Stan Faeth Professor, Department of Biology Arizona State University Tempe, Ariz.
See! We told Matt Smith he didn't need to go to Paris. But would he listen?: Thank you for your editorial on the proposed "X Plan" draft by Muni ("Visionary Thinking," Matt Smith, Dec. 5). But you need not travel to such far-off cities as Blackpool [England] or Paris to find great public transit! Being a native New Yorker, I feel every city planning official should spend a mandatory stint in the Big Apple to study its incredible subway system.
The transportation problems San Francisco faces are a walk in the park compared to New York City and its surrounding areas. I feel the major problems with San Francisco's transportation are the inept persons (such as [Muni Director] Michael Burns) planning and making idiotic decisions on how to improve transportation and design streets. Hello! Mr. Burns, wake up! We already have a designated bus lane street. It's called Market Street, and it's a nightmare! This guy hasn't got a clue!
The San Francisco street system is insane. Why do we have so many one-way streets? Why so many "no left turn" intersections? Muni and BART are a joke. You can't even buy a ticket from a real person if you're underground. The machines malfunction, and there is no one to help. The subway stations in New York have attendants 24/7 -- why can't we? And if you need change, forget about it!
If planners and public officials are unable to do the job properly, they should be held responsible for their wrongdoing, just as in any workplace. Instead they just sit and year after year do nothing to improve the situation. Meanwhile, we have to pay the consequences. Very frustrating!