Saturday, April 16
San Francisco: It's My Bay Bridge, Not Yours, Oakland!
I really like San Francisco and regard it as the center of the Bay Area, but this newspaper commentary really is too SF-centric:
One of the talking points of backers of the proposed suspension span for the new eastern section of the Bay Bridge is fundamentally flawed [in that] Oakland needs a signature entrance worthy of the city. . . .
. . . The Bay Bridge is not the entrance to Oakland, unless you figure most travelers detour up the peninsula so that they can enter Oakland via the bridge, which they don't. . . .
The Bay Bridge is the entrance to San Francisco and, at best, a back door to Oakland. People come to San Francisco across the Bay Bridge and return to Oakland across it, or commute to Oakland because they happen to reside on the peninsula.
Let's put this one to rest. The eastern span of the Bay Bridge will never be an entrance to Oakland, but rather, a prelude crescendoing to the climactic moment when travelers exit the Treasure Island tunnel and behold the breathtaking San Francisco skyline from the present suspension span.
Sure, the Oakland side doesn't have the luxury of great urban architecture within blocks of the bridge or the elevated views from a bridge making a hilltop landfall like that on Rincon Hill in SF. You can barely even see the sky when crossing from SF to Oakland on the bridge's lower deck.
But of course the east span is a gateway. It's the central city's one connection to the vast East Bay. What East Bay resident doesn't get a sense of "I'm almost home" upon reaching the bottom of the east span incline, especially after having flown into the San Francisco airport?
The Peninsula/Bay Bridge route is the one I usually take when driving from San Jose to the Berkeley area, since I really dislike the crowding around 880-237 and 880-92-238-580. I think many Peninsula residents know what I'm talking about and probably would rather take the Bay Bridge instead--if only because they get a more scenic view with their traffic congestion than they would in Hayward.