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  1. #1
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    So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway

    Wouldn't it be nice if...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-wildlifebridge.jpg  

    So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-5981135596_8b6872bf88_o.jpg  

    So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-animal-bridges-let-wildlife-across-highways-safely-photo-gallery-medium_5.jpg  

    So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-animal-bridges-let-wildlife-across-highways-safely-photo-gallery-medium_7.jpg  


  2. #2
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    is that in florida?

    sorry, i was thinking about a different KIND of cougar, ha. *rimshot*
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  3. #3
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    Looks more effective than a gap in the center divide wall. Looks wide enough to fit a set of whoops for dirt cyclists than need to get across too.
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

  4. #4
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    There are a bunch of these on the Trans Canada Highway leading out of Banff Alberta on the way to Lake Louise. For a stretch of highway I think they have one every 10 miles or something. The Canadian game agencies have found great success and have assembled an arsenal of documentation through research and motion detection cameras. Moose, elk, deer, bear, mountain lions, bobcats, badgers, and just about every mammal you can thing of use these nature crossings regularly. What you can't see are a series of tunnels that compliment the natural bridges. Apparently some species prefer the subterranean passage.

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    Cool, but looks like inefficient government spending to me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by chudaman View Post
    Cool, but looks like inefficient government spending to me...
    Bridges attract trolls, even on the internet.

  7. #7
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    Very cool!

  8. #8
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    Sometimes the greater good doesn't look like it.

  9. #9
    fc
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    Tracking devices on cougars and other animals show that they have to cross the freeway regularly to roam their territory. This land is what they've crossed for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. That is why there an $8 billion dollar US road kill problem.

    fc

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    They have them here in Germany crossing the autobahn.

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    I drove the highway in Banff a few years ago. The bridges are quiet beautiful and it is very inspiring. I cannot imagine they are as expensive as traditional bridges, as they look to be giant aluminum culverts that don't need to support cars and truck (this is speculation though).

    Banff is a Canadian national park with many large animals.

  12. #12
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    There are some in Nevada for cattle.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  13. #13
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    Wouldn't they just steer their BMWs to the off-ramps?

    "Yeah, Humboldt County is way the %#@* up there, but worth it!"

  14. #14
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    Made me think of these gems...




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    Quote Originally Posted by gxglass View Post
    Bridges attract trolls, even on the internet.
    this comment is complete win.

    They have these things all over Poland, I think it was for livestock or farmers
    who needs brakes?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Made me think of these gems...
    LOL! That's just....no words.

  17. #17
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    These crossings are awesome.

    Conclusion: Europe and Canada rule.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gxglass View Post
    Bridges attract trolls, even on the internet.
    Bwahahaha, rad

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gxglass View Post
    Bridges attract trolls, even on the internet.
    Snort!
    Poaching Demo...that's why we can't have nice things...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by primordial View Post
    These crossings are awesome.

    Conclusion: Europe and Canada rule.
    Agree, and agree.

    Cougars cross Highway 17 with some regularity, and occasionally are struck by cars. It's very sad.

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    I thought the California mountain lion population was healthy and growing? Seems like our schools are in greater need of the funding, for instance . Don't get me wrong, I understand protecting natural resources and traffic safety, just a priority difference for me. Can't wait until freeway overpasses for wildlife are the top priority.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hel Mot View Post
    I thought the California mountain lion population was healthy and growing? Seems like our schools are in greater need of the funding, for instance . Don't get me wrong, I understand protecting natural resources and traffic safety, just a priority difference for me. Can't wait until freeway overpasses for wildlife are the top priority.
    Think a little more broadly, my good man. Not just cougars, but deer, cyclists and hikers, plain old locals trying to get from one side to the other without firing up the car and driving several miles.

  23. #23
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    Those ladies would HATE walking through the woods carrying their clothes the next morning(Another rim shot). Cool OP.

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    How much does it cost when a vehicle hits a 90 pound deer at 65 mph? What is the cost if that vehicle swerves into another vehicle in order to avoid wildlife in the road? These crossings are also passive, meaning they will not change how or where people drive. No life style change. And with well planed design will allow safe crossing for many species.
    Many of us have been working on identifying choke point and vehicle Ė wildlife collision hot spots and are starting to get the attention of Cal Trans. It is also very important to have areas that will be protected from development long term so planning is a huge part of the process. DT

    California Roadkill Observation System | CROS

    Overview of pre-modeling steps for designing corridors - Corridordesign.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan View Post
    Think a little more broadly, my good man. Not just cougars, but deer, cyclists and hikers, plain old locals trying to get from one side to the other without firing up the car and driving several miles.
    Thanks for clarifying who could use these overpasses. Education funding among other items is still a greater priority for me.

  26. #26
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    In Holland and Belgium they are called "ecoducts".

    I would think that Hwy 17 could use one somewhere near the summit. Lots of open space on both sides of that freeway. It's not just for mountain lions and deer. Many small animals (skunks, opossums, raccoons, etc) will use them as well.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

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    Saw a small lion crossing the El Sereno trail a few days back. He was about the height of my wheel axle, long tail, and trotting along as I descended in the late afternoon. He darted off instantly into the brush. I wonder if they use the overpass at Bear Rd. to cross ? That would be a spot to make a path for them but very costly to expand the bridge.

