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,Â these oppressed commutersÂ 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 donâ€™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. Itâ€™s a straight line through the â€˜river bendâ€™ 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, itâ€™s a ray of hope for commuters trying to unshackle themselves from the steering wheel.
Hyperbole aside, my hatâ€™s off to City Hall for getting it done. Itâ€™s a real accomplishment for boosting the communityâ€™s bikability – and ending the dark reign of I-80 the Bike Lane Impaler.