On Tuesday, we met Landy Dong, Wil Din, and Phil Chin who were the founding members of Chinatown TRIP. It was incredible to hear their stories and how they got involved in serving the Chinatown community. For me, I was particularly interested in learning about history of the MUNI bus lines. Growing up in San Francisco meant riding the buses frequently, which sparked my interest in transportation. I was surprised to learn that the current 8 Bayshore bus was formerly an extension of the 30 Stockton bus. I take the 8 almost everyday and I never knew the history behind it (it was still the 15 when I was in elementary school). All the buses that run through Chinatown are almost always crowded. It was surprising to learn that the bus lines that serve Chinatown were not at the top of the list for ridership (https://www.sfgate.com/travel/resources/transit/article/San-Francisco-most-crowded-bus-routes-Muni-SFMTA-14057322.php). I am skeptical of the data that was used because it was through Google users voluntarily reporting, not an official passenger count. Of course the seniors and children who depend more on public transit would not be counted. I am excited to take the T line when Central Subway is completed (I kept my T line t-shirt from the phase 1 completion just for this).
We also met Angelina Yu and Calvin Yan, both legislative aides in their respective offices at City Hall. They talked about their jobs and how they got there. To wrap up the day, we went on a dome tour. It was my second dome tour so it was fun to see how much the city skyline has transformed from the last time I went up to the dome.
On Thursday, Deland Chan went over the idea and intentions of sustainability. I took a class last year about sustainability in cities, and the one thing that was drilled in my head was the “three E’s” which included: environment, economy, and equity. Deland’s version of sustainability was similar, except it also included the cultural aspect. It really changed my perspective of sustainability when culture is added to the picture. There is no real way to measure and keep track of culture. Traditions, languages, and even food is important to people, but it is not being considered when we think about the future. I hope to see more plans that have community and traditions in mind when it comes to new development.