What is our fascination w/pedestrian bridges anyway? (H/T Super Friend CR)

Lady MacErpenbach was preaching the benefits of pedestrian bridges;

Phase two is expected to begin this summer.  Part of the next phase requires moving the pedestrian bridge on 8th Street and building a new one resembling the bridge near Cherapa Place.  The cost for moving the old bridge, designing and building a new bridge and permits could be around $1.5 million.  Erpenbach said it is more cost effective to do this now.


This project still has me scratching my head. While beautiful, it only seems to benefit the businesses that are adjacent to the greenway while the lowly taxpayer pays for it.

Why don’t we take the $4 million dollars and put it back in the reserves. And if a turd explosion happens again in a large neighborhood, we have money to fix it.

Maybe I’m just talking out of my ass . . .


#1 scott on 04.21.12 at 9:43 am

i bet she wants to get that money spent before kermit is sworn in.

#2 Tom H. on 04.21.12 at 5:22 pm

At least it’s not some stupid ped bridge over 6-lane Russell, connecting the new EC to its acres of parking lots.

#3 Detroit Lewis on 04.21.12 at 7:33 pm

scott – there has been rumblings about it. But why spend it if we don’t have to?

#4 l3wis on 04.21.12 at 8:42 pm

LOL! Look at Michelle’s earrings. Peace, Love and Economic development.

#5 cr on 04.22.12 at 3:08 pm

A four million dollar surplus……….

Now is the time for our Council representatives to PAUSE………….

and take the necessary time to develop a policy for dealing with these frequent “yearly” surpluses!

It is not a time to rush out and spend 1.5 million dollars on a second pedestrian bridge across the Sioux River as suggested by Councilor Erpenbach!!

Nor is it the time to invest in a “refrigerated” downtown ice rink that would be incredibly expensive to operate (as suggested by Director Kearney and the Park Board)!!

Our city has many “unmet” priorities and I believe these two suggestions are not uppermost in the minds of most Sioux Falls taxpayers!

#6 Detroit Lewis on 04.22.12 at 3:16 pm

Would agree, when we have ‘extra’ money, some on the council think it came from the sky. It came from us, we paid it, and we expect it to be spent like the rest of our tax dollars, not on frills.

I think a DT ice rink would be neat, but why can’t this be mostly sponsored by private interests?

#7 Scott on 04.22.12 at 4:15 pm

You know it’s a bad expenditure when even Pat Lalley thinks it’s silly.

#8 l3wis on 04.22.12 at 4:25 pm

Well, if that is the case, I’m all for it 🙂

#9 Dave R on 04.22.12 at 4:27 pm

We could put a 4 million dollar surplus into the bank and 25 years from now build a cool Events Center. I hear we need one.

#10 l3wis on 04.22.12 at 4:31 pm

Dammit, Dave, stop being logical! I’ll have to shut down this website.

#11 scott on 04.22.12 at 6:11 pm

I’m not for spending it, my point was more, once Kermit gets in, Erpenbach knows it won’t be as easy to spend like drunken sailors.

#12 John on 04.22.12 at 7:58 pm

Now you are going to have to admit that your Man Mike has the right ides- use the money to pay down debt!!

Also no spending till the new council is sworn in!

#13 l3wis on 04.23.12 at 2:10 am

I want to clarify something, reckless spending won’t magically end overnight when Kermit is sworn in, BUT, there will be questions asked in a public forum about the spending, and some of those questions will have to be answered in public.

John – I don’t have a problem with paying down debt, but the EC debt should not have been created to begin with. We could have cut our debt in half by 1) having private sponsorship of the EC (at least 25%) and getting a no-interest loan from the state for at least 50% of the total cost. Neither of these options were explored and now the mayor wants to suck any ‘extra’ money he can find out of the city coffers. Silly. He should have been more proactive.

#14 Tom H. on 04.23.12 at 10:25 am

My heroes over at StrongTowns just posted a pretty incredible set of strategies that any city that wants to be financially resilient should follow. L3wis, I really think that a lot of the principles that these guys espouse would really resonate with a guy like Dr. Staggers. They travel around the country giving “Curbside Chats”, educating citizens and city officials about the hidden costs of our development pattern. Any way you could tell Kermit about them? Seems like a match made in heaven to me.

#15 Detroit Lewis on 04.23.12 at 2:34 pm

Actually, I had a curb side chat scheduled with them for February and they cancelled because it was too tight between towns. I really think they wanted more then gas money, that was my feeling.

#16 Tom H. on 04.23.12 at 6:37 pm

That’s too bad. They’re based semi-locally (Brainerd, MN) but lately they’ve really “gone viral”, so to speak. I think they’re in Memphis this week, and were in California last week. A year ago they probably would have been an easier gig to schedule.

I’d love to hear their perspective on our EC.

#17 Charles Marohn on 04.23.12 at 6:38 pm

We’d love to come there. We were not able to schedule it because we had to drive to Omaha the day after I returned from Florida and then back the next day for a meeting — there was just no way I could do it. -chuck

#18 l3wis on 04.23.12 at 10:23 pm

Chuck – would love to have you reschedule, I just wish I could give you a little more gas money for your trouble. Maybe we could pass the hat at the chat.

#19 Charles Marohn on 04.23.12 at 10:41 pm

Don’t worry — we’ll make it happen. We actually contacted you guys on that Omaha deal to see if we could make it happen. I suspect we’ll be back in the Omaha area soon and will let you know so we can make it happen. I really appreciate the interest in our message.

#20 l3wis on 04.23.12 at 10:45 pm

I can always find space! No worries there!