Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Sure, but you are describing a situation in which commuters are strictly worse off. It’s unlikely they will vote for that.

Remember also that existing transit links are beyond fully saturated. It’s not really possible for people to switch to transit en masse before the decades it takes us to build bus terminals and train tunnels have elapsed. No public transit system has the slack to absorb the Bay Bridge drive-alone traffic, let alone 101 or 280. People physically won’t fit into the vehicles. There are decade-scale projects to address that, and I support them, but I don’t expect to see their fruits during my working life. Anyone working now is going to be retired by the time a second Transbay Tube starts passenger service, assuming we vote to fund it right now.




The original Bay Bridge was built in 3 years, with 1930s technology. We used to not be a bunch of incompetent idiots when it came to building infrastructure, but now we clearly are. I understand why people don’t want to pay large amounts of tax money to pay incompetent idiots to take a long time building tiny amounts of infrastructure.


Yep. In many ways we are simply stuck with whatever we built before we lost the ability to build things. Not because it’s the best, but because it’s no longer cost effective to improve at current efficiency levels.


How did we become so inefficient?


I don't really think that it's about inefficiency or incompetence. Rather, it's about where our priorities, as a society, are today when it comes to infrastructure projects vs. what it was in the post Great Depression era.

Here [0] is an article to covers parts of this exact subject.

[0]: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2013/08/09/building-the-bay-bri...


The original design for the Bay Bridge retrofit was $400 million.

Instead, we got a less-safe, grandiose art piece for over $8 billion. $400 million more if you want a bike lane.


Is this corruption or incompetence? I honestly think it’s corruption. Why can’t we just outsource this to a European engineering company that is capable of accomplishing this? It just makes no sense to me.


a European engineering company that is capable of accomplishing this?

What makes you think European engineering companies are any better? Europe is just as littered with failed, bloated, late and vastly over budget infrastructure projects. Hell the small bridge down the road from my office was supposed to be closed for 4 month for some maintenance work, it's now been closed for 14 month and there is still no estimate for when it will be done.


Corruption was blatant and rampant in the era that saw most of our infrastructure development. The New York City subway was built in the era of Boss Tweed. Honestly I think this is not a coincidence. Projects that balance their own goals with fairness and deference to “stakeholders” will naturally be pathetic compared to projects that simply pursue their goals.


  The New York City subway was built in the era of Boss Tweed
The NYC subway system wasn't fully public-operated until 1940.


Of course it's corruption (in this case, Jerry Brown and Willie Brown and their minions being the primary drivers).




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: