Highway Collapse Causes Transit Expansion

bridge.jpg 

An early morning tanker truck crash that collapsed a portion of heavily-traveled freeway near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has shut down the artery indefinitely. In response, officials are urging Bay Area motorists to take transit.

Standing near the wreckage Sunday night, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed that the state would respond quickly.

Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency to speed up cleanup and rebuilding efforts. He also authorized free transit Monday on ferries, buses and the rail system that takes commuters across the bay.

Transportation officials said it could take months to repair the damaged interchanges, and advised motorists to use public transportation in and out of San Francisco. They added trains to the rail system, and bus and ferry operators also expanded service.

”People are going to have to find a different way to work and back home in the evening, so we are asking them to plan ahead and do their homework,” said Jeff Weiss, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation. ”This isn’t going to be fixed in a matter of days.”

Nearly 75,000 vehicles used the damaged portion of the road every day. But because the accident occurred where three highways converge, authorities said it could cause commuting problems for hundreds of thousands of people. State transportation officials said 280,000 commuters take the Bay Bridge into San Francisco each day.

Photo: pixieclipx/Flickr 

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

San Francisco Mayor to NYC: “Eat Your Heart Out.”

|
A rendering of the Transbay Transit Center with a 5.4 acre park on its roof. At a groundbreaking ceremony for the long-awaited Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco yesterday, Mayor Gavin Newsom asserted the project will be "so much more extraordinary than Grand Central Station." Pointing to the renderings on a projection screen behind him, […]

Get Ready for Streetsblog San Francisco

|
How come so many posts on San Francisco lately? Let’s make it official: The Open Planning Project will be launching Streetsblog San Francisco in January 2009. After interviewing many highly qualified candidates during last month’s RailVolution conference, we’ve hired Bryan Goebel as the site’s editor and Matthew Roth as full-time reporter. Bryan is a veteran […]

Bus Rapid Transit, Not Ferry Subsidies, Would Help Struggling New Yorkers

|
In today’s State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio returned to his signature campaign issues of affordability and equity. Focusing mainly on housing, the mayor outlined a plan for growth centered around transit-accessible neighborhoods, and he recommitted to building several new Bus Rapid Transit routes. But de Blasio missed the mark with his big new transit initiative […]

Who Will Be the Next MTA Chief?

|
Who’s up for the challenge of managing the nation’s biggest transit system at a time when state government has left it with a pile of debt and two already-scheduled fare hikes? The person who takes over the MTA from Jay Walder after his resignation takes effect October 21 will have the marquee transit job in […]