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Palo Alto's new bike bridge is almost ready to debut

Original post made on Nov 18, 2021

After a decade of debate and two years of construction, Palo Alto's new bike bridge over U.S. Highway 101 will officially open to the public on Saturday morning.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 18, 2021, 9:24 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2021 at 10:40 am

Bystander is a registered user.

It is good to have this facility opening. It has to be a long awaited victory showing how painful the Palo Alto process is and shows no prospect of changing.

Is there any way to monitor the numbers of how many people and at what time the bridge is used? Estimating usage is very old school. A better way of recording crossings by both bikes and pedestrians, the time of day and day of the week would be useful. This was never done by the old tunnel and in my opinion a more accurate count of before and after crossings would be useful before any other "improvements" are made to our infrastructure.


Posted by Carl Jones
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 18, 2021 at 11:34 am

Carl Jones is a registered user.

Ah, finally.
When the Google pedestrian bridge (just down the road) was built, it cost $1 million.
When the first serious talks of getting a simple bridge built, it was going to be $4-8 million.
When the bridge competition was over, the price was $13 million. The winner was rejected by the City Council because, of course, they knew better. Then negotiations with the design team that the council chose fell apart because it was too much money.
More time passed.
And now we have a bridge that cost $26 million.
It *is* a very nice bridge, don't get me wrong. But we could have had a bridge perhaps as nice for a lot less money and a lot longer ago.
So much for the "Palo Alto way".


Posted by David V
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 18, 2021 at 2:03 pm

David V is a registered user.

If you want to attend the ceremony on the east side you still need to use the old routes until they cut the ribbon and complete the self congratulatory crap. That's intelligent democracy.


Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2021 at 3:46 pm

mjh is a registered user.

An ill-considered then council member(s) ego fuelled vanity project from the start. A juggernaut with an increasing amount of money and staff time allocated to the "competition" and design process. Saner voices suggesting a similar design to other freeway bike bridges at a fraction of the cost ignored in the name of Palo Alto's exceptionalism.

During council discussion of the original budget during the design phase, the breakdown of the cost per bike trip over the new bridge was estimated to at $25 per bike trip. With the eventual cost of the bridge more than doubled presumably that figure has increased to a minimum tax payer subsidy of $50 per bike trip. Possibly higher if in future fewer people are regularly commuting to offices using the bridge.

Does anyone think that this what we got is much of a design improvement on any of the other peninsula freeway bike bridges?


Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2021 at 3:51 pm

mjh is a registered user.

I believe about three million of the original budget for the bike bridge may have been allocated from the last Stanford GUP negotiated community benefits.


Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2021 at 4:27 pm

Bruce Karney is a registered user.

I knew Benjamin Lefkowitz, the namesake of the tunnel under 101, when we both worked at Allstate Research and Planning Center in Menlo Park. I was 25, he was probably 45ish. He was wonderful mentor. All the men at Allstate had to wear suits and ties at that time, so that was his bike-commuting attire. Here's a link to an article about him: Web Link


Posted by ArtL
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2021 at 5:35 pm

ArtL is a registered user.

Google also contributed $1 million to the bridge project - a good investment as many of their employees who live in Palo Alto will now be able to bike to work
Web Link


Posted by JK
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 19, 2021 at 12:41 pm

JK is a registered user.

Why does it look like it is rusting already?


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

I’m just happy to see it finally built.


Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 19, 2021 at 1:38 pm

Jonathan Brown is a registered user.

Better late than never. The Adobe Reach Trail portion is perhaps the most exciting. If we could similarly open up all the easements around the city along creeks and utility right-of-ways, we'd have a really safe, well-connected bike and pedestrian network all across our city at very little cost.


Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 19, 2021 at 4:47 pm

mjh is a registered user.

Is $26 million very little cost?


Posted by Ted
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 22, 2021 at 4:53 pm

Ted is a registered user.

I read the account for the new bridge with some interest; I may even try using the bridge sometime soon. However, the rather long discussion of cost and politics failed to provide the basic information I or anyone else would need to trip across 101 without injury.

Mr Sheyner might have revealed the location of this bridge to encourage Palo Altans and any one else to try it out with some actual street names. "One third mile north of San Antonio" just doesn't do it. A simple map would be even better.


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