Water Cooler – Renaming the Bay Bridge

September 13, 2013 12:00 pm · 97 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

This week, California lawmakers voted to rename the Bay Bridge after politician Willie Brown.

What’s your opinion on this? If the bridge absolutely has to be renamed after somebody, who should it be named after?

Talk about it….

ClayDen September 13, 2013 at 12:05 PM

It’s the Bay Bridge. Period.

Anon777 September 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM

HELL NO. This is a totally lame idea, especially after I saw the news last night and Brown did NOT want the new span. He wanted the old bridge retrofitted and was upset that a new span would mess up he and his cronies plans for Yerba Buena/Treasure Island. He held up the new bridge process for 9 months over this. No way in hell should the bridge be named after him. It should be called the BAY BRIDGE!

Jim September 13, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Why not the biggest crook Sacramento has ever had in it’s legislature…as good a choice as as any in this messed up state

jtkatec September 13, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Saw Willie at a wedding in Sacto one time. He walked in with two women who were dressed very …… ah…. looked like working girls.

Incognito September 13, 2013 at 12:26 PM

How about if we just leave it named what it is?

This will turn into a scenario like the Concord Pavilion and Sear Point Raceway where every other year it’s a different name….

Sacto Rob September 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Call it the This-is-how-we-used-to-do-it-on-time-and-under-budget-before-public-unions-took-over-California Bridge.

Rick September 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Willie Brown is a crook! Anybody but him. Or any other crook.

How about somebody honorable?

Anon September 13, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Agree with #1, it’s the “Bay Bridge”. Neither side needs a new name. Don’t they have better things to do than honor a budget fiasco?

@jtkatec, #4----Working girls? September 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Presuming you’re an authority on working girls, in your vast experience, just how do working girls dress? Or is your experience only half-vast?

The Antioch bridge is named after somebody September 13, 2013 at 12:38 PM

I see the sign every week when driving to Sacramento…..for a Million bucks I couldn’t tell you his name. Doesn’t really matter who the bridge is named after.

Rob September 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Just leave it as the Bay Bridge!!!

94598 September 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

I like “bay bridge”

DMZ September 13, 2013 at 12:46 PM

No, No, No….
What a HUGE SHAME…..
Just leave it at Bay Bridge.

Cowellian September 13, 2013 at 12:46 PM

We can thank both Mayors Brown for making the Bay Bridge a lot more expensive and taking much longer to build than it should have.

I don’t believe that public works should be named for anyone who is still alive, especially this time.

unknown September 13, 2013 at 12:49 PM

No way for Willie. The new rule is that you are black and alive. Let the kids name the bridge. NO politicians – unless they have been dead for 20 years.

Mitch September 13, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I couldn’t care less! But I agree, Willie Brown is a CROOK!

Babs September 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

when I think of Willie I think of SF. name the SF side after him not the Oakland side…….waste of time it will always be Bay Bridge.

Mister Wister September 13, 2013 at 12:54 PM

@jaykatec #9
Way to miss the point, clown.

The Mayor of Claycord Bridge September 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM

I think they should name it “The Mayor of Claycord Bridge” because he did such a stellar job keeping us informed on the Mt. Diablo fire and many other local news stories over the years.

CLAYCORD.com September 13, 2013 at 12:56 PM

haha, thanks @The Mayor of Claycord Bridge. 🙂

Mr. Pink September 13, 2013 at 12:56 PM

They can call it whatever they want, the “people” will still refer to it as the Bay Bridge, just like Candlestick Park (3comm) the Concord Pavillion (Sleep Train), Oakland Coliseum (McAfee), etc.

Cowellian September 13, 2013 at 12:57 PM

#9, there are a lot of thing that I can recognize without being an authority on them. But I am somewhat an authority of snark, which I instantly recognized in your post.

$5 billion September 13, 2013 at 1:06 PM

A signature span for Oakland’s dignity cost us $5billion and at least 5 years more than the equally functional viaduct design would have. I’ll always think of both the pandering construction compay pocketed Mayors Brown in reference to that stupid edifice to California’s ruin. Surprised folks aren’t talking about putting them atop it!

Anderson September 13, 2013 at 1:06 PM

“Bay Bridge” works for me.

If they absolutely have to name it after a prominent S.F. personage, then it should be named after His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, who, after all, was one of the original proponents of a bay bridge back in the 19th century, and there was even a petition to revive an earlier attempt to name the bay bridge after him, now moot.

WTF? September 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Willie Brown is a D-bag. Although since it took WAY longer to build and cost WAY more than they told us and got EFFED UP EVERY STEP OF THE BUILD…Why not? Just like Willie “Career Elitist” Brown.

