Monday, September 21, 2009

A Bridge None Too Smooth

So today, two weeks since the Bay Bridge was reopened after its historical Labor Day weekend shutdown, I finally drove over it into San Francisco.

The new (albeit temporary) span swings drivers to the left going over and to the right coming back, and there's a 40 mph speed limit...all recipes for Brake Light City on a bridge where traffic crawls at the best of times. I had planned to make the drive the morning the bridge reopened, but I slapped some sense into myself and postponed my SF plans until today.

It was horrible! I was almost late for my appointment!

Oh, no, not because of the new span. THAT was easy, and the only reason I slowed going over it was to savor the feel of unbroken concrete and pothole free-transit for the 350-foot journey from old span to old span. And the lane markers - oh, the brightness of the white hurt my dazzled eyes. What would it be like to drive on roads all over California like this? We'll never know.

No, the reason I was late was the lady two cars in front of my at the toll plaza, who arrived at the toll booth only to a.) turn off her ignition b.) extricate herself slowly from her car and lumber around to the trunk c.) pop the trunk and remove her purse, which is surely where her $4 bridge toll was lurking d.) lumber back to the driver's door and heave her purse onto the hood of the car e.) scrounge through it for her wallet, and finally f.) lower herself back into the car and thrust her hand through its open window, to pay the toll worker who had, by then, gone grey.

Just goes to show you, you don't have to resort to fancy new tricks like replacement bridge spans to slow Bay Area drivers down. Sticking to the tried and true works better every time.

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