Let me say at the outset that I do not live on either Bridge or Barnett Lane. From my house it is a 10- to 15-minute walk to the now controversial footbridge. Although it is not in my backyard, I support its replacement.
Although it is a pleasant and nice place, Fox Point has few truly unique community assets. The footbridge is one. It affords those who wish to go there a view of the ravine, the ever-changing understory and Lake Michigan in the distance. It is a peaceful refuge near at hand.
Our neighboring communities have community assets supported by public funds. Whitefish Bay has the scenic overlook at the east end of Silver Spring Drive. Shorewood has expended considerable funds at Atwater Beach. Surely not every resident of those communities uses those assets.
Commendably, the Village Board has spent a good deal of time studying various alternatives following the determination that the existing bridge is in serious disrepair. Fox Point doesn't often face expenditures of this magnitude, and the board has done its homework. It is now decision time.
It is clear to me that the limited repair option is not cost-effective, nor would it produce a demonstrably safe bridge. A new bridge will be safer and far more cost effective in the long run. And it now appears that available construction techniques will spare many of the trees in the area.
It is time to move forward and replace this unique community asset with a new bridge.
Mark B. Pollack
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