Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Virtual Hug for my Adopted Home

A section of eastbound Interstate Highway 80 to eastbound Interstate Highway 580 collapsed this morning following a gas tanker explosion. (photo and caption from: FogCityJournal.com.)

When I heard the news yesterday that the MacArthur Maze basically melted and collapsed yesterday after a gas tanker explosion, I immediately thought of the times I'd driven across the maze en route to San Francisco, L.A., Berkeley, or anywhere else. That highway connector is crucial to getting in and out of San Francisco and it's crucial to getting around the Bay Area in general.

However, I've always avoided the maze, if possible. I'm just one of those people who hates sitting in traffic, and I'll take the long route to avoid it. But if you're zipping across the bridge to somewhere in the east bay, which I often did, it was just worth it to navigate through. If it wasn't rush hour, traffic tended to flow well.

I did learn early on that if you're driving up the I-5 from L.A. the "real" San Franciscan way is to end your I-5 trek early by cutting across via the 152 through Hollister to the 101. At that point you can either stay on the 101 or zip over to the 280. I almost always went the 280 route because it wasn't as congested as the 101. Via that route I would just enter San Francisco at the beginning of Dolores Street and make my way to my apartment in the Hayes Valley from there. (Link to CalTrans District 4: San Francisco Bay Area.)

Anyway, from the reports I've seen and from emails from folks back home, it is not as bad as some thought it would be. (Kind of like how people thought traffic would be hell in L.A. during the 84 Olympics - yes, I'm that old to remember it. It wasn't.)

Here is just a big virtual hug to anyone affected by this. I hope it can get rebuilt sooner rather than later.

Anyway, here is the alternative route info I swiped from SFist:

Here's your roads: W-80 to S-880 is closed (from Berkeley to the Oakland airport). E-80 to E-580 is closed (from SF to Lake Merritt and Piedmont). Alternate routes: BART or AC Transit. From SF, you could take S-880, surface streets to downtown Oakland and get on W-980 to get onto the intact sections of S-580. Or you could just take BART or AC Transit. Did we mention you should take BART or AC Transit?
SFGate: The Maze Meltdown

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