Cycling enthusiasts are expected to pack the Santa Rosa City Council chambers Tuesday when city officials take up the controversial proposal to build a bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 101 south of Steele Lane.
The estimated cost -- from $14 million to as high as $20 million -- has outraged some people, while cyclists are equally outraged over the possibility the project could be shelved or killed. The matter is complicated by political manuevering: The new city council majority that is to be sworn in today is less friendly to the overpass proposal than is the current council.
The meeting begins at 4 p.m. at City Hall, 100 Santa Rosa Ave.
Here's a sampling of Letters to the Editor on the topic:
Build the bridge
EDITOR: It's time to move away from divisiveness and polarization and toward building bridges. Sadly, a great project is in jeopardy due to divisive politics.
The Highway 101 bike/pedestrian overcrossing in Santa Rosa is needed infrastructure that has been in the works for years. It has been on the wish list of the Gateways Redevelopment Agency since 2006. It enjoys universal support among the many folks who turned out for public meetings. It is an essential east-west link. Currently there is no good way to cross Highway 101 on a bike north of Ninth Street.
Santa Rosa Junior College is a huge generator of traffic in the area. Providing bike and pedestrian access to parking, shopping, residential areas and SMART on the west side will help reduce traffic congestion and greatly increase the livability of Santa Rosa.
The cost of construction is not going to be $20 million. Similar projects were built for about $8 million. The consultants have given a very ample estimate of $10 million plus another 30 percent for “soft” costs. Other costs some folks add are guesstimates for possible additional projects, not the overcrossing itself.
Let's not burn bridges. Let's build this much-needed bridge.