Neighbor Offers Ten Reasons Why New Muni Bus Stop on Crescent Really Sucks

The SFMTA plans to relocate a bus stop on Crescent at Anderson, and Neighbor Ryon feels under-consulted. He writes:

Two weeks ago the MTA put up a sign to announce that the 23 line bus stop would move to a new location on Nov. 14, right in front of our house. Last week they came and painted in a coach stop sign (in the rain). Here are ten reasons why this sucks:

  1. There is a bus stop one block away and another two blocks down.
  2. There was no bus stop here when we bought our house in 2007.
  3. I wonder what our home value just dropped to; a new low no doubt, 80’s figures I imagine
  4. My small children and family are now subjected to strangers loitering around feet from our doorstep
  5. Our gate area and/or tree will no doubt become a trash receptacle
  6. People are staring at me when I look out the window
  7. Cool new sounds of busses idling noisily outside at night
  8. We just celebrated how great our block will be, only to have this nuisance kill our hope like a baby harp seal. Two doors down, Nassers Market has recently been transformed from a dangerous drug operation regularly raided by S.W.A.T. at which the former owner had been assassinated by local gang members facing robbery charges. So we are a little sensitive, yes.
  9. Our children are small and vulnerable, just thought I would mention this again.
  10. We don’t need this crap.

I promptly lodged a complaint (reference number 1659943) through 311. They were sympathetic and said they would lodge the complaint for me and would even ask the MTA to discuss it with me over the phone. Of course, that never happened.

You can probably guess neither we nor our neighbors were consulted about this, and you might also guess how far the obvious, “well we posted it for a whole week” argument would fly with us. In fact the man who put up the sign was intercepted by my mother-in-law who mentioned to him that there would be complaints to which he replied, “Oh yes, we are expecting them.” The problem is we don’t really know the right channels to go through to reverse this small tragedy. Any help and advice from the Bernal community would be greatly appreciated.

PHOTO: Neighbor Ryon

70 thoughts on “Neighbor Offers Ten Reasons Why New Muni Bus Stop on Crescent Really Sucks

  1. Amen to this. Not only is the new stop ridiculously close to the next one up at Andover, but now it’s utterly impossible to hedge your bets by waiting for the 23 and the 67 simultaneously. I feel terrible for Ryon; I certainly would never have expected a stop to be planted in front of my mid-block home.

    • Honestly, Neighbor Ryon sounds like a NIMBY whiner who doesn’t use public transportation to me. The bus stops have to go somewhere dude. And you live in the city. If you don’t want strangers standing near your house, outside, then move to a gated community on the peninsula and arm yourself.

  2. Actually I believe that’s Crescent at Anderson. *shakes fist at city fathers for putting those two street names 2 blocks away from each other* Yeah it is a dopey location for the reasons above and it also disrupts the already-tenuous traffic flow going up Crescent. The bus crawls along going uphill and then stops at an unexpected location (at the beginning of a block just like a classic bad double-parker would) and drivers stop behind the bus at Anderson, effectively blocking the intersection. Knowing the driving habits of people in SF, I foresee more fender (and full-on passenger side door) benders in the future there.

  3. We have a stop right in front of our mid-block home and just outside my son’s bedroom window. What is worse is that it’s a talking bus. We did cut out the plants around the base of the tree in front of our house because it was a trash receptacle but not only for people waiting for the bus, also for the lovely ladies who work further north on Folsom who direct their paramours to our empty garage driveway at night. I have had to tell my son, “no, that is not a purple balloon! Don’t touch it!” Living in the city has it’s downside sometimes.

  4. I’d recommend lodging a complaint directly with your supervisor and both your senator and congresswoman/man. In the past, I’ve had great luck with calling their district offices directly (and encouraging others to do so as well) as this is just the thing they love to work on to show they are working for their constituents! They also have staff with direct lines to all the responsible agencies so that they can get movement on the issue when you can’t. Hope this helps!

