Hey, SPUR – Why Don’t You Take Your Precious Central Subway and Shove It Up Your Ass? A Reasoned Retort

Let’s check in on the Central Subway.

Comes now SPURious establishmentarian Stephen L. Taber to sneer at those who don’t don skirts and wave pom poms for San Francisco’s very own, quasi-federally funded Subway to Nowhere, or Big Dig II if that prior terms offends. Read his words and a brief retort below.

But first, let’s check in with “Auntie Rose” Pak, who looks like she’s celebrating the Central Subway already:


Now, how much of an exaggeration is this?

“In order to get from Chinatown to the Market street metro lines/BART, you go down ten stories, ride one stop, then you have to go up 10 stories, walk 3 football fields, and then go down another 7 stories and wait for your train.”

I’ll tell you, not much.

Leave us begin:

[I]n San Francisco nothing new has ever been proposed that does not draw opposition just because it is new.

Or, maybe people oppose the corrupt Central Subway because it sucks air, instead of because it’s new? Isn’t that at least a possibility? I think you’re jumping to conclusions, SLT. They call that a dicto simpliciter, don’t they, counselor?

A small band of shortsighted naysayers has emerged with the irrational notion that a subway line would be slower than traffic-choked bus lines and that merely adding more slow buses would solve the problem.

Uh, most sensible people who have looked at the spiraling costs of Big Dig West have concluded that it’s Too Much Money for Too Little Benefit – like the Civil Grand Jury of San Francisco, 2010-2011, for example. Are the members of the Grand Jury “irrational?” Should they, as a group, be hospitalized for mental illness?

They would let the $1.3 billion in federal and state funding be sent to other cities to solve their transit problems, leaving San Francisco without a similar opportunity to correct our dysfunctional transit system for decades to come.

Uh, does free federal money “solve problems?” Really? Sometimes not. You see, what the Grand Jury is worried about is how dysfunctional the rest of MUNI is now. The Grand Jury, in its wisdom, knows all about the free money from Uncle Sucker, but that doesn’t mean that the Central Subway is good for San Francisco.

These opponents have called this project a “Subway to Nowhere.”

Well, that’s a reference to Sarah Palin’s Bridge to Nowhere, aka the Gravina Island Bridge. Now that particular project had mindless boosters as well, just like the Central Subway has SPUR and corrupt Chinatown “leaders.” And the idea of building a Golden Gate Bridge to an island with 50 people on it was a boondoggle too. So why are you bringing this up, dude?

It is an offense to our Chinese community, whose historic Chinatown, a vibrant and bustling commercial and residential neighborhood, is certainly “somewhere” and clearly warrants rapid transit service.

Uh, I think you mean Chinese-American, right, in the parlance of the day, right? And I think you’re being too touchy there, dude. But all right, how about Big Dig II or Big Dig West? I’m an opponent now and that’s my name for your corruption. Does that offend?

Conspiracy theorists argue that the Central Subway is simply the result of a political deal.

Well now you’re talking. Yes, yes, it’s the result of a political deal. Don’t you know? Let’s let John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle take over now: “A vigorous debate about the Central Subway inevitably would lead to a focus on interim Mayor Ed Lee’s relationship with ex-Mayor Willie Brown and Chinatown powerbroker Rose Pak, two chief proponents of the project, and their allies who have enjoyed a slice of the contracts to date.” Am I a conspiracy theorist? I don’t know, not generally, like I think Oswald alone when he killed JFK, for example. As far as the CS is concerned, of course there was a political deal – this is common knowledge about town.

But this claim overlooks the real history. The Central Subway was a key component of the “four corridors plan” developed by a citywide citizen’s committee and approved by the voters as part of Proposition B in 1989. 

Doesn’t this 4 Corridor plan go back much farther than that, per the Grand Jury? Are you familiar with the Grand Jury’s recent report? They go on and on about it, FYI. It’s like you haven’t read it, like you haven’t acknowledged it…

Because Muni will retain the No. 30 bus line in order to provide local service, the critics will not have to ride the Central Subway, but can sit on an uncrowded 30-Stockton bus while the bulk of the travelers speed past them underground.

No, don’t you get it, the Central Subway is too much money for too little benefit, right? A few riders will benefit from the CS, but most of the benefit will accrue to the builders and their allies, the Powers That Be. Overall, this subway will be a burden on MUNI. Hey, why don’t we call it Solyndra II?

Stephen L. Taber is chairman of the SPUR Central Subway Task Force, a former SPUR board member and current member of its advisory council. He is a San Francisco native and an attorney at Meyers Nave.

Oh, you’re a San Francisco Native. Well, why didn’t you say so? Now that changes everything. All hail Stephen L. fucking Taber who had the god-damned foresight to be borned in the 415. Withdrawn, forget my reasoned reply.

Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown, San Francisco’s corrupt Chinatown.

Talking Points:

 It has a pattern of increasing cost estimates.
 San Francisco will be responsible for any cost overruns
which could be substantial.
 The addition of a new subway line will add to an existing
operating deficit and could stretch the existing maintenance
environment to the breaking point.
 There are no plans to address existing problems on the
Stockton corridor before project completion.
 There is no effective transfer to the Muni Metro and
BART systems.
 It ignores service to the Financial District.
 It ignores current transportation trends

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply