August 2013 eNews       
In This Issue
New Bay Bridge East Span to Open
Picture This: The New East Span in Photos
Plan Bay Area Adopted
Bike Sharing Launches August 29
Pocket-Size Bay Trail
Youth Sustainability Summit
Pay for Parking with Clipper
SF Bay and Bridge Construction on Display
New Ways to Tune In to MTC
New on Video
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parkingIt's Official: New Bay Bridge East Span to Open in Conjunction With Labor Day Weekend After Five-Day Closure      

The plan to open the new Bay Bridge East Span in conjunction with Labor Day weekend in late August/early September is back on track after an August 15 meeting of the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPOC), made up of the top executives from Caltrans, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) and the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA ).

The Oversight Committee took a two-step action to make the opening possible by approving an interim fix to the seismic system on the new East Span that will allow the bridge to carry traffic sooner than expected, and authorizing a five-day closure of the Bay Bridge -- starting at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28 -- to enable crews to realign, pave and restripe traffic lanes at either end of the bridge. The committee set Tuesday, September 3, at 5 a.m. as the end target for opening the bridge to traffic.


The opening will be marked with a chain-cutting ceremony for dignitaries on Labor Day proper -- Monday, September 2. The committee postponed a major public celebration that was to include a walk, run and bike ride across the bridge until a future date likely tied to another construction milestone.


As with past closures during the East Span's 10-plus years of construction, travelers are advised to consult MTC's free 511 phone line and website for traffic updates and transit and rideshare alternatives. Meanwhile, BART has announced it will provide limited all-night service during most of the bridge closure. Stay tuned to for updates.


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Picture This: The New East Span in Photos

Photo by Noah Berger

A stunner by day, the new Bay Bridge East Span is even more spectacular at night, as evidenced by a recent test of the roadway lighting system. The bridge's unique and brilliant white color -- enhanced by a specially designed, environmentally friendly lighting system -- makes it stand out against the nighttime skyline. Read more about the lighting system and view more photos here.


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parkingPlan Bay Area Adopted 


Plan Bay Area Logo

MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) passed Plan Bay Area, the long-term regional land-use and transportation strategy in mid-July. The nine-county plan is designed to meet the requirement of 2008's California Senate Bill 375, which calls on metropolitan areas to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accommodate population growth.

Plan Bay Area is a product of hundreds of public feedback sessions and community forums. MTC Chair Amy Rein Worth described the strategy as a comprehensive, logical approach to fostering a healthier, more sustainable and more economically robust region. "For decades, MTC has been charged by state and federal law to produce a long-term regional transportation plan, while ABAG has been responsible for assessing regional housing needs. Plan Bay Area puts these elements together in a way that makes sense," she said. Read more at  


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Bike Sharing Launches August 29

Photo by Noah Berger

The newest "green" initiative in the Bay Area is actually turquoise. The inaugural batch of Bay Area Bike Share bicycles will be available for use in San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose starting on August 29. In the program's initial phase, members will have access to 700 bicycles, conveniently located at kiosks next to transit stations and in populous residential, shopping and employment areas. The turquoise bikes, which will be accessible 24/7, have seven speeds and nifty front baskets. San Francisco's even come with a GPS feature. Membership costs $88 annually, $22 for a three-day pass or $9 for a daily pass. The first 1,000 people to sign up will receive a limited edition Founding Member key.  


Bay Area Bike Share is managed by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in partnership with MTC, with MTC contributing $7.1 million from its Climate Initiatives Program. To sign up and check out the map of bikesharing stations, head to  



Put the Bay Trail in Your Pocket


The San Francisco Bay Trail's recently issued boxed set of map cards covers the 330 completed miles of the walking and cycling trail network, which will eventually circle the entire shoreline of San Francisco and San Pablo bays. The set includes 25 map cards and a large fold-out map, all tucked into a small, portable box easy to carry on hikes and bikes. The maps feature popular shoreline walks, historic towns and family-friendly parks, providing tips for the seasoned trekker and the nature newbie alike -- as well as a bonus card for bird-watchers. The set is available for $14.95 online, at the Bay Crossings store in the San Francisco Ferry Building and at local bookstores.   

