I-80, your tyranny is over

great bridge, lousy phone camera

For years, North Natomans who worked just 3 miles from home started each day with an exhaust-spewing surrender to tyranny. That tyrant was I-80, which blockades our northern suburbanites from a tantalizingly close downtown destination – because even on a clear, warm day, these oppressed commuters had no choice but to pile in their cars and slog through traffic.

Well, those days are over. Yesterday, city officials opened a new bike and pedestrian bridge that arcs over I-80 and liberates a whole community from the monopoly of the car. For the weary road-enraged populace, bicyclical commutes are no longer a fantasy, but an actual choice.

This will probably mean less traffic, less pollution, and maybe more exercise for those of us who probably don’t get the heart thumping as often as we ought to (I admit I fall into that category with a heavy plop).

The new bridge connects North Natomas to off-street bike trails and on-street bike lanes that eventually trickle down to the grid. It’s a straight line through the ‘river bend’ district between I-80, I-5, and the Sacramento River, although from there the route gets pretty squiggly as bike paths wind through Discovery Park and around the Railyards.

Still, it’s a ray of hope for commuters trying to unshackle themselves from the steering wheel.

Hyperbole aside, my hat’s off to City Hall for getting it done. It’s a real accomplishment for boosting the community’s bikability – and ending the dark reign of I-80 the Bike Lane Impaler.

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2 thoughts on “I-80, your tyranny is over”

  1. Cool.

    Now let’s do one for Business-80 so people from Midtown/East Sac can cross the river to access the Arden Malls and Cal Expo.

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  2. That would be cool. Downside: they’re freaking expensive (over $6 million for the N. Natomas bridge!). But upside: bicycle facilities are generally popular and probably have fewer nimby problems..

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