Calling for 2011 Calendar Submissions

Market Street Railway produces a calendar each year featuring San Francisco’s historic streetcars and cable cars. The Museums in Motion calendar is an important project to us as both a thank you to members (included with membership of $100 or more) to raise funds for our non-profit work preserving historic transit.

17th Street Plaza

We need your help to make the 2011 Museums in Motion calendar showcase both the streetcars and cable cars as part of the vibrant fabric of life in the City. With the threat of a $5 F-line fare, now more than we feel it’s important to show historic transit is not just a theme park ride for tourists, but is part of everyday life in San Francisco used by residents trying to get to work or to play. See our 2010 calendar for examples from last year we hope to top.
Well-composed scenes are preferred over tight shots of the cars.
Our goal is to show the cars at their best, so please only submit photos of San Francisco’s historic streetcar and cable car fleet. Do not submit photos feature Muni busses, modern Muni Metro light-rail trains, rail yards, stations and shelters, as well as unrestored, non-operational and run down vehicles.

How to submit a photo

If you’re already a member of Yahoo!’s free photo sharing service Flickr, all you need to do is tag your photos msrcalendarsubmission. If you’re not familiar with tagging on flicker, here’s some tips.
Photos should be landscape (horizontally) oriented, in color, and at least 3,000 x 2,000 pixels.

916 on Market Street

We know many of you don’t post high-resolution versions to Flickr, but any photos submitted for publication should be available as camera original JPEG or RAW files without watermarks if selected.
There’s no limit to how many photos you may submit by tagging them with msrcalendarsubmission, but please help us out by selecting what you think are your best and not simply tagging every photo.
We expect to make selections in april and will announce a date once set. If we select your photo, you will receive a complimentary advance copy of the calendar. Photographers are always fully credited with email address or website published in the calendar. Please help us spread the word so 2011 will be our best calendar yet.

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NO Fare Increase for F-line

Facing opposition from several members of the San Francisco Municipal
Transportation Agency Board, the SFMTA staff has withdrawn its proposal
to raise the F-line streetcar fare from $2 to $5, a 150% increase. A
detailed story, including the deep deficit Muni still faces, can be
found at SF Streetsblog.

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Last week, in a meeting on another subject, a member of the mayor’s staff told this writer that they had received far more complaints about the proposed F-line fare increase than any other part of the multi-faceted Muni budget package.
To be sure, Muni finds itself in dire financial straits, affecting all parts of the system. For example, the detailed service reduction proposals released today call for F-line service to end by midnight instead of 1 a.m. as now. They also call for slightly reducing evening and late night frequency on all streetcar lines, including the F, one of Muni’s most heavily ridden nighttime routes. But while we believe this will overload the F-line even more at night, we understand that it must share the burden with other Muni lines.
What we did not understand is why one popular line should be singled out for
punitive measures apparently because of its success. It’s now clear than many community and business people saw it the same way.

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Bettering San Francisco’s Market Street

Last fall, San Francisco kicked off a year long improvement program for Market Street including art, music, greenery and running trial programs to improve traffic flow.

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While Muni busses and streetcars carry the most passengers, bikes account for well over half the total number of vehicles on Market Street.

In 2013, Market Street is scheduled to be repaved and more than just laying asphalt, it’s an opportunity to make structural improvements such as widening or narrowing the sidewalks, relocate boarding islands and create taxi drop off pockets.

To learn as much as possible before starting that design process, a trial program has underway since the end of September to test whether diverting private cars off of Market Street can reduce congestion for other users. Cars heading east on Market have been diverted at Eighth and again at Sixth Streets to see if what the effect would be of nudging drivers onto the parallel streets in SOMA where there is less bike and transit ridership.

So far the results have been encouraging: cars diverted off Market aren’t bunching up any of the parallel streets and Muni lines sped up by 1% from just those two changes. If you’re on a bike the difference is night and day, traveling downtown is no longer a matter of life or death.

One lessen already learned from the trial is Eighth Street just has too much going on at the corner with pedestrians exiting Civic Center Station, shuttle busses and a boarding island to be good location for cars and bikes to negotiate around each other.

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Starting Tuesday, January 26, private car traffic Market eastbound must turn right at Tenth and Sixth Streets.

