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Help us Bust Through the Bars to a Better City

The bars between Muni and BART–a powerful symbol of the lack of integration and customer focus among Bay Area transit agencies. Will a new bill be contingent on making these bars go away, along with so many other obstacles to using transit in the Bay Area? Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

Everyone who rides Muni or navigates the Bay Area's dangerous streets knows we've got some serious problems. The mainstream media, in some form or another, will always be there reporting on the day-to-day goings on (we hope). But independent media is tasked with doing the analysis, digging deeper and finding out what's going on behind the scenes so that advocates can get about their hard work of pushing for reform.

We think you know that. When we reached out to you with some bad news about our funding on April 2, the reader response was near-instantaneous. In one month, we were able to raise $11,700 from 121 different donations. To put it into perspective, that is a little higher than all three California-based Streetsblogs combined raised during our end-of-year fundraising drive. It's been both humbling and validating to know that our readers care about what we do and want to support us.

But we're still only halfway to our goal. If you haven't donated yet but value our work, please donate now.

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Haven’t given yet? Click on the above button–no donation is too small

We believe that having a journalist who is an expert on how transit systems work, or at least how they should work, leads to different and better coverage of both day-to-day and breaking news stories.

Take last month's Muni subway meltdown. SFMTA and the mainstream media reported on what happened, but they didn't report, at least in any detail, on what didn't happen... that is, why would operators just shut down the system instead of trying to provide some limited service on the remaining track? Streetsblog reached out to SFMTA specifically about this, and we're still waiting for an answer.

Cat Carter over at the San Francisco Transit Riders said the article got them thinking about that very question. It also touched off conversations about why SFMTA can't develop the ability to run light rail vehicles on the surface of Market Street for replacement service, since they can carry way more people than buses.

That's all a perfect example of how Streetsblog works with advocates, politicians, and others to get people thinking more deeply about things the mainstream press doesn't get into.

Another example is the forever-delayed Upper Market Street protected bike lane. For years the fire department had tied up that project, claiming a protected bike lane would interfere with their rescue trucks if a building caught fire on Upper Market. Streetsblog, along with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and former Streetsblog editor Bryan Goebel, helped us figure out there was a hidden agenda and what to do about it. We finally found firefighter Micheal Crehan, who drives rescue trucks for a living, and did a long Q&A with him; he thoroughly debunked the idea that protected bike lanes interfere with fire rescueA few months later, San Francisco got its bike lanes on Upper Market.

Streetsblog is here to serve the readers. We'll continue to hammer the city and regional planners for talking about transit improvements while they fail to fix galactically stupid obstructions to riders such as the bars between the BART and Muni stations, as seen in the lead image.

God knows how many trains have been missed because of this.

And that's why we'll continue our work to cut through the bars holding back the Bay Area's transit, safety, and sustainability. But we need your help.

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Again, now’s a great time to a) spread the word via social media or email b) share a great idea or contact that can help us get forward (contact Damien Newton, damien@streetsblog.org) c) make a donation if you haven’t yet. Donate now and you'll be entered into a raffle to win Oakland A's tickets, Streetsblog hoodies and t-shirts, and more!

Thanks,

Roger and Damien

PS: Here's another picture of Roger's cat and bicycles... just because readers seem to like them. :)

Cats, the Internet, bikes--it's all good.
Cats, the Internet, bikes--it's all good.
Cats, the Internet, bikes--it's all good.

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