Last night Sheri was in town, and was giving me a ride home. Tony was with her as well. Usually when we get away quickly we can make it home an hour before the train does.
Not last night. The 280 was all backed up. We consulted Sheri's phone, which had red lines showing traffic until after the 280 becomes the 680 and then turns north. We also finally consulted the radio, and it informed us the freeway was closed for a police action of unknown type.
I finally convinces Sheri to try and alternate route, and we got off at King, and took that to Berryessa, and then got back on the freeway, which was good going the rest of the way. However, before we got off, it took us a almost a couple hours to go the ten or so miles we had traveled. It was a mess.
Later, checking online, I learned that the road was closed for a suicidal woman who was threatening to jump from the Alum Rock overpass. She started up there at about 3:00, and the police didn't convince her to come down until almost midnight.
I know the goal is to preserve life, and being in the traffic jam with no official announcement as to why the police took the action they did, I calculated the economic costs. I based this on a couple hour delay, rather than the nine-hour delay which this turned out to be in reality. 280 and 680 are very busy interstates, especially at rush hour. I would think conservatively there are 500 cars per minute going down the road, and then you take that much time you are talking about you can figure 180,000 cars delayed going North, and 270,000 cars going South, and then the surface road cars that were delayed because of people fleeing the freeway, you could figure 500,000 cars delayed. Most cars are single riders, but not all, so say 750,000 people in all. The average delay was probably a couple hours. That totals 1.5 million hours. Then calculate the worth of everyone's time and this woman can call herself the 10 million dollar woman, because that is a conservative measure of the price she extracted from everyone.
I know people were frustrated, but you can't put a price on a life. Just because someone is down today, does not mean they will be so tomorrow. Treatment does help.