As reported in our local Daily, the Union Tribune:
SANDAG has allocated $75,000 to "study" the possibility/feasibility/desirability/ etc., of hanging a bike "tube" under the Coronado Bay Bridge in order to save me the trouble of having to bike home all the way around the bay every night. How considerate of them!
The above rendering makes me a little nervous, though. What's with the whole precipitous drop-off into the bay thing? Is this a trap set by bike-haters to lure us bikeists off the roads and to our untimely demise(s)? Or, does $75,000 only cover a partial study and rendering of the tube? They really need to come up with a better picture when it comes time to pitch this concept for real. Otherwise, we'll be stuck with another 30+ year piece-meal mess like the still unfinished Bayshore Bikeway. That drop-off is not much different from the reality that was the Bikeway spitting us commuters out onto the surface streets of Chula Vista and National City for three miles before they finally built the Gordy Shields Bridge across the Sweetwater River. Safer perhaps? If they do, somehow, miraculously, get it built, I hope and pray that it gets better maintenance than the bikeway. Here's one of my favorite stretches, northbound, between 32nd Street and Downtown:
More "maintenance" like this, and the tube is sure to just fall off the bottom of the bridge within a couple of years.
Near certain death aside (for those of us unlucky enough to be pedaling across the day the tube, inevitably, comes unbolted), SANDAG should save the time money they're wasting on the study and just build this thing. Why, you ask? Because it's freaking cool and none of us are getting any younger. Do we really need a study to tell us that biking through a tube suspended hundreds of feet above the bay would be a huge hit with locals and tourists alike? Right now, people pay good money to bike, walk, and run across the bridge for the limited charity events that open it up to them. "Bike the Bay" sells out in like five minutes. If you build it they will come!
Need further convincing? I recommend that you hop on a plane to San Francisco or New York City, rent a bike, and head to the bike lanes on the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridges. Not only will the enormous popularity of both experiences be immediately apparent, you will have one of those experiences-of-a-lifetime, that no study or amount of money could possibly capture or quantify. Our concept could be even more thrilling than the other two since, rather than putting you up on the same level as the cars, you get to ride, suspended, underneath the bridge itself!
How can we possibly not do this?
So, there you have it SANDAG -- no need for a study. For a mere $30,000, I'll let you use this post to make your pitch -- a $45,000 savings that you can use to buy extra-strong bolts to keep me and my fellow bikeists from plunging into oblivion.