When the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge gets completed this August (*cough* about fifteen years late), the first things to cross over it won't be tires, but feet. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Toll Authority are working up a plan for a huge celebration in which pedestrians would be allowed to walk the entire bridge on Labor Day weekend. But wait, didn't we try this once before?
Organizers estimate that 200,000 people might participate in the opening celebration, which would occur on September 1 and 2, and will include fireworks on both sides of the Bay, and possibly bike rides and a half-marathon as well. But when organizers were planning for a similar, celebratory walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in 1987, in celebration of its 50th Anniversary, they thought only 80,000 would show up, and instead 800,000 did and almost broke the damn bridge.
This time they say they're planning for security to prevent such crowding, but good luck, as everyone is going to want to do this. And we don't need the radio or television to get our news anymore, so probably even more people will know about it. What will they do, exactly, if a mob of 800,000 or more show up this time and demand to walk over that bridge?
The event will be funded by the Bay Area Toll Authority, who's pledging $5.6 million in toll revenues to cover security and porta-potties, and the non-profit Bay Bridge Alliance. They've hired the people who produce the Giants' victory parades to organize the event and find sponsors. We'll let you know if you should do more than pencil this in on your calendars.