San Francisco police officers arrested three men acting together to pickpocket Muni patrons. Taken into custody November 29 were Miguel Lucana, 42, of San Francisco; Antonio Martinez, 34, also of San Francisco; and Juan Gonzales, 38, of Oakland.
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“On November 29, shortly after 3:00 P.M., two plain clothes SFPD officers assigned to the Muni Task Force were at the bus stop at Geary and Powell streets preparing to board a bus as part of ongoing efforts to help prevent pickpocket thefts on buses. One of the officers recognized Lucana, who has prior police contacts, standing at the bus stop with a t-shirt draped over his shoulder. Typically, a pickpocket will conceal his arm and hand during the theft attempt.
Standing next to Lucana on the crowded 38 Muni, one of the officers saw him attempt unsuccessfully to furtively open the purse of a woman standing next to him. Lucana then moved to another part of the bus, where he spoke with suspects Martinez and Gonzales. Pickpockets often work in pairs or more. One passenger on the bus reported that his wallet was missing
All three suspects were detained in the vicinity of Post and Fillmore streets. Police recovered the victim’s wallet, which had been in Lucana’s possession.
All three suspects were charged with theft and conspiracy and remain in custody.
“I am extremely proud of our Muni Task Force for everything they do to help keep this system safe,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “Their dedication and hard work further ensure that those who commit crimes on Muni will be brought to justice.”
The San Francisco Police Department reminds the public to be vigilant of their belongings and surroundings in crowded public spaces, and especially on publictransportation. Keep wallets in a front pocket and purses within sight at all times. Be wary of any abrupt physical contact or suspicious behavior. Citizens are also advised to use electronic devices sparingly in public, as criminal opportunists take advantage of citizens distracted while using these devices.”
But a couple-hundred or so transit workers and allies were on hand at the plaza in front of Big Blue:
And here’s how they got there. How apropropriate!
Here’s who was there. I see District 9 San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson, and TWU 250-a Union President Irwin Lum, for starters:
Are riders and drivers really united? Not that I can see, not in San Francisco. I’m mean, I’m sure that all involved would like Uncle Sucker to rain cash down upon the City, but beyond that, there’s not much uniting these groups. It would be nice to cancel the already-useless Central Subway and use the extra billion (or two or three) that that would free up to pay for transit people are using today, but the system doesn’t work that way, obviously. Oh well.
“Transit service cuts, fare hikes and layoffs affect millions of Americans every day. You can help save transit and counteract the nation-wide transit crisis by rallying with theSave Our Ridealliance.
Save Our Ride was formed by the Transport Workers Union, Amalgamated Transit Union and Reverend Jesse Jackson to raise awareness of the transit crisis and to rally for the passage of transit bills that will allow flexibility of federal aid for transit. The alliance is an advocate for more affordable and efficient transit systems, better air quality and a greener future for America.
Speakers to include: James C. Little, President International TWU; Harry Lombardo, TWU Executive Vice President; Warren George, President of International ATU; Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Other speakers will include TWU and ATU local leadership, legislators, community and civil rights groups, riders who are suffering from service cuts and increased fares. (speakers subject to change)
Stay tuned to twu.org and ourride.org for speaker announcements and more information as the rallies approach.
The reason your fares have increased and your service has been cut is because the federal government has neglected transit for decades and the country’s on-going economic struggle that has slashed transit revenues has pushed transportation systems into their own crises.
“We can not allow our transit systems to crumble from financial neglect,” said President James C. Little. “We must work together to tell the federal government the neglect must stop.”
Federal subsidies to our country’s largest transportation systems do not allow enough flexibility for operating costs. So transit systems can use federal funds to buy news trains and buses (capital expenses), but not to pay the operators. If your bus doesn’t have an operator, you are not going to get to work on time.
Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), have proposed bills, H.R.2746and S3189, that would allow transit agencies to flex funding to suit local needs. Also, eight senators from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee introduced a bill, S. 3412, to authorize emergency funding for transit agencies to help reverse fare increases and service cuts.
