$145 a linear inch!!

Whistleblower: Is 1-mile bike path worth $9.2 million?


A mile-long bike path planned for downtown Minneapolis promises a quick, safe way for cyclists to travel separate from busy street traffic. But its estimated $9.2 million price tag has some gasping.

It's a total that, in the past, paid for nearly 2 miles of highway lane on Interstate 94 in St. Paul, or 5.7 miles of bike trail on government land for the Midtown Greenway.

Proponents say it's the final link in a century-old vision for paths connecting the city's lakes and the river. It will extend the Cedar Lake Trail, an off-street bicycle "freeway" linking western suburbs with the heart of the city. Downtown, the paved route will take cyclists next to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, under the new Twins ballpark and to the Mississippi River Parkway -- without crossing a single street.

Others say the path has become too pricey to justify as governments consider cuts to critical services because of the recession.

At issue is a geographically difficult three-block stretch of construction to extend the path all the way to the river, a change of plans for which proponents raised an extra $4.8 million in federal and state funding in 2005 and 2006. A city plan would have put bike traffic up a ramp and onto painted bike paths along local streets at that point.

HT: Citypages

Comment: As long as it is someone else's money (sourced from the Federal government) or "creates jobs" the average Joe won't care about this kind of waste. The comments on the Citypages blog are humorous!

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