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A New Pedestrian Bridge?

We noted with interest earlier this week an eagle-eyed catch by The Sun's Munier Salem, who in the paper's CMYK blog revealed The Case of the Missing Suspension Bridge. In the finalized Comprehensive Master Plan, he noted, the Fall Creek bridge is gone but, inexplicably, the plans include a new pedestrian bridge over Cascadilla Creek where there isn't one now. Salem floated a compelling conspiracy theory: What if the University was planning to move the suspension bridge?

I put the question to Simeon Moss, Cornell's director of press relations. Here's what he had to say:

Good catch by the Sun's Munier Salem -- but there is no "conspiracy," just an editing error. According to University Planner Mina Amundsen, the "missing" Suspension Bridge is just an error in the drawing -- the blue layer should be below the roads, not above. It will be corrected. The Suspension Bridge is not being relocated; it's staying where it is.

Concerning the suggested pedestrian bridge from Eddy Gate across Cascadilla gorge, that is an idea and recommendation that comes from the recent draft t-GEIS (transportation-focused environmental impact statement: http://www.transportation.cornell.edu/TGEIS/TGEIS_Home-1.htm) in the context of a suggested larger pedestrian network to and from campus to encourage more walking to and from areas close to campus. Mina points out that it certainly would not be accurate to say that the Eddy Gate bridge is being “planned,” at least as Cornell Facilities uses the term, precisely -- because there is no real live project at this point with a timeline.

Just FYI on t-GEIS, which the Sun and the Journal have reported on: The Town of Ithaca's planning board (the town is the lead agency for t-GEIS) has reviewed the draft t-GEIS document and has passed it on the full town board, which has scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 16. The t-GEIS is being done to identify, examine, and evaluate the transportation-related impacts on the surrounding community of hypothetical population growth at Cornell over the next 10 years. It also explores possible mitigations to these impacts.

We note, however, that there is no mention of a Cornell-Ithaca trolley.

Andy Guess | Posted on July 31, 2008 (#)

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