Rampant Traffic Problems

The big news around here is the tanker truck which destroyed a ramp connector in the Macarthur Maze Sunday morning. Amazingly, no one was killed (although the driver was badly hurt). But the accident caused part of a ramp to collapse onto another connector, which is snarling traffic in the east bay (in the Oakland/Berkeley area). It sounds like traffic hasn’t been as bad as people had feared, but it may be only a matter of time.

Here’s a nifty PDF showing the vicinity of the ramp collapse.

Mom, Debbi and I drove along the lower ramp (from I-80 to I-880) last weekend when we went up to Berkeley – an unusually close experience, since I only go to Berkeley a few times per year. And of course Scalzi was up there on his book tour last week (I’m pretty sure he’s innocent, though).

I’m glad I don’t have to commute over any of the bridges. Modern bridges are a boon compared to the olden days (when ferries were the main way to cross the bay to and from San Francisco), but there are so many people in the area that the traffic grid is getting more and more bogged down. And there’s very little redundancy to deal with even partial outages like this one.

We need to do something, but what can we do?

And what happens when the next major earthquake hits?