Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kansas City's Icon? - A Pint-Sized Version of Charleston

Yesterday, the Missouri Department of Transportaton unveiled the immodestly named kcICON project - the replacement of the Paseo Bridge. The Kansas City Star gushes with uncritical enthusiasm about the design of the bridge, to be named the Christopher S. Bond Missouri River bridge:
As much as the Golden Gate Bridge sets San Francisco apart or New York is linked with the Brooklyn Bridge, there is hope that a new Paseo Bridge will do the same for Kansas City. On Wednesday, some were practically giddy over the design of the new bridge, which has a tower about as tall as Liberty Memorial.

“I loved it. It was more than what I had imagined,” said Sheila Tracy, president of the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Others said the design was groundbreaking for Kansas City, maybe even revolutionary.
Whoa, there, people, hold your horses.

It looks like a fine bridge, and I approve of naming it for Kit Bond - he has certainly brought back six lanes worth of pork to Kansas City, and has thereby earned the honor.

But the Golden Gate Bridge? The Brooklyn Bridge? Groundbreaking? Revolutionary?

Fortunately, one of Kansas City's best blogs, BlogKC, is both more informed and less gullible than the Kansas City Star. BlogKC provides information about the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina in its blog post covering the announcement.

The Cooper River Bridge has two diamond-shaped towers, as opposed to the Bond Bridge's one, and both of them are almost double the size of Kansas City's "bold" "icon". It has 8 lanes to our 6. It has a bicycle and pedestrian lane - ours won't.

Let me be clear - this looks like a perfectly adequate bridge. But I'm not ready to accept that Kansas City's icon should be a mini-me of Charleston's.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

. . . Waiting for Brent to come in and argue that this is somehow related to smoking in bars . . .

11/15/2007 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No bike or pedestrian lane? With gas reaching $4.00 a gallon in the near future that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

11/15/2007 9:38 AM  
Blogger emawkc said...

Oh come on Dan. Are you really feeling inadequate because this design is smaller that Charleston's? Freud would have a field day with this post.

11/15/2007 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about Dan's experience, but grateful women have assured me that size really does matter.

11/15/2007 9:49 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

It's also very similar to the new bridge in Boston, and others. It's a great design, but they shouldn't claim it will be a landmark or a one-of-a-kind.

Also, the bridge will have room for a bike/ped lane. They will convert the southbound shoulder to a bike/ped lane once local governments build a trail on the north levy and come up with the money to build ramps up to the bridge.

11/15/2007 11:51 AM  
Anonymous porchpundit said...

Eric, I was hoping to reserve that southbound lane on the north side of the bridge for a toll booth -- the City is gonna have to pay for Gloria (The Shoe-less Scourge) Squitiro's legal bills somehow.

11/15/2007 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Jessica K. said...

I don't understand the logic behind building bike and pedestrian lanes later. Those should be included in the original design and factored into the cost.

11/15/2007 2:38 PM  
Anonymous JW said...

Yeah, but it looks cool.

11/15/2007 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Brooksider said...

I’m just back from Charleston and their bridge is truly a landmark dominating their historic downtown vista. The proposed Paseo design is truly underwhelming in comparison. Any bridge of this importance, in this day and age, that does not accommodate bikes and mass transit is a joke and worse, a disservice and money ill spent.

11/16/2007 7:47 PM  
Blogger Eolaí gan Fhéile said...

Clearly not a landmark but maybe not a mini-me version of Charlston either.

A much short diamond tower is a more dramatic shape emphasising the diamond more than the tower aspect. And one tower is aesthetically much more interesting than two towers in their boring symmetry.

And anyway I think the Charlston Cooper River Bridge itself is not exactly original. Not compared to an earlier bridge in Norway for starters.

Still though, in KC's case and in general it's always a shame when building a new bridge the opportunity isn't taken to be truly unique.

11/16/2007 9:16 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

ck, we've got something like that down here crossing the Houston Ship Channel between Baytown and LaPorte , Texas.

Trust me, you don't want to emulate either.

11/17/2007 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has always been the Paseo Bridge; everyone locally knows the bridge to which you are referring -why change that to the Bond Bridge? Do we have to name everything in this city after former politicians? Paseo means "pass" - makes sense and is a nice name.

2/21/2008 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This city is so short-sighted it seems to always under-plan its infrastructure, opting to "fix it" years later after the sprawl and growth over-burdens it. The lanes they're adding from M210 southward are obviously replacing lanes that should have been included with the original highway system plan and existing Paseo bridge. If city planners had any foresight, they'd either add another bridge or make this one even wider with bike & walking access.

2/21/2008 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5/04/2009 12:19 AM  

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