SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A $1.3 million study in 2011 showed that a bike path on the existing Bay Bridge to connect bicyclists from Oakland all the way to San Francisco would cost tens of millions of dollars.
Now the Bay Area Toll Authority has voted unanimously to spend $10 million to commission another study on how to build that bike path.
“Is this for real?” I asked San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener.
“I hope that it is for real and now that we are going to be officially studying it I think it makes it more real,” said Wiener.
The original study showed building a bike path on the western portion of the Bay Bridge as a continuation of the bike path built on the new eastern span would cost up to a half billion dollars.
That costs is way too high for transit officials, which is why they have voted to spend another $10 million for a new study that will hopefully come up with some cost-cutting ideas.
“The biggest challenge certainly is cost,” said Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman John Goodwin. “It’s a very expensive project, it’s going to be a very lengthy project – and there are no identifiable funds for it.”
Nonetheless, they are forging ahead – and when the $10 million dollar report comes back it will likely mean spending another $10 million for yet another report to flush out the new ideas.
Why? “Because eventually there may be money,” said Goodwin.
“It’s all about future planning,” said MTC Chair Amy Worth. “I think in the long run it’s an enhancement to the bridge.”
As far as funding sources go, a toll hike is probably out. The toll authority has said it doesn’t plan to propose another increase anytime soon.