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yeah. stay home. you got a problem with that?

By enelson
Monday, August 27th, 2007 at 8:59 pm in Misc. Transportation.

golden_gate_3.jpg

My favorite transportation spokesperson of the week award goes to Mary Currie, who represents, and I mean that in the fondest if not slightly gang-style sense of the word, this area’s premiere landmark.

Yes, while transportation entities throughout the area — Caltrans in particular — have been avoiding my favorite recommended response to Friday’s three-day closure of the Bay Bridge, she has brazenly included it on her list.

Recommendation No. 1:

Avoid Traffic Delays in the Highway 101 Corridor in Marin County by taking public transit, leaving town early and coming back when the Bay Bridge is reopened, or staying home.

See that last bit? “Staying home.” That’s what I’d be doing if I didn’t have to write about it. As it is, I’m going to bring my bike in case I have to park my car on the side of gridlocked I-80 (Caltrans does not recommend doing this, nor do I).

Anyway, Bart Ney, who wins the transportation spokesperson of the month award for taking the full brunt of this tsunami with panache, can’t recommend staying home because it’s Caltrans’ job to move people, not impede their movement.

I can understand why Currie might buck this philosophy because her bridge, after all, is a major alternative for those who unwisely choose to drive this weekend.

As I’ve pointed out before, her toll booth people got royally abused during last Labor Day weekend’s partial closure by people who had to wait in traffic, even though this wasn’t their bridge closure and there are only so many lanes across that lovely sunset-orange span.

So do Mary Currie and the Golden Gate toll operators a favor this weekend. Stay home.

What makes the Golden Gate so special, besides being open this weekend, is that it’s operated and maintained by its own authority, which also runs bus and ferry services in the North Bay. The Bay Area’s other seven toll bridges are owned by Caltrans and managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or rather its parallel entity, the Bay Area Toll Authority.

If you can’t stay home, ride one of the bulked-up ferry services, such as Currie’s own Golden Gate Ferry, along with its Route 42 bus service from the El Cerrito Del Norte and Richmond BART stations to the Larkspur ferry terminal.

The beauty of that line is that if it looks like you can’t get on BART, you can hop a bus to Larkspur and maybe get to San Francisco that way. If you’re in Larkspur and you can’t find a rope on the side of the ferry to cling to, you can take the bus and take your chances with BART.

Other ferry services, such as the Alameda/Oakland Ferry operated by the City of Alameda and the Vallejo Baylink Ferry will be offering expanded service through the weekend.

If you can’t stay home, can’t use transit and must drive somewhere other than away from the Bay Bridge, may Heaven or the Burning Man or whatever you derive strength from protect you.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program.

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4 Responses to “yeah. stay home. you got a problem with that?”

  1. david vartanoff Says:

    If BART and GGTransit actually make the effort to put out REAL service there should be little problem.

  2. jd Says:

    yeah, i love how making BART run “all night” (only select stations and only once per hour) is supposed to be a replacement. i wish the bay area would start taking public transit seriously. other cities like chicago and nyc (im not even going to mention the myriad unbelievably fabulous cities with excellent public transit in europe and asia) have been doing so for years. its unlikely that people out after midnight on a friday night are going to be sober enough to want to wait an hour to get a train to oakland’s macarthur or city center stop and then have to walk or cab to wherever they actually live since no buses will be running for actransit either. the bay area’s transit is a joke. thats why you have so many drunk drivers on the freeway every night. the bridge at 2AM often scares the hell out of me but i have little choice but to take it. ill be moving back to a real city sometime this summer.

  3. Capricious Commuter Says:

    jd, you’re right about the need for all night transit service, although I doubt people would want to pay the extra taxes to pay for it, if they had the choice.

    I have to know: Which “real city” are you moving back to?

  4. Aaron Priven Says:

    It’s not BART, but there is all-night bus service to many parts of San Francisco and the East Bay.

    http://transit.511.org/providers/night.asp

    VTA also has, or had, some all-night service on line 22.

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