My top 2022 story picks
There were plenty of stories in 2022 that I enjoyed reporting on and several stories that I’d rather not reminisce about, but this year kept me busy.
Five stories that stood out for me include the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency finally completing two of its most expensive and delayed public transit projects this year. Other transit related stories that caught my attention in 2022: car-free JFK, a summer return of Muni service.
Another favorite of mine was the opening of Battery Bluff Park and Presidio Tunnel Tops. It was a nice change of scenery from the hustle of City Hall. I regret not going back since the opening and will make a mental note to visit when I need to take a break.
I want to say a huge thanks to all my regular readers, new readers and all of those who have followed me since the beginning. I’ll see you on Muni in 2023.
Here we go. My top five 2022 story picks.
SFMTA finally completes Central Subway
The SFMTA finally got it together before the year ended to open the Central Subway even if it was just a soft opening. Nearly $2 billion later (the price tag expected to increase when it’s all said and done) and over a decade of construction, the newly built subway will actually fully open on Jan. 7, 2023.
During the late November through December soft opening, trains only ran on the weekends between the four new stations. On Jan. 7, Muni riders on the T-Third rail line will be able to take T to Chinatown as well as Union Square. The project has been a long time coming and while there have been critics of the project, the project got completed.
Muni riders should take note that the T will no longer interlink with the K-Ingleside. The T will no longer serve any of the downtown Muni Metro stations and along the Embarcadero. The K will end its route at Embarcadero station and turn right back around.
Van Ness projects gets done too
While much has been said about the Central Subway project, the Van Ness project received probably received equal or more scrutiny during the last 10 years. There were hearings about delays, complaints from businesses (same as Chinatown) and a scathing report that pretty much summed up just how bad it was.
BUT, the SFMTA was also able to get it done this year and apparently is doing well. Good for them.
Summer Muni Service
Continuing on the theme of Muni, many bus routes returned to service over the summer after a long hiatus. City and transit officials celebrated the return at the 21-Hayes bus stop near Alamo Square.
There was a delayed return for some of these routes as the omicron variant of Covid-19 had spread to city employees, including Muni operators and staffers at the beginning of 2022. Readers might recall last year’s fireworks show along the Embarcadero was canceled due a staffing shortage of emergency crews due to staff infected with Covid-19.
For this winter, there’s not much to report (outside of Central Subway) except for some minor bus service changes starting on Jan. 7. The 6-Haight/Parnassus hours will extend from 10 p.m. to midnight. The 21-Hayes will extend to Eighth Avenue and Fulton streets and the 12-Folsom and 36-Teresita will have new terminals.
Hours and hours spent at a San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting one day in April followed by a ballot measure in November, I think it’s safe to say that JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park is permanently closed. Nuff said.
Battery Bluff and Presidio Tunnel Tops
Gorgeous views, a great park to take your kids and a fantastic way to just unwind and to get away from all the noise in The City. And it’s also accessible by taking public transit.
As I said earlier, I wish I went more often this year besides the two opening celebrations I attended this year, but there’s always 2023.