Monday, April 30, 2007

Gas Truck Melts a Freeway in Oakland

You can see more pictures here. Video here.

Thankfully nobody died.

This story is rich with irony about the end of the carbon age. When gas trucks start taking out freeways, perhaps the planet is trying to heal itself in some mystical way.

Unfortunately, for those who live within 5 miles of this incident, all 4 TV networks have placed noisy helicopters in the air above the collapsed freeway for the last 36 hours to breathlessly report this incident. Um, we get it. Stop burning so much fuel with 4 separate live pictures of a pile of concrete.

This situation would become even more ironic if two of the helicopters crashed midair and landed on the gigantic car-culture IKEA superstore near the freeway collapse. The greasy Swedish meatballs and birch veneer bookshelves would surely ignite into another conflagration, which would then require more helicopters to cover that "breaking news." And the good people of West Oakland would have to suffer 4AM helicopters for another 5 days.

Governor Schwarzenegger has made state funds available to regional transit agencies so all transit is free for the day.

Why is it when car commuters face possible delays it is viewed as a state emergency? Perhaps the Governor should consider tearing down the freeway entirely, and with the tens of millions of dollars saved, make transit free every day.


Anonymous said...

It's 4:30, day two. The f'ing helicopters are back.

Oy vey!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. San Francisco seems blessedly quiet today. We should instigate some "car free" days in the city - like the last Friday of the month!

eastcoastdweller said...

As a reporter, I once had the surreal experience of hiking down the center of a vast, blocked-off freeway for a mile or so.

It was quiet, so amazingly quiet, except for the distant chatter of birds.

The only evidence of any recent life in the area, other than those distant sounds, were the crushed carcasses of various animals along the edge of the roadway.

Thirty years ago, this death zone had been a productive, beautiful forest, teeming with life. Now it was a concrete crypt -- and at the moment, appropriately silent.