Facebook’s Bridge to Nowhere – The New York Times


Fb’s departure was a gradual fade, however its final gasp got here in Could 2021, when Ms. Bowen, who had led the mission since 2017, left the corporate. In a farewell e mail to Mr. Slocum and others that day, which was obtained by The Instances by a public data request, she wrote that she thought Fb “had modest consciousness of the gargantuan process that was first envisioned.”

The e-mail instructed the broad strokes of the story and ended on a melancholy however optimistic word. “We moved a rusted 25-year-old needle, re-energized the neighborhood, and woke up the area to chance,” she wrote. “Admittedly, we stay caught within the actuality that on common, it takes 20+ years to construct a major bridge in the US. We have to change that. And we are going to.”

A yr and a half later, although, it appears unlikely that Fb will probably be a part of that change. In nearly each approach, together with its identify, Fb, now Meta, is a far completely different firm than it was in 2015. The place Fb was increasing, Meta is retrenching, shedding merchandise, disbanding total groups and spending almost $3 billion to shrink its workplace footprint. With this alteration, Meta is preserving a few of its guarantees to the area people, together with its plans for a brand new 59-acre mixed-use growth in Menlo Park known as Willow Village. However it appears clear that as the corporate slashes each jobs and leases, it’s concentrating much less on constructing infrastructure within the bodily world and extra on luring customers into its digital one.

And but, whereas Meta’s priorities could have shifted, the necessity in its personal yard has not abated. In accordance with transportation fee knowledge, on March 13, 2020, simply earlier than the world shut down, about 30,400 vehicles crossed the Dumbarton freeway bridge, which runs alongside the ruined rail bridge. On Sept. 30, 2022, it was about 30,500.

Commutes stay brutal for workers who can’t work remotely, together with Angelina Sanchez, a janitor at Meta, who instructed The New York Instances by a translator in October that she commutes about 90 miles every option to and from Modesto, leaving house at 5 a.m. and never returning till 10:30 p.m. Ms. Sanchez, a mom of three, mentioned she used to stay in close by East Palo Alto however has moved farther and farther away to seek out housing she will afford.

The Dumbarton Rail mission wouldn’t have solved these issues by itself. However it may need helped. The query is: Whose job is it to tackle that work?

The general public sector, which has the mandate however lacks the assets, or the tech firms, which have intensified the issue however in the end reply to buyers?


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