Posts Tagged ‘Dumbarton’

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.”

BATA Meeting – Say Hello to Higher Tolls to Cross the Bay Bridge Starting July 1, 2010

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Well the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) came to Market Street last night to ask the public the best way to raise tolls on Bay Area bridges (except the Golden Gate Bridge, an entity unto itself).

Who was at the meeting early and ready to go? None other than BATA Oversight Committee Vice-Chair and San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly avec charming daughter Grace:

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Click to expand

This was the open house part of the meeting early on. Not a huge turnout:

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To see why, let’s look at the numbers on the numerous display boards:

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BATA isn’t asking people if there should be an increase, but rather, which increase plan is the best:

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The seismic safety upgrading for the Dumbarton and Antioch bridges – that’s the primary issues, a billion-dollar issue. How is BATA going to pay for that?

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Well pick your poison. How would you balance charges for carpoolers vs. trucks (with all them axles) and would you be into congestion pricing? (Proposal 2 is called the Homer Simpson Option, due to his practice of charging $10 per axle when he lets people park on his lawn.)

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Speaking of axles, you big rig truck drivers have gotten a free ride over the years, some people think:

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Here are the anticipated impacts of each option:

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How do these proposed tolls campare to what the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority charges people to drive across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, you know, the one with the highest toll in America? Quite nicely, thanks for asking!

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So now, what do YOU think is the best way to raise revenue?

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You can tell your commissioners about your choice:

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Let’s grab a holiday cookie and mull things over:

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It looks like staff is going to make a recomendation tomorrow…

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…and your toll will go up at least a dollar as of July 1, 2010.

Now You Have Another Chance to Ask for a Bay Area Bridge Toll Increase: Dec. 7th, 2009

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Ah, the Powers That Be. They don’t just raise rates on you all of a sudden, oh no. They have meetings first, to tell you how “needed” and “necessary” their proposed “adjustments” are. Then, when the rates go up, they’ll tell you all about the meetings on that very topic that you neglected to attend.

As here, where the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) will send its youngest and cutest staffers straight into San Francisco to hand out papers and pencils for you, the Public, to scribble your appreciation. Or criticism, whatever.

Maybe “Bay Bridge Mike” will be at the meeting on Pearl Harbor Day, 2009. We Can Only Hope:Our broken bridge, more broked than ever, but let’s have fun with it, cause, you know, we’re super-competent at our jobs.

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Oh well.

Paying more to cross our mismanaged bridges – well that’s not a burden, it’s an “OPPORTUNITY.” (Paging George Lakoff…)

“OPPORTUNITIES

Bridge Toll Hike Proposed for Earthquake Safety

Attend a hearing regarding a possible toll increase on the seven state-owned Bay Area toll bridges on November 17, December 3, or December 7, 2009. Can’t attend? Take our online survey!

As promised, the deets – BATA bing, BATA boom!:

Bay Area Toll Authority Schedules San Francisco Hearing on Proposed Toll Hike

Web Survey Also Available for Online Comments

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) has added a fourth public hearing to receive public testimony on options for a proposed toll increase on the seven state-owned Bay Area toll bridges.

The newly scheduled public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, in San Franciscoat the downtown campus of San Francisco State University, 835 Market Street, Room 609. Additional public hearings are scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17, in the City Council Chambers of San Mateo City Hall, 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, and at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Wisteria Room of the Concord Senior Center (located in John F. Baldwin Park), 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord. All three public hearings will feature a short open house (from 6:30 to 7 p.m.) and a staff presentation (beginning at 7 p.m.) prior to taking public testimony. The first public hearing took place on Nov. 4 in Oakland.

Bay Area residents who are unable to attend one of the public hearings can make their views known via an online survey at: www.mtc.ca.gov/get_involved. The survey will be available through Dec. 21.

The toll increase, if approved, likely would take effect July 1, 2010. It is needed to raise an additional $160 million in annual revenues, chiefly to finance the estimated $750 million cost of necessaryseismic retrofit projects on the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges. Other factors include a slow but steady decline in toll-paying traffic on the state-owned bridges during each of the past five years, increasing operational expenses, and rising debt (due in part to the upheaval in the municipal bonds markets over the past two years). The proposed toll increase would be in effect on the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Mateo-Hayward and San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridges. (The toll proposal does not affect the Golden Gate Bridge, which is owned and operated by an independent authority.)

The toll options under consideration would all raise the needed $160 million annually. Ideas on the table, detailed below, include raising the base toll on automobiles and motorcycles by $1 (to $5), and in so doing raise the first $100 million of new annual revenues. The remaining funds would be generated by a combination of increasing the per-axle toll for trucks and/or introducing a toll for carpools, which would be collected electronically via FasTrak® toll tags. Also under consideration is the introduction of peak-hour congestion pricing on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Preliminary analysis shows that such pricing could reduce morning peak delay on the Bay Bridge by 15 to 30 percent.

 –  $5 toll for two-axle vehicles (autos and motorcycles); $3 for carpools
     during peak periods (Monday through Friday); and $6 per each
     additional axle for trucks. Carpools would be charged for the seismic
     retrofit portion of toll charges and would be required to obtain a
     FasTrak® toll tag to qualify for the reduced rate; FasTrak® equipment
     would be required in all carpool lanes.
 –  $5 toll for two-axle vehicles (autos and motorcycles) and $10 per each
     additional axle. There would be no charge for carpools during peak
     periods (Monday through Friday).
 –  Congestion pricing would be introduced on the Bay Bridge; charges
     would be $6 for two-axle vehicles during peak periods (Monday through
     Friday) and $4 for autos and motorcycles during off-peak hours (Monday
     through Friday), with a $5 charge for two-axle vehicles on weekends. A
     $6 charge for each additional axle, at all times and on all days,
     would be in effect with this option, along with a $3 charge for
     carpools during peak periods (Monday through Friday).

Written comments on the proposed toll increase will be accepted until 4 p.m., Dec. 21, 2009; they may be submitted to the BATA Public Information office at 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, CA, 94607-4700, faxed to BATA at 510.817.5848, or sent via e-mail to tolls@mtc.ca.gov. After receipt and review of public comments, the BATA Oversight Committee will consider the adoption of a revised toll schedule in early 2010.

BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers tolls on the region’s seven state-owned bridges. State legislation in 1997 authorized BATA to administer the base $1 toll on the Bay Area state-owned toll bridges.

BATA’s responsibilities were expanded by August 2005 legislation to include administration of all toll revenue and joint oversight of the toll bridge construction program with Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

See you there!*

*Maybe not.