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San Francisco Before The Bridges -- Landmark Planning Map For San Francisco

Hayler's map of the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit region offers an intriguing glimpse into early twentieth-century urban transportation planning in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The map captures a fascinating moment in time, pre-dating the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge (January 1933), Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge (July 1933) and the BART Tunnel (commenced in 1964).  At the time, only the first San Mateo-Hayward Bridge was finished (March 1929).

The map bears the name Carl J. Rhodin, the chairman of the San Francisco Commonwealth Club's city planning section, aa driving force in urban transit projects during this period.

As urban centers of the early 20th century grew, so did the need for more efficient transportation systems. The proposed developments and existing structures presented in this map reflect a moment of transition, innovation, and ambition in the history of San Francisco's transit infrastructure.

Guy Wilfrid Hayler, then an associate member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, rendered a detailed representation of both the existing and proposed transit lines of the period. His work captures the Southern Pacific Railway Main Line, the Western Pacific Railway Freight Line, and the Peninsula Railway south from Palo Alto. However, of equal, if not more significance, are the bold proposals for future transit avenues. The map delineates plans for the "Interborough Rapid Transit" routes, reaching as far south as Palo Alto, a testament to the expanding horizons of the city's connectivity.

Perhaps the most ambitious aspect of the map is the proposed "submarine tunnel" linking Townsend Street with Alameda Point, 33 years prior to the commencement of construction on the B.A.R.T. Tunnel from San Francisco to Oakland.