Today’s Headlines

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA
Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA

  • mx

    “MUNI Software Glitch Still Prevents Trains from Double Berthing”

    Well over two years for what was supposed to be a quick “let’s show everyone we can innovate fast” improvement (that won’t really speed up service). Let’s just give up on this project already and fire John Haley for gross incompetence.

  • lunartree

    And it’s not really a glitch. The current code that runs the trains is not flexible enough to handle this use case. It wouldn’t have been that hard for them to check this in the study phase. Our transit agencies seriously lack basic tech competence which is unacceptable in a modern city.

  • Darksoul SF

    That SF Sports Arena with a known supervisor voting against that.

    Are they going destory that Arena just like they did with Candlestick Park in the future?

  • Bruce

    Super Bowl is TWO WORDS

  • “the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to support the construction”

  • thielges

    Transit agencies are chronically incapable of deploying electronic and/or software systems reliably. This could because (1) designing such systems are naturally an iterative (looping) process, requiring continuity in the engineers through the project’s lifetime and (2) government agencies are inclined to employ linear RFQ-bid-accept-build-deliver-deploy process. Expecting the two to be compatible requires effort and continuity in engineering oversight on the customer/transit agency side.

    The problem is that transit agencies don’t keep these sorts of computer engineers on their payrolls. So when the vendor comes back with a bid it is naturally reviewed by a naive and disengaged staff who presume incorrectly that their initial requirements specification was correct. The vendor builds the incomplete design, delivers it, and then the deployment flops. Not necessarily the vendor’s fault because they satisfied the (wrong and incomplete) specs. And oh, yeah, fixing that will require another spec revision from the customer (which also as a good chance of being incomplete) and a change order to the vendor ($500K please!).

    To fix this transit agencies need to either hire or maintain qualified engineering advocates on their side through the entire lifecycle of the project. That engineer should be competent to make and test small changes to the end product. Transit agencies should also ditch the linear contract model and face the reality that it is unlikely that you can spec the product out the first time around even for a modestly complex task. The linear model might work for, say, laying a mile of railway tracks. But sofware is different. Way different.

  • mx

    Exactly. I get that this is a life-safety system and people get hurt when you screw it up. But the difficulty of this project should have been acknowledged from the start. Had the decision-makers realized this would take more than two years (and who knows what cost), I’m sure they would have considered it differently than when they thought it was a fast and easy experiment.

    My beef isn’t really with this specific project, which is frankly trivial (the only time it “helps” is when there’s heavy “traffic” in the subway, which shouldn’t be happening in the first place, and I’m not convinced it wouldn’t make the problem worse). My problem is that most of Muni’s much-lauded service improvements have come from the city pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into more buses and operators, rather than any effort to have some sense of basic operational competence (like not having a subway that breaks down on a daily basis).

  • StrixNoctis .

    Of course commutes are taking longer when the Bay Area population has increased so much and more housing is being developed without our public transportation & traffic congestion issues being solved first.

    Expect it to get worse when nothing reasonably effective is being done to limit the numbers of drivers, to improve public transportation in order to accommodate the high volume of commuters, and to persuade most people to work where they live or for employers to only hire people who live within a reasonable proximity to their workplace. Telecommuting could also help.

  • murphstahoe

    Regarding the bike yield law – here is an amusing video

    This video was taken on Townsend between 5th and 4th. There is rampant parking in the bike lane by buses and private cars. Very dangerous situation. At the end of the video what do we see? A DPT PCO chilling out doing nothing.

    What does this have to do with bike yield? Despite complaints from cyclists about this area, DPT and SFPD do pretty much nothing. So much for complaint driven. YET – apparently there are complaints about cyclists running the T intersection riding southbound on Townsend at 5th Street. The SFPD jumped into action and ran stings there – at a T intersection with zero safety issue, but ignoring the clear hazards happening daily a mere 30-40 yards from where they set up their sting.

    SFPD is running their usual cyclist harassment campaign at 5th and Townsend; be sure to stop at the stop sign. #caltrain— Kent Brewster (@kentbrew) September 14, 2015

    SOMA cyclist friends: Police staking out the stop sign at 5th & Townsend. Full stop, kids. That's a pricey ticket. @hizKNITS @AlyLivingSF— guinevere de la mare (@zenguin) May 30, 2012

    The cops are handing out tickets to cyclist who are not stopping at the stop sign on Townsend and 5th. Be alert or pay the fine! #fb— Chad West (@cwest) September 16, 2010