January 21, 1994

The Regional Institute of the Bay Area

Tom Powers, Chair

c/o Wiltshire Associates

116 New Montgomery, Suite 800

San Francisco, California 94105

Re: Bay Area 2000 Contest


1. Here is how you get to the Emeryville AMTRAK station by 8 a.m. Friday, 2/25/94, when coming from Brentwood: Take the PE BART Express at Railroad & Oak in Brentwood at 5:48 am (the first one!). It arrives at Concord BART at 6:59 am. Then take BART to MacArthur Station. It leaves Concord at 7:03 and arrives at MacArthur Station at 7:30. Then you take the A/C Transit bus # 6, leaving at 7:36 and arriving at Powell Street Plaza at 7:46. (The next one arrives at 8:01, which would be okay for most purposes, but not for a contest requiring you to get there by 8:00!) You could also take the # 57, leaving MacArthur at 7:40, which arrives at Emeryville Marina at 7:54 (and AMTRAK a bit earlier). (I used my schedules, which aren't the latest, so as not to bother A/C Transit etc. For example, my # 57 schedule is from 1989! It is impossible to maintain the latest schedules for all possible lines at all times, until we get them on a computer and have universal access!)

Of course, transit cannot be relied on, so when times are critical, I always take the connections that will arrive on the previous bus/train. In this case, that is impossible, because there is no earlier bus from Brentwood.

2. What about the year 2004? Experts give the U.S. until about 2010-2020 for our oil to run out. So by 2004, panic will probably have set in at least once, and people will begin to realize that oil dependence is not good! This means that all suburbs will have begun to empty out, and people will be trying to get back into the cities, near transit lines. It also means that transit will be pretty expensive, so frequent long-distance travel will be a thing of the past. People will "make do" with the resources that are within easy walking, biking, or transit distance. The trip from Brentwood to Emeryville will be about the same, except that you will be able to get on BART earlier, say at the last currently planned station, in Antioch. Thus, it will be a bit faster. However, because of the cost and time involved, almost no one would want to make such a trip.

Due to the population expansion, we will be more in need of farmland and wildlife habitat than freeways, parking lots, shopping malls, and single-family housing tracts, so long before the oil begins to run out, wise voters will have directed government to begin ripping out the unnecessary roads, freeways, and suburban commercial and housing developments that were built in the '90s (an activity that requires a lot of fuel, of which oil is our only practical alternative -- hence, it must begin long before the oil has run out!). (Electric) rail will be king! So will bicycles! Electric bicycles will be cheap and practical, so the commuter may choose to get to the Antioch BART station via bicycle rather than bus. They may also choose to take a bus to Livermore and transfer to the UL to Bay Fair BART (I don't have a schedule for the bus to Livermore, so I couldn't spec that route.)

Because travel will be so expensive (due to the scarcity of fuel), communities will be more self-contained and "alienated" from each other. Consequently, transit "balkanization" will still be with us, and transit administration will be very similar to what it is now, except that it won't be funded by the federal government any more. Therefore, MTC and its offices will have long since been destroyed in order to make room for a transit-convenient (across the street from Lake Merritt BART) conference center. People will have long since decided that travel isn't all that necessary. Housing will be in energy-efficient high-rise buildings, so that as much land (recovered from parking lots and roads) as possible can be devoted to farming. Rooftops will routinely be covered with vegetable gardens.

The politicians who voted for freeway construction in the '90s will have been exiled to Alaska to labor on the farms facilitated and necessitated by global warming (caused by the extra motor vehicle use created by the "expedite auto travel" philosophy popular then). They will be joined by other promoters of freeway construction, many of whom are on the Board of TRIBA, work for MTC, or are otherwise involved in this conference, such as Tom powers, Elizabeth Deakin, Ed De Silva, Tom Koch, Peter Oswald, and Larry Dahms. California will be mostly desert (either the urban or exurban varities). All water will be rationed.


Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.