Not-quite-perfect path

New bike route doesn’t quite connect

The new bike path through the tunnel under Pine and Cypress streets will be nifty when it opens in the fall—for riders heading east, that is. They’ll make a smooth connection with one-way South Park Drive.

For riders heading west on one-way North Park Drive toward downtown, it won’t be much of an improvement, unfortunately. That’s because the new bike path doesn’t connect with that street, a major corridor for bicyclists.

Riders on North Park Drive will have to detour across the narrow One-Mile bridge to Woodland Avenue to connect with the path. Or they could go through the CARD Center grounds, ride along the sidewalk bordering Vallombrosa and access the bike path near the corner of Mangrove.

Either way is a glitch in what is otherwise a well-planned bike corridor.

We asked Tom Varga about that. He directs the city department that builds capital projects like roads and buildings and, well, bike tunnels.

Varga acknowledged the lack of a “nice clean connection” between North Park Drive and the bike path. Originally the plan was to build a bike bridge across the creek somewhere in the vicinity of the CARD Center, he said, but the city ran out of money. Because of permitting and regulatory requirements, it will be at least a couple of years before such a bridge can be built.

We’ll wait. In the meantime, we’ll note that the bike path is unfinished and urge the city to move as quickly as possible to build that new bridge.