Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Ave Norton Imperator
No mention of him being ROBBED of naming rights for the bridge? Ha! Some street artist should remedy that.
Definitely a useful and appropriate use of city resources. And I'm not being facetious for once. This is a great thing for San Francisco.
Re: Norton, I just discovered (from ever-reliable Wikipedia) that he is an SF-local instance of the King in the Mountain myth, "destined to return to the USA when the Unity of the Republic is at its nadir".
Well, now seems a reasonable approximation to a nadir.
If I may, Matty, the Emperor hasn't been robbed of anything. Given that the vision he set out was for the entire crossing, from Oakland to San Francisco, it always has been most appropriate to name the whole Bay Bridge system — not just one piece of the system, say, the Western section — for him.
Two bits of good news:
(1) Even as the State of California now recognizes a separate name for the Western section, the state continues to recognize "San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge" as the name of the whole thing. So, there is a two-tiered naming protocol — main title and subtitle, if you will — but with each tier independent from, and non-contingent on, the other.
(2) The state has 30-some bridges for which it recognizes two or more names for the same bridge. The state has been doing this since the 1960s.
I'm oversimplifying. But, based on these precedents, The Emperor's Bridge Campaign has been urging lawmakers simply to add "Emperor Norton Bridge" as an honorary name for the Bay Bridge system — leaving all existing names in place. With a modicum of imagination and political courage, this really shouldn't be difficult. Our message is that there's no better time to do this than 2018 — the 200th anniversary of the Emperor's birth.
You can learn more about our bridge-naming project via http://www.EmperorNortonBridge.org.