Whether you commute to San Francisco for work or are driving to the city for pleasure (b/c it’s oh so pleasurable to walk down the urine scented streets and get accosted by the homeless the city celebrate) there’ s a good chance you will cross a bridge. If that bridge is the Bay Bridge, you are in for a real treat if you enjoy wasting an hour in your car sitting in stop-and-go traffic. It is not just that it is slow, the amount of time it takes is, for lack of a better way of putting it, consistently inconsistent. Time to get through the toll plaza ranges from 5 minutes to well north of an hour.
So let’s look at the problems. First who was the rocket scientist who dreamed up the MacArthur Maze? Who woke up and thought, “Hey, let’s dump three major freeways into some toll booths followed a set of metering lights. What could go wrong?” Add to that two more feeder freeways (24 and 980) that feed the freeways pouring into the Maze. Second, you’ve got different types of lanes for different types of drivers (carpool, cash/FasTrak, FasTrak only, buses/trucks). So you’ve got the traffic from all of these freeways madly scrambling to change lanes in a relatively short distance. What makes all of this more frustrating is that FasTrak is actually just as slow as the cash lanes, even with the cash lanes merging into each other after the toll booths but before the metering lights. This gives us the perfect lead into metering lights. I won’t even comment on metering lights – anyone who has experienced them knows that they cause nothing but extra wear and tear on your vehicle.
Finally we are left with the drivers who drive the Bay Bridge. This is the worst part. They take the smoldering ember that is the Maze/toll plaza/metering lights and stoke the flames until we’ve got an out of control wildfire on our hands. What compels these people to act like such complete idiots? The obsessive lane changing has got to stop. wtf? do you think changing lanes every five feet is going to get you there faster? And then there are the jackasses that enable them because they insist on staying 20 car lengths behind the car in front of them in stop-and-go traffic. CalTrans needs to install some type of dividers between lanes to get people to pick a lane and stay in it. What makes these lane changers even worse is that they couldn’t care less about signaling or even be bothered with checking to see if there is a car occupying the space the so desperately need move into. So with that, I would like to introduce a new weekly segment called “wtf bay bridge driver?” Each week we will one of the idiots doing their best to clog our roads and endanger their fellow drivers. Our first wtf bay bridge driver goes to the Volkswagon Golf driver with CA license plate #5GMJ151. We raise this one finger salute in your honor!