Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area awoke again today not knowing how to quickly commutel from one side of the Bay to the other. The Bay Bridge, connecting Oakland/East Bay with San Francisco, was shut down again due to safety issues. (On Labor Day, the bridge was also closed to fix a dangerous section of the span.) The Bay Bridge is becoming a thorn in the sides of Bay Area residents–too old, not hip.
Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is like living on multiple islands. Tthe Pacific Ocean rushes under the Golden Gate Bridge, spreading itself in all directions, creating travel obstacles. The Bay is a gigantic barrier to hundreds of thousands who need to shuttle from one side to another each day.
Since the Bay Bridge is closed again, commuters clog alternative bridges, take BART (the Bay Area Rapid Transit rail system), other public transportation or helicopter if they’re rich like Larry Ellison at Oracle.
While residents once worked and played in their own backyards (no need for bridges there), we’ve become islands of people crossing water barriers. We skip across the Bay as if the Bay didn’t exist. We ignore it, the bridges that provide passage, disregard unknown communities at 65 mph.
If it were possible, some people would probably vote to turn the Golden Gate into a dam, drain the Bay and build super highways across barren, dry land. Just think of it: a 5 minute commute without water blocking us. Don’t just go east-to-west, go northeast-to-southwest.
Water fowl habitat? Estuaries? Marshes? Heck, who needs those? This is California. We’re on the move, tweeting on mobile phones to people we don’t know, watching dots–our virtual friends–on iPhone maps.
Think of the PR possibilities with a drained Bay. Instead of “the Bay Area,” we’d simply become “The Area” or, better yet, “The Silicon Valley Area” or SVA for short. Imagine the prestige, the glamor and the quick commutes. No more islands of people separated by water. We’d become islands of people connected by concrete.
It all makes sense now. Time to drain the Bay, tear the bridges down and really live the good life California once promised.