Starting tomorrow, January 26, that mandatory turn will move two blocks up to Tenth Street where the pedestrian volume crossing the street is lower and there are no boarding islands for cyclists to negotiate along with the car traffic. The new arrangement will be evaluated over the next six weeks.

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Woody LaBounty and San Francisco’s Carville-by-the-Sea

A quick reminder: historianand author Woody LaBounty will be speaking at the San Francisco Railway Museum this Saturday, tomorrow, at 2:00 PM. His new book Carville-by-the-Sea: San Francisco’s Streetcar Suburb “vividly recalls one of the quirkiest communities in San Francisco’s rich history” made of retired streetcars and cable cars recycled into homes, shops, bars, and everything else that makes up a neighborhood.
San Francisco Railway Museum
77 Steuart Street (map)
San Francisco, CA 94105

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$5 for an F-line Ride? Open Letter to Nat Ford

On behalf of Market Street Railway, I have sent the email excerpted below to SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. All are welcome to borrow and elaborate on any of these arguments in your own communications with decision-makers on this matter. Remember, the SFMTA Board gives initial considerations to its staff’s 2010 budget recommendations, including the proposal to raise F-line fares from $2 to $5, Tuesday, January 19 at 2 p.m., Room 400, City Hall. You can reach Mr.… — Read More

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Remembering Harold Geissenheimer

Harold Geissenheimer died earlier this month. He was a long-time transit executive and rabid streetcar fan who played a key role in creating the F-line. Geissenheimer was brought in to run Muni by then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein, just as a small group of us were planning the first Trolley Festival, which began service on Market Street in June 1983. Geissenheimer, pictured here (right) in 1984 with activist/motorman Maurice Klebolt and Klebolt’s 1954 Hamburg tram, took a huge interest in the Trolley… — Read More

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It’s Baaaack! Five Bucks for an F-line Ride?!?

In Muni’s last budget go-round, staff proposed raising F-line fares to $5 per ride, to match the cable cars. That proposal disappeared quickly after SFMTA Board members told Executive Director/CEO Nat Ford it was a non-starter as far as they were concerned. But now it’s back as part of a new round of budget balancing (downloadable here — SFMTA-FY-2010-Budget-Projections-and-Solutions-1-19-2010.pdf) that would also make it more expensive for Fast Pass holders to ride cable cars and express buses, and cut service… — Read More

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Great Video of the “Not-So-Good Old Days” on Market Street

Our first post about Carl Nolte’s Chronicle column on the “not-so-good old days” on Market Street mentioned that back when there were four streetcar tracks on Market, there was less than two feet of clearance between Muni and Market Street Railway Co. streetcars — including the stops where passengers had to stand while behemoth streetcars bore down on them. This 1935 video, one of the You Tube sources Nolte mentions in his column, shows just how terrifying that tight squeeze… — Read More

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The Not-So-Good Old Days

In his San Francisco Chronicle column this week, Native Son Carl Nolte reminds us that, when looking back into history, not to forget there were bad old days as well. He writes about Market Street, “At rush hour, there were so many streetcars on Market – and so much automobile traffic – that the street was nearly impassable.” Streetcars gridlocked on Market Street in 1922. In the foreground, Lotta’s Fountain is visible on the corner of Market & Kearny. San… — Read More

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Milan, San Francisco

Peter Witts trams 1818 & 1895, both from far-off Milan, Italy exchange greetings at the interesection of 17th & Noe streets in San Francisco, California of all places. If the casual passerby were to stop just long enough, close their eyes and just listen. Listen long enough to the air that “hisses” from the pneumatic brake system. The smooth rolling sound of a steel wheel on steel rail. The “toot” of the air whistle and the groan of the brakes.… — Read More

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Meet the author of “Carville-by-the-Sea” Jan. 23

Come hear the fascinating story of San Francisco’s most unusual neighborhood ever. The Great Highway circa 1903. Woody LaBounty writes: In the 1890s, well before orderly rows of stucco-clad homes were built across the Sunset District, a colorful and unique bohemian community flowered in sandy hillocks near today’s 48th Avenue and Lincoln Way. Obsolete horse cars and cable cars were used to create residences, vacation homes, restaurants, and even churches. Judged, lady bicyclists, physicians, inventors, and some of the most… — Read More

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