  5. i am totally embarrassed for post. when you say “strangers loitering” do you mean “neighbors waiting”? when you say “bus idling” do you mean “great service from public transit”? if you hate buses next to your house, may i recommend san mateo or amarillo, texas? be lucky we live in an amazing city with great transportation options. if you want to drive you and your clearly very white children around in your bmw, find another place to do it. otherwise, i notice there’s a bus stop outside your door, waiting to take you anywhere you choose….

  6. Well, this is degenerating into personal swipes, but I do agree that there is no logical reason for the new bus stop as far as I can tell. The stops are quite close together already, and it seems to make no sense. Often MUNI increases stops on hills for elderly people so they don’t have to walk too far up or down to catch a bus. It would be nice to hear their reasoning. I agree, also, that contacting supervisor Campos would be an excellent move.

  7. It’s very easy to criticize other people for their complaints when it’s not happening to you. Even as a proponent of public transportation, I’d be irritated too if I weren’t notified in advance. I’m sure we all put up with certain strains of urban life and vent about them and take action on them from time to time.

    • Thanks, I’m pretty much not complaining about public transit as a concept, social issue, or what have you. This is mostly about the lack of sense and communication. It was quite a shock and we felt powerless.

      • Yes, I think the folks criticizing you are missing the part about you feeling powerless … and suddenly sideswiped by Muni, so to speak. Though I understand their objection to using words like “loitering.”

  8. I’m sorry to read posts like this one complaining about a bus stop. We have chosen to live in a city and, thankfully, public transportation is part of that. I hope there won’t be more posts like this one. How about some news re Occupy Bernal or the Neighborhood Center, things that contribute to our neighborhood, rather than folks complaining about public transportation which is essential to city life.

  9. Regardless of the various opinions on this, I’d like to point out that in my experience the best way to find out the “official channel” for anything involving the city is to first call 311. 311 has proven to be incredibly useful in unearthing the formal methods for getting shit done around here (its really sad how crappy the city’s online infrastructure is for finding out the same info).

  10. I wonder if this is all a domino effect from the recent purchase of a house on Crescent at Ellsworth. They were able to complain and get the bus stop located right in front of their home moved to the other side of Ellsworth. Then I assume that that home owner was unhappy and complained as well. Maybe the stop should move back to where it was originally.

    • This. Crescent at Ellsworth was a good place for the stop, and was there prior to the owner of that house moved in. THAT PERSON knew what they were getting into, it’s ridiculous that the city gave in and moved the stop to appease them. Thousands of MUNI riders can’t get decent service, but somehow that one person got a freaking bus stop moved. I’ve been meaning to talk to Campos about it, and I believe now I will.

  11. To all the people who can now look into my kitchen window from this new bus stop: yeah, that is how I look when I first get up in the morning. Scary, huh?

  12. I used to live in the house where the stop was first moved earlier this year, and that was a flat-out ridiculous decision to put it there. I then encountered this latest change on my way to pick up my kids on Monday. Also ridiculous. But not for most of the reasons outlined by Neighbor Ryon. The mid-block stops are just bad for traffic flow and for the folks waiting for the buses.

    I understand why the new owner of the house on the corner of Ellsworth and Crescent wouldn’t want a bus stop in front. But, tough shit. They bought the house with a bus stop in front. Deal with it. When we lived there, we had people sitting at the bottom of our stairs all the time, cigarette butts, and trash left by the patrons of Nasser Market. But all of those things were happening when we got there.

  13. While I sympathize with the complaints, the real way to get results are to do a little homework about the stop, then complain to the MTA directly, preferably to a board member. I’m curious to know if the stop was moved as part of the TEP, or because of other reasons. Generally, removing a stop is harder than moving a boulder with your bare hands, because there’s a small group of folks who quite literally believe there should be a Muni stop on every block (I’m not kidding!)

    • Whether or not readers like the tone of the author, you have to admit that MUNI would run a hell of a lot smoother if there’s wasn’t a stop every block, and mid-block makes no sense.
      Hell, if I had to formulate a NIMBY persona, I’d be the “pull every other stop in the system” guy. Let’s see if these buses can top 7 mph!