  28. #28
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    I heard we spend $8 billion annually to clean up road kill. But the bigger bill is the toll to the animals. And how many human lives are lost as well?

    fc

    Quote Originally Posted by plantguy View Post
    How much does it cost when a vehicle hits a 90 pound deer at 65 mph? What is the cost if that vehicle swerves into another vehicle in order to avoid wildlife in the road? These crossings are also passive, meaning they will not change how or where people drive. No life style change. And with well planed design will allow safe crossing for many species.
    Many of us have been working on identifying choke point and vehicle Ė wildlife collision hot spots and are starting to get the attention of Cal Trans. It is also very important to have areas that will be protected from development long term so planning is a huge part of the process. DT

    California Roadkill Observation System | CROS

    Overview of pre-modeling steps for designing corridors - Corridordesign.org

  29. #29
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    There are a lot of these crossings in the Sacramento & Central Valley... but they are tractor crossings for farmers. They look like standard overpasses.

    P

  30. #30
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    Can't the cougars go to bars and get some young guy to give them a ride? They do in Marin.

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    The photos you originally posted are in Sweden or Germany I believe. They are put there for the elk and deer herds to migrate. Predators just follow the herds.

    We are spending a millions of dollars to put in an "eco overpass" over Doyle Drive" on this billion dollar project. How many millions per mile is this project?

    Doyle drive was a death zone and needed to be fixed, but to take a freeway that is 60 feet up in the air and build a bridge over it, so all of the lanes are now in a tunnel seems like excessive spending. How many trillions are we in debt? Never mind, it will look pretty. I guess they need to connect the Presedio area with Crissy Field, so stray dogs can go for a swim.

    If I lived in SF, there would be some *****en BMX trails on the slopes within six months.


  32. #32
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    These are great like many ideas..then reality hits.. who pays for it. I know the cost of an overpass and it isn't worth taking more money from me to do it. Just paid the highest in the the nation DMV registration and prop 30 passed coming is the payrool tax....at some point enough is enough. I'm all for wildlife but more intelligent building practices and designs would be better to solve the issue. I'd like to have time to ride and not work all the time to pay for every nickle and dime. In fact allow people to donate money to the cause...see how caring people are then.
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  33. #33
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    I've seen wildlife corridor overpasses in New Jersey working.

    This was a common topic of discussion with the Santa Clara open Space Authority at a meeting last November.

    Underpasses exist.

    In California the highway system is built with minimal regard for the environment it bisects.

    By default the drainages over which highways cross with bridges and viaducts have become corridors for terrestrial animals. To me it appears as though these crossings have not been created to facilitate the mobility of wildlife.

  34. #34
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    This topic is something I have been working on for some time now.

    Until recently most roads built do not address issues of wildlife and for areas like the SF Bay Area it is still a very low priority. I am starting to think it is because the largest wild animals we encounter are deer. They still do substantial damage in a collision but in an area where elk or a brown bear will cross there seems to be more interest in these crossings.

    These crossings can be very simple and donít need to be elaborate in fact many freeways already have structures that wildlife occasionally use but a major problem is keeping these structures clear and some donít even have fencing to funnel animals to them.

    Here are a couple of images that show lack of maintenance that by the way should be performed in order to protect the roadway from water damage. If cleared some of the field camera images I have shown animals will use this type of structure.

    This is on Highway 17 near Lexington, by the way one hot spot of death is from the Cats Restaurant to Alma or Old Santa Cruz Hwy. Right where this culvert is.

    I donít have numbers on collisions and results, for some reason it is very hard to get these from Cal Trans. The way we have been submitting some of the field totals are per location, this is how ďtheyĒ want the info.

    I have also started a road kill Gallery on one of my web pages. DT

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-17cl_01_w1.jpg  

    So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-17cl_01_w2.jpg  

    So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-17cl_01_w3.jpg  


  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot View Post
    Wouldn't they just steer their BMWs to the off-ramps?

    If those are cougars, either you're 20 or I'm much older than i thought i was

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by gxglass View Post
    Bridges attract trolls, even on the internet.
    As an accused troll I guess I am more of an expert than others on the subject of underpasses and overpasses and my opinion should be respected. Trolls prefer underpasses and I think cougars would too.

    Also, no one has yet pointed out that cougars are nocturnal and that, for example, the hwy 17 corridor is easily crossed at night. So why do we need to spend millions of $ to appease a humanistic perspective that does not fit the noble cougar? I see purpose in those overpasses where seasonal migration of large numbers of animals is involved. However, this is not the case in the bay area so I think that the idea is more folly than something that would actually provide benefit.

  37. #37
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    Valid point. Definitely not troll. Troll is so cliched now.

    But i also agree with Francis and others who point out the rising cost of accidents. Its possible that its cheaper to build a couple of these (under or over) when you aggregate the cost of accidents over many years.

