What Not to Do in SF : Rain, MUNI and Walking
It's been a while since our last big storm, so here's a quick etiquette refresher. Don't let a little rain turn you into a jerk--below you'll find 10 tips for dealing with San Francisco when it rains.
1. Don't drip your umbrella all over the people sitting down, or the seat next to you. Ew. Just don't. This is rude and gross. I don't know where you or your umbrella have been.
2. Don't wait too close to the curb at an intersection. You actually will get splashed. It won't be romantic, but it will be like the movies.
3. Don't give an umbrella to a small child to hold. They poke everyone in the legs, waist or eyes with said umbrella. The small ones usually don't get the point, and eventually end up dragging it behind them.
4. Don't buy a cheap Walgreen's umbrella unless you absolutely have to. Instead, fork over the extra few bucks for an umbrella that won't flip inside out in the wind. It's SF, and those Downtown streets that are always windy don't stop being windy just because it's raining.
5. Don't wear slippery shoes. If climbing up or down hills makes up any part of your day, leave any leather-soled shoes at home. Chinatown is notorious for slippery sidewalks since they tend to be covered in garbage, and many stores on steep hills have metal doors on the sidewalk that lead to the basement. I've fallen. I've seen other people fall. I've even seen old ladies fall. Wear a good pair of rain boots or rubber-soled shoes.
6. Just because it's raining does not mean it's cold outside. Wear layers. MUNI gets disgustingly sweaty and humid when it rains, and you'll get hot walking, so be prepared.
7. Don't walk through puddles unless you're certain your shoes are water tight! The water on the streets has human feces, piss, barf, roadkill, trash, rotten food, car oil, and plenty of other nasty stuff in it. You don't really want this nasty mixture on your clothes or yourself.
8. Don't count on taking Uber or Lyft home from work. Everyone else has already thought of that. Surge pricing will be high. Traffic will be bad. Drivers will be frazzled. If you must, put in an extra hour at the office, or grab happy hour to kill some time. Get notifications when the surge pricing goes down. Also, sometimes there won't be any cars. Even if you don't care about the price, you still need to get a car, and sometimes you'll be out of luck.
9. Don't worry if you see a large amount of sand on MUNI LRV tracks or Cable Car tracks. This helps with their braking, and helps keep you safe.
10. Don't ignore homeless people, homeless animals, or those who can't get out of the weather. Many people feel unsafe in shelters, can't go with their families, or can't bring their pets. These people are stuck out in the weather, and deserve your compassion. A poncho from Walgreen's, a hot coffee, or some soup can help humanize someone. At least you can get dry. Use this time to think about someone other than yourself.