Felino September 13, 2013 at 1:14 PM

How about the ‘Olive Garden Gate Bridge’?

Dorothy September 13, 2013 at 1:22 PM

No need to name it after anyone since it has been the Bay Bridge all these years. But if they just have to name it after anyone, how about the original architect of the bridge way back at the beginning of the bridge?

Or it that doesn’t work, name it after the highest bidder like they do the stadiums. Then the rest of us can just keep calling it Bay Bridge while they rename it every few years to the next highest bidder.

Lori September 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Willie Brown X-Raider Hall of Fame heck yeah why not? Oh wrong one. Bay Bridge sounds just right to me.

GT September 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I think it would be more appropriate to rename the eastern span the “Willie Brown Boondoggle”.

Best idea yet September 13, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Some guy on TV last night had the right idea. He said we should name the old span after Willie Brown because it’s old, crooked, and dangerous to the public.

Blink September 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

That proves it…..LAWMAKERS of California are not Forward thinkers…

nytemuvr September 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM

@The Antioch bridge is named after somebody #10
Senator John A. Nejedly Bridge is the name of the Antioch Bridge and he was a good man, he enacted many good environmental legislation laws pertaining to the Delta’s health and Mt. Diablo.

Becca September 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM

I think it should be kept as the Bay Bridge…why change it? But, if it had to be renamed after someone, I think John Muir would be a more appropriate choice.

Mimi (original) September 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

LOLOL! I love the alternative name choices – especially since we all know we will ALL continue to call it the Bay Bridge! Tho I did especially like the Mayor of Claycord name option!!

claycordian September 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Willie Brown is the reason we have term limits in this state. He was (is) the biggest crook to ever come out of Sacramento. I wrote to Markie DeSaulnier telling him to vote “no”. Did he?

The “Bay Bridge” is just fine. Or “The Mayor of Claycord” works, too!

Sojourner September 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Naming the Bay Bridge afer “Slick” Willie Brown is a lawsuit waiting to happen…..

Side Note: I used Google maps to look up a place in San Ramon today and found out that 680 is called Donald D Doyle Highway. Being proven behind the times once again, I looked him up online and wikipedia has :

Donald D. Doyle served in the California legislature and during World War II he served in the United States Marine Corps.[1]

While serving in the California Assembly from 1953 to 1958, Doyle co-authored the Short-Doyle Mental Health Act with California Senator Alan Short and authored legislation creating the ferry boat transportation system between Benicia and Martinez.

= He was deceased in 2011.

Frankly, that is a much more ‘noble’ claim to fame than the track record of Willie Brown. Of course I bet Slick Willie may have access to more funds to see his name on the bridge. And Mr Brown is still on this side of the loam.

My vote: No to Brown, Yes to Bay Bridge.

Cowellian September 13, 2013 at 1:51 PM

I agree about Sen. Nejedly. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to him at an Eagle Court of Honor, several years ago.

Michael September 13, 2013 at 1:54 PM

BAY BRIDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bonnie September 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Leave it. Think of the cost of changing signs and brochures and maps, etc.

The Mamba September 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Willie Brown is an ineffective, crooked politician and this was a PC end around the people of SF and the state. If the span of the bridge needs to be renamed after someone or something, I would support something dedicated to our fallen troops.

Libertarian September 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

The Bay Bridge by any other name is still The Bay Bridge

Mme September 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

The “Slick Willie Bridge”….Grrreeaaat! 🙁

Anon2you September 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM

@jtkatec, #4—-Working girls? #9

Oh, Oh, I know this one….They dress like sluts!

minx September 13, 2013 at 2:14 PM

How about just The Bay Bridge.

Nom de Plume September 13, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Why name it after anything but what it is, the Bay Bridge?! I don’t understand the obsession with naming things after people whether they did something great or not. In Willie’s case…NOT.

@Cowellian,#22---What's a little snark between friends? September 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

And we ARE all just friends here, are we not. I hope to see your comments soon on other comments on which you may not approve.

Curious September 13, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Sure is a lot of hate directed toward W. Brown. A lot of slander too.
Please enlighten us with the many alleged crimes you legal experts are all accusing him of.
Or could it just be some of that good old Concord redneck, white supremacist hate speech I grew up hearing?
A Concord native.

Enfield303 September 13, 2013 at 2:41 PM

The Brown bridge just sounds…….dirty.

JD September 13, 2013 at 2:48 PM

@Bonnie #39…
Money is not the issue. This is Slick Willie we’re talking about. He’ll come up with the money AND the design for the signs. You’ll probably be able to see them from outer space.

Cowellian September 13, 2013 at 2:49 PM

There aren’t enough hours in the day for ALL of them.

anon September 13, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Leave it alone. Bay Bridge, SFOBB, San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.
No changing and if they did, it will cost a whole bunch of money.

