Monterey Herald, submitted Jan. 21, 2024, unpublished
Seaside’s City Council is proposing to spend an estimated $3.25 million on the San Pablo Pedestrian Bridge Project. Demolition of the existing bridge will only cost $88,000. However, $750,000 has been approved for the project, even though the reconstruction of a new bridge has not been voted on yet. These figures tell you the direction the council is heading. Unfortunately, committed funding may sway some residents to support the project when they otherwise might not have.
Does a pedestrian bridge across a street with one lane of traffic in each direction rank higher than other priorities of the city? Why would the bridge cost as much as four homes? Did the City Council evaluate the use of the existing bridge before its closure? A new bridge might see similar use. Residents who live near the bridge give mixed reports. Some report that the bridge was, indeed, used to some degree. Others report that it was used minimally, at best.
Safety is important! Are there safe alternatives to a pedestrian bridge? Why not utilize a crosswalk instead? During busy pick-up and drop-off times, a crossing guard can be used. The City Council did not acknowledge this suggestion at the January meeting.
Chris Kramer, Seaside