Letters to the Editor

Week of August 20, 2003

By the way, the fares are too low. The monthly Fast Pass is the biggest steal in the USA. It should be raised to $50.

It's pretty hopeless until San Francisco, land of babies, grows the hell up and becomes a CITY. (Which even means more high-rises. Fat chance!) Many thanks for a wonderful read. (And great distribution! SF Weeklyarrives at my gym by 6 every Wednesday.)

Virginia Newhall
Greenbrae

Burns is improving things:Four things need to be said to be fair to Muni and to present a truer picture of its safety record:

1) The effort to improve Muni's statistical safety records by better defining what qualifies and what does not qualify as a reportable accident was instituted, at the suggestion of the California Public Utilities Commission, to bring Muni into line with the transit agencies in Sacramento, L.A., San Diego, Atlanta, etc. -- cities that Byrne uses as a basis of comparison for his article.

2) The matter of "hours of service" requirements, which Byrne rightly identifies as a critical element affecting driver fatigue and thus safety, are dictated by federal and state laws that cannot be overruled by a union labor contract.

3) It simply isn't true that "there is no longer any way for Muni to keep track of accidents, much less analyze causes and suggest fixes." The truth is that state and federal laws now require Muni to report, analyze for cause, and take appropriate corrective action for all reportable accidents involving fatalities, serious injuries, and significant property damage.

4) As Byrne well knows, Muni before Michael Burns took over the agency and Muni today are two entirely different animals. That is not to say that the safety situation at Muni today is perfect. It isn't. The difference is that Burns recognizes that fact and he is doing something about it.

Donald R. Johnson
Piedmont

Vidiots Unite!

Kiss, kiss:Silke Tudor's piece was probably the best article I have read about CAX ["Pinheads and Vidiots," Night Crawler, Aug. 6]. Very interesting and accurate. She captured how pinball jackasses hate video-game nerds. I was in an Oakland Tribune article last year and it was very exaggerated and not as smart as hers.

Great job!

Brett Pulliam
Oakland

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