Pedestrian bridge connecting Country Club Manor and Cascade Lake

There is some discussion as to whether we should build a new bridge over West Circle Drive.

Post Bulletin Story on Pedestrian Bridge as covered by Jeff Pieters

Here are some highlights:

“We need to do something there,” said city council member Michael Wojcik. “It’s unsafe.”

The best time to address safety is when we build roads and not years later.  West Circle Drive has been build and maintain with a complete disregard for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users.  The zone and access control on West Circle drive has been poor at best.

Wojcik’s first choice, he said, is for a set of traffic signals to be installed. In fact, the city previously set aside money for its share of the cost to install one, he said.

But other officials at the meeting, including county commissioner Jim Bier, argued that a bridge would be better.

“Not everybody obeys the laws,” Bier said. “Putting a stoplight there, I’m not sure is going to solve the problem.”

I totally agree that a bridge would be better, but a stoplight in 2012 would be better than a pedestrian bridge in 2023.  If the City, County, and School can come up with the money this would be the way to go.  Unfortunately we have been waiting for years and nothing has happened, so a fantasy for a perfect solution should not replace something that we can actually get done.

A bridge like the one over East Circle Drive, near Century High School, would cost $1 million or more, compared to $250,000 for a set of traffic signals, said Olmsted County Engineer Mike Sheehan.

Given the grades, bridge length, and property acquisition $1 million is too low, I guess close to $2.25 million or about 10 times the cost of lights.  If we can do it soon, great, but I think all 3 governments are broke and we should go with the cheaper but more realistic option.  That said the Country Club Manor Area is bigger than every small community surrounding Rochester and they deserve better services.

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