Can a Troubled Bridge Show California How to Avoid Big Errors?

The Bay Bridge’s New East Span Proves Why Megaprojects Must Be Both Transformational and Functional

How do you learn from a really big mistake?

Walk across it.

Which is why I recently found myself putting on a windbreaker and beginning a long, slow walk across the east span of the Bay Bridge, from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island. This piece of the bridge, completed in 2013, is probably the biggest California mistake of the last generation. The east span was completed a decade late, cost seven times more than official projections, and remains dogged by serious safety concerns.

However, the bridge does have one virtue: It holds lessons …

More In: Connecting California

Is Orange County Too Rich For its Own Good?

The Political Fighting Over the Southern California Region Misses All the Ways that Wealth Hollows Out the County's Dynamism

California has a peculiar peril: Our state is becoming too rich for its own good.

For evidence, just look at Orange County.

The dangers of too much wealth have not …

Why Amnesty Remains America’s Best Immigration Policy

As Ronald Reagan Knew, a Country That Doesn't Forgive Will Turn Against Itself

One afternoon in July 1985, President Ronald Reagan met with his domestic policy council in the White House cabinet room. The question: should he keep pushing legislation to offer amnesty …

California’s Trees Need to Stop Just Standing There

With Humans Unable to Solve the Golden State's Forest Crisis, Our Woodsy Friends Must Step Up for Themselves

Dear California Trees,

When are you going to stand up and take some responsibility for all the damage you do to this state?

It’s not only the blue-purple blossoms that you jacarandas …

How Will California Survive the End of America’s Empire?

A Trip to Rome Offers Old Lessons, Young City Officials, and Inspiration for How to Rebuild Democracy on Imperial Ruins

How will California survive the end of the American empire?

The question might seem hypothetical, but I found it inescapable last week in Rome, where I was running a global forum …