      • That wasn’t directed at you Greg—just a general comment—but I replied to your message for some reason I can’t explain.

  14. As a “stranger” who will now have to “loiter” in front of your house to catch the 23 for work, I’ll try not “stare” at you with the disdain I feel for you after reading your classist crying.

  15. I completely feel your pain. A gentleman who recently purchased his home with the knowledge the bus stop was in front of his home, sucessfully got it moved to my drive way. We bought our home without a bus stop in our driveway, thank you very much, and this move was unacceptable. I complained up and down to the MTA, city supervisors, anyone who would listen. They decided to move it to its current location, against my advice. I suggested it go back to it’s longstanding home, in front of the first gentleman’s home.
    My advice is to rally your neighbors and flood this lady’s mailbox with complaints:
    Susana Beaumont-Lopez
    Transit Operations Planner
    SFMTA | Municipal Transportation Agency
    Office: 415.701.5382
    Mobile: 415.243.6694

    I warned her that moving it down the street was only pushing my problem onto some other innocent victim, but apparently the first guy has a big political stick. Good luck!

    • Ryon, if you write up a list of talking points, I would be glad to write to Susana Beaumont-Lopez and ask that the stop be moved back to its original location at Crescent and Ellsworth and that they institute a better process. I’m sure other neighbors would support that effort too.

  16. This morning I was driving home from driving my child to school (yes private) it was pouring, I had the luxury of a car, part time work…there was a mom of 3 young ones running up hill (yes, with a stroller) in the pouring rain trying to beat the bus to her stop. She had obviously just come from the housing at Alemany. (why do I say that? She was African American, looked financially challenged) This was on Crescent.
    SFUSD has reduced school buses this year and is cutting them next, our supes voted against reduced and free muni pass for youth, bus service is constantly being cut. ( I teach public)
    Let’s think a bit bigger about all this- as someone else mentioned, this is a city. It’s supposed to be noisy, diverse, uncomfortable, as well as exciting, diverse and culturally expanding.
    Focus this energy somewhere helpful. There is lots of work to be done!
    Think bigger!!!

  17. Lets hear it for TDelloue, Neighbor Sally, and Ross. They seem to realize we live in a community that needs to account for everybody, not just the haves. But lets say for the sake of argument that Neighbor Ryon has a point about this bus stop, that its in the wrong place, that it is redundant and doesn’t serve well the riders who depend on it because there are other close stops. Does the list address the issue or is it some strange entitled whine? “We just celebrated how great our block will be, only to have this nuisance kill our hope like a baby harp seal.” Huh? I agree with TDelloue’s call to more important action, but some soul searching might be in order here as well. Loitering strangers? Think about the mother with the three kids running to catch the bus in the rain next time you trash your neighbors who are merely waiting by a public bus stop in our neighborhood – in order to get home, or get to work. My guess is that most bus riders aren’t very concerned what’s behind your windows. Go after the city, fine, I see the point about the placement of the stop, but to attack bus riders in general – its way out of line.

  18. Ryan,
    Don’t feel bad, it’s a super dumb move from Muni. People can walk to three stops within minutes. We need to keep Muni moving, especially when this bus is 20-30 mins apart in rush hour. Start communicating with Muni, send a cease and dissent letter, what have you got to loose? I think if you badger Muni enough with strong arguments, they will eventually give in, it’s just half a block???

  19. I too live on Crescent, near St. Mary’s. A few years back, the westbound stop just east of Andover ( across Andover from the U-Save market, between Andover and Moultrie) started to get moved to the west side of Andover. Apparently the resident of the home where the bus stop was already in place knew someone from the MTA and asked them to move it to the other side of Andover. The people in the houses where the bus stop was being moved raised a holy stink, and the move was never made.

    I suggest this is what needs to be done with this current situation — raise a holy stink. Moving the bust stops willy nilly is bogus.

