Open Letters To City Of Alameda and BART

Dear Mayor Gilmore,

Last month, I freaked out when I realized I was biking straight into oncoming traffic near the Posey Tunnel one Saturday afternoon. Luckily, I was able to navigate to safety.

While the sharrows and “Bike Route” signage is great in the heart of Alameda, the directional cues for bikers seems to disappear on the edge of the city.

When money becomes available for the next round of bike program improvements, I hope the council puts a serious emphasis on signage to help direct riders in and around the Posey and Webster Street tunnels.

Google Maps tells me its safe to bike through the Posey Tunnel, but I’m still skeptical. Are the skinny raised pathways on the sides of the tunnel meant for bikers? I have no idea because there’s no information at that location that I could see. If they are, I hope an emphasis also is placed on smoothing out those pathways, widening them and/or bending parts of the fence.

Again, I ask that you pay more attention to bikers operating on the edges of the city.

Thanks for your service to the city.

Got a nice reply from city officials in response to that.

—-

Dear BART,

In my month in San Francisco, it’s become a common sight to see tourists fumbling around with cash, tickets, cards and luggage at the ticket vending machines at Powell Street Station. The downtown station is obviously near many major hotels. These tourists just want to get to the airport. But the seem unable to easily comprehend the machines or fare schedule posted on them.

I would suggest creating a poster dedicated to explaining how to buy a ticket for the airport. Or even better, how about installing a new machine dedicated to only issuing SFO or Oakland Coliseum tickets. Such a booth could enhance the experience of tourists and speed up queues for existing machines.

You could even recoup costs through a small surcharge for using that machine. I’m sure airport-bound folks can spare a nickel or two.

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