CV Link Bicycle Path Maintenance Costs

April 3rd, 2015

To: Palm Springs Mayor and City Council Members

Dear Mayor Pougnet and City Council Members:

     On April 3rd the Desert Sun reported the City of Rancho Mirage had withdrawn its support for the CV Link program after learning it would be required to unfairly share in the annual maintenance costs. The newspaper story is titled “Rancho Mirage backs away from CV Link over funding plan” and may be viewed using the following browser link.

     When CV Link was proposed the issue of annual maintenance costs was not included in the information provided to the public or local governments. The newspaper story is the first time we learn the costs must be paid by the individual cities for maintenance to be administered through a CVAG CV Link program. It’s an issue that should concern our local bicycle community and one that should trigger a review of Palm Springs support for the CV Link program.

     The Palm Springs General Plan for bicycles includes a long list of bicycle street routes, paths and trails that have been requested by the bicycling community. The city has been addressing a prioritized version of the list with funds in each year’s budget. It’s something I happily support and am grateful for the City Council’s support of bicycling in this manner. As one who rides a bicycle on a daily basis I cannot begin to express my appreciation for your support, for you definitely merit and have my heartfelt thanks.

     If the CV Link maintenance proposal is allowed to continue that would mean it would take precedence over all other local bicycling routes funding. And the huge sums required to maintain CV Link could serve to eliminate most other annual funding for bicycle projects. It’s for that reason I am hopeful Palm Springs will review its support for CV Link and decline to accept responsibility for the maintenance costs.


Bond Shands
April 3, 2015
The Notebook at

The following is a corrected copy of the comment I posted to the “Rancho Mirage backs away from CV Link over funding plan” report on the Desert Sun.


     Hooray for Rancho Mirage and their words of wisdom from wiser heads than those among the CV Link planners.

     From the start CV Link has moved ahead with their own chosen group of advisers comprised mostly of those who blindly support their efforts. Others with cautionary views who wished to be involved were never invited to participate as members of the “inner circle”.

     There’s a group of committed road bicyclists who are spearheading favorable publicity for the effort for the route is one of their greatest dreams. Never mentioned are the maintenance costs or other obstacles. Now we learn the real truth about future maintenance costs of the route and it’s something that was never mentioned when this project first appeared.

     CV Link needs more meaningful input from other sources and some of those providing constructive cautionary views need to be included in the actual planning process. And springing something like huge maintenance costs late in the game should never happen. Before this project moves forward, everything in the way of obstacles needs to be on the table in plain view. That’s the time, when all the facts and related data are known, to decide whether there’s real community financial and other support for CV Link.

Bond Shands
Palm Springs


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3 Responses to “CV Link Bicycle Path Maintenance Costs”

  1. Ward Fredericks Says:

    Reality is starting to intrude in the dreamlike sales pitch about the Link. The economic justification was preposterous. No analysis of costs of maintennance, security, public relations issues with gangs, muggings, etc. virtually every place that has one of these “paths” has experienced security and crime problems from the magnet effect of these places. It will be gang territory. Security, graffiti removal, and access for law enforcement and emergency care personnel are costs that were never considered in the economic justification for this project.

  2. Tom Kohn Says:

    Yes, I know my response comes years after your posting. But I’ve heard this objection to CV Link for a long, long time; and I still hear it. It surpasses my understanding that unknown maintenance costs would prevent the building of anything. I wonder if President Eisenhower worried about the costs of maintaining the Interstate Highway system. I wonder if, when planning a new street in, say, Rancho Mirage, if the city council might decide against it if they didn’t know the exact cost of street sweeping, pothole filling, traffic policing, and landscaping the borders and dividers.

    The question of maintenance costs is a thinly veiled objection to some public utility or service that the questioner dislikes, hoping to scotch the whole idea.

    Bond, you’re a cyclist of long standing. I’m frankly surprised that you would take a stance against a Class 1 bikeway, no matter the cost of construction, the length, the route, the range of users it might serve. I’m yet more surprised that you would repeat the objections from Rancho Mirage City Council without carefully weighing the reasons that those objections were made.

    Mr Hobart and his colleagues serve the moneyed isolationists of their community, despite the fact that only 42% of the Rancho Mirage population actually voted negatively about allowing golf carts on the 8 primary streets of their fair city.

  3. Bond Shands Says:

    Hi Tom Kohn,

    I cast aside my selfish interests as “a cyclist of long standing” in favor of analysis that questioned the economic value and trail usefulness to the Coachella Valley community. I begged (in print) the CVAG officials to undertake studies to determine existing bicyclist statistics (number of riders, levels of interest, time of use, etc.) and economic value. They failed to do so and instead relied on gestimates to support their expenditure of $100 million for what some as termed the CV Link Boondoggle. Their failure to document their claims with factual data convinced me the value of CV Link to the greater community is highly questionable.

    As for the Rancho Mirage decision to not participate in the CV Link plan, I’m a supporter of local community control over events within their city limits. I find no fault with the decision of that city’s residents to reject the CV Link route planned through their community.

    Best regards,

    Bond Shands

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