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RE: Waldo Tunnel (informal poll)
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Paul Penna wrote:

Jason's recently updated the galleries and rooting around I came upon this shot of the Waldo Tunnel. It's in the Sausalito pre-1950s section, but I was wondering how many people here, besides me, know from their own personal experience, that the picture is really from around 1954? That is, people who remember going through the single (now southbound) bore when that was the only one and it carried both directions of traffic. Yep, two lanes in each direction, with only this little hump running down the middle separating them. Pretty hairy for the drivers, I suppose, particularly at night, but I mainly liked the way so many people blew their horns going through the tunnel.


 

Paul, I'm sure you've seen this movie, but for others: There's a good shot of driving the two-way tunnel in Dark Passage. Also has a shot of the exterior of the south end of the tunnel. http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/355768/Dark-Passage-Movie-Clip-That-s-Another-Thing.html



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They must be paint --- I noticed how faded they are as I heading north after Thanksgiving in the bay area, and I was hoping there is some mechanism in place to refresh them. They are just so appropriate; a great, subtle little piece of public art. I read the story about Alan Hart some years ago; he was no hippie dude, just a Caltrans engineer kind of guy; makes the existence of the rainbows all the more special, I think.

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More info on Waldo Tunnel:

Rainbows were ordered painted on the portals of Waldo Tunnel by Alan S Hart right before his retirement as head of the San Francisco District of Highways in 1970. Highway officials in Sacremento were caught off guard, but public reaction was so strongly in favor of the innovative paint job that the rainbows remained. They were repainted in 1977, 1979, and 1984 and ? In 1981 local artist began the Golden Gate Rainbow Project and proposed to make the rainbow permanent with mosaic tiles bought by the public. More than 3,000 people had bought $15 mosaic tiles etched with their names to go over the Waldo Tunnel. Question? Today, is it paint, or did the tiles go up?


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Howard Foster


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Howie,

Nice work on the recollection of the fundraising for colored tiles project on the Waldo Tunnel. My recollection is that at at least one Marin County Fair there was a booth "selling" the tiles. I cannot recall if you were offered the ability to write something on the back of the tile. I do remember my Dad telling me (as a little kid then - in the mid 70's I think) that someone probably ran off with the money. I don't know if they did that, but they obviously never got the tiles up.

Steve

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As we all know, the unofficial name for the Waldo Tunnel is the Rainbow Tunnel. I remember many years ago there was a fund raising effort to line the northbound entrance to the tunnel with rainbow colored bricks. Anyone remember that and/or know what happened to that project?

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Howard Foster


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Sorry I don't have personal expierence of 1954 , I wasn't concieved
yet. I do know the tradition of honking the horn and turning on
headlights before entering any tunnel , I was told it was a
nationwide thing to do. Allthough I never honk my horn in Marin ,
I still honk before going through the Waldo tunnel , just for fun.
The tunnel is incredibally noisy anyways and I only go to the City
once a year , so I think it's OK to honk once a year.

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Jason's recently updated the galleries and rooting around I came upon this shot of the
Waldo Tunnel. It's in the Sausalito pre-1950s section, but I was wondering how many people here, besides me, know from their own personal experience, that the picture is really from around 1954? That is, people who remember going through the single (now southbound) bore when that was the only one and it carried both directions of traffic. Yep, two lanes in each direction, with only this little hump running down the middle separating them. Pretty hairy for the drivers, I suppose, particularly at night, but I mainly liked the way so many people blew their horns going through the tunnel.

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