Grrr, I’m trying to write a note to Mark Simon but I’m so angry I can’t see straight right now…
Northbound Caltrain 233, almost full Gallery bike car. As we approach California Ave the conductor sees 5 bikes in two of the racks. The official limit is 4 bikes because the central aisle must remain clear for safety reasons. She tells Conductor Donna to hold the train and not let any more bikes on at Cal Ave until “we get it worked out.” Note we’re one stop short of Palo Alto, where half the cyclists will detrain ANYWAY, and the central aisle was clear.
It takes a little while because — it turns out — some Cal Ave bound riders (WITH NO TAGS!) just threw some bikes nilly willy while they unburied their own bikes, which is probably why there were these 5-deep stacks in the first place. Several cyclists go to the lower level to “get it worked out” for the conductors’ satisfaction when the Cal Ave riders begin to board and the train leaves, at which point Palo Alto bound riders go downstairs jamming up the entire lower level, with the conductors yelling at us to “get it worked out” WHEN WE HAD IT WORKED OUT JUST FINE UNTIL THEY HOSED IT ALL UP FOR US.
I appreciate the safety considerations the conductors must work with, but in this instance their rigid enforcement of the rules resulted in an UNSAFE CONDITION for the train riders, a delayed train, and one cyclist left at the California Avenue platform. Conductor Donna loudly blamed the cyclists for this fiasco, when it fact it was herself and her co-conductor.
Please don’t miss my inaugural Tuesday Transit Quiz, especially if you think you know Caltrain.
Also don’t miss Murph’s rant on Magic Fairy Dust.
If you read the news, you all have all seen the headlines this week about record transit ridership. Here’s the local angle for Santa Cruz County.
I’ve been attending transportation meetings again lately after about a three year hiatus, and the denial about where our nation is at and where we’re headed blows my mind. There’s some willful denial on my part too so I guess it’s easy to understand. I attended the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission meeting last week, where the commissioners talked about how to spend their share of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRRA) money. There’s some frustration that 70% of the Federal ARRA highway funds are STILL LOCKED UP AT THE STATE LEVEL because of the legislative logjam that continues after the ridiculous budget fight last month in Sacramento. Regional transportation planners have 120 days to award contracts, the clock started ticking on March 2, and OUR STATE LEGISLATORS STILL DON’T HAVE THEIR ACT TOGETHER to decide how to spend this Federal stimulus cash.
I need to shut up now before I hurt myself. So, umm, the Transit Quiz if you don’t mind.