Phil Matier: 9/11’s Lasting Impact On The Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— It’s been 12 years since the 9/11 attacks happened, but how is it still affecting us here in the Bay Area?
BART bathrooms are still closed since then for fear that someone might use them to set off a bomb. $31 million was spent on security and infrared cameras on the new Bay Bridge eastern span. It’s all part of the post-September 11th reality that’s changed the face of the Bay Area even while we’re not noticing it.
With sporting events, they used to check at Giants or 49ers games to see if you’re sneaking in a six pack of beer, but now I think they’re looking for quite a bit more. If you go out on the shore to watch the America’s Cup race, I guarantee you’ll see a police or military boat on the water. That didn’t used to be the way it was.
If you go by a federal building, all the new designs have these architectural blocks set out to keep the space between them and the curb (that could also date back to the Oklahoma City bombing).
There’s an ongoing debate about expanding the security system at the Port of Oakland with cameras and license plate readers to include parts of the city.
After this year’s Boston Marathon bombing there has been talk about using cameras to monitor up and down Market Street for large events. Even the Sausalito Art Fair had attendants opening purses and bags, which they’ve never done before.
Billions of dollars has been spent in this process. The first wave of money was spent on things like having National Guardsmen on the Bay Area’s bridges. Sections of the Bay Bridge were blocked off that you couldn’t even drive on.
Of course we’ve now shifted into the tech sector with Google, The National Security Agency, who’s reading email, who’s listening to your phone calls, etc. We’re walking through a whole new reality that just sort of happened.
There is the perception that this wasn’t done with a whole lot of central thinking. For example we just did a story on the Oakland Police Department needing a private donation of jet fuel so they could fly their helicopters.
And that’s the reality; there’s the attempt on a regional and federal level to centralize these measures and then there’s the economic reality. Let’s not forget how sequestration cuts recently caused the Coast Guard to stop its patrols of some of the Bay’s bridges.
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