why waste resources on unneeded bicycle bridges?

for a long time i thought and hoped that the plan to build a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over treat, near the pleasant hill bart station was not going to happen.
i really like bicycles, and everyone who is able to should use the bicycle as their main mode of transportation. however, the total amount of money spent on bicycle infrastructure is pitifully inadequate, and to waste almost 7 million dollars of this money on an unnecessary bridge is stupid.
i've crossed the intersection of jones and treat a ton of times, and not once did i have any problem with it. sure, i had to stop and wait for the light to turn green, but that really isnt a big deal. there are plenty of other places all along the iron horse trail where one has to stop, or at least slow down because the trail crosses a street. it is not a dangerous intersection.

in comparison, the bridge over ygnacio valley road, in walnut creek, is awesome, because that crossing would be rather dangerous without the bridge. the cars turning right off of ygnacio valley onto north civic only sometimes stop of bicyclists and pedestrians trying to cross the street. it's a crummy intersection and the bridge is great. this is not the case with jones and treat. the amount of traffic on jones is pretty low, and the cars turning right usually do actually stop and allow pedestrians and bicyclists to pass.

there's a ton of dangerous roads in the area. my least favorite is trying to cross under highway 680. monument and 680 sucks. willow pass under 680 is a death trap. concord avenue and 680 isnt much better.
in these areas there's always a huge amount of cars turning right onto the freeway. the 7 million dollars should have been spent to create a safer way to get from one side of 680 to the next.

dont get me wrong, it will be nice to save those 2 or so minutes of waiting for the light to turn while crossing treat, but building this bridge should have been at the low end of the bicycle infrastructure priorities list.


  1. You make a good point. There isn't enough funding to provide for great bicycle routes everywhere, so let's use the little funding we have in the places that are really dangerous or that see a large amount of traffic. Let' do the most good we can with the little money we have!

  2. I suspect the bridge is being built because the bike and foot traffic crossing Treat is becoming too much of an inconvenience for the *vehicle* traffic turning left (from BART) or right (from Jones); and will get worse once the construction of the BART center is done.

    I know this was a big consideration for the Ygnacio crossing - the traffic commisioner had spent a ton of money adding turn lanes to speed up the traffic and was concerned that more and more people were running across the street rather than using the crosswalks (very inconvenient from the trail at that time) and slowing traffic down.

    So it's spending money on bike projects not to make cycling better, but to make vehicular traffic better - that's why it's folly to think this money could have been spent better elsewhere.