Transportation

Isabel Angell

Throughout film history, the Golden Gate Bridge has been leveled in earthquakes, ripped apart by apes, melted, and even bitten in half by a mega-shark.

But how would the iconic span fare in more realistic disaster scenarios? We're going to take a close look at three very real situations – overcrowding, a tsunami, and an earthquake – and find out if those disasters could bring down the Golden Gate Bridge.

Hassan Astaneh is a professor of structural engineering and bridge engineering at UC Berkeley.

At about 1:30am, after a night out with friends, Kyle Nichols-Schmolze is waiting for the AC Transit 800 bus near Market and Van Ness in San Francisco’s Civic Center.

Photo by Casey Miner

You might think BART stations would be quiet at 2am. The platforms are empty, no trains rushing through. But they’re not quiet. In fact, the noise is deafening.

Flickr user Eugene Kim

The latest news of possible problems on the new Bay Bridge? Steel rods anchoring the 6.5 billion dollar span have shifted and might threaten its stability in the case of an earthquake.

This is just the most recent in a laundry list of problems on the bridge. In recent months, Caltrans has come under fire for faulty welds, failed rods, and leaky decks. Jaxon Van Derbeken, an award-winning reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, has reported extensively on the Bay Bridge. He sat down with KALW’s Ben Trefny.

Isabel Angell

Four people have been killed by cars on Van Ness Avenue in 2014 – more than half of the pedestrian deaths in San Francisco this year.

One ran into traffic after an argument. Another was a hit and run. One didn’t appear to use a crosswalk. Stories like that seem to support the idea that pedestrians are often to blame. But in San Francisco, motorists are at fault in almost two-thirds of pedestrian collisions.

Nicole Schneider is the director of the pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco.

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