Tony Bizjak

Back-seat Driver: New bridge connecting Sacramento, W. Sac gets boost

Published: Friday, May. 10, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Sunday, May. 12, 2013 - 2:19 pm

The cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento took a major step this week in bidding goodbye to the 101-year-old I Street Bridge.

Officials say they just got word that the federal government has approved the first piece of what will likely be a $77 million grant to plan and build a modern, multimodal bridge to the north of the old railroad span.

The feds granted an initial $11 million for planning.

"This is a huge milestone in getting the project started," West Sacramento Mayor Chris Cabaldon said.

They're considering a low-profile bridge with tracks for a streetcar and ample space for pedestrians and cyclists.

The I Street Bridge won't go away. Union Pacific owns it, and will continue to run trains on its lower level.

Ride of Silence

On Wednesday, as part of bicycle safety month, some Sacramento cyclists will gather for a slow, silent ride to honor cyclists who have died, and to raise awareness about cycling safety.

The 10th annual Ride of Silence starts at 15th Street and Capitol Avenue at 7 p.m. and ends at Hot Italian restaurant.

"Hopefully our efforts ... will bring a deeper awareness to motorists to share the road safely with cyclists," said spokeswoman Sonya Lovine.

Cyclist remembered

The Ride of Silence will pass one of those white "ghost bikes" at Sacramento State, where student Arlene Sasse, 22, was killed by a car two years ago.

Recently, we noticed something new and delightful there: Perched next to the white bike is a cheerful, multicolored bike. Our guess is those who knew her are celebrating the life of a vibrant young woman.

"It gives me comfort that she is not forgotten and I know that she made a difference," said her mom, Mieke van Wolferen.

Airport hotels grounded

New Sacramento airport exec John Wheat learned quickly about Sacramento's levee wars. The airport is in serious talks with a developer for two terminal-side hotels, a Hyatt and a Marriott.

But the airport also is in the Natomas floodplain, which is subject to a 4-year-old federal building moratorium until Congress comes up with funds to improve the levees.

"We're not going to solve the hotel issue until we get that solved," Wheat said.

Top flying complaints

We leave you with a quiz. What's the top complaint at airport security lines, and the main complaint about economy-class flying?

A recent study by the Travel Leaders Group agency found most people complain about having to take off their shoes at security. On board, it's the lack of leg room. Small seat size was the No. 2 complaint.

Call The Bee's Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059. Follow him on Twitter @tonybizjak.

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