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The Ringwood Bridge Construction Conundrum

Version 2.0 is almost complete. But why was it installed in the first place?

It is a local conundrum that is stumping people all over the Peninsula. Why was the in Menlo Park really installed?

"A bit of history of the bridge tells us that this was originally privately funded to get wait staff from East to West Menlo Park," said Flood Triangle Resident Cathy Tokic in a letter to City Council in March 2009.

"This funding was from Atherton private residents. This was not a city, state or Caltrans supported project and should remain that way," she said.

Tokic declined to elaborate on this point, and Google wasn't much help. So, I talked to people who usually know about , librarians at the Menlo Park, Atherton, and San Mateo Public Libraries.

No dice.

CalTrans representatives were equally unceratain about whether this caste-creating comment was true.

commuter January 20, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Why it was built in the first place is irrelevant. Now it is mostly used by kids to get to school. The new bridge is being built by Caltrans from sales tax money, so it has to be open to the public. Besides what version of the bridge is Ms. Tokic talking about? A wooden bridge from the 1800s? Very unlikely that the current concrete bridge was privately built without extensive support from Caltrans.
Vanessa Castañeda (Editor) January 20, 2012 at 07:20 PM
She wouldn't say.
Sandy B January 20, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Probably. Can't have the help dying on the way to work now.
Andrew Boone January 21, 2012 at 12:23 AM
My understanding is that the new Ringwood Ave Bike & Ped Bridge is being constructed in order to expand Highway 101 from 4 to 5 lanes in each direction. The support columns of the existing Ringwood Ave bridge bridge stand in the way of this 5th car lane. The project's funding source is likely the San Mateo County Transportation Authority Measure A, the half-cent sales tax (that anyone who buys any product or service within San Mateo County pays), but I'm not sure. I can't wait until the new bridge opens. The existing bridge is unsafe and nearly impossible to ride a bike up its spirals. It's a poor design. Bike and ped commuting is very likely to increase after the new bridge opens. I'd like to conduct bike and ped counts before and after the bridge opens to verify this. An exciting infrastructure improvement for Menlo Park - something to really celebrate. How about a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Kirsten Keith?
commuter January 23, 2012 at 05:07 PM
The spirals wouldn't be so bad except for the chains that try to knock you off your bike at entrances. I've never seen anyone bike through those chains without falling or walking.

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