Sunday, September 22, 2013
From Brown to Blue on the Bay Bridge
The California legislature recently decided that the western span of the Bay Bridge, from San Francisco to Treasure Island, should be renamed for Willie Brown, Jr. The announcement of the honor has been mostly met with derision and horror by local residents who loathe the ancient powerbroker.
Driving east across the bridge today, the name change seemed apt. The western half of the span is dirty, rotting, and car-centric to an antiquarian degree, so naming it after the corrupt old politician Willie Brown, Jr. is a good unintentional joke.
Maybe the structure can be torn down soon and replaced with a new span like the eastern half. In a better world we would also sweep away the ossified local power structure headed by dinosaurs like Brown, Feinstein and Pelosi, who have done so much public harm over the years while personally enriching themselves.
The light, airy, new eastern span is a refreshing reminder that the world does change, sometimes for the better. Presently, we are at a stalling point, rather like the bike and pedestrian paths on the new bridge that don't connect to anywhere.