Posts Tagged ‘bridges’

OMG, San Jose Has a Skyline That You Can See From SF – City Hall, Bank of America Building – They’re Just Like Us!

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Well this is the view you can get from Buena Vista Park in the middle of San Francisco.

That’s world-famous* Candlestick Park, Home of the 49ers and the Gold Rush, in the foreground, and in the background camera left is the City of San Jose, California’s third-largest and the Capitol of the Bay Area:

Click to expand, of course

Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, “Enhance that image.”

Well here you go, it’s downtown San Jose with all those tall buildings. See? It’s San Jose City Hall, “The 88″ residential building (which is actually only 87 meters high but let’s not dwell** on that), the Bank of America Building (nee Bank of Italy) from 1926, and the “Knight Ridder Building” (per Google Earth, I don’t know what they call it these days).

Oh, and somewhere in the mix there’s also Mineta San José International Airport – Silicon Valley’s Airport and the San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Bridge.***

Anyway, I didn’t know San Jose had a skyline what you can see from the 415.

But don’t look for it to get any easier to spot in the future owing to the fact that that SJC international airstrip is right in the middle of it all and there’s a height limit of 87 meters (I think?) in the area.

So, San Joser has a big, domed City Hall and a tall Bank of America Building and whatnot. They’re just like us!

(Oh, and speaking of the Niners, enjoy our winning football team(s), Santa Clara County.)

*No, not “world-class.” 

**Check it: 

Eighty-eight (88) symbolizes fortune and good luck since the word 8 sounds similar to the word Fā (发, which implies 发财, or wealth, in Mandarin). The number 8 is considered to be the luckiest number of all in Chinese culture and prices in Chinese supermarkets can often be found containing many 8′s (see numbers in Chinese culture). The Chinese government has even been auctioning auto license plates containing many 8s for tens of thousands of dollars. The 2008 Beijing Olympics opened on 8/8/08 at 8 p.m. The shape of the Chinese character for 8 (八) also implies that a person will have a great, wide future as the character starts narrow and gets wider toward the bottom. 88 is used to mean “bye bye”; found in Chinese-language chat, text, SMS, IM. 88 is pronounced in Chinese Mandarin language as “ba ba” (“bā bā” to be precise), simulating the sound of the English language farewell “bye bye”.

And there’s this:

Eighty-eight is used as code among Neo-Nazis to identify each other. H is the 8th letter of the alphabet, so 88 is taken to stand for HH which in turn means Heil Hitler.For example, the number is used in the song “88 rock’n’roll band” by the neo-Nazi group Landser. The late convictedOrder terrorist David Lane wrote “Fourteen Words” and 88 Precepts, and the numbers are often found in combination (1488, 14/88, etc.). This form of the number has inspired the naming of the groups Column 88Unit 88, White Legion 88 and Barselc88. Holocaust museum shooter James von Brunn often signed his writings as “JVB-88.”

***Both of which were featured in the 1992 Robert Redford movie Sneakers. Hurray!

“Redford tries to describe to Strathairn, who is blind, what he heard while in the trunk of a car. He remembers going across a bridge and being in San Francisco it means one of four possible bridges: Golden Gate, Bay Bridge, San Mateo, and the Dumbarton. They rule out the first two and then narrow it down to San Mateo based on the sound and frequency of the seams in the concrete.”

A 2.5-Minute Exposure – “Waiting for the Sun” – Marin Headlands, Diablo, Yerba Buena, Bridges, Skyline

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Not a cloud in the sky:

Via Jazure - click to expand

Our Richmond-San Rafael and Antioch Bridges to get Dedicated Carpool Lanes by Mid-June

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

The news from our Metropolitan Transportation Commission is that you now have yet another reason to get a Fastrak and/or get in on a carpool. Check it out, below.

Don’t forget to look outside your window as you carpool on the Richmond-San Rafael. You won’t want to miss seeing San Francisco’s northernmost point (that private island on the left) or the B&B (can you see it on the right?) that drove Danielle Steele crazy:

Click to expand

Richmond-San Rafael, Antioch Bridges to Get Dedicated Carpool Lanes

Cash Tollpayers Must Stay Right on Richmond-San Rafael Approach

OAKLAND, Calif., June 1  — Toll plaza changes designed to speed travel for carpoolers are coming this month to the Antioch and Richmond-San Rafael bridges.

Beginning in mid-June, carpoolers who travel across the Antioch and Richmond-San Rafael bridges during peak commute periods will be able for the first time to take advantage of dedicated high-occupancy vehicle lanes at the far left side of the bridges’ toll plazas — eliminating the need to stop at a staffed toll booth. Carpool commuters at these bridges currently use mixed-flow cash/FasTrak lanes, and must stop briefly at a staffed toll booth for occupancy verification.

In addition to the new dedicated carpool lane, work crews will restripe the westbound Interstate 580 approach to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza to add a second FasTrak-only lane. During peak commute periods, carpoolers and other FasTrak customers will share the far left lane, while the center lane will be reserved for drivers who pay their tolls with FasTrak. Drivers who use cash to pay their toll will be restricted to the right lane of the toll plaza approach. Cash tollpayers may experience additional delays as drivers become accustomed to the new configuration.

The carpool lane changes at the Antioch and Richmond-San Rafael toll plazas come several weeks before the July 1 start of a new toll schedule that includes a discounted $2.50 toll on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for carpools at all seven of the Bay Area’s state-owned toll bridges. Carpoolers must use a designated carpool lane and pay their toll with FasTrak® to qualify for the toll discount. FasTrak toll tags are available online at www.511.org or at Walgreens, Safeway and Costco locations around the Bay Area. New customers who pick up a FasTrak toll tag at a participating retailer before July 15 can get up to $10 in free tolls.

