Just about everyone knows that the Bay Bridge is closing tonight for reconstruction this Labor Day weekend. But it also means that when it's shut down tomorrow, it will the first time that the span has been closed for traffic on a regular work day since the Loma Prieta earthquake knocked down a section of the bridge twenty years ago. As a result, the commute, especially on BART and the San Mateo, Richmond-San Rafael, and Golden Gate bridges promises to be horrific - unless a lot of people do the smart thing and just stay home. In fact, the governor and the state Legislature would have been smart to declare Friday a Bay Area holiday.
The problem is that about 260,000 vehicles cross the Bay Bridge each weekday and the region's other transit systems are simply not capable of absorbing all of those commuters. BART is jammed during rush hour even when the bridge is open. And Ferries? Forget about it. There aren't enough of them, plus they can only handle a small number of people at a time. So, if your boss won't let you work from home tomorrow, then do the next best thing - call in sick, and make it a four-day weekend. Your work will still be waiting for you on Tuesday.