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October 31, 2013

First Person: A Muni Breast Cancer Survivor's Story October is breast cancer awareness month. Muni Operator Carolyn Mitchell summarizes her battle with the disease in one word: survivor. She characterizes her journey not as one of devastation and hardship, but as a benevolent and blessed victory over a formidable foe, an adversary that the American Cancer Society estimates will take the lives of over 39,000 women this year. Read more here.

"No Right Turn" Camera Makes First Appearance on Market Street Drivers who fail to heed the "no right turn" signs from eastbound Market Street onto the freeway onramp on Octavia Street will have a $238 fine to contend with this holiday season. In an effort to increase auto, pedestrian and bicycle safety, a new no right turn enforcement camera will be installed at the intersection on Nov. 1 to increase safety in the heavily traveled corridor. Read more here.

Muni Heritage Weekend Brings Out Rare Historic Vehicles Transit buffs will be thrilled when Muni Heritage Weekend arrives Nov. 2 through 3. Rare, vintage vehicles will be rolled out into revenue service between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. as the SFMTA and non-profit preservation partner Market Street Railway commemorate the end of a yearlong celebration honoring Muni's centennial anniversary. Read more here.

SFMTA Employees, DOT Honored SFMTA employees received a variety of honors in the last month. SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin was handed the chair as new NACTO president; Darton Ito was part of the 2013 Leadership APTA graduating class; and Livable Streets Heath Maddox was named by 7X7 Magazine as one of the city's "Hot 20." Read more here.

Monsters Among Us: MAAC's "Muni Mash" Muni's Multimodal Accessibility Advisory Committee has put together a Halloween message to remind customers to give up the front seats of Muni vehicles for those with disabilities. The results just might scare you. Click here...if you dare.

Issue 1 Volume #17


Oct. 15 Board of Director's Meeting To access Director Reiskin's Oct. 15 report to the SFMTA Board of Directors click here. Video of the meeting is available on demand at SFGovTV and can be accessed here.

Employee Engagement Survey Results Released The 2013 Employment Engagement Survey results have been released. The 2013 survey establishes a baseline for the SFMTA and charts the agency's progress toward reaching the goals of its six-year Strategic Plan. Find out more here.

Affordable Care Act With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, all residents of the city and county of San Francisco can now purchase full health insurance through California's new marketplace, called Covered CA. Open enrollment began Oct. 1. Click here to learn more about the best comprehensive health care plans available through Covered CA and the additional federal benefits that will become available on Jan. 1, 2014.

Questions? Questions, comments or submissions? E-mail us at newsletter@sfmta.com.


First Person: A Muni Breast Cancer Survivor’s Story Carolyn Mitchell is determined to have her voice heard. After being diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago, her road to recovery post-diagnosis was fraught with anxiety and foreboding. But her determination to beat the disease, and her subsequent advocacy for early diagnosis, brings hope to other women like her who find their lives in sudden upheaval. This is her story. by Carolyn Mitchell My name is Carolyn Mitchell and I am an operator out of the SFMTA’s Woods Division. I am also a 10-year proud, blessed and thankful breast cancer survivor. I am an activist and big supporter of women getting breast exams. I was diagnosed through mammography with Stage One breast cancer. I was very lucky to catch the disease early, but I still had to deal with the emotional ups and downs that come with having this frightening diagnosis. My treatment was equally scary. I had a lumpectomy and chemotherapy plus radiation. Nothing about this experience was easy, but I learned many things. I became stronger. Once you overcome the initial news, you become very brave in an effort to save your life. At the time, I had my mom, who is gone now, my sisters, family and friends. You need a strong support circle of women to help at every turn. I don’t know what I would have done without them. It was very therapeutic to be engaged in talking

about my breast cancer. I didn’t feel alone or odd. I was the first woman in my family to openly discuss breast cancer. Women in my family suffered in silence. Many women are still ashamed to talk about breast cancer. I have worked for the SFMTA for 15 years as a Transit Operator. I was on medical leave for 18 months from diagnosis, to surgery, to therapy to full recovery. There was a strong network of women from the agency that rallied in support of my recovery at the time. My hope is that the SFMTA will be even more proactive in promoting the health care and support of women in the company, especially the early detection of breast cancer. Breast Cancer has touched many in the SFMTA family. This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Be proactive, be courageous and be involved. PS. I am a volunteer for the American Cancer Society “Making Strides” Campaign which takes place in San Francisco on October 26. The City and County of San Francisco’s Combined Charities Program supports the fight against breast cancer through a number of charitable organizations in addition to a wide range of agencies that offer a variety of services. To find out more, please visit www.sfgov.org/charity or contact Janis.Yuen@ sfmta.com. Last day for pledges is Nov. 13. Editor’s note: for more information on breast cancer awareness month please click here.

Carolyn J. Mitchell, survivor


“No Right Turn” Camera Makes First Appearance on Market Street by Mark DeAnda Drivers failing to comply with no right turn signs on Market and Octavia continue to present hazards to cyclists and pedestrians. Right turns from eastbound Market Street onto the southbound Octavia Street freeway onramp have been prohibited since the Central Freeway touched down at the intersection in 2005. Despite clearly visible signs prohibiting a right turn, and street treatments such as green-backed sharrows and existing concrete barriers installed in 2011, the junction continues to be one of the more accident-prone sites in the city for cyclists and pedestrians, primarily due to drivers who intentionally ignore the no right turn signs for quicker access to the freeway. In December 2012, the California Attorney General’s office, in response to a request from the City and County of San Francisco, issued an opinion that gave San Francisco the go-ahead to use automated enforcement equipment to enforce a no right turn prohibition. The SFMTA hopes the automated photo enforcement system, traditionally used for red light violations, and the accompanying $238 fine for the infraction—along with a point added to your driving record—will make a significant impact on drivers’ decisions to make the illegal turn.

