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$100 Million for a Bike Lane
2000-10-16 14:52:36


Crazy But True
 
I am a cur without honor.
-- Mr. Bad

 

That's right, according to this report in the SF Comical (the entertainment newspaper of the Greater Bay Area), the extremely loud, very persistence, and incredibly small minority of people that bicycle in SF have pretty much convinced the powers that be to build a bike lane on the western span of the Bay Bridge.

With the bike lane that will be added when the eastern half is completely rebuilt to survive the ground shifting that occasionally occurs in California, it will someday be possible to walk or bike across the bay. And that is cool - as the bridge should have been built with a bike lane originally.

Unfortunately, the western span was never designed to carry the extra weight that will be required to bolt bike lane to the side of the bridge, so it is gonna cost a lot of money to retrofit the bridge. 100 million is the latest guess. And I bet that goes up and up as more and more of Slick Willie's "friends" figure out a way to get their sticky hands in the project.

Still, you got to wonder about the cost. Given that the nearest spot on the Oakland side that can claim to be a destination is Emeryville - you're looking at about 8 miles from the SF side to some place to stop in the Easy Bay. For serious riders, that's nothing, but for most of the fat, lazy couch potatos that live in on the left coast of the US in the very first part of the third millennium, that's distance is just too much.

So I figure at best, there will only be an average of a 100 bikers a day using the bike lane to cross the bay. That's works out to 36500 crossings a year, or about nearly $3000 a rider! Even if one amortizes the cost out over 30 years (and ignoring any sort of cost of money) that works out to about $100 a crossing. Which is quite a bit more then a taxi or even a limo ride across the bay.

The absolute tenacity of the bikers is certainly paying off for them. They're getting their bike lane because the people running the committees that decides such things are just plain damn tired of listening to them whine. And since that money isn't their money, it is easy for the bureaucrats to pay for some peace and quiet during their monthly cabal assemblies. But you just got to wonder if that is really the best use of a $100,000,000.00.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

kunst@pigdog.org


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