Lost in the conflict over the proposed Central Subway to Chinatown is an understanding of its biggest flaw, which, if known and understood, would be the death knell for the project. While it is well-known that Central Subway will be the shortest and most expensive subway (per mile) in the nation, it has not been made clear that it will also be the most underused subway in the world.
What has been kept a virtual secret (try to find it on the official Central Subway website) is the fact that the subway will not have the great connectivity to Market Street transit (all Muni lines and BART) that north and southbound Muni passengers currently enjoy. When the subway is built, there will be no Market Street transfer point. Instead, riders will have to exit at Union Square and then walk 920 feet (more than the length of three football fields) in order to transfer to Market Street transit.
The only people who will wind up using such a system are people who are trying to kill time or those who want the exercise. The ludicrous claim of 76,000 new passengers needs to be independently investigated before any funds are committed to this disastrous project.
Paul Foley, San Rafael
No safe Sloat beach access
If you went to Sloat Boulevard’s beach today and looked down from the parking lot, what you would find are loose chunks of old construction debris and boulders along the bluffs as far as the eye can see. There is no safe access. A huge swath of federal beach once enjoyed by San Francisco has eroded into a disaster area.
The Surfrider Foundation and Save the Waves are calling on The City to develop and commit to a long term solution of “Managed Retreat” at Sloat. This would be a phased relocation of infrastructure away from the ocean, accompanied by restoration of the beach. The road and the wastewater tunnel are in an unsustainable location. The Department of Public Works own erosion projections and armoring proposals back up this claim.
Ultimately, we want a future restoration of the natural dune system in the area, similar to Crissy Field, with safe access trails for the public.
Bill McLaughlin, Surfrider Foundation, San Francisco
Help fight off bankruptcy
Ken Garcia’s Friday column about Jeff Adachi’s budget is a red herring in the pension reform debate. Adachi has been asking for more staffing for years — staffing that would ultimately save money. When his office is understaffed, cases get referred to private lawyers, who are more expensive than public defenders.
Adachi’s charter amendment for pension reform would save hundreds of millions of dollars that are being diverted from city services to pensions and benefits for employees. Unless voters want San Francisco to go bankrupt like Vallejo did, they should vote for pension reform.
Patrick Doolittle, San Francisco