Antler September 13, 2013 at 3:01 PM

In my opinion, landmarks, buildings, parks, roads, airports, lakes, ports, etc., should not be named after people, whether living or dead. They are more properly named after their geographical location or their purpose. I will always visit Trinity Lake, fly in and out of Washington National, and cross the Antioch Bridge, the Benicia Bridge, and the Bay Bridge. However, specifying “Bay Bridge West” and “Bay Bridge East” might be even more appropriate.

Walnut Creek Resident September 13, 2013 at 3:01 PM

I am very happy for Willy Brown and he deserves all the notoriety and fame that he has earned threw very hard work. Who got the AT and T baseball stadium built? He spent over 30 years in the California State
Assembly, spending 15 years as it’s speaker. He graduated from San Francisco State. He also made the city hall look more beautiful after removing the gold leaf on the dome and is painted a formal tuxedo black!
Elegant and tasteful.

Antonio September 13, 2013 at 3:05 PM

@ Curious-47

If you’re not aware of Willie Brown and his past, you either don’t pay any attention to the news, you’re new to the Bay Area, or you’re not very bright.

If you want to read about his crimes, google it!

NFL Fan September 13, 2013 at 3:14 PM

I think they should name it after the most famous person to go from San Francisco to Oakland …. Jerry Rice!

Mark September 13, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Willie Mays

Bob September 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM

That name gives the city “An Embarrassment to Humankind.”

Led September 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Orel Hershisher. Yeah, I went there.

bozo September 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Muir Bridge , BayVIew Span or Bad Bolt Bridge. No Wille Brown anything please.

I'm The Urban Spaceman September 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

A Letter to the Chronicle Editor suggested Mr. Brown change his name to ‘Bay Bridge’.

I'm The Urban Spaceman September 13, 2013 at 4:28 PM

How about a combined name? Something that reflects the region….Perhaps the St. Francis-Oakland Bridge?

Cap'n Nick September 13, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Could be worse. How long will it be before our bridges and highways start getting corporate sponsorship? (I’m betting this has already been said but I just realized that I’m not in the mood to read all the comments right now.)

Watchful Voter September 13, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Please note that for all of you that are opposed to this measure. It was led through the legislature by our own Marky D and it was supported by each and every one of our local representatives. Bonilla, Frazier, Buchanan, Skinner, Hancock.
This was perhaps the least damaging measure that was voted on. For those of you that care, take a look at some of the measures they voted for that are on the way to the Gov who will likely sign them.

anonanonagain September 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I prefer they keep the bridge as is. Oakland Bay Bridge is fine. Willie Brown does not deserve a bridge to be named after him. He’s not even dead!!!

Howard K Mullins III September 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Candle Stick Park will always be Candle Stick, even after its torn down and long gone.

The Bay Bridge will always be the Bay Bridge, no matter who’s name they paste on the thing. Who the heck would refer to it as The Willie Bridge or The Brown Bridge?

No one should ever trust a drive across the Willie Brown Bridge, you can get on at one point but never know where you might get off or how much it will really cost.

Nuts September 13, 2013 at 4:54 PM

There’s still time to go to Change.org and name it the Emperor Norton Bridge.

Calendar Girl September 13, 2013 at 5:01 PM

I proudlt submit my name: The San Francisco Ba

Calendar Girl September 13, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I proudly submit my vote: San Francisco Bay Bridge
No single person shall claim that name!

Gertrude September 13, 2013 at 5:08 PM

The “Corn Snake” bridge.

valiii September 13, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I agree that just calling it the Bay Bridge is best.
But, if it must be named, it should be named after an honorable person who is deceased, such as Harvey Milk. I’d also like Emperor Norton!
Please, everyone, complain to your representatives!
This was rushed through so fast, no time for our input.

Nokeem September 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM

A body of politicos voted to name the Bay Bridge after a politician. What arrogance! To select one of their own AND someone who did not serve in the military! I guess we should rejoice that they didn’t name it after Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup, AIG, and the rest, who should be in prison instead of The Hamptons.

Anon September 13, 2013 at 5:52 PM

How about Death Trap, maybe that way it won’t actually turn into one.

Curious September 13, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Hey Antonio–54
Thanks for the tip on the Google search of W.Brown’s crimes. Except that other than allegations of political patronage, which I don’t believe there are any statutes against, there aren’t any!
Not that the FBI could find anyway, and we all know what amateurs they are. Perhaps you should have tried the search yourself.
But an experienced, aware person like you probably doesn’t like to let facts get in the way of staunchly held beliefs. Feeling bright now? BTW, I was new to the Bay Area 61 years ago.

valiii September 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Just found out that a guy named Bob Planthold is filing a lawsuit against this.
His lawyer, Lee Hepner, stated that this was fast-tracked illegally without enough time for public comment. He cited several other errors with this issue.