The new toll schedule also will include a $5 regular auto toll at six of the state-owned bridges; and “congestion pricing” at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, with auto tolls varying based on the day of the week and/or the time of day. Bay Bridge tolls will be set at $6 during the weekday morning and afternoon peak periods, at $4 during weekday off-peak periods, and at $5 all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven Bay Area toll bridges. BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers toll revenues from the region’s state-owned toll bridges. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Bridges to Nowhere – Welcome to the Mythical Paradise Bay, San Francisco

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The one on the left goes to Marin and the one on the right goes to Oakland…

Click to expand:

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from Remy Saglier

A Brand New Path for Cyclists and Pedestrians on the Benicia-Martinez Bridge

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Yesterday saw the debut of a brand-new 12-foot-wide path for pedestrians and bike riders on one of the spans of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge a way out there in the extreme East Bay. That means that you can now easily travel from the former home-town of the Zodiac Killer to the beaver-ridden shores of Martinez, CA without using your car.

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Take a look at the circuit you can now make on your bike way out in the 925. Just use the Carquinez Bridge (cost overrun = $47,000,000 in 2003) one way and the B-M Bridge (cost overrun = $1,000,000,000 in 2007 mas o menos, due, in part, to the alleged suicidal tendencies of bay area fish, srsly) the other and you’re looping, baby.

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Hurray!

Pedestrian/Bicycle Path Debuts on Benicia-Martinez Bridge

New Path Closes Gap in Bay Area Trail System 

Festivities were held today to mark the official opening of a new pedestrian/bicycle path on the George Miller, Jr. Memorial Bridge leading from Benicia to Martinez. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and Caltrans hosted opening events at both ends of the bridge, with a ribbon-cutting in Martinez at the foot of the bridge kicking off the festivities. Attendees then joined in the official first walk/ride across the bridge, where an opening ceremony followed at Vista Point in Benicia. A bicycle rodeo geared to youths at the nearby Amports lot was offered by the City of Benicia.

“The opening of the pedestrian/bicycle path is an exciting milestone that signifies completion of the final improvements to both spans of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge,” explained Bijan Sartipi, Director of Caltrans District 4 and an MTC/BATA Commissioner. “We are thrilled that we now have safe and efficient travel across the Carquinez Strait for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.”

The Benicia-Martinez Bridge connects Contra Costa and Solano counties across the Carquinez Strait. It is comprised of two separate spans, named for father and son (the late Senator George Miller, Jr. and current Congressman George Miller III), making the bridge a unique landmark. The 2007 addition, the Congressman George Miller III Memorial Bridge, carries five lanes of northbound Interstate 680 traffic from Martinez to Benicia and includes the Bay Area’s debut of open-road tolling technology. The original George Miller, Jr. Memorial Bridge, built in 1962 to carry traffic in both directions, now carries four lanes of southbound Interstate 680 traffic with full shoulders and the new pedestrian/bicycle path.

“This is a milestone project that has been in the works a long time and we are all very excited to see its completion,” said Laura Thompson, Bay Trails project manager for the Association of Bay Area Governments. “We are happy that we are making strides to close both the Bay and Ridge Trail gaps.”

Funded primarily through the Regional Measure 1 toll program approved by voters in 1988 and administered by BATA, the $50 million Benicia-Martinez Bridge project encompassed reconfiguring the bridge and adding the new path. The completion of the construction on the pedestrian/bicycle path indicates the final phase of construction on both bridges.

Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven of the eight Bay Area toll bridges. BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as MTC, administers toll revenues from the region’s state-owned toll bridges. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

                                                                   FACT SHEET

                 GEORGE MILLER, JR. BRIDGE PEDESTRIAN/BICYCLE LANE

    Significance        The new Benicia-Martinez pedestrian/bicycle lane on
                        the Senator George Miller, Jr. Memorial Bridge will
                        close a gap in the San Francisco Bay and Ridge Trails.
                        This lane also serves as a link in the Carquinez
                        Strait Scenic Loop Trail, which is a 50-mile trail
                        that crosses both the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and Al
                        Zampa Bridge spans over the Carquinez Strait.
                        Bicyclists and pedestrians using this new path will be
                        treated to stunning views of the Suisun Bay, as well
                        as the Carquinez Bridge and the Mothball Fleet.

    Official Name       George Miller, Jr. Memorial Bridge

    Original Structure
     Opened             September 16, 1962

    Location            Carquinez Strait linking Contra Costa and Solano
                        counties

    Roadway             Southbound Interstate 680 from Benicia to Martinez

    Configuration       Originally, three northbound lanes and three
                        southbound lanes; now four southbound lanes and one
                        pedestrian/bicycle lane

    Length of
     Pedestrian/Bicycle
     Path               11,800 feet or 2.2. miles

    Width of
     Pedestrian/Bicycle
     Path               12 feet; bi-directional travel

    Vertical Clearance
     of the Bridge      138 feet

    Type of
     Construction       Deck truss

    Project Cost        $50 million to seismically retrofit the bridge and add
                        the pedestrian/bicycle path

    Construction
     Funding            Regional Measure 1 funds:  77%

    Federal funds:      21%

    State funds:        2%

    Seismic Safety      A “Lifeline” structure designed to remain in service
                        following a maximum credible earthquake. The
                        Interstate 680 corridor has been designated as a
                        primary route for transporting emergency supplies into
                        the Bay Area after a major earthquake.