  20. I think the most salient arguments in favor of this complaint are:
    – The locations of the stop before and after are not terribly far apart
    – Mid-block stops are odd for this kind of street
    – Any location for a bus stop will generate people waiting, who sometimes are disrespectful of our City by littering

    Those tearing into the complain on the basis of:
    – Assumed NIMBYism
    – Assumed classism or racism
    – Assumed dislike for public transit
    … ought to really test for their assumptions before declaring them as fact.

    My general opinion: MUNI should have guidelines about stops per mile for a route that goes through residential zones, and should also have guidelines about what part of a block to locate stops. These guidelines should tell us if the location of the stop is good for the system or just random — and let me say this challenging bit: complaining about a stop location should be completely ignorable if there were solid planning guidelines that led to the decision about where to put a stop. All this “I’d like you to move the stop in front of my house” bit creates a nuisance of moving stops around until someone doesn’t complain — craziness!

  21. Dear Ryan,
    To bad you’re ungrateful that you were able to buy a house for your family. What have you done for your neighborhood? Perhaps you got that house/ bus stop because you’ll do something positive for bernal. There might be people who could feel safe in front of your home, waiting for the bus.
    Ask and you shall receive… Kind people or trashy make it a friendly bus stop you have the power. Make signs with your children and lady with positive messages. Decorate live life in the best way!
    Boo f’ing who be grateful you own a home in the best city in the states!

  22. I sympathize with your situation (exhaust/noise) but only #1 is a compelling argument. Most of your list is NIMBY and borderline offensive for the reasons other people have stated. (And those folks have been immediately dismissed, per usual on the comment section here. Nope, there is nothing assumed about the NIMBY rationale and the *I, me, my kids, my home value* arguments. Read the words.) Things change in a neighborhood even after you buy a house. Ask any of your neighbors, especially the ones who have lived here far longer than 5 years. Whenever old-timers are upset by changes in the community (neighbors losing homes, artists and students priced-out of living here, the steady homogenization of the neighborhood’s character…) there are comments on here telling them to move somewhere else if they don’t like it. (And a lot worse. I’m also hard-pressed to recall Todd jumping in for them.) I will not say that because that is such an unconstructive, conversation-ending *f-u*. I support your right to a fair hearing process and I would like MUNI routes to be better planned for the benefit of riders and the community as a whole. (And let me know if your house drops to 1980s prices. I night be able to afford it and will gladly live there and serve cookies to my neighbors waiting for the bus.)

    • SAB, you said, “And those folks have been immediately dismissed, per usual on the comment section here.”

      Really? I read a number of posts supportive of those comments.

      I do agree with you that a fair hearing process and better planned Muni routes that benefit the community as a whole would be the right way to go.

  23. Stand down, people! Mid-block bus stops are ridiculous. As an occasional rider of a bunch of different bus stops on different lines at different times of day, it drives me BATTY not to be able to guess where to reasonably find a bus stop. And, when that bus stop paint is covered by a parked car, it’s well nigh impossible to figure it out, resulting in me chasing after buses with my fist raised (well, more like I harumph and try to figure out where the stop actually is…) The 23 is a royal PITA as it is, running super infrequently, with random missing buses, and overcrowding in the afternoon for the kids coming from Aptos and Lowell. Randomly moving bus stops, especially to mid-block or in front of people’s driveways is not good for anyone.

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  25. Ryon, if you are unsuccessful in getting the bus stops spaced further apart and moved from in front of your house, are there ways to mitigate the annoyances? Maybe get the city to install a trash receptacle at the bus stop (and empty it regularly). Maybe put in some landscaping or curtains that would afford you more privacy? Could you get the city to underwrite a part of that cost, since it’s a new use in front of your property? Perhaps make sure the buses do no get away with idling in front of your house for more than the legal time limit (for exhaust). My sympathies to you, even as I know one person’s inconvenience is not going to outweigh the good a transit stop does for many.