This legislation will help to save our transit systems, provide thousands of green transit jobs, and keep transportation affordable. If you take the bus, train, subway or streetcar to work and use public transportation to send your children to school and if you want to work towards a cleaner environment, less congested streets and green jobs, then come share your story and your voice and Save Our Ride!
The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board is seeking applicants for its Citizens Advisory Committee to represent San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The CAC is comprised of nine volunteer members, who serve in an advisory capacity to the board of directors, providing input on the needs of current and potential rail customers.
Applicants should be residents of one of the three counties, and applications are due by 5 p.m., Monday, May 11. The CAC meets the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in San Carlos, just one block from the San Carlos Caltrain Station. All meetings are open to the public.
Caltrain operates 98 trains each weekday between San Francisco and San Jose, with commute-hour service to Gilroy, and hourly weekend service between San Francisco and San Jose. Last year, Caltrain carried nearly 12 million riders, and currently it carries an average weekday ridership of more than 40,000.
Interested persons can download an application HERE or call 650.508.6223.
4/12/2009 – tcb Media Contact: Tasha Bartholomew, 650.508.7927
* Download and application to become a CAC member: (PDF, 31 KB) – (MS WORD, 111 KB)
The Citizens Advisory Committee is comprised of nine representatives from various segments of the community and acts in an advisory capacity to the tri-county Caltrain policy board. Responsibilities include providing input on the needs of current and potential transit users.
The CAC meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Caltrain’s administrative office in San Carlos, one block west of the San Carlos Caltrain Station. All meetings are open to the public. Comments to the board may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the beginning (circa 2005), there was nothing preventing drivers from making an illegal right turn from inbound Market onto the Octavia freeway on-ramp.
See? Inbound Market at Octavia in early 2007, no cones, no Safe Hit posts, no nothing:
Consequently, drivers would gain access to freeways taking them to the east bay and the south bay by making illegal right turns. See how this harried yuppie pilots his SAAB into an innocent cyclist? T’pau! The cyclist wasn’t hurt all that bad, but others were.
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano is sponsoring a bill (AB 2729) which will allow San Francisco to use camera enforcement to ticket drivers who make the illegal right turn. The SF Bicycle Coalition thinks that camera enforcement is a smart solution for this notoriously dangerous intersection. Currently, there is almost no enforcement happening. We need public testimony from people who have been hit by a motorist or have had other bad experiences at that intersection to build support for this new bill.
The bill will be heard by its first committee next week, so if you are one of the unlucky folks who has a story to tell, please take a moment now to write down the details of your encounter and email them to Marc!
But what of today? Are drivers still making that illegal turn a couple of years after the island installation? Sounds like it’s time for a new traffic study.
Well, here it is.
Exactly zero drivers made an illegal turn from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM this morning. That’s the same time period measured back in 2007.
However, one driver tried to make a turn, but couldn’t do it easily because he (it’s always a he, am I right ladies?) was blocked by cyclists that he noticed at the last second. So he gave up and went south of Market to get onto the freeway. Amazingly, he wasn’t driving a BMW, Audi or a SAAB. There he is, in the grey Mazda 3 you can see here:
So, can we use some cameras here? Sure, why not?
Now, let’s not get into how we got saddled with Octavia and all its problems. That ivory tower academic from across the estuary already took our money and collected her awards so it’s unlikely she’d want to revisit her creation. Actually, she’s off to laboring on Masonic, where there’s simply no way her notions can hurt people and mess up traffic more than horrible Octavia does now. So that’s a good thing. Anyway, she feels any troubles associated with Octavia are San Francisco’s fault, so you can’t even count her as a defender of this massive planning failure.
(Speaking of which, should we now have traffic engineers work as urban planners, considering that urban planners and architects have gotten into traffic engineering lately? It would only be fair. Oh well.)
You know, down in Mexico City, a ward heeler faced with something like our right turn situation on Octavia would get a crew going and have a concrete traffic island curing in the pouring sun by the next day. It took us about a thousand times longer than that, but we got our island and there are people walking around today because of it.
But it certainly would be nice to have a camera or two to complete the job…