We have a bypass that goes crosstown for cyclists called the wiggle. This is a bike path that follows streets around the Haight-Ashbury hill. A person new to town does not understand that it is possible to get from the Mission to the Haight without going up any major hill. In San Francisco, we have 43 hills over 47 square miles. This means we have one hill for every 1.1 square miles. Although SF is not one continuous grid pattern, most hills can be avoided by simply jogging over one block.
Dear bike riders, take the parallel street! Usually there is a nice residential, less commercial street just off of a transit artery that is immensely safer for less conflict collision: Scott Street or Baker off Divisadero for starters—Page Street instead of Oak or Haight—Valencia instead of Mission. Howard Street, for example, has marked bike lane sharrows instead of scary Mission Street. Take Polk Street instead of busy Van Ness, which is highway 101. The list goes on. It just is not safe to be on Van Ness or Divisadero during Peak Period-- what most commuters call Rush Hour.
Sharrows are the arrow like bike icons indicated a shared lane with vehicular traffic. They are stenciled in the center of the lane so cars are not in a reduced width lane because of a separate lane for bikes. All these extra paint marks on the street do make for a confusing first time if you are in a car visiting San Francisco. What with transit islands and taxi and bus lanes, the driving space for regular traffic becomes constricted. This philosophy is extended to discourage automobile use, but with the advent of ride share vehicles in large numbers, the squeeze play can become not unlike a video game. But unlike on a screen, injury and collision is real.
Scott street bike path on "The Wiggle"
When I pull out in the morning, I always smile and say hello to my first customer. I try to make this an important barometer for how the day will go. And it gives me an instant check-in to see where I am at in my head, and whether or not I am present to be of service. Yes, the job gives great paychecks, but I have always followed the precept; do what you like and the money will follow. Even though I believe most city employees think more about their paycheck than the service they provide to get it, I do know placing service first is actually my best action to create job security.
I found out I am not a rush hour downtown bus driver. I am a crosstown guy who avoids being on that inbound trip at 8:30 a.m. or that 5:15 p.m. trip outbound. Crosstown is where it’s at for me. The Muni meaning behind “doing homework” means checking out the paddles: to see where the run is in the morning and in the afternoon. Paddles are the individual timetable for each bus driver’s run. You can usually see this on the visor above the operator. People always ask me what the bad line is. I say there are no bad lines: Only bad leaving times.
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Here is a good example of how not to park a scooter. Yes, it's out of the way, but it just doesn't look good right by a crosswalk.
We have so many obstacles in the bus zone from magazine stands and street poles, we really don't need bikes to add to the problem.
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FAQ's : Q1:Doug how many book versions are there?
A1: I have written three books; Dao1 in 2012 (rev. 2016)- Finding Zen in San Fran Transit; Dao2- The Art of Driving a Bus -A Line Trainer's Guide 2015; and Dao3-The Trolleybus of Happy Destiny 2018.
Q2: What formats are they in?
A2: Softcover, Hardcover, e-reader, and audiobook.
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Durable materials seldom fail. Quality Endures.
Meet the MACK, a 1950's Motorcoach still in mint condition.
Just like Tom Hanks in Polar Express, we still made change and punched tickets.
These old toggles still work great and are a lot more durable than the knobs we have now: this was built to last.
Turn signal cowling on the 1969 GM Bus on display by Ferry Plaza on Muni Heritage Day 2019.
"To the moon Alice, to the moon."
These colors remain bold to this day.
Copper pedestrian reflections.
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