    Then that number decreases and the cycle begins with buses.

    People finally get buses limited to only certain places.

    Transit is all but unused.

    Ya see, THAT is what I’m worried about when I hear whining about something like this. Sure life is valuable but this is a situation where maybe the crosswalk should be removed or limited. But when alarmist things like this are brought up, then transit takes the heat.

    Transit already has a bad rap being that it generally (in most US cities) is crime ridden, completly non-self-sustaining, high cost in capitol outlay, and for most cities limits and slows movement from place to place. With these facts when one person gets hit because they’re crossing somewhere they are going to get hit, then they do, and bad press about transit splurts out it gives every one of those pro-auto, anti-transit people a field day.

    Stating how much more dangerous transit is to the people it "hits".

    …point being, if you’re pro-transit you play this down. Point out what should be fixed in the street, but don’t lay it heavy on the transit. The only thing you’ll do is limit the options we have and that I think, from reading your blog, isn’t waht you want.

  13. Adron (unregistered) on January 17th, 2008 @ 11:26 am

    btw Dan, you have the right answer.

    Eventually, if people really do give a @#$% they’ll get this done and stop yapping about it and crying everytime this type of thing happens.

  14. Richard (unregistered) on January 17th, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

    Adron, I ride Muni most days. E.g. 4/5 days a week. And if my posting that a pedestrian was hit, 2 blocks from my home is somehow slanted towards the safety of pedestrians, you should know I’m speaking from personal experience in that intersection.

    Bottom line is that this intersection is not safe today and this is more evidence of that.

    Furthermore, if my call to get people involved in traffic calming in this neighborhood is construed, *by you*, to be negative to muni, I suggest you examine your own motives.

    What’s more confusing about your commments is that you support Dan’s call to put a Muni-only light at this intersection, but you are not in support of a traffic calming measure like longer light times for older pedestrians? You make yourself sound anti-pedestrian?

  15. Adron (unregistered) on January 24th, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

    Ok, obviously something is wrong.

    It’s pathetic that it happened, and sad.

    I am somewhat anti-pedestrian, when it comes to something like this you CAN’T fix it by extending the light. The problem is people are walking in front of something that can’t just stop.

    Move the crossing to somewhere that the MUNI drivers have more visibility.

    Sample, come take a look at Portland. They’ve done a magnificent job of keeping things clear and moving here. Another great example is the Streetcars in New Orleans.

    But I digress, I like San Francisco, but it has its issues and this is one of them. The direct conflict of pedestrians and major throughput transit vehicles, its as bad as sticking a sidewalk in the middle of the interstate.

  16. Richard (unregistered) on January 25th, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

    Unfortunately, I can’t imagine how they would move the crossing.

    I do agree that SF has some serious transit issues. Nathaniel Ford has had some time to consider this, yet not much has changed.

    Maybe muni will consider a Muni signal there? I watched a train run the light no less than 10 minutes ago, so there ya have it.

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