Posts Tagged ‘Traffic’

Public pleads with CalTrans: Don’t rush repairs again

The Bay Bridge could be open as early as Thursday evening “if everything goes perfectly” with repairs to the troublesome spot on the cantilever span, CalTrans told KRON Channel 4 today. “If something happens during the testing” and they have to adjust the repairs, it could take days longer.

Meanwhile, a UC Berkeley engineering expert was being quoted in news reports saying the design of the first fix — which was done while crews were cleaning up from the mammoth Labor Day re-route — was “not correct” and left the span vulnerable to complete collapse in the event of an earthquake. It was nothing more than a Band-Aid, he said.

An Associated Press article quoted a driver as saying the accident yesterday had caused her to lose “so much confidence in the experts, the millions of dollars that are being spent to reconstruct and build a new bridge,” referring to the decade-long project that will eventually replace the entire cantilever section with a suspension bridge.

The failure was probably caused by continuous heavy winds this week, CalTrans said. Wind continued gusty today while a new repair was being worked on. Asked to describe what the new design was like, a CalTrans spokesman said, “Think of a big belt around a piece of wood.”

Somehow that image doesn’t comfort me.

Westbound Bay Bridge closed by big rig rollover


Update: All westbound lanes reopened a little after 8 pm tonight.

A Safeway truck flipped around 2:30 this afternoon after encountering the new S-curve on the Bay Bridge, leading to these pictures: a parking lot on the westbound incline, and a completely empty stretch of roadway after the site of the crash, just before the Yerba Buena Island tunnel.

Click the pix for more webcam images, of get the story and video on the KPIX website. More on the KGO TV website, including the obvious:

The driver, who suffered a bruised leg, was driving 55 mph in the 40 mph zone and did not know the speed limit had been changed. He said he had not driven over the bridge since before Labor Day and was taken by surprise by the S-curve.

Where is everybody?

I just drove back to town after a week in the suburbs of Portland. Driving down from 505 to I-80 to the Bay Bridge between 7:00 and 7:30 on a Saturday night, I expected the usual congestion in Berkeley and backup at the bridge toll plaza. Nothing! The drive was smooth as butter, with exactly 1 car in line in front of me at the tolls.

Could be because of Burning Man, or all the local Democrats that went to Denver for the Democratic Convention are taking a long weekend, or maybe that whole staycashun thing is catching on. But the Bay Bridge sure was easy tonight.

A tech support approach to a better community

That decaying building on the corner — haven’t you wanted to report it to someone? Those idiots speeding down your block — can you get the city to install a speed bump? How about that gaping hole in the sidewalk outside your neighbor’s house — somebody could get hurt. Why doesn’t someone do something?

If you’ve ever wanted City Hall to work like tech support, your dream has sort of come true. A new website, SeeClickFix, will take your complaint and create a trouble ticket. More than that, in San Francisco they’ll automatically forward the problem to the appropriate SF Supervisor’s office.

more after the jump

Tragedy of the commons, and other clusterfucks

Neighbors of Dolores Park (the park, not the restaurant) are getting grouchy about the large crowds gathering there on nice weekend days. Like the thousand fans of The Breakfast Club, shown last weekend, or the crowds of gay sunbathers from up the hill.

Worlds collide in the 13.7 acre swath of green on the border between the Castro and Mission Districts and directly across the street from Mission High School.

Speaking of crowd scenes, UC Berkeley journalism professor and prolific magazine journalist Cynthia Gorney has a piece in tomorrow’s NYT Magazine about merging at freeway lane reductions, a subject near and dear to anyone who has approached the Bay Bridge on 101 in San Francisco or driven through the Caldicott Tunnel. The latter clusterfuck provides her main example. She writes about “sidezoomers” versus the benefits of feeling virtuous while choosing to wait in the “lineup” of cars that are already in the correct lane. The online version has many nifty multimedia graphics.

6 Cities Caught Shortening Yellow Light Times

2374848944_3a567d5086.jpgA study performed by the National motorists association has shown that increasing the time that a light is Yellow during it’s cycle can markedly improve the safety of that intersection. Conversely, decreasing the time can increase revenues from tickets generated by the cameras at those intersections. Money or safety, amazing that Union City California was one of the six busted for trapping motorists with short yellow times.

Short yellow light times at intersections have been shown to increase the number of traffic violations and accidents. Conversely, increasing the yellow light duration can dramatically reduce red-light violations at an intersection.

Some local governments have ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead.

With red light running being one of the cities major issues, along with gun play and road rage, I wonder how SF measures up wrt Yellow light times.

More on the subject

h/t BoingBoing, Leftlane, NMA.

Cyborg Enforcers Illustration courtesy of Mike Kline

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