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  • Waiting for a ride

Wednesday, November 3 – The Winners


Oh yeah, what a beautiful morning! Perfect weather, plus – we’ve got a governor named Brown, a senator named Boxer, a lieutenant governor named Newsom, and a World Series team! The big parade down Market Street today is already jamming up traffic and BART stations and people are in a party mood. I’m riding in a Toyota RAV4. The driver, a lady, and her friend in the front seat, I and another rider in the back. Surprisingly (or maybe not) very little seat and leg room back here for a vehicle that looks so imposing from the street.

With the new progressive lineup in Sacramento, we commuters crammed together out here on the freeways may see some changes in California transportation. As attorney general, Jerry Brown has been waging a war against smog and greenhouse gas emissions and is generally an ally in environmental protection and conservation. As governor I’d like to see him instigate some real action to get more hybrids on the road and to make them more affordable, more accessible. And then there’s the whole issue of mass transit. Our systems are just not keeping up and they cost commuters too much money. I’m expecting a lot out of these new winners. But today they can bask in the glory – it’s a great day for them.

Go California!

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – The Days After


The Giants won last night and it’s a gorgeous autumn morning. Unfortunately, I have to drive in today, so no sitting back enjoying the scenery for me on today’s commute. My friend is the passenger in the front seat, and a lovely lady named Barbara rides in back. Traffic’s a bit frantic, but we move along and are in the city in less than an hour. Along the way we pass 2 CHPs on motorcycles, and further down the road a couple more in their cars, watching for cheaters in the carpool lane. Although a few single drivers ducked in and out along the commute, no one ‘cheated’ long enough to get caught. That dramatic looking low-lying fog hovers in the meadows near the water and makes this beautiful morning even more so.

In case you haven’t seen some of the recent toll update information . . . . .

Fewer drivers are making the trip across the Bay Bridge during the busiest commute hours (5 – 10 a.m. and 3 – 7 p.m.) They are either crossing at a different time period or taking BART. There are also fewer drivers in general crossing the bridge – a gradual reduction since 2003 when tolls began to increase and employment decreased for many commuters in the bay area. But with the increase in tolls, the reduced traffic hasn’t hurt the pocketbook of the Bay Area Toll Authority – they’ll be using $30 million of that new toll money we’ve been shelling out since July 1 to re-build the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza’s headquarters. When they announced the tolls and how they’d use the money, they never mentioned a new headquarters office building. There was a lot of talk about ‘seismic retrofitting’ of the bridge, plus freeway repair and maintenance. Goes to show.