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Hey BART, is This Really Your New Signage?

  |   Mass Transit   |   11 Comments

BART Signs, San Francisco

A few weeks back they painted the Powell/Montgomery/Embarcadero BART stations. Great, right? Well, in the process, they changed the signs. Not that they were so great to begin with, but the ones they replaced them with had me convinced that these were temporary ones until they were able to hang some fantastic new signs that would match the new paint scheme.

I can be naive.

So now it’s a couple months later and we still have these signs, and let me say: First off, is that sign laser-printed onto a sheet of copier paper? I think it is. Secondly – and I don’t expect BART to have a designated typography designer on staff or anything – but exactly who printed this thing off and thought, yeah, people will be able to read that from across the platform; no, wait, maybe I better squish it a little more and re-print them. Finally – and I’ve seen this happen multiple times now – since these signs are posted at a height that is below the height of a BART train, when there’s a train in the platform, the signs are completely obscured; so what happens is there will be either some tourists on board the arriving train with me, or someone who was sleeping and just woke up, and the person will jump up when the doors open, in a panic, and look to see what station they’re at – no luck.

Stuff like this makes me sad. It makes me sad because sometimes I like to entertain the notion that San Francisco is a special place where the people who live here and the people in charge of stuff actually give a damn, that they’re proud. This blog is based on that innocent premise. But other times, I’m reminded that, to a large degree, it’s just not the case, that we are one big earthquake away from Louisiana status. Not that useful signs in the BART platforms would change anything, mind you, make us any safer in a disaster. But, c’mon, can’t SOMEONE who works at BART pretend that they care about the little stuff (although, tell the tourists who end up crossing under the Bay only to have to find their way right back that this is a little thing)?

Cheer me up in the comments.

11 Comments
  • scott c. | Jun 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    The state of BART is shameful. The state of the cars, the constantly broken escalators, the sinage, the rudeness of the employees, the handling of the Oscar Grant shooting, all bad. If you look around in the stations, you can also see some clearly dangerous conditions.

    I cringe when I go through the transbay tube these days. It just feels different than it did years ago, and BART doesn’t seem to be on top of anything but deferring maintenance…

    Sorry, I can’t cheer you up.

  • dan p | Jun 3, 2010 at 8:46 am

    at least it’s not misspelled!

  • Jeff Diehl | Jun 3, 2010 at 9:37 am

    hahaha, thanks, Dan. that worked.

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  • johnny0 | Jun 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm

  • Concerned Guajolote | Jun 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I actually would be encouraged if I thought some BART employee took the initiative to print that thing out — would bet dollars to doughnuts that this was outsourced to a print shop / signage company at 4 figures. I wish I were kidding, somebody should do a FOIA request and try to find out what those monstrosities cost.

    And thereby also answer your other question as to why nothing works 😉

  • sha | Jun 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    bart’s so badass they even fuck with arial

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  • Stephen Coles | Jun 6, 2010 at 12:07 am

    They haven’t improved since 2005. Maybe once these temporary signs come down they will finally do better.

  • A. M. | Sep 8, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Thank you for posting this. More people should be outraged by this hideousness.

    Having worked for the City, and having seen the soft underbelly of local government, I have to say things are even uglier on the inside. I hope your comment about us being one earthquake away from Louisiana is not prescient, but having been a part of “emergency training” with the City, well, it seems quite possible.