The Bay Bridge should re-open today. How long will you wait to drive over again?

TreoBART's picture
Right away, I'm not worried
23% (3 votes)
Tomorrow's Commute
0% (0 votes)
3 Days
0% (0 votes)
1 Week
0% (0 votes)
2 Weeks +
15% (2 votes)
Never again!
8% (1 vote)
I always take BART / I don't drive
54% (7 votes)
Total votes: 13

Comments

I converted to my life so all my errands are up and down the BART line in order to do my part to spare the air. When I do drive though, I don't think I'll ever want drive over the Bridge again after that. It was an absolute miracle no one was killed. I have no faith in Cal-Trans. I began avoiding the bridge when they put the first lame piece by the SF Exits because the lanes are too narrow; it's too dangerous. Cal-Trans should have never put in that dangerous "S" curve either last Labor Day. I guess Cal-Trans enjoys human carnage on the Bridge left by their handywork. Unbelievable. They know dam well the lanes are too narrow for a semi-truck, even a pick-up truck, yet they do it anyway.

TreoBART's picture

When was the replacement span supposed to go into place originally? Looks to me like the old span needs to be replaced for more than just future earthquake safety.

TreoBART's picture

I've gotta say I'm surprised at two things:

1. More than half the votes are people who don't drive, either at all or into the city. Not that I can blame anyone for hating traffic

2. Only 12 votes? The decline in readership here makes me sad :-(

TreoBART's picture

No stupid ass trolls with no life kill communities.

boopiejones's picture

if you really feel that way, then why are you still here?

i seem to recall that master chief posted a wonderful alternative to bartrage a few months ago.

boopiejones's picture

oh, i'm pretty sure he's still here.

To answer the question of "what happened to the posters," I can answer for myself. I have been coming to this site for several years. Over this summer, before the strike was averted, I switched to the Transbay Bus, and I found it so much more pleasant than BART that I now ride it home every afternoon. In the mornings, I sometimes do BART, sometimes the bus, depending on the timing. On the bus:

- Everyone is a financial district commuter, and just reads or looks out the window. No blaring music, no kids pretending to collect money to go to a basketball tournament, very rarely cell phone usage.

- I always have a seat.

- There is free WiFi on board.

- Everyone tags their Translink card and pays. I used to get so angry with BART and feel like such a sucker when I saw person after person fare evading and BART doing nothing about it.

- The buses don't have smelly carpet.

In fact, I only recently came back here and posted because when I had to take BART during the bridge closure, they were running an 8-car train into the city during the morning commute. Miserable.

I think if that "S" turn is a sample of what we have to look forward to for a new Bay Bridge, I should change my vote to NEVER DRIVE OVER IT AGAIN. How could Cal-Trans put in that "S" turn in good conscience. After 46 plus accidents in two months, they should fix it. 40 mph is too fast for a big rig too go there. It is geometrically flawed since it pulls you out of your lane and into the wall. The lanes are way too narrow. Cal-Trans must be really associates of Bey too or they wouldn't be doing such HORRIBLE work that we are basically paying 10 times for at premium rates.

TreoBART's picture

I've always had an issue with freeways in the SF/Oakland area. The MacArthur Maze transitions are scary and dangerous, the road surfaces are broken and pitted, or patched with material that reflects glare into your eyes when the sun is bright. The dotted lane markers are nice in the dark, but there are so many places where they just disappear or don't line up with the seams. A lot of the offramps have really tight curves. Also people drive way too fast and follow too close, though that's not necessarily Cal-Tran's fault.

In short, I don't hit the freeway unless I have to.

The curve is designed just fine; they just should have added rumble strips and a permanent reduction in lanes to make it harder for people to ignore the speed warning signs.

boopiejones's picture

i agree, it isn't the curve that is the problem. the problem is the speeding drivers. there are signs posted everywhere and people choose to ignore them.

the s-curve is necessary so that they have room to finish the last stretch of new bridge and attach it to the existing tunnel. the final stretch of the new bridge will not be a tight chicane like the s-curve.

if caltrans wants to catch people's attention so they slow down, they should completely remove the guardrail. i think the imminent danger of plunging 200 feet to a fiery death would be enough to make people think twice about exceeding the posted speed limit.

