This has been said on my site before, more than once, but I will reiterate because of Bart Kives' better-late-than-never bike lane coverage that continues today, briefly mentions the Omands Creek AT project.
Perhaps I should be writing slightly more professionally and sending this kind of thing to the op-ed department at the FreeP, because there is certainly no analysis like this in said newspaper. How could there be? No journalist at the FreeP has been following these bike projects for half the time I have. Anyway, time for a Gordon Sinclair Juniorism.
But I digress.
The project was a one million dollar street-level bridge over a creek that required no environmental study or communication with Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). What I will reiterate, is a simple deduction I put forward a year ago.
The City puts up 1/3 of the cost of each AT project. For a one million dollar project, that means some $333 333 bucks. The residents wanted an improved bridge, Bill Woroby said no because there was no federal money for that. I call BS. At this point, you do not need federal money to improve a tiny pedestrian bridge over a babbling brook. You can use the $333 333 you set aside anyhow, as THAT money, is City money, and was allocated to AT Projects, and is not contingent on whether or not the Feds contribute.
Now this is in Kives' piece today:
"One project, a $1-million bridge in Omand Park, was cancelled and replaced with $100,000 worth of path improvements"
This means the City is paying for all of it, because Woroby told us the Feds wouldn't approve funding for minor improvements. This means the city has $233 333 left in the kitty from the money originally set aside for Omands Creek.
The Assiniboine Avenue Bike Path Project, Jenny Gerbasi consistently reminds us (remember!?), that the Assiniboine project MUST go ahead and we MUST do it the way the consultants want because that way we have access to the federal buck. That we MUST do it, to save money, even if it's wrong, to fix it later.
How much is the Assiniboine project? Well, it's a total of $120 000. The City kicks in their third, $40 000.
Holy red tape and accounting services from a non-certified-CA, batman! You mean, the City could have told the Feds "thanks but no thanks" and put almost DOUBLE the amount of total project money towards a BETTER solution on Assiniboine?
Hypothetically yeah, that's what it seems. Will it cost $233 333 to rip up this silly curb in the middle of Assiniboine? Probably, at least.
At the end of the day, it won't matter if the street reverts to "normal." The cyclists won't be pissed off about the loss of a cycle track. Hell, a lot of cyclists, and some of those cyclists have left comments right here on my website (thank you), saying Assiniboine was a no-brainer route for them to take...BEFORE this all happened. It was a quiet thoroughfare for both cars and cyclists. Traffic calming wasn't needed because traffic was already calm, and furthermore, both cyclists and residents alike testify that vehicles speeding up and down Assiniboine wasn't an issue.
Now that I know how much money the City is approximately saving by simply just using already allocated City dollars to the Omands Creek fiasco, in my mind is further proof to the ineptitude of not the consultants this time, but Bill Woroby and Kevin Nixon.
How could an engineer in charge of all this stand in front of a room of 400 angry residents asking for simple improvements to their bridge, and tell them over and over that the Federal dollars had to be used? How could an engineer at public works, not have guestimated that the cost of a simple improvement would have cost far less than $333 333?
Hey, with $333 333 you can not only build improvements to already existing infrastructure, but you could probably pay for an environmental assessment and for DFO's opinion, too. And probably plant more trees to replace the ones the kids burn down there for fun when they're drunk.
Then again, maybe some of that $333 333 would be better spent planting more trees on Berry Street. No worries, there's lots of AT fuckups to patch up here and there, after the fact.