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touching a nerve along the I-580 slow lane

By enelson
Monday, March 12th, 2007 at 8:19 pm in driving, Freeways, Funding, Planning, Smart Lanes, tolls.

580-680-interchange.jpg 

Responding to my rather light-hearted story was an angry commuter named David, who I assume commutes on Interstate 580 through the Livermore Valley. He seemed to find Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty‘s angst over 2 p.m. traffic on 580 to show the Metropolitan Transportation Commission member (and this reporter, by extension) to be out of touch:

Did I read your article correctly where you stated that Sup. Haggerty left Oakland at 1:45 expecting to be in Livermore for a 2 PM event, “after leaving Oakland at 1:45″?  Is this guy nuts or what?  Had their been NO traffic he couldn’t make it in 15 minutes, and he is frustrated.  If this is the type of leadership he demonstrates no wonder we are fouled-up.

Besides that all these events for the politicians that interfere with traffic, and they do, should be banned within 100 yards of a highway. 
Haggerty gets stuck in traffic, like the rest of us on this segment of road and HE is upset.  Oh, I really feel his pain, it is the same pain I have in my backside from listening to him whine!

I must say, he’s got a point about pitching tents and attracting TV news vans with 30-foot microwave antennas next to freeways that need only a dog by the side of the road to catalyze a rubbernecking disaster. Come to think of it (listen up, my editors), that may have been the reason I was so late for that same event.

But in the supervisor’s defense, I must point out that he acknowledged that he was running late to the event because he had been busy voting $11 million for acquiring land for a High-Occupancy Toll lane for I-580. His dismay — and his viceral connection with the daily 580 commuters — came from the fact that he missed nearly the entire event and was not merely fashionably late.

I hooked the story on that fact because it seemed appropriate that the abject congestion that $1.29 billion in Proposition 1B transportation money is expected to alleviate somewhat had a direct effect on the ability of this one elected official to do his job.

Actually, while clacking out the story in our Pleasanton office Friday, I learned there was debris in the roadway, which is all it takes to shut down that long-suffering stream of commuters. 

<small>Photo of I-580-I-680 Interchange by Ryan Snyder from www.caphysicalactivity.org</small>

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