Streetcars and water don’t mix well. Electric motors don’t work when they’re soaked. Water coming down from the heavens – rain – no worries. But water coming up from beneath – flooded streets – not good.
Happy 110th Birthday, Muni
December 28, 1912. Fifty thousand San Franciscans gathered at Market and Geary Streets. Was it a presidential visit? No, it was the transit equivalent of a late visit from Santa. It was a new streetcar line.
You need to be here!
On Black Friday, San Francisco felt, well, BACK! Our Board chair Carmen Clark and I attended the kickoff for Union Square’s “Winter Wanderland”, with a European-style holiday market in Hallidie Plaza featuring live entertainment, with Union Square itself brighter than ever with the big Macy’s tree, the ice rink, and entertainment. Folks were enjoying it, as were the many SFPD officers very evident this holiday season.
Car-free Market Speeds Up F-line
A new study, plus research by our board member Chris Arvin, shows that the first month of the ban on private automobiles on Market Street is making Muni operations, including the F-line, faster, according to this story in the San Francisco Examiner.
Boat Tram Marks Market Street’s New Era
Can a tram be entrancing? Sure seemed that way yesterday at the ceremony at the foot of Market Street celebrating the elimination of private automobiles on San Francisco’s main thoroughfare.
Boat Tram to Help Celebrate Car-free Market, Jan. 29
At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 29, Market Street will wave good bye to private automobiles from 10th Street to the Ferry. The boat tram will help.
Best Version Yet of Iconic 1906 Movie
In 1906, it didn’t get more high tech than this iconic 12-minute movie, filmed from the front of a cable car headed down Market Street. If you’re a San Francisco history buff (or transit buff), you’ve probably seen it before, but not like this. A new digital transfer by the noted film archivist Rick Prelinger breathes more life into it, sharper and wider-screen. (Back then, the image was captured to the edges of the film, even between the sprocket holes; this version includes that.)
London Buses in SF: 1952
The librarian for the San Francisco Chronicle, Bill Van Niekerken, comes up with some dandy articles by digging through the newspaper’s voluminous archives. Somehow, we missed this great story and photos, showing three double-deck London Transport buses coming to, and driving through, San Francisco on a cross-country British tourism promotion in 1952. The photo above shows one of the RTL-type buses (predecessor to London Transport’s famed Routemasters) on Market Street at Eighth, sharing the street with three “Iron Monster” Muni streetcars. The Whitcomb Hotel is on the left behind the bus, with the Fox Theater farther up the street on the right.
Big Boost for Mid-Market F-line Loop
The US Department of Transportation has granted San Francisco $15 million to help pay for the first phase of the city’s vision to remake Market Street. Here’s the news story, and here’s the city’s official website for the project.
See ‘Lost Landscapes’ Dec. 4 and 5
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