Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for the 'Bridges' Category

Coping without Bay Bridge for four days

How will you change your travel plans when the Bay Bridge is closed for four days, starting 8 p.m. Thursday? We at the Capricious Commuter invite you to drop us a line.

Tell us about your advance plans and then tell us how it actually turns out over the long weekend. With our common dependence on bridges in the Bay Area, it’s a big deal – practically and psychologically - when our busiest bridge has a 300-foot-long  gap sliced open and a giant filling rolled in to replace it and create a new bridge detour. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Bridges, driving | No Comments »

Tweet that bridge open, please

Twitter users will get the news quickly this Labor Day weekend about the closing and reopening of the Bay Bridge.

Go to to the Caltrans Web site - baybridgeinfo.org - for tips on getting tweets about progress on the construction project triggering the need to close the bridge for four days.

We all know the bridge will close 8 p.m. Thursday. The big question is: Will it reopen by 5 a.m Tuesday as planned? Will it reopen earlier, as is possible? Or will it reopen later, an unlikely but possible outcome that would cause traffic chaos on freeways after the long holiday ends.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2009
Under: 511, Bay Bridge, Bridges, driving, Freeways, Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

Rolling along the Benicia Bridge with new lane, more space

Commuters who drive the Benicia/Martinez Bridge from Solano to Contra Costa County now have some extra room for their drive: a fourth southbound lane and wider road shoulders.

Those entering the bridge from Interstate 780 also have a second merging lane to avoid traffic backup.

The new features, finished over the weekend, were in place for the the commute today as Caltrans wraps up a $43.5 renovation of the old Benicia Bridge. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Under: Bicycling, Bridges, Caltrans, connectivity, driving, walking | No Comments »

Should the free ride end for car pools on Bay Area bridges?

Car pooling has worked so well on Bay Area bridges that bridge operators are considering ending the free rides for car pool users during weekday rush hours.

I can hear the rumble of protest brewing among car pool users: “Hey government, we took car pools like you asked, so why penalize us by ending the free ride?” Isn’t that like water districts raising water rates in a drought to offset the loss of revenue from customers using less water? some people might ask.

The issue is likely to reverberate through the halls of the Bay Area Toll Authority - a regional toll collection agency – in the next year as the authority’s board and managers discuss how to pay for $950 million in proposed seismic retrofits for the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Bridges, Carpooling, casual carpools, driving, Freeways, Golden Gate Bridge, Retrofitting, Safety, tolls | 19 Comments »

Does Bay Area need to strengthen two more bridges?

When Bay Area bridge need to be made stronger to withstand big earthquakes, drivers usually end up paying higher bridge tolls to cover the big bills.

So brace for a new study due out today to advise whether whether the Dumbarton and Antioch bridges need expensive seismic upgrades.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
Under: Bridges, Caltrans, driving, Retrofitting, tolls | No Comments »

riding the wave

This week was a disharmonious convergence of most things I love about transportation in the Bay Area.

There was Spare the Air, which refused to be discredited as it died with a “yee-ha!” yesterday, racking up nearly 400,000 BART rides in one day, which happened to be the day after I blogged about what a futile gesture the final day of “Spare the Air” free transit was going to be.

As I watch the glare of the lights over the Coliseum, I can safely assume that more A’s fans will take BART home than in any previous year. No matter how much they complain about fares, they know that gas is more expensive. There may even be one or two fans who have already seen their personal scales tip in favor of selling their only Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, June 20th, 2008
Under: BART, Bridges, Buses, Caltrain, driving, Environment, Fare systems, fuel, Funding, global warming, rail, tolls, Transit vs. driving | 7 Comments »

the warm, fuzzy politics of bike-to-work

john-fricke-and-the-twins.bmp

My Bike-to-Work Day started out really well this year, at least on a personal level.

Last year, I was a total fraud, driving the Honda Civic with the bike shoved in the back so I could use it as a prop to blend in. It’s not easy to get from Point A to B to C in the space of two hours and still report on this thing when you have to pedal a good distance.

But this morning I got off the train at Emeryville at 7:15 a.m., did some reporting at the Civic Center, and managed to get to Oakland City Hall quick enough to spend some quality time with the city’s most notable cyclists.

And a funny thing happened on my way to shrink my carbon footprint.

The traditional bike-to-work story is somewhat fluffy, but Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2008
Under: Bay Bridge, Bicycling, Bridges, Caltrans, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), driving, global warming, Retrofitting, Transit vs. driving | 5 Comments »

violence pays off for Bay Bridge

brute-force.jpg 

I can’t bear to see the Golden Gate Bridge steal all the attention, what with Tibet backers unfurling banners in preparation for the Olympic Torch sputtering through town Wednesday, from the really exciting news about the Bay Bridge.

I heard today that on Friday there will be a ribbon-cutting on the West Approach in San Francisco. I already wrote about how the project would be finished seven months early. But my initial report said middle of this month, and now it looks like it’s going to be Saturday, April 12.

Like the conquest of Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 7th, 2008
Under: Bay Bridge, Bridges, Caltrans, driving, Freeways, Retrofitting, Safety | 2 Comments »

burning bridges at Caltrans

richmond-bridge-bike-lane2.jpg

Normally, when Caltrans talks about safety, I’m inclined to take what they say at face value. But when they start messing with my compagni di biciclette, I have to wonder.

Thus it was this week when I heard that Caltrans District 4 Director Bijan Sartipi explained to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission that a bike lane across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was, in a word, impossibile.

Why?

It’s too dangerous. Cars might run into the moveable concrete barrier separating the bikes and pedestrians from traffic lanes and they might bounce back into the other traffic lane, creating worse accidents.

I can see that. As a matter of fact, this morning on my way down I-80 in Albany, I not only put my anti-lock brakes to the test when traffic suddenly went Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2008
Under: Bay Bridge, Bicycling, Bridges, Caltrans, driving, Environment, Freeways, Funding, Retrofitting, Safety, tolls | 6 Comments »

the 63% solution


Yesterday I read among the comments to last week’s post on fixing federal transportation funding that the Bay Area spends two-thirds of its transportation money on public transportation while barely one-tenth of commuters actually use it.

Another comment expressed incredulity over that figure, considering how much money it takes to maintain roads and highways, not to mention the $5.7 billion going into replacing the Bay Bridge’s eastern span.

But the immediately apparent bottom line is correct, according to Randy Rentschler, spokesman and lobbyist for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The commission’s initial framework for its 2030 transportation and growth plan calls for 63 percent of the revenue the Bay Area receives to be spent on public transportation. That’s comparable to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2008
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Bridges, driving, Environment, fuel, Funding, Transit vs. driving | 25 Comments »