Eyes on the Street: Muni Trains Get Straps to Prevent Gap Crossings

An N-Judah train on Irving Street. Photo: Aaron Bialick

Muni has apparently started attaching straps across the gaps between train cars to prevent people from trying to climb over the couplings.

SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said the agency is testing the straps for 30 days before installing them on the entire articulated train fleet. They’re intended to help “prevent, deter or warn patrons from inadvertently stepping off an elevated platform to the trackway below in between two light rail vehicle cars,” he said. The bright-green straps are retractable, so they maintain a straight line as the trains turn.

Attempting to cross the gap is extremely dangerous, and it does happen: In February, a woman was injured while trying to squeeze between an N-Judah train with her dog on Irving Street at 2nd Avenue. She was trapped underneath and dragged for half a block, and escaped with only scrapes and bruises (the dog was unharmed). An SFPD spokesperson told CBS that she was “very, very lucky” to not get caught under the wheels.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    This is purely ADA insanity.  (And it is insanity, as any independent blind people will attest.)

    It has nothing to do with stopping people idiotically attempting to cross between cars

    Just another way to sandbag transit with more inefficiency.  (A drop in the bucket in Muni’s case, but this sort of thing can have significance in the hypothetical case of a US transit agency with any sort of operating efficiency.)

    You’ll note little homeopathic lawsuit-repelling non-useful “finger” things appearing on the ends of BART cab cars also.  At least they don’t require manual attachment, Muni “light” rail style.

  • Anonymous

    Just how stupid does one have to be to cross between the streetcars? I mean, this is like a Darwin Award-worth setup. Some idiot did this earlier in the year WITH HER DOG and it shut down the line for hours. Idiots!

  • Andy Chow

    There was an incident down in Los Angeles where a blind man got killed because he walk into the car gap and couldn’t get up the platform in time. An alternative to this would be some kind of railing on the platform but they need to be designed so that people don’t lean on them.

  • Triple0

    Greg:  Blind people aren’t stupid.  They may be using a cane, and without a physical indication, they may be caught between the two cars.  

  • Anonymous

    @njudah:disqus  I think you should take your own advice.

  • Anonymous

    This is pure insanity to try to climb between the cars. It is not possible to wrap to whole train to guard against any stupidity. What should happen is the woman should be charged for interfering with the machinery that can causes death and as well as charged for animal cruelty. A hefty fine is in order.

  • Otrannel

    “Any independent blind people”  except maybe Chris Gray, the blind passenger who fell off the platform at Van Ness Station….he probably thinks the straps are a good idea.

  • More nanny state coddeling.  If you’re dumb enough to try and walk between cars then you ………

  • Wow, it is a great idea. One day my mom’s baggage was fell out when train is grasped.

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