Reprinted and modified from elsewhere online, this is the rant that started a blog:
It was too long, really, for Facebook, but when I saw the news that day, oh boy.
I thought AT LEAST the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District should honor the commuters that have been sending their kids through college. At the very LEAST.
More properly it would appear to users of the Golden Gate bridge they are in for A HUGE RETRO REFUND. CERTAINLY the bridge tolls should be lowered considerably. Why?
Because they're saving so MUCH money. The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District has come up with a plan which would SAVE a projected $19.2 MILLION before ten years is up. That's a huge chunk of change.
The GGDH&T District really likes their plan -- A LOT; even voted very recently (1/ 27/11) to recommend the board of directors move ahead with their bottom line perspective, money-saving proposition. Good news for GG Bridge users who were promised when the bridge was first announced over eighty years ago: no more paying tolls after the structure was paid off?
Not really. This same District has conveniently erected an Imaginary Blockade designed to prevent ANY money getting to its essential commuters or previous employees. They all tout fear as real and insist we pay for it. Fear is not real, only imagined.
"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." --Franklin D. Roosevelt,April 13, 1945
Here's REAL: 34 jobs gone, tollbooths and toll collectors, a fixture at the Golden Gate Bridge since it opened in 1937.
NOT REAL: the districts "imaginary barrier," a self decreed $89 million "projected" shortfall over the next five years. ["projected shortfall" is corp-speak for "I am unable to properly manage resources."]
Whatever else, "Projected" is imaginary, not present, not here. Losing your job, paying real money to drive your car across this bridge IS real, is not imaginary. The phrase, "Projected shortfall," is like an evil spell because it's not real but a notion, a what-if, a make-believe term that pulls the listener away from every possibility HERE, into that fantasy darkness. "Unemployed persons," and "Service cut-backs" are REAL phrases that mean actual, tangible things, and are being overlooked. The impact of this latest heartless ill-motivated decision hits too many lives for anyone to keep track of.
This vicious little plot has been decades in the planning and became public years ago when the GGBD offered those cute little boxes that let you scoot past the bottle neck of cash paying customers, as if you had a VIP pass at Disneyland.
How convenient. for each commuter. How convenient for the Electronic Payment Planners to extract funds from your bank in advance, $40 at a clip, and, in addition to rising tolls, collect interest on that money daily for hundreds and thousands of commuters as they all drive along merrily.
Never mind that harsh reality flows along side the plan to move to all-electronic tolling, as it would eliminate the jobs of 32 toll collectors, two vault workers and negatively impact every single bridge user who loses the infinite services within the roles each of of these people play. Where in this money-saving equation did they figure in Bridge Security, Welcoming Visitors to San Francisco, Detecting Foul Play and Directing Lost Visitors. These are saily occurances on the GGBridge.
I smell "attractive nuisance" lawsuit. Any hungry lawyers reading this? Uh oh...
So we lose real people, untold scores of services and landmarks that have been intrinsic to our Golden gate Bridge - FOR WHICH WE commuters ARE COMPENSATED HOW?
Probably another toll increase. oop - Did I just say what you were thinking out loud? Sorry, I'm into metaphysics and accidentally peeked into your soul...
Most of us who drive across that beautiful span don't think of it as being held captive by a heavily populated elitist clique, today's Commuter Ruling Class, who cluster behind the name "The Golden Gate Bridge Highway And Transportation District (the name itself declares ownership of most of Northern California)."
Who needs so many people in a bridge district that it practically requires its own zip code? Most of us would absolutely LOVE to see that entire bunch of highway robber types seriously considered for replacement with a simple, all-electronic plastic thingie.