  26. I just can’t believe they are moving a bus stop on a public road and on and existing route, the shame. THE SHAME!!! I wanted a home for an investment, and I bought near the top of a hill for a reason. Don’t give me that more stops are needed on hills for handicapped accessibility B.S. If they can’t afford a powered chair let them live at the bottom of the hill. And NO, they don’t NEED to come up here. I have worked too damn hard to make this an exclusive neighborhood, to allow any strangers in now. Remember the market? REMEMBER THE MARKET??!!!

    Did I mention my children? I have to lock them up in a room off the back of the house, and sometimes to protect them I have to put them in the basement, just to keep the strangers, THE STRANGERS, out on the sidewalk away, so they don’t have to be traumatized by the reality of living in the city, on a street with a bus route. I mean can you imagine all that work a day rabble that is out there in the morning all of them jealous of me, my home, my children, just plotting to wrong me. And don’t get me started with MUNI, or their drivers, they’re all coloreds. The last time we had them in the neighborhood we always had to call the cops on their store until, finally, we were able to force them out. REMEMBER THE STORE?!?!

    I am DYING INSIDE now, I’m gutted, I mean I am a pillar of this community. I AM. I know I am. I am important. IMPORTANT I TELL YOU. I have been complaining along with a few of my other IMPORTANT neighbors and I thought I was on the way to building a nice little exclusive community here. But then there’s that bus, THAT DAMN BUS. This is not fair, I mean I wrote it down, look at reason 10. Do I need to repeat it? DO I? I’m almost in tears, WE DON’T NEED THIS CRAP. My house, the ’80’s, I only planned on swinging this mortgage for a few years and then cashola, now what? NOW WHAT?!! My tree is DOOMED, my children, oh god, oh god there is someone walking by my house right now. GO AWAY, GET YOUR OWN SIDEWALK.

    And now you all are mocking my post here? Really? Well how about you read reason 10 again. READ IT!!!! I give up. None of you cares. NO ONE CARES!! None of you have dreams or goals you are all here to mock me and my family’s hard work at making this city better by keeping another bus stop from polluting or fair city streets, and the minds of my children.

    Well I can promise you this you won’t have poor Ryon to kick around anymore. I’m just going to sit here watching ALL OF YOU stare at me through the the window shades, and mark my words, I mean it. MARK MY WORDS, as soon as I get out from underneath my mortgage, I’m leaving. LEAVING. Years from now, after this fine neighborhood descends back into a haven of commoner ilk, when you wonder why I left, just read reason #10.

    Now my vulnerable children are crying. I hope you are all happy. I really HOPE YOUR HAPPY!!! Bus stop, got to stop the bus stop, got to stop the… Got to…

  27. Thank you Todd@Bernalwood for bringing all sides of the argument in one place. A really big TY to all the good folks on this forum that understand the real problem here.

    If you think that a Muni stop will make a difference to your pretend online life when a) it’s not happening to you outside your sanctuary and home and b) you don’t even ride Muni and c) you have no idea where the bus stop is but just thought you would chip in because it’s cleaver to hide behind anonymous comments and vent like it’s 1999 AOL style is beyond general internet comprehension. So easy and lovely after a couple of glasses of chardonnay, when reality should be far more sobering, especially if you actually have to rely on Muni to get somewhere?

    Ride any city bus end to end and just monitor your own values, everybody has a different take on any given situation. For example, do you nibble sunflower seeds and just flick the shells on the floor for someone to clear up? Just forget all the “good” people as mentioned in comments above on Muni for a moment and what do you have? Smokers, Pot Smokers, School kids, Music Freaks, Phone addicts, Wierdo’s, medicated Wierdo’s, loud people. In general, people who don’t give a hoot about anybody else and the reality is: != your own opinion, majority rule or may the loudest argument win. Openly clip your finger and toe nails with without giving a flying puck – literally. I have smelt $hit, seen $hit and have trod on $hit with this bus #23, don’t get me started.

    So why would anybody complain about having a new bus stop in front of their home?

