West Oakland BART Station Construction

West Oakland BART Station Sidewalk Construction

A lot of things struck me when I saw this scene last week:

Why has it taken 1.5 years to redo a 3 block length of roadway, all the while stealing parking spaces, rerouting traffic and somewhat blighting the neighborhood, traffic cones keeping people off the road and sidewalk.

What actually needed to get done that took all that time and money? I now see a slightly wider sidewalk (ripping up a perfectly fine one), a raised road divider, some bump-outs for traffic calming stealing a few parking spaces but helping pedestrians cross the road (I have never seen a car race down this road, traffic calming wasn’t needed), a new roadbed (the old roadbed looked fine), a few mounting holes for large something-or-anothers (look in the middle of the picture, I dunno what they are for), and some new pretty street lighting (the old lighting seemed reasonably ok when they kept bulbs in them).

Divisions between the concrete “panels” in sidewalks are all artificial, carved after the whole sidewalk is poured. So why do cracks tend to stop at the panel edges? That’s totally freaky!

Sidewalk finishing  is an art. With just sticks and sheets of metal, they make the surface exactly the way they wanted it to be.

One Comment

  1. TJIC says:

    Government spends money in the same way that kudzo grows.

    There’s no REASON to it – it’s just an insane programmed-in biological process.

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