True September 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Just Bay Bridge sounds good to me.

mwo1859 September 13, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Governor Brown is the one who started smog systems on cars in 1976 (well his brother in law came up with the airpump.) He is not note worthy to have a bridge named after him. He is disliked by ALL car people.

guest September 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

The hubris it takes to even SUGGEST changing the name! This is the most infuriating thing I’ve ever read on Claycord. This is outrageous!

Mitch September 13, 2013 at 7:33 PM

@ Curious–(73)

If you’ve been in the Bay Area 61 years, and you’re not aware that Slick Willie Brown is a CROOK, you’re just stupid.

Antonio is hardly the only person to criticize Brown. On this thread or ANYWHERE!

judaspriest September 13, 2013 at 8:32 PM

the OE bridge Olive Garden of course we could do all you can eat breadsticks and salad with each toll

Amy September 13, 2013 at 8:34 PM

The Bay Bridge will always be the Bay Bridge no matter what corrupt politician you name it after.

EdiBirsan September 13, 2013 at 8:53 PM

If they want to call it the Brown Bridge then they should repaint it BROWN>
otherwise leave it as the Bay Bridge.

Bob H. September 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Does any one care what the voters think ? This is absolutely stupid. How ever our politicians do what they what and reap the benefits. Does payola ring a bell ???

Dennis September 13, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Let us not forget the fed blg in Oakland is named after the famous communist Ron Dellums ….

Martizian September 13, 2013 at 9:30 PM

I think this is just ridiculous. How do we stop this from happening? Slick Willie is just that, a crook!,

Martizian September 13, 2013 at 9:33 PM

@Valiii #74 please keep us informed on the lawsuit, please. This whole thing infuriates me.

Anon September 13, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Given the issues facing this state, anyone voting for this should be immediately recalled and sent packing.

annonamoose September 14, 2013 at 5:53 AM

I’d be very careful about naming it
after Willi Brown. He might decide
he wanted it golf leafed.

Isaac September 14, 2013 at 6:40 AM

How about we stop naming roads and bridges by legislating the process. Take bids from companies every 5 years for naming rights. The winning company would have its name attached and have limited opportunities to market to motorists along the thoroughfare. The company would also be partially responsible for beautification of the roadways that bear its name.

Let’s stop spending money on a stupid process that does nothing and start creatively looking for ways to increase revenue into local government.

Concordanon September 14, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Ew then the bridge would be either called the “Brown Bridge” or the “Willie Bridge” both of those sound horrible. One makes me think of poop, and the other one a big wee wee.

Anon September 14, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Maybe we can name the just the defective bolts after him.

Anon September 14, 2013 at 8:08 AM

* just the

BusBoy September 14, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Californians, Dont like what youve just read about?? DO SOMETHING about it!! Get involved in the process, YOU voted for some of these people. Call, write, fax… all are available to you can take a few minutes if that.

The reason the CA legislature can do this is because well, they know you dont care, wont call, will sit on your butts and just vent and then forget about it next general election.


TOPIC: The Willie L. Brown, Jr. Bridge.
DATE: 09/12/2013
MOTION: Assembly 3rd Reading ACR65 Hall By Wright
(AYES 26. NOES 7.) (PASS)


Beall Berryhill Block Calderon
Cannella Corbett Correa De León
Emmerson Evans Galgiani Hernandez
Hueso Huff Lara Leno
Lieu Liu Monning Padilla
Roth Steinberg Torres Wolk
Wright Yee


Anderson Gaines Hill Knight
Vidak Walters Wyland


DeSaulnier Fuller Hancock Jackson
Nielsen Pavley Vacancy

Anon September 14, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Name an over-budget, overdue, public works project red-taped to hell after a Democrat? Sounds appropriate, but I am thoroughly disappointed that they want to attach a human name to what should be named simply off its location.

Anonymous September 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Can the public do anything to challenge the Legislature’s vote? It’s disgusting that they would even consider naming the bridge after such a crook as Willie Brown.

mamatosix September 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Most of them in this state are crooked so they see not one issue with naming it after a crook.

VikingPrincess September 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Hmmm..what an odd question to ask, since my peoples usually climb bridges with intent to plunder and take over territories. Tell you what – I’ll have my people get back with your people on this question.
My best guess is..Nehh, think not (but if you see a viking ship on the horizon you’ll learn the answer soon enough;). Thor be with you Bay Bridge.

Pegasus September 14, 2013 at 6:34 PM

How ’bout The San Finocchio Bridge!

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