No right turn camera adjacent to the southbound Octavia Street onramp

Though enforcement cameras will be officially active on Nov. 1, the SFMTA will issue warning notices for an initial 30-day period. The city’s first no right turn enforcement camera joins 47 existing red light cameras posted throughout the city as the agency continues its dedication to reducing the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

Despite concrete barriers and clearly marked sharrows, motorists continue to make the right turn from Market Street onto the Octavia freeway onramp

No right turn camera on eastbound Market Street


Muni Heritage Weekend Brings Out Rare Historic A number of historic streetcars will also be added Vehicles By Mark DeAnda Vintage motor coaches and trolley buses, a special cable car and historic streetcars will take to the streets of San Francisco Nov. 2 and 3 as the SFMTA and Muni’s non-profit preservation partner Market Street Railway celebrate Muni Heritage weekend. The event culminates a yearlong celebration of the100th anniversary of Muni, the first publically owned transit system in the country. A number of Muni vehicles rarely seen on city streets will participate in the two-day Muni Heritage Weekend event sponsored by the SFMTA and Market Street Railway. Historic buses will make a short circular route from the Market Street Railway Museum on Steuart Street between Market and Mission streets to the Union Square area and back. Featured buses include Bus No. 042, a 1938 gas-powered coach that served the 39 Coit Route for almost 40 years and Bus No. 5300, a 1975 trolley coach painted in the two-tone orange paint scheme created by famed San Francisco industrial designer Walter Landor. “Muni Heritage Weekend is a great chance for San Franciscans to step back into the past and experience for themselves a slice of the city from another era, and learn why efficient, attractive transit is so important to our city’s future as well,” said Rick Laubscher, president of Market Street Railway.

to the F Line run that operates between the Castro and Fisherman’s Wharf. Muni’s first streetcar, Streetcar No. 1, piloted up Geary by Mayor “Sunny Jim” Rolph on Dec. 28, 1912 will be in service. Streetcar No. 578, the oldest streetcar operated by a transit agency, built in 1896 and restored to its original yellow livery for the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake, will also return to service. Cable Car No. 42, the last car bearing the O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde Line markings will run on the California Cable Car Line from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Regular cable car fares will apply. “This closing Centennial celebration brings out some of our most beautifully restored and rarely visible vehicles for all to enjoy,” said Davide Puglisi, SFMTA Acting Deputy Director of Transit Services. “Like the mythical cable cars these living historic streetcars, trolley coaches, and buses lend depth to the history, charm, and fun on the streets of San Francisco.” The Market Street Railway Museum, at the Steuart F Line stop will feature special presentations on both days along with a special sale of transit books and memorabilia to support the Museum. A special exhibit on the Historic Trolley Festivals of the 1980s, which gave birth to the F Line, will also be featured. Talks on the city’s rich transit history will be presented at the Market Street Railway Museum at 2 p.m. both days. For more information on Muni Heritage Weekend, click here.

From left: 1950 Marmon-Herrington trolley coach No. 776, 1912 streetcar No. 1, and 1938 White motor coach No. 042 gear up for Muni Heritage Weekend


SFMTA Employees, DOT Honored by Mark De Anda Fall has begun with a bounty of awards bestowed on SFMTA employees. Reiskin named new president of NACTO SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin was named new president-elect of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) on Oct. 28 at NACTO’s Designing Cities conference in Phoenix. NACTO facilitates the exchange of transportation ideas and best practices for creating multimodal streets in large cities. Director Reiskin currently serves as the vice-president of NACTO and will assume the position of president on Jan. 1, 2014. Outgoing President Janette Sadik-Khan will remain on the Board as the Strategic Advisory Chair.

Darton Ito accepting his Leadership APTA 2013 award

The “Heath” is on: Maddox makes 7X7 Magazine’s Hot 20 The SFMTA’s Heath Maddox, Program Manager of Bay Area Bike Share, was one of 7X7 Magazine’s “Hot 20” movers and shakers that have “fired up” the San Francisco magazine’s editorial staff over the course of the year. The “Hot 20” are 7X7’s annual roundup of the city’s 20 most promising and prominent innovators in food, sports, the arts, science, technology, design, business, nonprofits and more. Maddox was selected as one of five individuals who helped make 2013 “the year of the bicycle,” for his efforts spearheading Bay Area Bike Share, the region’s new bikesharing network.

Director Reiskin accepts NACTO “chair” position

Ito graduates from Leadership APTA In a ceremony held in Chicago on Oct. 1, the SFMTA’s Manager of Long-Range Planning, Darton Ito, was one of 25 up-and-coming transportation leaders to graduate from Leadership APTA 2013. Leadership APTA is the American Public Transportation Association’s annual premier professional development program for candidates who show leadership potential. Ito was one of 25 experienced managers who aspire to hold senior and executive leadership positions selected by the APTA Leadership Committee for the 2013 program.

7X7’s “Year of the Bicycle” Hot Five Left to right: Scott Crosby, founder SF2G; Karen Wiener, co-owner The New Wheel; Bret Lobree, creator rideallofsf.tumblr.com; Leah Shahum, executive director SF Bicycle Coalition; Heath Maddox, Program Manager of Bay Area Bike Share. (Photograph courtesy of Zach Gross)


Newsletter issue 1 volume #17