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Bike Lane on Collapsed Bridge?

Old 08-02-07, 10:58 AM
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Bike Lane on Collapsed Bridge?

Was there a bike lane on that bridge that collapsed? Around here some of the interstate bridges have bike lanes some don't. Our newest one was supposed to but they cut it from the plans early on. In Minneapolis if the collapsed bridge didn't, maybe the replacement can.
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Old 08-02-07, 12:25 PM
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There was no bike lane on that bridge. There is a trail beneath it, paralleling the Mississippi River. That interstate freeway would not make for a good bike crossing, but there are other better options near that crossing.
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Old 08-03-07, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Dog View Post
That interstate freeway would not make for a good bike crossing, but there are other better options near that crossing.
Thanks for responding. Here, we have two Interstate type bridges with bike/ped crossings. I-395 and I-66. The facilities could be better but they work. The other two I-95 and I-495 have nothing so cyclists near them have to go miles out of their way to make a river crossing. It would be nice for you if when they rebuild the bridge they'll put a cyclist friendly crossing that connects to the Mississippi trails.
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Old 08-03-07, 12:21 PM
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There's a ton of bridges there, including one that is only ped/bike--no cars. It's nice but so crowded you almost want to walk the bike across.
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Old 08-03-07, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by solveg View Post
There's a ton of bridges there, including one that is only ped/bike--no cars. It's nice but so crowded you almost want to walk the bike across.
Solveg,
How far up stream is the Menedota Bridge from the one that collapsed? I am not very familiar with the MSP area. But have ridden over that one on the way to Fort Snelling.

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Old 08-03-07, 01:30 PM
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Mendota Bridge

The Mendota Bridge is on the far side of St. Paul from the 35W bridge so maybe 12-15 miles (just a guess.)

The Stone Arch bridge, a few blocks upriver, from 35W is the bike/peds only. Otherwise, the 10th Avenue bridge, 1 block to the south, is more bike friendly. 10th Avenue is where a lot of the videos where shot from.
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Old 08-03-07, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by katmu View Post
The Mendota Bridge is on the far side of St. Paul from the 35W bridge so maybe 12-15 miles (just a guess.)

The Stone Arch bridge, a few blocks upriver, from 35W is the bike/peds only. Otherwise, the 10th Avenue bridge, 1 block to the south, is more bike friendly. 10th Avenue is where a lot of the videos where shot from.
Thanks, I did a ride up there last September but have no clue what the route was...I was just following the people in front

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Old 08-03-07, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by gwd View Post
It would be nice for you if when they rebuild the bridge they'll put a cyclist friendly crossing that connects to the Mississippi trails.
We will hope that the local bicycle advocacy groups will jump right on it. Opportunity is knocking.
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Old 08-03-07, 04:35 PM
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Little Rock is fairly well situated with bridges. There are two in downtown that can be used to cross the river, and one about 6 miles up river, the Big Dam Bridge, that is the worlds longest bicycle pedestrian bridge, and does not allow cars on it.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:42 PM
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Cyclist saving lives here, by the way.

A couple of questions come to mind whenever I stumble into the media frenzy on this subject, because nobody seems to be asking them.

1. Have we built more auto infrastructure than we can reasonably maintain? I imagine that your local news, like mine, is filled with reports on the sorry state of local bridges. This is always accompanied by a call to action, or shots of frightened drivers declaring they'll find an alternate route, rather than reflection on what may well be an unsustainable habit.

2. What is the differential, engineering-wise, between a bridge safe for cars and a bridge safe for, well... lighter vehicles? Would a "dangerous" bridge in fact be perfectly acceptable for bicycle traffic for years to come? And to what extent do we "overbuild" to accomodate multi-ton vehicles -- and what's the cost? And what if my state's Governor, instead of immediately allocating resources to More Engineering and Maintenance, considered the value in reducing the daily load on these overburdened structures? Isn't that an entirely reasonable cost analysis to perform, if the structures are, in fact, overburdened?

