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Archive for April, 2009

Thursday afternoon update: Traffic Inching Along 880 near Coliseum

Readers, if you’re going somewhere in Oakland near the Coliseum, beware! Traffic is moving at a crawl on northbound Interstate 880 near the Coliseum at this very moment – 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Debris spilled on 880 near the 16th Avenue exit, according to the California Highway Patrol Web site. Two lanes on northbound 880 are blocked starting at High Street and big rigs are allowed to use westbound Highway 580 to circumvent the jam-up.

According to reports, a load of concrete spilled and tore a hole in the road. Caltrans is repairing the roadway. The tie-up in the northbound lanes is expected to last until around 6:30 p.m.

Southbound traffic looks fine, which should be a mercy for commuters heading home from San Francisco.

As it happens, the Queen is currently working from the Oakland Tribune office and looking down on the traffic jam from the ninth floor. The backup is visible as far as the eye can see. A kind (and well-prepared!) fellow reporter, Cecily Burt, loaned the Queen her binoculars and the Queen was able to spy two empty northbound lanes beginning right after the 16th Street exit.

Posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2009
Under: Misc. Transportation | 1 Comment »

Paying to save time on toll lanes

Would you pay to save time driving the freeways? Would paying a toll to use an express lane seem less painful if you knew it was helping ease freeway traffic congestion for the masses?.

Bay Area residents are getting closer to finding out. A plan to create an 800-mile network of express lanes open to carpools for free and others for a toll easily passed two big hurdles in the last week. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
Under: Buses, Carpooling, driving, Freeways, tolls, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »

Search me, BART

BART is laying down the law on people acting up in its board meetings  – starting with today’s meeting at 9 a.m. in Oakland. The action comes two weeks after a protester splattered red paint on General Manager Dororthy Dugger in an act of rage over the Oscar Grant shooting.

Under new meeting decorum rules posted on BART’s Web site Friday, members of the public who want to enter the meetings are on notice that they may be subject to searches for weapons or other “dangerous, disruptive. or destructive materials.”

Banned items include guns, toy guns, explosives, laser pointers, scissors, razoers, knifies, corkscrews, knitting needles, hairspray, paint and large backpacks and suitcases that cannot be opened for security checks. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
Under: BART | 2 Comments »

The Caldecott Tunnel: Birth canal to a new coinage

 

When you think about it, how appropriate: The Caldecott Tunnel, with its maddening backup and attendant Stupid Vehicle Tricks by drivers trying to avoid it, has occasioned the birth of a new traffic term, to wit: Sidezoomers.

Of course, most of you already know about UC Berkeley Professor Cynthia Gorney’s New York Times article in which she used the term to describe people who stay in the two left-hand lanes of Highway 24 approaching the tunnel until they close, then merge back into traffic to enter the tunnel. The piece is now appearing in Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
Under: Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

No More Mr. Nice Guy

BART’s placid and sparsely attended board meetings turned raucous, crowded and long this year after a transit police officer shot to death Oscar Grant III, an unarmed passenger, on New Years

But the BART board appears ready to pull in the reins after one angry protester splattered BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger with red paint last Thursday during a board meeting.  

Board members are talking about enforcing speaker time limits, checking backpacks of people entering the board room, banning displays of banners, and not permitting large groups of people to stand together at the speaker’s podium to make statements. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Under: BART, Misc. Transportation | 1 Comment »