    Solicitation: Somebody shuffling outside your front door 24/7, would you call the cops, or is it just a stoned Muni rider? Muni does not understand this and cops will get tired of complaints. Strange people sitting on your front door step, leaving litter and generally not giving a general flying F to your place, just like Muni! Loitering is probably the better word.

    Smoke: beyond California acceptable legal laws for distance and second hand smoke. Really hot summer’s here, window’s open cigarette and pot smoke is coming in my window, I have kids. It’s not cool to have no control of this in front of my house! You can’t police the masses and why should you?

    Excessive Noise: Diesel bus accelerating and stopping is a hard one.

    Have a garage but need to reverse and access the road without additional obstacles and lawsuits? Does Muni police these issue No way, it’s your problem now.

    Put yourself in the OP position, how could you possibly want this outside your home and place of rest, the one place that you can count on to be not psycho?? Be real, it’s not just for NIMBY’s, it could happen you YOU (:

  28. I don’t live in San Francisco, but I came into this post and found a lot of interesting and valid points. After spending some time in SF, I must say it is a beautiful city that has one of the best transportation systems in the world. As an alien to the city I would like to point out some thoughts about this issue:

    1. Efficient transportation systems will always generate a tradeoff that usually must be compensated by the citizens. It is clear that determining new MUNI stops is an example of that. For a commercial block a new stop could be highly beneficial, on the other hand on a residential area it will cause a negative impact on the neighborhood. But stops are needed as much as it is needed for everyone to pay their fare in order to keep the system running.

    2. As some people pointed out. MUNI should have a transparent and well defined procedure to choose new locations for stops. It shouldn’t hand pick a spot and worse move a stop just because someone could have “influence” over the decision makers. This is absolutely wrong, and goes against what SF is and has been in terms of encouraging diversity, freedom of thought, equality, etc. The MUNI procedure should be public and take into account key decision points, such as quantifying the need for a stop in a neighborhood the best place to choose a spot among a set of candidates, etc. This should let to a score that defines the best place to put it and everyone should try their best to respect their decision.

    In addition MUNI could offer some kind of compensation to neighbors with a bus stop in their house. But as said as part of a standard procedure.

    3. For me the most important point, is that even though I sympathize with the case, the stop will either be moved and affect a new neighbor or stay. Either way someone will be affected, as a visitor in the city this makes me realize how important is to keep the bus stops clean, keep the noise down, avoid smoking, etc. I certainly will do my best, as a visitor, to be respectful in bus stops.

    • I lived in NYC for 7 years before moving to SF. The public transit system here exists…but it. is. not. good. After a year, I finally gave in and bought a car, but I sure wish I didn’t feel the need. Maybe people here just don’t understand what a good public transit system really is?

  29. The person who bought the house at Ellsworth and Crescent likely got a lower price because the home had a bus stop outside. They knew what they were getting — and then they proceeded to move it and make it their neighbors’ problem.

    Has anyone actually tried talking to them to find out why they did it? I know people used to sit on their steps or the low wall outside, but maybe they could have tried putting something else there. Right now I feel like we’re demonizing the house’s owner.

    When there was a daycare being run from that house, there were often cars blocking the driveway/bus stop at pickup times.

    I’m irritated that I can’t stand on one street corner and catch the 67 or 23 depending on which comes first, and I’m irritated that bus stops can be moved seemingly at the whim of one person. This issue will run and run, I fear!

  30. As much as I didn’t love Ryon’s note, the vitriol which some of our “neighbors” have unleashed has been disgraceful. You wouldn’t say most of this stuff to his/her face, so it would be great if you cut out the internet tough-guy bullshit.

  31. Good God. I check Bernalwood every now and then to keep in touch with what’s going on. I’m going to stop. The anger and insults from some commenters is…remarkable. Can’t people frame an argument on the basis of the issue rather than simply hurling playground insults?

    I give up.

  32. They say that a bus stop is kind of like a new bed: Before you break it in, you have to wait 1-2 business days for it to be delivered to your house unless you have a large car. #LincolnMovie

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