it's disingenuous to say that a 12 lane highway bridge built through Rosalie Island is OK, but adding a 12 foot (heck, I'd take 10) bike path pushes you over the tipping point. And I can say the same thing about the budget. "$2.5 billion for a bridge I could do, but $2.51 billion - now that's just crazy." I don't think so.
Then I re-read this from 2004.
Maryland transportation officials said yesterday that they have dropped plans to include a bike trail as part of a proposed east-west highway in the Washington suburbs.
"For two reasons, we decided to remove the . . . path," said Douglas Simmons, deputy administrator for the State Highway Administration. "One was for cost and two was for reducing the footprint on the environment."
So again, the highway will cost $2.1 billion (now $2.4 billion) and the trail $0.1 billion, but the trail is the deal-breaker? the 10-12 foot bike trail is all it takes to make the footprint too big? If we're really so close to the margins on this project, perhaps it should be rethought. And, if the footprint is too big, why is the most environmentally sensitive portion sacrificed. Why not build the bike trail, but use water permeable material to reduce the footprint? Why not sacrifice a traffic lane to make room for the bike path?
Since then, seven miles of the trail have been added back in.
A proposal by Sen. Leo Green, D-Prince George's, to require construction of the bicycle and hiking path was accepted without dissent after Green told senators that his plan had the approval of the Department of Transportation
But it's not seven continguous miles. It's a piece here and a piece there. Even if completed the bike trail is a meandering indirect mess. Why do designers think cyclists should have to go the long way, but cars need a direct route (biking can be hard work)?
I'm not arguing against the ICC - though I'm not a fan; nor am I arguing that "everyone should adopt a bicycle rather than a highway", whatever that means (I will say that bicycles are much cuter than highways, but they grow up so fast). I'm arguing that when a major transportation project is created, cycling facilities need to be included ON EQUAL FOOTING as automobile facilities. If cars can approach a bridge from three directions and then leave in three directions on the other side than bikes should have the same option. If you're going to build a new roadway in an urban area, there needs to be a parallel bikeway. When building a giant barrier like the Springfield Interchange, a plan for getting bikes through it needs to be addressed (which sadly was not done). I wonder what these projects would look like if the bike element were designed first and the road shoehorned around it - instead of the other way around.
Addendum: Carl Henn replies to Joseph Bradley
Mr. Bradley may never take transit or ride a bike. But he should appreciate that every one taking transit isn’t in a car in front of him on the road, and every bicyclist leaves the air that we all breathe a little cleaner.