Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Broadway tunnel.

Have you taken the Broadway tunnel sans critical mass lately? There are new TREES!
I was taken back and did a double-take while questioning my caffeinne intake, because those trees were looking rather strange. Then I realized the wind was tremendous, but it wasn't that. There were about a dozen of these natural creatures attempting to clean some of that thick air in there. Nice, I like it. They look tilted as they were mid-process of being planted.

There are many changes around the city, the Divis corridor, Valencia street, market street, very good things happening. I hope one day I get to ride the Geary tunnel alongside moving traffic, but don;t really need to so it's all good. Often time I ride both tunnels at once (Broadway +Stockton) and it is actually one of my favorite things to do occasionally, late in the evenings. The noise can be a bitch, but somehow I find it very beautiful, especially around 9 or 10PM when the lights are on, the ugly as hell yellow mosaics somehow look nicer, the dirt and filth dust on the walls begins to form ghostly shapes, all the Muni express lines are long gone, and Chinatown ceases chaotic activities.
Random weeknights are a critical mass of one.

Broadway tunnel gets trees
Broadway tunnel gets trees


  1. This may be a good reason for a detour one of these days! I don't think I've ever been in the tunnel not on the last Friday; does one bike on the sidewalks? What's the ped sitch? Thanks for the fotos!

  2. @Tamagosan-

    I used to live in Chinatown and would ride thru both tunnels tons.

    stockton tunnel: I never would ride on the sidewalk. Southbound it's a straight, short, downhill shot where you can go just as fast if not faster than the cars and buses. Northbound has a bike lane so no worries. I've seen many cyclists "ride" on the sidwalk thru stockton and it's impossible with all the foot traffic. If they're scared to ride on the street thru the tunnel, I don't understand how they are not just as scared riding around on the street anywhere else?

    broadway tunnel-westbound before 7am is reverse commute so not many cars on that side of the tunnel; I would take the lane and go hard since this is the fastest and most convenient thing to do. westbound any other time - definitely ride the sidewalk. north or south sidewalk is fine depending on where you're going once you're on the other side. Sidewalk is usually free of anyone else (like 80% time) but when it does have someone walking along the path going in the same direction as you that's when it's most annoying. The car sounds are so super loud that walkers can't hear you until you're 2 inches away from them and screaming at them as politely as possible about your presence. Of course they're startled and shocked and I always feel bad for scaring them. For people walking in the opposite direction it's a tight squeeze but I can usually keep riding along while rubbing the wall and the ped moves a little to the side without stopping either. Sometimes i would take the street eastbound late at night since there's not much traffic but not usually for fear of a drunk speed freak driver wanting to drag race.

  3. tamagosan/ yea the stockton tunnel, as recs indicated is street-friendly and no need to use the pedestrian areas at all. however for some reason the broadway tunnel seems to have a 'faster' flow and also there is almost always no pedestrians ever, so the side walking areas are 'ok' to use if you are slow like me. I have not tried to use the street for this one, just too fast for me to handle and bike lane (the stockton tunnel 1/2 does) :D

    recs/ yes! +thanks for the excellent breakdown, I love riding both tunnels quite often
    somehow I can only manage to take snaps late at night. when heavier traffic is around i dont feel as quick to do so - link


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