I'm neither an accountant nor an engineer; I can't answer these questions.
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Old 08-03-07, 08:53 PM
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Stop being a burden of common sense.
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Old 08-03-07, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by burden View Post
2. What is the differential, engineering-wise, between a bridge safe for cars and a bridge safe for, well... lighter vehicles? Would a "dangerous" bridge in fact be perfectly acceptable for bicycle traffic for years to come? And to what extent do we "overbuild" to accomodate multi-ton vehicles -- and what's the cost? And what if my state's Governor, instead of immediately allocating resources to More Engineering and Maintenance, considered the value in reducing the daily load on these overburdened structures? Isn't that an entirely reasonable cost analysis to perform, if the structures are, in fact, overburdened?
I don't know the differential in engineering terms, but there is a bridge here in Portland that desperately needs replacing. One option discussed is leaving the existing span for bikes and peds (totally safe) while building a whole new bridge for motorized traffic. (Some people would like no new bridge for cars, but I feel that is unrealistic.) Currently, the bridge is so unsafe, they can't run buses and trucks over it.
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Old 08-03-07, 10:19 PM
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There was a regulation created a few years ago that says any bridge constructed or improved with federal money must encompass the federal guidelines, which include bicycle and pedestrian access. I don't know how well it is being implemented because in Jefferson Louisiana there is a plan to refurbish the Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi River and there were no bicycle or pedestrian lanes in the plans.

I think the replacement bridge in Minneapolis should not be built unless a commuter rail line is attached. The news reports say 290,000 vehicles cross there daily. Certainly that is enough traffic to sustain a light rail system in the area.
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Old 08-04-07, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
There was a regulation created a few years ago that says any bridge constructed or improved with federal money must encompass the federal guidelines, which include bicycle and pedestrian access. I don't know how well it is being implemented because in Jefferson Louisiana there is a plan to refurbish the Huey P. Long Bridge over the Mississippi River and there were no bicycle or pedestrian lanes in the plans.

I think the replacement bridge in Minneapolis should not be built unless a commuter rail line is attached. The news reports say 290,000 vehicles cross there daily. Certainly that is enough traffic to sustain a light rail system in the area.
Minneapolis has a decent start on the Light Rail. Also Jim Oberstar (congressman from MN) is chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure committee and is a proponent of alternate transportation and wants to see federal monies used to improve them.

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Old 08-04-07, 04:51 AM
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You must have never biked in the Twin Cities- There are bike accessible bridges everywhere in that area-- including two bike/ped-only bridges very near each other. This is in the middle of the city--- not some remote river crossing- and the river is relatively narrow downtown. The MN river is another story.

Originally Posted by gwd View Post
Thanks for responding. Here, we have two Interstate type bridges with bike/ped crossings. I-395 and I-66. The facilities could be better but they work. The other two I-95 and I-495 have nothing so cyclists near them have to go miles out of their way to make a river crossing. It would be nice for you if when they rebuild the bridge they'll put a cyclist friendly crossing that connects to the Mississippi trails.
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Old 08-04-07, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by burden View Post
1. Have we built more auto infrastructure than we can reasonably maintain? I imagine that your local news, like mine, is filled with reports on the sorry state of local bridges. This is always accompanied by a call to action, or shots of frightened drivers declaring they'll find an alternate route, rather than reflection on what may well be an unsustainable habit.
I think it probably has much more to do with people than money. How many of those "frightened drivers" would do nothing but moan if a bridge they used was closed for a month for repairs? Another post says 290,000 vehicles cross there daily, that's a lot of pissed off drivers.

People want roads to be maintained but they don't want to be inconvenienced when it happens or think of how much it costs. There will be temptation to put maintenance off as long as possible so it becomes someone else's problem. Then the money can instead be spent on something more voter friendly.
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Old 08-04-07, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
You must have never biked in the Twin Cities- There are bike accessible bridges everywhere in that area-- including two bike/ped-only bridges very near each other. This is in the middle of the city--- not some remote river crossing- and the river is relatively narrow downtown. The MN river is another story.
You are right. That is why I asked. It reads like the Twin Cities area is more bike friendly than the DC area. Here you can stand at one end of a bridge in Alexandria and see Oxon Hill MD just a few miles away across the bridge but if you are a biker or a pedestrian you have to go maybe 20 miles to get there. This is a new bridge that they just opened, so somehow they got around whatever federal law says they have to provide bike/ped facilities. I was at a design meeting where they promised bike facilities on the bridge then at a subsequent meeting when the subject of cost came up our congressman Jim Moran said "We can reduce the cost by eliminating the bike lane." Well, I guess that is just what they did.
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Old 08-04-07, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by d_D View Post
I think it probably has much more to do with people than money. How many of those "frightened drivers" would do nothing but moan if a bridge they used was closed for a month for repairs? Another post says 290,000 vehicles cross there daily, that's a lot of pissed off drivers.

