Back Online With Some Random Thoughts...
The Really Big Project I was working on is pretty much complete, so I can go back to regular writing. I can't really talk about it just yet, but soon, all will be revealed. I hate to be a blogger cloak and dagger type, but it'll all make sense soon enough.
Anyway, I took a trip to Burlingame today, and while doing so thought a little bit about all the crazy stuff that's been going on here, elsewhere and so on. One thing that's always been an issue is the fact that if you live in San Francisco, but work elsewhere (i.e. San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, etc.) is that once you leave San Francisco, you really don't have a lot of options to get where you're going , unless you have a car. And, with Caltrain's latest announcement that it will be killing most of its service (which will make for a lot of fun at Giants games), it's just going to get worse.
For example, today I wanted to take Caltrain to Burlingame station, and meet my family there, instead of having them pick me up at the BART station. But, because of a) the Sunday schedule and cuts to service on Muni, and b) Caltrain's already abbreviated schedule, I realized there would be a good chance I'd get to Caltrain late, and miss Easter. So I opted for the 44 to Glen Park BART, but that meant annoying my brother to pick me up.
Now yes, there is a SamTrans stop there and yes, it theoretically could take me right to his place, but the problem with that is that SamTrans on a Sunday is almost non existent. I'd end up waiting at least 45 minutes, if not longer, and if it wasn't raining, I'd normally just walk the 2 miles and not even bother. I was lucky that someone could pick me up and all, and I did get there pretty quickly from Glen Park. (and as always I wish I could take a time machine back to the time when they f*cked up BART and/or killed the Interurban and shown them the horrors and wasted money to fix their blunder and come back to an easy way to get to the peninsula, but, alas, no such luck. It's the 21st century WHERE IS MY TIME MACHINE?)
The point is not to talk about my one stupid ride on BART to Burlingame, but to point out that once you leave San Francisco, "mass transit" simply isn't viable for a lot of people who don't work near Caltrain, or have the luxury of taking a Bauer private coach, or one provided by an employer. That means more people will either have to move closer to their jobs (so not easy in a tough economy) or just get a car and make 280 and 101 a parking lot. And, it wasn't that long ago that this didn't have to be a potential day-killer made up of transit f*ck ups, either. (Although, that whole "if you don't live near Caltrain" issue for many workers wouldn't go away. But at least you could take Caltrain to the Giants game and have a beer on the way up.)
It's just silly to think that we can pour way more cars on already crappy freeways (and oh yeah that gas tax that allocated 80% of money to roads? GONE) and somehow think that's going to be "fast" or whatever. With no reasonable way to get to where they need to, though, that is going to happen, and for many people I know, it already has.
If I was paid more, perhaps as much as some overpriced legislator, Supervisor, Governor, Mayor, transit boss dude, or whatever, I'd spend some time figuring out a grand complex solution or something. But I'm not. And sad to say, we are paying a lot of money for a lot of people who allegedly do this sort of thing as part of their job, and well, instead they don't.
Have fun on 101. Bring an iPad with you. It's not like you'll be moving that fast (if at all) to cause any harm, and you can at least look cool while you're taking 3 hours to get to Palo Alto.
PS: No transit drama, I got a ride home because I got a filing cabinet (happy Easter). But driving on 280 sucked royally with all the rain and such, so we took an alternate route home. I really don't miss driving up and down 280 and 101, that's for sure. But then again, carrying a filing cabinet on BART probably isn't a wise idea.