Monday morning commute

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Monday, April 30, 2007
By Yokota Fritz

Bay Bridge Collapse. Originally uploaded by JACK&BECKY.
A portion of a Bay Bridge interchange that handles 280,000 commuters daily collapsed over the weekend after a gasoline tanker truck crashed and burned, melting the steel girders. Governor Schwarzenegger authorized state money to provide free public transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Capacity was added for today's commute on BART, Muni, and transbay ferries. Parking lots at public transit stations filled early today.

Caltrain in the South Bay was somewhat busier than usual, but not crushingly so. I suspect many South Bay commuters who might take the train had not heard of the free transit offer. If free public transportation is extended beyond today, it might be time for me to skip the train and ride my bicycle the entire distance to work.

Update: SFist also writes about the Monday morning commute and posts one of the cooler photos I've seen. Photographer Jennifer Loring trespassed to get some closeups of the mess. The Oakland Tribune speculates on reconstruction and wonders if can terrorists do this on purpose, claiming the energy released by the accident was equivalent to a low-yield nuclear bomb. All is quiet at BART Rage beyond the usual gripes about service. Caltrans officials have difficulty finding steel for reconstruction. posts info about suggested detours and alternate modes to get across the Bay.

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That picture takes me back to 1989 and the Loma Prieta earthquake. It was the Cypress structure that pancaked then, trapping cars and people. As I recall, there was a renaissance in walking and bicycling, as ferry boats ran people between Oakland and San Francisco.
I seem to recall that the transbay ferry service was started because of the pancaked Bay Bridge. The BART transbay tube was also closed after the '89 quake, though only for a short period of time.

My parents lived in Southern California during the Northridge quake. The rebuild of I-10 is being used as a model for the proposed rebuild project for I-80 in Oakland.
I saw this on the news last night - fireball and all. Wow. What a mess! Good luck with the commuting.
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