Last week Jeff Cambra of Alameda Currents sent me this video he shot and edited of him riding his bike through the tube. For those of us sitting in our cozy cars zipping through the tube, there is no way that we would ever be able to imagine — no matter how good our imagination is — just how truly icky the tube is.
Unfortunately WordPress does not allow embedding of Blip.tv videos, so while I would normally embed the video for you, I can’t. So I urge you to please click through to the link to get an idea of how awful it is for bikes and pedestrians through the Tube. For context the video is of Jeff C. riding from Oakland to Alameda.
What I did find interesting from the comments made about the whole Estuary Crossing Shuttle there seems to be this perception that because some individuals simply do not see people using the walkway that it does not get used. It remind me of one of my earliest viewings of the Don Roberts Show when he had Pat Bail as a guest. The conversation turned to the subject of the Bay Farm Bike Bridge and they both discussed what a huge waste of funds that it was because neither of them ever saw anyone using the Bike Bridge.
In fact, one commenter cited a segment on KTVU news which reported that about 100 people used the Tube daily on bike or on foot and expressed that same sentiment that when she drives through the tube she only sees one person per month. Other chimed in with a similiar anecdotes even after another commenter pointed out that the number probably came from a BikeAlameda census which counted non automotive users of the Tube and the Park Street Bridge. Another commenter suggested that the numbers from BikeAlameda might have been slightly fudged since I suppose that 100 seems like entirely too high of a number for daily use of the tube.
Of course, had these critics read the clarification with a more objective eye they would have understood that the point of the BikeAlameda census was to point out that usage of the Tube is abnormally low, not high. Given that a lot of the Oakland attractions, businesses, and regional transportation is is close proximity to Alameda’s West End if there was a better non automobile connection this number would be a lot higher. Park Street Bridge which connects Alameda to little of interest on the Oakland side has five times as much usage because it’s not miserable and dangerous to navigate outside of a car.