Sunday, May 1, 2011

Build it and they will come…

       
 
Almost a year ago, the State of Missouri and City of Jefferson City approved the building of a controversial pedestrian walkway across the Missouri River.  Why controversial?  The price tag of $6.7 million, versus the benefit.  There were those who hailed it as a way to bring additional traffic into Jefferson City, “enhancing state and local tourism and the economy”.   There were others who declared it was essential for the safety of bikers and hikers who wanted to get from the KATY Trail into the city.  Those who declared it was a luxury that could not be afforded during these hard times did not have a very loud voice.  The walkway opened to great fanfare in March of this year.

walkway leading to the bridge

My opinion is that this is a perfect example of those who have, getting more, and those with little, losing out.  They who have, had the lobbyists, they had the private donors, and they had the desire for a luxury.  So they got it.  It is ludicrous to point to tourism and the economy in these hard times as a way of justifying spending $6.7 on a non essential project. 

But build the walkway they did.  And as the old saying, “build it and they will come” goes… they built it and we checked it out.  I may be against something, but once it happens anyway, I’m not one to refuse to check it out.  I tried to keep an open mind.


So here is what I found:

The new pedestrian walk way is a great way to spend a sunny Spring afternoon with Grandkids.

Jim and Reagan walking across the bridge

The view is unique – allowing us to stop and look across the river in an area that otherwise would have been impossible.

view of the Capitol Bldg. and train tracks

It is safe.  The heavy chain link gave this scaredy cat a sense of security.  We even allowed Allen and Reagen to run off some of their pent up energy, while we followed at a more sedate pace.

Reagan & Allen walking to the bridge

Although safe, my mind did take a moment to dwell on the convenience it might provide to someone wanting to do harm to themselves.  It would not be that difficult to scale the 4 1/2 to 5 foot fence.  But those dangers are around every bend of life.

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It was noisy and almost scary at times.  The traffic is only a few feet away and some of the big rigs are downright threatening sounding.



It will not bring much, if any, economy to the area.  Most individuals walking the trail were recognizable as locals.  They were beginning at one end – walking across – and then turning back.  We waved at them each way.  The bicyclists were doing the same thing.  I wonder if anyone will bother to do a trumped up study to determine the increased tourism the bridge didn’t brought to the area. 

Although I enjoyed the walk, it wasn’t special enough to do a second time, unless other grandkids are interested in taking the walk with us. 


How could $7.5 million have been put to better use?  Let me count the ways… they are too numerous to even begin listing.  The walkway is a sad testimony to the priorities of some of our society today – not all, but some. 

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On the bright side, though, we had a great day with Reagan and Allen while their mom and dad got away to celebrate their 13th anniversary. 

The rain is back this evening.  I refused to whine and complain.  Nope, won’t whine and complain.  Dang I’m tired of shivering!

17 comments:

ChicagoLady said...

Was it millions or billions they spent on the bridge? Your post didn't say.

That corgi :) said...

loved the pictures of Reagan and Allen with you and your hubby, Deanna! I think it is a worthy project in the best of times, I think I would have been with you about it if it was the best way to spend all that money. But a great way to spend the day with ones you love! Happy anniversary to Reagan and Allen's parents!

betty

Deanna said...

It is millions ChicagoLady... thanks for asking.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Dang you all beat us! We want to take the grandkids over for a walk.
Not sure if the 6 yr almost 7 ("he says") can handle it, he doesn't like heights.

jewelzmomof4 said...

Mom I agree it was a pointless thing to be spending money on at this time....but I am glad you all had a great time with those two cutie pies and I am sure you will have to do that walk again once my children find out that it is an option lol. They would really think it is cool not sure how Dakota would take to it being so close to the road. But we will see!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the last picture you have on there...they r all cute but the one with you and those two is just to cute!!!

AliceKay said...

That's a lot of money. I hope it generates more tourism and helps the economy of Jefferson City and the State of Missouri. You have some beautiful pictures from your walk, but wow....that price tag would choke some cities.

Happy Anniversary to Reagan and Allen's parents from me, too. :)

Queenie Jeannie said...

Gosh!! You'd think they could have thought of something better to do with the money. Make your vote count next election!!!!

Sounds like a pleasant time with the kiddos anyway!

I hope you get warm, sunny weather SOON!!!!! (stooopid weather!)

Rita said...

Funny what some people think of as a priority or what they will come up with as a supposedly good scheme to raise revenue. You'd think they could have spent it on the actual roads or schools or bridges or parks....

Go figure. Doesn't look like anything I'd want to walk more than once, either. ;)

*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

I agree they could have found Many more ways to spend the money but will probably check it out when we are in that area again! Cute grands!

Porch Days said...

I'm all for walking and biking but how can a bridge cost that much money? Imagine how useful that money would have been in the schools for art, music, books or a gifted program.

Yes, it is hard to part with our lake cottage in the woods but we have a good thing going here in New England with our daughter and her husband sharing the house. And one son is near by in Boston. There is much opportunity here for art organizations and showing and selling my art. I'm content. But oh how I miss that porch and being in the woods in VA! Nancy

Intense Guy said...

Our gubbermint does seem to find the most expensive ways to build things. This walkway looks like MASSIVE overkill - unless you got a lot of those 900 pound plus walkers and bikers types.

I wonder how long it took them to build this monstrosity (and bit of an eye sore too, judging from the pictures)?

If the "powers that be" would have PLANNED a little - they could have added a sidewalk on the existing road bridge when they built it.

[Rant over]

It is nice seeing you out and about - I hope you walk other parts of the Katy Trail! Dang... I keep saying it.. but I gotta get out there and walk it someday!

Texas Gal said...

maybe some day I will get up there and you all can take turns pushing my wheelchair across and back :) Have missed reading your blogs...(oh I changed everything..email and blog account Karla)

Porch Days said...

Deanna, I'm linking to you in my post of May 2, 2011. Thanks for your comment. Nancy

Toriz said...

Thing is... As beautiful as it might be walking along there, even I - not knowing all the details of your area - can think of plenty of better ways to spend that money! And I don't think a walkway like that is going to do much to encourage tourists. It wouldn't here anyway. Encourage the locals to walk... Perhaps. Encourage tourists to visit... I doubt it!

Toriz said...

P.S. I'm glad you enjoyed your day with Alan and Reagan anyway! :)

(Sorry if I spelled Reagan wrong).

Lynn said...

The walkway is interesting but its amazing what goes through peoples head when they spend that much on something like that when so many people are suffering just in our country alone.

Janet said...

Yeah, I suppose the walkway is kind of nice, but I too could think of many better ways to spend that money in Missouri.