People want roads to be maintained but they don't want to be inconvenienced when it happens or think of how much it costs. There will be temptation to put maintenance off as long as possible so it becomes someone else's problem. Then the money can instead be spent on something more voter friendly.
BINGO!!! People want the infrastructure but want "somebody else" to pay for it. A nearby large city is raising the cost of car registration by $5 a year (from $20 to $25 BTW) to help increase funding for the mass transit (buses) system. You would think it was the end of the world the way people are crying and whining about it. I am sure it will drive every car owner into the poor house Maybe if they wouldn't spend $120 million+ on a 4.5 mile stretch of freeway and spend it on buses instead....

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Old 08-04-07, 11:31 AM
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I think they might consider a light-rail option because I had heard that linking it with Washington St Bridge would not work out (going underneath the river seems ridiculous).
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Old 08-04-07, 11:45 AM
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I could not possibly support more bridges for cars, especially those leading into big cities that are already overly congested. That's just plain stupid, to support more cars in cities! Trains, buses, especially bikes should get all the new bridges in urban areas.

Also, the talk about the "aging infrastructure" is historically naive. The infrastructure has always been aging, from the days of the Roman aqueducts. What, they think it would get younger? The fact that the infrastructure ages gives us the opportunity to make it more up-to-date. That is, no more cars!
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Old 08-04-07, 11:58 AM
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Roody,
What the talking heads should probably say instead of "aging infrastructure" is "poorly maintained infrastructure" and don't I know it! It is the American way IMHO. Designate the funds to build something, but don't provide the funds to maintain it properly

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Old 08-04-07, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by d_D View Post
I think it probably has much more to do with people than money. How many of those "frightened drivers" would do nothing but moan if a bridge they used was closed for a month for repairs? Another post says 290,000 vehicles cross there daily, that's a lot of pissed off drivers.

People want roads to be maintained but they don't want to be inconvenienced when it happens or think of how much it costs. There will be temptation to put maintenance off as long as possible so it becomes someone else's problem. Then the money can instead be spent on something more voter friendly.
Yeah, that's an interesting dynamic.

Perhaps not incidentally, Federal highways like I35 are maintained in part via a national fuel tax which hasn't increased in 15 years.

So, between the almost-revolutionary sentiment that the idea of raising gas taxes seems to elicit, and the current frenzy to increase spending on basic maintenance, what's gonna give? Somehow, I'm forced to suspect that neither will give; rather, that finding funding for bike and transit projects is about to get much more difficult, as we move our transportation dollars from one column to another.
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Old 08-04-07, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
You must have never biked in the Twin Cities- There are bike accessible bridges everywhere in that area-- including two bike/ped-only bridges very near each other. This is in the middle of the city--- not some remote river crossing- and the river is relatively narrow downtown. The MN river is another story.

GAH!!! Curse the MN river!!!
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Old 08-05-07, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
You would think it was the end of the world the way people are crying and whining about it. I am sure it will drive every car owner into the poor house
If you have as many cars and toys as the people near to me, that's entirely possible. One household nearby has ten (10) automobiles parked in front. I believe that four people live there.

And people think I'm strange for having 12 bikes .

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Old 08-05-07, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
If you have as many cars and toys as the people near to me, that's entirely possible. One household nearby has ten (10) automobiles parked in front. I believe that four people live there.

And people think I'm strange for having 12 bikes .

East Hill
Then I guess they should sell one to pay for the taxes on the others (my mom always threatened us with that every time the grocery bill went up) I won't tell you how many infernal combustion vehicles we have around here...and good thing they haven't started taxing bikes Last count was around 15 ridable and 20 or so parts bikes.

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