Welcome back to the A to Z 2021 Blogging challenge. I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s visit to San Francisco. Today we are going to look at some ways to get to and from the City.
There are two bridges that connect San Francisco with the rest of the area. One is more famous than the other and I may talk about that later in the alphabet but today we have the Bay Bridge. It spans the San Francisco Bay to the east and connects with Oakland on the other side. The original bridge was designed by Charles H. Purcell and opened in 1936. It is one of the longest bridges in the United States.
There are two sections of the bridge, separated in the middle by Yerba Buena Island. The west side is a double decker with cars going east on the bottom and west on the top. That portion has been named the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge after former SF Mayor Willie Brown. I never call it anything other than the Bay Bridge.
The east side used to be the same but you may or may not have heard about a little earthquake we had in 1989 that caused a section of the top of the bridge to fall on the bottom. The bridge was closed for a month but it took 11 years and a lot of money to build a new section. It was quite interesting to see the construction going on during those years, but the most interesting was when the new section was finally completed and the old section was taken down. There is a video of some of that here.
In 2013 lights were installed on the bridge, intended to be for a short time only to commemorate the 75th year of the bridge but the project was so well received that it has continued. There are about 25,000 LED lights on the span and they go on and off in patterns selected by random number generator so they are always different. Also interesting is that you cannot really see the lights when you are driving across so as not to cause a distraction. Because of the unique system, the cost of operating the lights is only about $15 to $30 a night. Currently there is a program through the “Shine It Forward: The Bay Lights project” where for $100 you can actually dedicate one of the lights to someone and it will be yours forever. How romantic would that be for a Valentine’s Day or Anniversary gift? I mean, $100 is about what you pay for a bunch of roses that die anyway, right?
Here is a view of the San Francisco shoreline as seen coming from Oakland to SF. The pictures were taken several years apart because as you can see the buildings have changed. Sorry for the blurriness but it’s not easy taking pictures out the car window or even from a boat!
B is also for BART which stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit and is one of the ways to navigate through San Francisco. It runs from Millbrae in the southwest and connects to San Francisco International Airport and then goes through San Francisco and under the Bay to the other side north, east and south.
We use it quite often (or did before Covid) to go to San Francisco to see shows or over to Oakland to see concerts. The San Bruno Station is quite close to our house so technically we could walk there but we usually drive since we’d be coming home late at night. There are 8 stops in San Francisco, making it really easy to get to different parts of the City. It is reasonably priced too, especially considering what it costs to park in SF or in Oakland. It is a little scary knowing you are going under the bay in a tube and sometimes the speed makes my ears pop.
They have been starting to remodel some of the trains and repair some of the stations. I haven’t been on a trip since the pandemic but the website lists all the different measures they are taking to make it safer for everyone. I remember taking my first ride in 1982 when I went to my first real concert, Day on the Green in Oakland.
That’s it for “B” I guess. What do you think of those lights? Come back tomorrow for “C.” Any guesses?
Disclaimer notice. The coloring book pages are from the inserts the San Francisco Chronicle put out and I mentioned them in my theme reveal so you can go to that to get the info about the artists if you are interested. I did the coloring and all the picture taking.