After Pedestrian’s Death at Sunset, Twitter Famous Muni Driver Criticizes Supervisor Marr for Shortening Slow Streets

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When the pedestrian’s death drew complaints from County Executive Gordon Marr on Monday, Marr himself took to Twitter to lash out at a local celebrity over the closure of Slow Streets in the Sunset.

It’s a common, perhaps cliche, but certainly tasteful gesture that when a San Francisco resident is unexpectedly murdered, an elected official takes to Twitter to praise the victim and condemn the circumstances that led to the man’s death. That was the case on Monday with a traffic collision in the Sunset area one pedestrian died, the other was hospitalized. (The driver was reportedly speeding and ran a stop sign.) County Supervisor Gordon Marr posted the tweet below, promising a community meeting on traffic safety and complaining to KGO about SFPD’s “lack of enforcement in issuing traffic citations to prevent this.”

Marr isn’t quite sure about that. “Chronicle” published an August article about how surprisingly few citations of SFPD questions for violation of traffic rules. But considering the role of Mar y cutting down slow streets in the Sunset District, he was rebuffed by arguably the city’s most internet-famous Muni driver, who replied, “Remind me, are you the same supervisor who demanded the slow streets be eliminated in Sunset?” It’s a nice bell.

The discourse is heating up, but first, a little background on Twitter users Mac, yes, that Mac, otherwise known as real-life Mooney driver Mack “Mack” Allen. Allen gained fame from a a viral topic on Twitter (see below) fine teeth combing Muni’s martial arts scene in last year’s Marvel Studios hit Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This made him something of a celebrity Muni, earning him podcast appearances and participates in a popular talk show Muni Diaries live.

But back to the Slow Streets controversy: In April 2021, Chief Marr took the initiative to eliminate some of the Sunset District’s slow streets, replacing the system with a toned-down version called Neighbors sunset. It effectively “de-designated” some (but not all) slow-moving streets in the Sunset District, allowing all cars to return, but instead installed “regional parking lots, roundabouts, crosswalk upgrades and traffic diversions at targeted locations.” Several principals at Sunset Schools demanded a change.

This obviously didn’t sit well with Slow Streets fans: “Today you have to channel your heartbreak and anger while focusing on whether your priorities are speeding cars or people’s safety and cheer,” Mack replies. “When you trade safe roadways near schools for more car-friendly access, getting to and from school becomes less safe and more dependent on cars. If a child is hit by a car at school, it’s on you and the principals who asked.”

This last consideration may be too much, especially for those who drive for life. (Muni buses have also hit pedestrians!) And while the corner in Monday’s accident is not and never was a slow street, the important thing is that Marr actively shortened the slow streets and helped return vehicles to the Great Highway. Thus, pedestrian and bicycle activists can rightfully call the Mar “pro-car.”

Marr actually responded, but went the extra mile by saying, “Mac, please join us in pushing the SFMTA to move faster and bolder on the Sunset Neighborways project:”

Is the “pro-auto” label a political liability for Supervisor Mar? He will be re-elected just two weeks from today. Although it’s unclear if his rival Joel Engardio has a ton of support among the Slow Streets set. So this may or may not be an issue for the March election. But whether he serves one or two terms, he will be remembered as the leader who banned some important car-free streets.

On the subject: Mayor Breed is trying to end the slow streets of San Francisco? Recent events raise questions [SFist]

Image: Bennett W. via Yelp

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