There’s got to be some gloom and doom out there, I just know it.
But today Gov. Schwarzenegger announced that the closed ramp from westbound I-80 to southbound I-880 isn’t so badly damaged that it needs to be replaced. The fix will take seven to 10 days, and the lesser of the two traffic hassles will be erased.
This morning I got on KQED’s “Forum” program and predicted, as I did here, that this morning’s rain was going to drive commuters from Antioch and Livermore back into their cars so they wouldn’t have to put up with waiting out in the rain for buses or trains.
Instead, we have BART ridership continuing to surge and traffic no worse than it is on a normal day. Yesterday was an all-time record, beating a seven-year-old ridership high set when both the Yankees and the Mets were in town to battle our home teams on both sides of the Bay.
I do have to thank Randy Rentschler, spokesman and lobbyist for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, who was also on “Forum” this morning. He noted that people should be mindful of the impact of the detours for the collapsed eastbound I-80-to-I-580 connector.
West Oakland residents have suffered for generations from diesel exhaust from truck and locomotive traffic in and out of the Port of Oakland, along with all that interstate traffic in the MacArthur Maze, I-880, I-580 and I-980. Putting the traffic on Grand Avenue and other city streets just makes it slower and more emission-intensive.
Gloom perhaps, but not quite doom.
Next time I want to make a prediction, I should limit my audience to my dog, Edie.
I-80 traffic photo by D. Ross Cameron-Oakland Tribune