After the Disaster

Rebuilding our transportation infrastructure
SPUR Report
July 6, 2010

Damage to the Cypress Freeway in Oakland from the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Photo by H.G. Wilshire courtesy U.S. Geological Survey

The next major earthquake that hits the Bay Area will wreak havoc on our transportation systems. Transit lines will collapse and rail tracks will be broken. Transbay road, rail and public transit links will be disrupted. Highways and surface streets will be closed by the failure of pavement and the accumulation of debris. Power system failures will immobilize electric-powered transit, including BART and Muni. Maintenance facilities such as yards and garages will be damaged. Airport runways will be rendered unusable. Even worse, damage to the transportation network will limit the ability of firefighters, public safety officers, utility workers, debris removal teams and medical personnel to travel where they are needed.

This report is part of SPUR's Resilient City series. It focuses on one essential component of our infrastructure — transportation — and proposes a plan to rebuild quickly and effectively after the disaster, while increasing our resiliency in the process.

About the Authors: 

The SPUR Board of Directors reviewed, debated and adopted this report as official policy on May 19, 2010.

Task force members: Irene Avetyan, Christopher Barkley, Anthony Bruzzone, Lisa Fisher, Sanford Stadtfeld, Brian Stokle

Task force chair: Jacinta McCann

Lead staff: Sarah Karlinsky, SPUR Deputy Director

Graphic support: EDAW and NelsonNygaard