Plan to name new Bay Bridge span after Willie Brown opposed


If named ANYTHING, the Emperor Joshua Norton the First Bridge is the only acceptable name.


Don’t forget that it is [expletive deleted] Willy Brown’s quest to allow a brewpub for a developer “friend” (read, massive contributor/briber) on a piece of city land on Yerba Buena island that added years of delay and who knows how many hundreds of milions to the price tag of the bridge. That [expletive deleted] is personally responsible for much of the reason the bridge is so overpriced.

And don’t name it after Jerry Brown either. That [expletive deleted] is largely responsible for the remaining massive cost and delay, due to the need to have it be a “signature span” (and the rejection of a cable-stay design which would be as pretty but a fraction of the cost) that added over a billion dollars to the bill…

Without those two [expletive deleted] politicians, CalTrans would have built a nice, simple, concrete viaduct bridge that would have opened 15 years ago, for about 1/6th the cost. It would be further insult to those who actually have to pay for the bridge to name it after one of those two **[expletive deleted]**s

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He did order its construction after all.

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I signed that petition to rename the bridge for Emperor Norton a few weeks ago, but then I realized that I was mistaken to do so. Going to Sacramento, petition in hand, asking for permission to rename the bridge after the Emperor? That is not the way to honor his memory. What Norton would have done is simply declared, fait accompli, that the bridge was and had always been named for him. And that is what we should do as well.

That thing connecting San Francisco and Oakland is the Emperor Joshua Norton Bay Bridge, or the Norton Bridge for short. Refer to it that way whenever you mention it. Eventually it will become the common name, and they’ll have to put up signs.

Make it happen, people. You have the power.


From Seal Rock to Rio Vista, from Jenner to Casa de Fruta, the land shall be covered with righteousness and fanon!

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Evan, I’m the creator of the petition to name the Bay Bridge for Emperor Norton.

Certainly, I empathize with the poetic substance of your comment.

But you were not mistaken to sign the petition.

A petition is a demand. And, absent this particular demand, the Western span of the Bay Bridge could be named for Willie Brown.

A formal resolution, ACR 65, to name the Western span for Willie Brown sailed through the California State Assembly last week. The measure is in the California State Senate now.

Unless and until ACR 65 is defeated, there will be no possibility of naming the Bay Bridge for the Emperor.

The petition is a convenient and powerful way to register opposition to ACR 65.

I hope you will “own” your signature on the petition — and that you strongly will urge others to sign as well.



Willie Brown may be a corrupt, insider-trading fuck. But he is our corrupt, insider-trading fuck. Say what you like about the man, he nonetheless remains the last all-powerful, pre-term-limits speaker of the Calif. Assembly, the last actually effective mayor of San Francisco, and a charming-raconteur-about-town. He was a mini Mayor Daley, and what more could any city want? I say, name the bridge after him and include an asterisk pointing out the number of public dollars we’ve spent to commemorate this singular political force.

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That quote is confusing, as it makes it sound like Willie Brown is from LA, when the suggestion is from someone from LA. Maybe you peeps understood, but I didn’t.

Oh, now don’t act like he limited his willie to the Bay Area all the time. He used it on plenty of people in LA, too. However, how about ‘The Back Room Bridge’? Kinda just rolls off the old tongue, and everybody will remember whose namesake they are stuck on during endless rush hours.

ITT: local politics, local news.
So, we might be getting new MARTA stations, but even if we do, it’ll be at least ten years. So, y’know, double that and your in the ballpark. But I personally wouldn’t hold my breath that anything will happen at all.

fascinating, no?


I actually like the name “San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.”

Are there any petitions asking that the name just remain the same?


Aryeh Goretsky


The problem is, Brent, the concurrent resolution (ACR 65) to name the Western span of the Bay Bridge for Willie Brown is in direct violation of State Senate rules for naming roads, bridges and the like. These rules require that:

  1. The proposed honoree be deceased. (But Willie Brown isn’t.)

  2. The naming resolution be authored or co-authored by at least one lawmaker who represents the district where the facility is located. (But ACR 65’s lead author represents a district south of Los Angeles; and not a single one of the measure’s other 10 co-authors represents the district that includes the Western span.)

  3. The resolution must reflect a “community consensus” and have no “local opposition.” (But, according to the analysis of ACR 65 by the State of California’s nonpartisan Office of Legislative Counsel, virtually all of the “registered support” for the resolution comes from organizations and individuals who are part of the advocacy and support network of the California NAACP, which is the sponsor of the resolution. Also, there have been numerous Bay Area editorials critical of ACR 65. And, in signing the petition to name the Bay Bridge for Emperor Norton, nearly 2,200 citizens so far — mainly from the Bay Area — have “voted” for a different name for the Bay Bridge.

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If the name doesn’t involve Emperor Norton by the next time I make pilgrimage to his grave, I’ll rename it myself and pass out some fliers to incite the local population to maintain its proper name both by fixing any plaques as necessary (when defaced) and by refusing to recognize it by any other name in conversation, etc.

I hope it doesn’t go through- Willie’s massive ego doesn’t need more stroking.

I don’t think ethanol is actually deriding your petition or downplaying it. Just expressing the sentiment that we should behave in the way that Emperor Norton would have.

“What Would Emperor Norton Do?” is possibly the most profound statement any of us can ask ourselves as we prepare to take on audacious bullshit.

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Thanks, Ignatius. And, yes, of course — as I said — I empathize with the poetic substance of Evan’s comment.

Just wanted to reinforce the point that the question of the naming of the Bay Bridge is emerging in the context of real-world political machinations that call for a real-world political response.

I favor naming it the Brown Bridge, but not after Willie Brown. It should be named after San Francisco’s iconic and delightful Brown Twins, Marian and Vivian! Sadly, Vivian passed just this past January.

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I’ve signed, and there are fewer than 200 signatures to go. Let’s make this happen, people!

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I find the recent trend of naming landmarks after living people to be horrible and extremely tacky. I hope they don’t change the rules on this one.