In case this is news, we had a power outage in San Francisco today. The first I heard of it was a phone call to my office on the south side of Market Street. I heard the police and news helicopters most of the morning but that is not unusual in this city. Our building security kept an eye on the streets and from what I’ve since heard on the national news, fourteen neighborhoods—from the Financial District to the Marina—were affected.
I left my office shortly after noon, walking along Montgomery Street to Sutter, back along Kearny and up the north side of Market. All shops, building and restaurants were closed. All traffic lights were out.
Happily, I am able to report that San Franciscans behave well in a crisis. Drivers followed the basic rules of stopping at every intersection, moving forward when the box was clear. Pedestrians crossed in crosswalks without risk—pedestrians have the right of way in CA and today that law was actually followed.
I heard laughter, saw kindness and courtesy, patience was the operative word. BART engineers set up generators, the Municipal Transit Agency directed traffic and our wonderful Police Department kept everyone safe.
Even late in the afternoon, most of the business sections of the city were still shut down. And yet, civility reigned.
Thank you, San Franciscans, tourists, shoppers and commuters!