    I don't think it would work without a lot of fence though. Deer and cougar may take the path of least resistance, so I'm guessing you have to line a lot of the road with fence to channel them through the ecoduct. You still have entry points at each road too, on 17 there are a lot of roads intersecting the hw over the summit area. How to stop deer/cougar entering one side from a road (like summit road), then getting trapped in the hw which is now a long fenced corridor with fast moving cars?
    Last edited by Procter; 01-08-2013 at 11:26 PM.

  38. #38
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    That is where all the work comes into play. It takes a lot of effort to identify where to put the crossing. On Highway 17 we had cameras on the Redwood Estates underpass and Bear Creek over crossing. In 9 months we got several deer using the RE passage and zero animals using Bear Creek.

    It is also important to understand that when fencing is installed an animal will usually follow it until they come to a crossing structure or an obstacle. Whether or not they use the crossing is up to the animal, some will and some wonít that is why it is important to maintain and keep the crossings clear.

    In the case of an opening like Summit the fencing could be placed several meters from the over pass with an obstacle to limit passage. There are also ways to in stall escape ramps on the roadside of the fencing. DT

  39. #39
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    Hi Tech

    We should combine technologies:

    Use the trackers installed by Santa Cruz Pumas. Detect the presence of a cougar along 17, install a few signals, stop the traffic and flash a large sign indicating a cougar is crossing. All will fell better about helping natural resources while they rest in their vehicles.
    Last edited by brianb00; 01-09-2013 at 08:15 PM. Reason: typo

  40. #40
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    The answer is simple and cheap(er).

    Employ unemployed humans to monitor trebuchets set up on either side of the freeways. Load them up with rotting meat, and as soon as a cougar sets foot in the thing, sproingggggg! Over to the other side without a problem.


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    one word... Awesome!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by chudaman View Post
    As an accused troll I guess I am more of an expert than others on the subject of underpasses and overpasses and my opinion should be respected. Trolls prefer underpasses and I think cougars would too.

    Also, no one has yet pointed out that cougars are nocturnal and that, for example, the hwy 17 corridor is easily crossed at night. So why do we need to spend millions of $ to appease a humanistic perspective that does not fit the noble cougar? I see purpose in those overpasses where seasonal migration of large numbers of animals is involved. However, this is not the case in the bay area so I think that the idea is more folly than something that would actually provide benefit.
    Typically they are crepuscular, most active around dusk and dawn. I have found they are active any time and crossing17 any time is dangerous for anyone. Puma would not be the only animal to use crossing strutures. Cal Trans is starting to look at Santa Cruz Pumas work along 17. DT
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-pict0088.jpg  

    So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-sv04-11.17.12-mountain-lion-2-2.jpg  

    So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-sv04-11.28.12-2-2.jpg  


  43. #43
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    This story about puma road kill is from last April:
    So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-imageuploadedbytapatalk1358102510.020307.jpg

    This would be a great place for a bike, hike, and wildlife friendly crossing!

  44. #44
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    On the drive up to Skeggs today we saw a dead coyote on 280 N Bound close to the median near the radio telescope. It was in the section between the Alpine Rd and Sandhill Rd exits I think.

    The countryside surrounding the freeway on both sides here is open rural grassland dotted with occasional valley oaks. Leaving aside the legendary wiliness of the coyote and the notion that there is no worry about the coyote being on the endangered species list, this is just another road kill on the same significance as a possum, skunk or raccoon. Sad anyway.

    It got me thinking about it as a bike rider, how I would plan to cross a freeway when I go on that rare long road ride. I hate the crossings on bike across 280, except the novelty of the long pedestrian overpass the hwy 92. Sandhill is a crazy long exposure in a 50m mph zone. Pagemill and Arastradero is weird. El Monte Rd is pretty exposed too. These three are infamous cyclist death zones.

    Wild animals don't have language to read signs, access to political maps. Crossing freeways as a human walking or riding a bike with maps and the ability to read signs and technology is actually a fairly complex task and something to take seriously.

    I figure animals read the landscape like we watch TV. It makes sense to them.

    Is there an economical way to integrate existing infrastructure in a way that wildlife can interpret it?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couch Bike Dude View Post
    This story about puma road kill is from last April:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ImageUploadedByTapatalk1358102510.020307.jpg 
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    This would be a great place for a bike, hike, and wildlife friendly crossing!

    Unless you have a date on the newspaper that sounds like the day we were collaring puma f13, Half Tail, off Kennedy Road on January 11 2010. Two of the people in the story were Nat Geo photographer Frans Lanting and his wife. They were going to photograph the collaring but we got a call that there was a road kill puma near the Catís and Frans wanted that story instead so off he went. The third person is a friend I called to help move the puma.
    Like I have already stated the area between the Catís Restaurant and Alma Ė Old Santa Cruz Hwy is the hot spot for a potential crossing structure and there are several culverts that could be improved as such structures. DT
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails So you're a cougar and you need to cross the highway-0111100959a.jpg  


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