$10M study for $1B bike path.

This is idiotic.

A Bay Area Toll Authority committee voted Wednesday to pay a consultant $10 million to produce a proposal for an Oakland-to-SF crossing.

Earlier estimates of the cost of a bike path, most likely attached to the sides of the approximately 2-mile western suspension span, placed the price at $400 million to $500 million. [...] Because attaching two paths would increase the weight of the suspension span, causing it to flatten slightly, the study suggested replacing the bridge decks with lighter materials, which could push the cost to $800 million to $1 billion.

Are you fucking kidding me? Can you imagine what a billion dollars of bike-infrastructure improvements in the city would look like?

Neither can I. But it wouldn't look like a single bike lane, hanging in the wind off a bridge.

Can you imagine what even ten million dollars of bike-infrastructure improvements in the city would look like?

Actually, I can: it would look like more than half of SFMTA's 2015 budget for bike infrastructure ($17.8M). Instead, we'll get a stack of design-fiction drawings from some parasitic consultancy. What the what?

Obviously improving bicycling infrastructure is a topic relevant to my interests, but this is a comically catastrophic use of public funds. Give me protected bike lanes on every major road in the city first, and you know what? I'll take the fucking train when I have to cross the bay.

Previously, previously.

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13 Responses:

  1. jeremy.org/ says:

    Somehow, no longer living in SF does not make me any less angry about this bullshit.

    • Doctor Memory says:

      I've been telling people for months now that I'll know I have finally adjusted to being back in NYC when I stop getting instantly, explosively angry about the latest bit of idiocy in SF politics.

      My current estimate is that this will happen in mid-2018.

  2. Christof Damian says:

    I read that as "Bay Area Troll Authority".

    Sorry. I go away and have a rest.

  3. Tristan Crane says:

    To hell with learning to code, I want the job of 'consulting' on these bridges.

  4. Ian McKellar says:

    Can we get a bike tube for a billion dollars? The BART tube apparently only cost $180M in 1970. For a billion bucks, even today we should be able to build a tube with a Matrix Reloaded + Sealab style underwater dance party in the middle.

  5. Morrisa Sherman says:

    Wait, they have a billion dollars for a bike lane? Why not just lower the tolls again if they've got so much to spare?

    • Ben says:

      They don't, of course, have a billion dollars for a bike lane, but they _do_ have ten million dollars to steer to a politically connected firm which will tell them it would cost one billion dollars to add the bike lane.

  6. Leonardo Herrera says:

    If you dig deep enough in any bureaucreacy (an inch or two) you'll find studies after studies on some stupid thing like water desalinizers, clean energy, bridge viability, roads, etc. These studies are re-issued every year or two. It's the way politicians pay their dues.

    In other news, water is wet.

  7. Jef Poskanzer says:

    I figure the $10 million study budget would just about pay for a couple mini bike ferries between TI and SF, including rehabbing the TI pier and operating them forever.

  8. Jef Poskanzer says:

    Also less then $10 million: a pair of bike-capable zip lines. Wheeee!

  9. Jeff Bell says:

    You see how they just saved $490 million by doing the study instead of building it.

    lints rathery peat.

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