muniaccident1.5.jpgIt’s barely been a year since James M. Dougherty became Muni’s Chief Safety Officer and Director of Transportation Safety. In that time he’s won the National Safety Council’s Distinguished Service to Safety Award, been called to the carpet by Supervisor Bevan Dufty, (presumably) had to answer for more accidents than we have the energy to link to (West Portal rear ender, SUV/streetcar sandwich, and J Church vs. Streetcar being some of my personal faves), but, apparently, still had time to look for a new job — according to DC area news radio station WTOP, Dougherty’s up for the head of safety gig at Metro, Washington’s transit system.

SF MTA spokesperson Judson True all but confirms the report, saying that he couldn’t comment as “negotiations with Dougherty are ongoing.” Since spokespeople are usually happy to tell reporters when they got it wrong, one can only assume that Dougherty’s already hit up his corner bodega for empty boxes, and is scanning Craigslist for lodging inside the beltway.

Metro spokespeople seem psyched at the idea of Dougherty leaving Muni for DC, saying they “believe that Dougherty will bring immediate stability.”

“Safety has been his mantra,” said one, while another says “One of the things that we need to do is make sure the agency lives safety, that we change our culture.”

Good luck with that, y’all!

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Scott

    Who doesn’t feel that culture of safety every time they step on to Muni these days? I’d love to know what bloated salary he’s traded in Ess Eff for DC?

    Really when you step back, it’s how every top fat cat in our municipal government, from da Mayor on down, is operating these days: do as little as possible, and use the title to head for supposedly greener pastures without taking any responsibility whatsoever for the job (not) done. Muni just happens to have an even higher percentage of these folks than the average agency.

  • Scott

    Who doesn’t feel that culture of safety every time they step on to Muni these days? I’d love to know what bloated salary he’s traded in Ess Eff for DC?

    Really when you step back, it’s how every top fat cat in our municipal government, from da Mayor on down, is operating these days: do as little as possible, and use the title to head for supposedly greener pastures without taking any responsibility whatsoever for the job (not) done. Muni just happens to have an even higher percentage of these folks than the average agency.

  • Eve Batey

    I love “culture of safety,” it makes me think of Activia.

  • Eve Batey

    I love “culture of safety,” it makes me think of Activia.

  • Scott

    And here I thought that the “mantra” of “living safety” meant random, sudden stops from 40 mph “caused by a computer glitch,” or perhaps random strangers enjoying a bit of frottage during rush hour, amid trash-strewn cars.

    Oh, poor Metro, you will have some catching up to do, in order to “live safety.”

  • Scott

    And here I thought that the “mantra” of “living safety” meant random, sudden stops from 40 mph “caused by a computer glitch,” or perhaps random strangers enjoying a bit of frottage during rush hour, amid trash-strewn cars.

    Oh, poor Metro, you will have some catching up to do, in order to “live safety.”

  • Jamison Wieser

    When a recognized and decorated leader in transit safety leaves Muni after a year for a very prominent job in D.C. (just days after an attack on the Pentagon) we should be looking inward and asking what’s wrong with Muni that he couldn’t change the safety culture? Ad homonym attacks are a distraction: the problem is us, not him.

  • Jamison Wieser

    When a recognized and decorated leader in transit safety leaves Muni after a year for a very prominent job in D.C. (just days after an attack on the Pentagon) we should be looking inward and asking what’s wrong with Muni that he couldn’t change the safety culture? Ad homonym attacks are a distraction: the problem is us, not him.

  • Scott

    I don’t really see how the Pentagon attack has relevance here: bad stuff can happen, and does happen, everywhere. Only he knows the reasons for why he moved. And I appreciate not scape-goating him: Muni’s culture is broken, starting with Nathaniel Ford (himself a carpetbagger from Atlanta) on down. But it’s not like this gentleman was out there leading the charge for comprehensive reforms that also, incidentally, helped his position and his cause. I don’t consider a year to be much time invested if you’re serious about the job or reform.

  • Scott

    I don’t really see how the Pentagon attack has relevance here: bad stuff can happen, and does happen, everywhere. Only he knows the reasons for why he moved. And I appreciate not scape-goating him: Muni’s culture is broken, starting with Nathaniel Ford (himself a carpetbagger from Atlanta) on down. But it’s not like this gentleman was out there leading the charge for comprehensive reforms that also, incidentally, helped his position and his cause. I don’t consider a year to be much time invested if you’re serious about the job or reform.

  • generic

    that’s the first time I’ve seen “Ad homonym”. love it.

  • generic

    that’s the first time I’ve seen “Ad homonym”. love it.

  • Eve Batey

    You can buy a homonym ad on the Appeal, just email us as advertising@sfappeal.com.

  • Eve Batey

    You can buy a homonym ad on the Appeal, just email us as advertising@sfappeal.com.

  • DT

    Feh! They all play musical chairs, swap resumes at taxpayer funded conferences, etc.

    Remember that Ford came running here when Atlanta outsourced the diesel operations to Veolia Transportation.

  • DT

    Feh! They all play musical chairs, swap resumes at taxpayer funded conferences, etc.

    Remember that Ford came running here when Atlanta outsourced the diesel operations to Veolia Transportation.