TreoBART's picture

+1

boopiejones's picture

name one person that crossed that bridge after the s-curve was installed that had no idea that the s-curve existed and needed to be taken slowly... heck, i'll bet there isn't even a single driving age person in the entire state of california that doesn't know about it.

news of the s-curve has been plastered everywhere. before, during and after construction. if you take it too fast, it's your own damn fault.

boopiejones's picture

SACRAMENTO
http://www.sacbee.com/trafficnews/story/2316114.html

GILROY
http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/260476-north-bay-sees-heavy-commute-after-bay-bridge-cable-snaps

USA TODAY
http://content.usatoday.com/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=pal-item&sParam=36757186.story

NYT
http://community.nytimes.com/comments/bayarea.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/sampler-s-curve-warnings-no-library-fines-in-hayward-lion-eats-sheep/

HELSINKI:
http://upge.wn.com/?t=cheetah-article/postcomment.txt&action=form&article=WNAT79b86f2739127323dca599ceecfccf2d

boopiejones's picture

an article that made page 1A of the paper version of a newspaper isn't a blog post.

i compiled the above articles in about 10 seconds. the point being that news of the s curve is literally everywhere. from sacramento to helsinki.

and if you don't know about the s curve, you don't know much about the bay bridge either. so you probably shouldn't be driving so fast on a bridge that you obviously know nothing about.

Sorry but that S curve was designed by morons. Anyone who has been driving over the bay bridge and isn't aware of that "S" curve will be taken back. Cal-Trans did A FRIGGIN HORRIBLE job. They must of had their most retarded engineer design it. The speed limit should be 25 mph through there. It is STILL VERY UNSAFE. I don't care if they tell people to slow down or not, the lanes are too narrow and it was just a PLAIN GHETTO HORRIBLE JOB by Cal-Trans. They must have the same Board of Directors as BART.

If you are driving over the bay bridge and don't see all of the signs warning you about the curve then you need to have your driver's license taken away. Blind people shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel.

Also, anyone coming from outside of the Bay Area would have to pass several electronic message signs warning them about the lowered speed limit on the bridge. Plus the multitudes of signs on the bridge itself. If people are paying that little attention to what's going on around them, especially when visiting the area, then maybe they shouldn't be driving. There are curves on every highway that must be negotiated at a slower rate than other sections. Can you drive I-80 through the Sierra at 65mph the whole way? No, that's why they let you know the advisory speed on curves. If someone isn't paying attention and runs off the road do we demand that the freeway is altered/straightened? No, we call them a bad, inattentive driver and get on with life. Same should be done on the bridge, as it's going to be this way for a few more years. Also on the same subject - there are accidents (I hate that word to preventable care wrecks) on the bridge all of the time, regardless of the s-curve, so the fact that there have been 40-whatever wrecks since labor day may not be all that much higher than the normal rate, it's just under an extremely large microscope.

Because this kind of transportation engineering is a balance of quantitative stuff (figuring out what shape of curve will fit in the space between the old bridge and the new then doing the calculations to determine that 40mph is a safe speed on that particular curve) and qualitative stuff that can't be spelled out in an equation (convincing and/or forcing drivers to behave in a safe manner). The first part any intern with a calculator can do, the second requires a combination of experience and experimentation, especially when it comes to rare situations like a relatively sharp curve at the end of bridge like this.

If they base the design entirely on what dumb people are likely to do then the bridge would be 1000 feet wide with four lanes of traffic down the center and several lines of heavily padded guardrails at the sides.

Thank you withak! If you designed roads for the lowest common denominator, then you end up with a much over-engineered mess that has no chance of operating normally. Last week or so, the media or Caltrans had calculated that 16 MILLION people had already successfully navigated the S-curve without crashing vs. the 45 or so that have. Instead of slamming Caltrans engineers for their solution to the most complex engineering project in the US (and probably world), we should be happy that the only penalty to us drivers is that we have to slow to 40mph (after a short weekend closure). In other countries, they would just close the bridge for a few years while the complex work was finished. For the person who said that the bridge is only safe at 20-25mph - you need to attend driving school - or stay on BART.

I wish your Trans-Bay bus went to Concord and other East Bay Communities. I would definitely join you. The SHORT evening BART trains suck and the passenger madness that goes with it. Why would BART cut the service AND the size of the trains.