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parkingJust Say YES to Youth Sustainability Summit

Young people who say "No" to air pollution will want to attend the YES summit on Saturday, November 2 at MTC's offices in Oakland. Spare the Air's Youth for Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference is a chance for teenagers who are passionate about
slowing climate change to share ideas and practical tips. Spare the Air is supported by MTC's Climate Initiatives Program in partnership with Bay Area Air Quality Management District  Registration for the summit is totally free but space is limited, so act fast.


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Pay for Parking With Clipper

Five garages now have Clipper readers next to standard payment machines.
Photo by Kingmond Young

Some San Francisco drivers can hit the road a little faster now, thanks to a new ClipperŽ experiment. Five garages in the city now accept the Clipper transit fare card as payment for parking. Drivers simply add "parking value" to their cards, take a ticket per usual as they enter a garage and tap the Clipper reader next to the payment machine as they leave. See the list of participating garages and additional information here.

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Real511SF Bay and Bridge Construction on Display 


Photo from Oakland Museum

The first major exhibition since the completion of Oakland Museum California's renovation and transformation, "Above and Below: Stories From Our Changing Bay," will explore the intersection of nature and human engineering in the San Francisco Bay Area. The multimedia, interdisciplinary installation delves into the region's captivating environmental history with an emphasis on the role and stories of its residents. Interactive features include a 3-D projection, a panoramic floor map and an inviting lounge where visitors can discuss climate change and the future of our Bay. The exhibit is supported by the Caltrans, in partnership with the Bay Area Toll Authority and the California Transportation Commission, as part of the mitigation for the seismic safety project on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. In honor of the opening of the new East Span, the exhibit includes oral histories and film footage of the opening day celebration for the original Bay Bridge in 1936. On view August 31, 2013 - February 23, 2014.

Harvey Milk Photo Center


Harvey Milk Photo Center

Joseph Blum's construction photos of the new Bay Bridge East Span are all over San Francisco this summer. Last month, we reported on "Bridge Builders," his series on the men and women behind the new East Span, on view through September 27 at City Hall. Now, the Harvey Milk Photo Center is hosting a second Blum exhibit. His black and white "A View from the Bridge" series will be up through October 3.


Martin Chandrawinata
While hard at work building the new Bay Bridge East Span, local engineer Martin Chandrawinata adopted an additional role: resident artist. "Through an Engineer's Lens" is just a taste of the 20,000-plus pictures he has taken of the span from dozens of different angles. Stop by the MTC art gallery before the end of the year to view the photographs.


San Francisco International Airport

For aerial artist Barrie Rokeach, the erection of the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was a perfect photography subject. Soaring at 100 miles per hour 1,000 feet above the water, Rokeach was able to capture both the construction of the massive span and the natural beauty that surrounds it. Starting in September, head to Gate 76 in SFO's Terminal 3 to catch the exhibit before you catch your flight.   


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parkingNew Ways to Tune In to MTC  


You can now stream MTC meetings while you are in transit. The live audiocasts of our meeting and events are available on your iPad and iPhone by going to our meeting page. Of course, you can still tune in on your computer, and also listen to archived meetings on any device.


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parkingSee What's New on Video   


Joys of Casual Carpooling


Looking to dodge rush-hour traffic and make some new friends on your way to work? Mark Jones catches up with a couple of Casual Carpoolers.  


Bay Bridge Lighting


The new Bay Bridge East Span glows during the final test of the energy-efficient LED light fixtures.  



See the flap sign at the SF Ferry Building live-streaming from San Francisco.   


Watch more of the latest video news on our website or YouTube channel


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