The impolite truth about traffic, that thing everyone mentions when they mention L.A., is that it's a worse experience in San Francisco. Commutes cover shorter distances but take much longer and are far more taxing on people's patience and cosmopolitan sense of self. Streets are narrower, more crowded, and everyday about half of the East Bay is trying to cross the Bay Bridge to get into "The City." (Plus, the BART is no more extensive or useful than the L.A. Metro.) So it is with a bit of morbid glee that we read about a section of an East Bay freeway collapsing in a tanker fire early Sunday, cutting off for about 270,000 vehicles a key route to the Bay Bridge and civilization as we know it. Repairs could take months. The governor announces free rides today on all transit systems. And Chico Gino approves. No earthquake, and no one was hurt, so we can freely speculate that this might be sweet revenge for all those bad L.A. traffic jokes.