Give Muni drivers benefit of the doubt 

I’m writing to object to the front-page characterization and “guilty until proven innocent” slant of a story Sept. 22 regarding the accident between a cyclist and a Muni vehicle.

The women and men who operate Muni vehicles have a very difficult and demanding job, and most of them do it well and with safety of the public as the first and foremost consideration. Without speaking to the incident in question, as it is still under investigation, it is irresponsible and damaging to assign culpability absent the facts. Many accidents involving Muni vehicles are not the fault of the drivers.

In any case, rather than jumping to assign blame, we should all be working toward a safer transportation system where everyone — pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit operators alike — proceeds safely and obeys all traffic regulations.

Your efforts would be better-served advancing that message rather than demonizing hard-working bus drivers.

Edward D. Reiskin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency


Looking for new direction

We have a federal government running amok with policymakers who don’t have the ability to grow an economy because they don’t know how to focus on themselves, doing their best, rather than penalizing those who do — through stealing in the form of taxation and overspending, targeting “the rich.”

Stop the wasteful spending, and stop penalizing those who work hard and make jobs.

It’s mean, wasteful and hurting everyone.

We have the opposite of what we really need in government — we need the best and the brightest, and the most efficient.

Next election, like some Democrats here who have told me what they will do, I am voting for either Newt Gingrich or Herman Cain — two men with the experience to not only lead, but forge, alliances that work.

Janet Coral Campbell, San Francisco


Straight talk on subway

Gerald Cauthen’s Friday letter on Central Subway funding repeats misinformation.

The City has made an application for $942 million to construct the subway from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Starts program, which has rated the Central Subway as high on its eligibility list.

If San Francisco canceled the subway as Cauthen advocates, those funds could not be used on other Muni projects, but would be distributed to Minneapolis, Houston and other cities on the New Starts eligibility list.

The choice is building the subway or doing nothing and wasting the $200 million already invested in the project.

James W. Haas, San Francisco

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