[This letter to the Palo Alto Daily News in response to their 2015.12.18 article on Palo Alto’s suspension of construction plans for the Adobe Creek Bike-Ped Bridge over Highway 101 was published in their Christmas edition but naturally without the postscript.]
Subject: Build a safe side path instead of the bike bridge
Date: Sat 12/19/2015 5:30 PM
From: Lester Earnest
I am pleased to see that the Palo Alto Council has blocked the Adobe Creek bike bridge construction for now. What should be done next is to reallocate a small part of the funding to construct a much more important improvement in cycling safety, namely a side path around the hazardous Page Mill/I-280 interchange, which will cost no more than $1,000,000 rather than $10,000,000 or $17,000,000 for the bridge.
That will prevent more injuries and deaths such as the recent one and will enable many more cyclists to get through instead of being deterred by the obvious hazards that have been in place for the last 49 years. It will also allow pedestrians and the disabled to get through alive for the first time since 1966.
I tried to make that argument back when the bridge planning began but no one was listening. I happen to have commuted over the proposed bridge route twice a month for 40+ years, specifically back and forth between San Antonio Road and Embarcadero on the Bay side of 101. I tried the Adobe Creek undercrossing of the freeway once or twice, which I found inconvenient because it went from nowhere to nowhere just like the proposed bridge. I also tried the existing bike bridge about a mile north of the proposed one and found it too was pretty useless. Nearly everyone seems to agree since very few people use it.
Please do something useful with the available funds.
Los Altos Hills
P.S. For specifics on how to build the side path see http://web.stanford.edu/~learnest/sv/pm280.1511.htm