New Bridge, Old Cynicism

Yesterday, I rode the new bike/pedestrian bridge at Coventry Road. It opened this week to much fanfare, and it certainly seems well-done (the ramps were a little more snow- and muck-covered than I’d like, but I imagine that, in future years, regular traffic will help keep that down).

I’ll admit, I don’t totally get why so many people would need to get from an often-empty ball park to the train station, but I’m told by people who know the area better that it will be quite useful…and there were a few other people using it as I crossed, so maybe it’ll be quite popular. It connects to a MUP on the train station side, and it’s close to some bike routes on the ball park side, so those are pluses, but here’s where my cynicism arises.

A day after the bridge opened, much of the bike and pedestrian infrastructure in the area was suddenly cleared of snow (not all of it, mind you; the aforementioned MUP is only partially cleared, which is a bit of an…oversight). The ride to, over and from the bridge was much more pleasant than commuting in the area had been all winter.

So here are the questions: is the city actually dedicating itself to better snow-clearing now that the bridge is open? Since a lot of people use the surrounding infrastructure, with or without the bridge, why did it take until February to give much of it a proper clearing? Will communities only get proper winter maintenance if they have a shiny infrastructure bobbles?

Or was this a one-time shot, so this week’s stories and photo-ops wouldn’t be ruined?

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