This is a letter to the editor I wrote which was published in the Palo Alto Daily Post on 8/16/2021. Let the games begin!
Today I invented a new game. It’s called “find the Harvey Milk Terminal” at SFO. Anyone can play!
Park on level 2 of the garage. Walk over to the terminal via elevator shaft B. When you find the way blocked – no signs to warn you about that! – come back up and go to shaft C. Take that to terminal 2.
Oops, you can’t get to Milk that way! More construction barriers! Wander around for a while trying to find your way. At this point the rules allow you to seek help. I won’t give away the secret, but it involves doing something totally counterintuitive…and poorly marked. With luck you’ll make it to Milk…eventually. If not, take advantage of the snack machines placed here and there. Remember to bring change.
For bonus points you can figure out how to get back to your car without retracing your steps. There is a way. And it’s actually marked this time! In fact, if there had been a simple sign at shaft B you could’ve saved yourself a lot of time getting to Milk. But you’d miss out on the game, of course.
Given the amazing lack of thought given to signage to help visitors to SFO, I wonder how good a job management does with airway markings. I truly hope pilots don’t have to play their own version of “find the Milk” every time they land.