Posts Tagged ‘bridges’

SFCTA Confirms Public Comment Cards for Geary BRT Stolen – But Some Returned “Anonymously” – Comment Deadline Extended

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Here’s the latest on this issue, from the SFCTA, below.

If our SFCTA wanted to handle this issue with the least possible effort, then I give it an A+, or a passing grade if we’re grading pass/fail. Another approach would have been to notice another meeting and yada yada.

This project has been on the radar for a long, long time, but I never really paid attention to it until the pedestrian bridges issue came up. If the SFCTA were a person and we took what it said seriously, I’d tell you that our SFCTA is in deep denial on this bridges issue.

(And how much would a BART spur under Geary end up costing, like a billion dollars a mile, like our already-failed Central Subway? Is something like this unreachable pie in the sky? IDK.)

Anyway, here it is:

“To the Participants at the Geary Bus Rapid Transit Project’s November 5, 2015, public comment meeting:
Thank you very much for the time you spent coming to the meeting to learn about the project and for submitting comments on the Draft Environmental Document. Your input is important and appreciated.
Unfortunately, we wish to provide notice that during the meeting, at approximately 7:10 p.m., sign-in sheets with your personal contact information and a few completed comment cards were stolen, at least some of which were later returned by mail anonymously. We sincerely apologize for this incident and have contacted the police about it.
We take your privacy seriously. When we share publicly the comments submitted to us by community members, our policy is to remove any personal contact information. We do not share any personal contact information with third parties, nor do we condone the use of stolen contact information by others. Please let us know if you receive any suspicious communications from anyone who would not normally have access to your phone number or email address. It may help with the investigation of this incident.
Third, in response to these extenuating circumstances, we are extending the public comment period until November 30, 2015, and we encourage you to contact us if you submitted a comment card at the public meeting before 7:10 p.m. and are concerned about whether we received it.
Feel free to contact us to verify your comment’s receipt, or simply submit another comment, via email at

Here’s One of the Pedestrian Bridges that Our SFCTA Now Despises – 99% of Us Can Use It, Of course

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Here you go, click here and then Control-F for the phrase pedestrian bridge – 26 mentions you will find.

Can you see anything positive at all mentioned about the bridges of J-Town? Perhaps our SFCTA doesn’t think there are any? Or perhaps it thinks it’s writing an advocacy document and so it feels free to lie? IDK.

There were about a dozen people on the bridge when this photo was taken – they’re hard to spot:

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And if these bridges aren’t up to standards, well, then why hasn’t anybody sued us over accessibility? Perhaps they are up to standards?


Oh well.

Our SFCTA SFMTA Tries to Impress the Feds But Loses Box of Public Comment Cards? – Geary BRT – 75 Million Smackers

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Is this the box what got swiped from the basement of St. Mary’s the other day?

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I think it is!

(That’s what some railfan/urbanist/Googler told me, and this particular demographic has ne’er lied to me yet.)

And what’s that, the whole point of this meeting was primarily to be able to tell the FTA that we had a meeting so give us some money money money?

“As the San Francisco Examiner reported, Geary BRT is jockeying for a $75 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Small Starts fund, which may be awarded after public input is taken on the draft environmental impact report.”

And this drive for money is what fuels the SFMTA’s rabid hatred of the pedestrian bridges in the Japantown area on Geary?

Oh, I see!

Gentle Reader, check out any EIR, draft or whatever, then control-F for “pedestrian bridge” and then brace for the haterade. Shouldn’t an EIR, draft or whatever, outline the pros and cons of destroying the ped bridges? And hey, does the SFCTA want to tear down all structures in town what aren’t 100% ADA compliant right now? Oh, no, just these bridges?

(I should say that the SFCTA is already on secret double probation for the disastrous Central Subway and the failing T-Third, among other crimes and misdemeanors.)

On It Goes.

Will the Geary BRT be a good thing? IDK. But certainly, the honest answer to this question won’t come from our SFCTA. (Perhaps we should pay them $75 million to recommend doing nothing and then we’d be better off, IDK. )

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Latest SFCTA SFMTA Public Meeting Promoting the #38 Geary BRT a Kind of Fiasco – Ped Bridges in Japantown in Peril

Friday, November 6th, 2015

1. Will the Geary BRT end up being a good thing? IDK.

2. Will the Geary Merchants Association ever accept it? No, definitely not.

3. Will our transit overlords figure out a way to placate Japantown, which is up in arms over the pending destruction of the pedestrian bridges connecting the north side with the south side? Probably, but I don’t know how they’re going to do it.

Here’s some video of Geary merchant David Heller berating said transit overlords, with county worker Peter Lauterborn playing the role Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park:

How many Seinfeld-ian moments did I see last night afore I left? A whole bunch.

Oh, and some monkey wrencher(s) stole the registration sign in sheets and some filled-out comment cards? Whoops. Is this kind of thing akin to Target getting hacked and having your email address spread about? Sort of.

On It Goes…

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 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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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


    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

    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
     Path               11,800 feet or 2.2. miles

    Width of
     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

     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.