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August 22, 2007

August 22, 2007 – Pedicabs and the Bridge

            Downtown they have these things called “Pedicabs.”  They’re sort of like a rickshaw.  There is a guy, or girl, that is riding a bicycle in the front and there is a big booth in the back that seats 2 to 3 people.  They’re mostly seen downtown.  I haven’t seen one yet in Cortez.

            I picked up a girl in the cab a few days ago that told me an interesting story.  I don’t remember much else about the ride.  Anyways, she told me that she takes pedicabs every once in a while when there are absolutely no taxis around.  Taxi’s can be hard to find in the Gaslamp district, which is right downtown next to the convention center and the baseball field.  It’s super busy down there most weekends as it is, and if you are trying to get a cab on St. Patrick’s Day, or the 4th of July, or New Years Eve, it’s practically impossible.  You can be waiting there for hours.  I’ve seen people still looking for cabs at 5 a.m. on holidays like this still looking for cabs.

            The girl told me that once she took a pedicab from the Gaslamp to Cortez, which I’m pretty sure you can’t do by the way because only vehicles are allowed on the bridge back to Cortez  You can go around the bay to get back but it is like 25 miles, way too long to take a pedicab.  Anyways this girl insisted that she had done so and when she arrived she was told the fare was some exorbitant sum of money.  Like $200 or something rediclious.  She said that since they didn’t have that much money her friend just fucked the pedicab driver.  I guess that’s one way to pay off the debt…

            Like I said though, the story didn’t really add up, so who knows what really happened.  You can’t even walk across the bridge to Cortez.  Every once in a while someone tries to walk across and the CHP picks them up about half way.  The Highway Patrol isn’t too happy about this, my guess is that the people are arrested.  There’s signs posted everywhere telling you that it is for motorized vehicles only, so you can’t claim that you didn’t know.  It would scare the shit out of me trying to walk across that bridge anyways with cars whizzing by at 65 mph or so.  The speed limit is 50 mph by the way but there is nowhere for cops to sit and clock your speed.  There isn’t a lot of room up there, just lanes for cars, and there’s only 5 of them. A moveable barrier is moved twice daily to accommodate traffic patterns.   In the morning there are 3 lanes going on to the “island” and  in the evening there are 3 lanes going off the “island” once the barrier is shifted.

            Whenever there is a problem on the bridge, as there frequently is, things get clogged up pretty quick.  Cars break down or run out of gas, people try walking across, accidents happen, and every once in a while people jump off.  It’s pretty rare, but people actually jump to their death sometimes.  Some live, although I would imagine it’s pretty rare, it’s like 200 feet up.  Someone told me sort of a morbid fact the other day – That the bridge into Cortez ranks 2nd among bridges in the number of yearly suicides, only surpassed by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  Don’t think that’s in the tourist brochures…

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