Why I don’t ride BART, part 2: filth, insufficient clothing

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Q: Add this to your recent “Why I don’t ride BART” column. Last Friday at the Richmond Station parking garage, there were four elevators. One was broken, one had a large pool of vomit at the elevator entrance and inside, and on the sixth floor (top level), there was tons of pigeon poop in front of the elevator doors. So walk through vomit to get on the elevator and bird poop to get off.

And there was no agent in the booth, and no visible police or security. Separately, the double-tall pay gate made me feel like I was entering and exiting a prison.

Do better, BART!

Deadra Henderson

A: And …

Q: A few days ago, my aunt took Uber from Oakland to the mid-Peninsula instead of taking BART because last time she was on BART, she was disturbed by an almost-naked crazy man on the train.

Sue Kayton, Menlo Park

A: BART ridership is down. Could problems like Deadra describes and scary incidents like Sue describes be reasons why?

Q: Those who want transit to succeed will need to:

  • Make it clean.
  • Make it safe.
  • Make transit travel times somewhat competitive with the automobile.

Fail to address these things, and the vast majority of commuters will never prefer transit.

Mike Smith

A: That’s a winning trifecta.

Q: I would love to see a survey of your readers: How long it would take them to drive, to take public transit or a bike to work?

SJ guy

A: Too often the car still wins, despite our jammed 30-mph freeway speeds.

Q: There are 500 violent crimes on BART a year for 126 million riders (2018 statistics). All violent crimes are disgusting, but the risk on any given ride is extremely low, compared to the risk of injury while driving.

Frank Fuselier

A: Protect yourself on BART. Stay off your cellphone or computer and avoid napping.

Q: What’s with new yellow frames around stoplights? Is this a significant new trend?

Marissa P.

A: Perhaps. The yellow frames or reflective backplates on traffic signals are designed to get drivers to pay attention to the lights. The backplates, which first started being installed a few years ago, aren’t put on all stoplights, just the ones where the lights might need a little more help to stand out.

Q: I always thought that bicycles were not allowed on freeways. So why are there bright yellow signs on Highway 4 to watch for bicycles between Willow Pass Road and Port Chicago Highway?

Adrian Koolen, Pittsburg

A: There are 1,000 miles of California freeways and highways that allow bicycles on shoulders because there are no reasonable or feasible alternatives for bicyclists. That stretch of Highway 4 is one of them.

Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat at noon Wednesday at www.mercurynews.com/live-chats. Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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