“Wait, do I stop on a blinking yellow and slow down for red, or was it stop for red and eat on green? Well, I better decide quick or I’ll be condemned to disease, fire and the dreaded Sex with Cousins. Hey, don’t laugh. My friends think I’m English. They have no idea why my ears are this big.”

But can they follow traffic directions? I love the animals, but last time I checked, the reason for the phrase “Road Kill” was because our Furry Friends in the Wild didn’t understand, and could really care less, about traffic rules. But that’s not stopping the geniuses at the California Department of Transportation from considering a special traffic lane just for animal commuters. And I’m not talking about the occasional Golden Retriever who might jump behind the wheel.

The next commuter lane at the 405 may be for wildlife

SACRAMENTO — Even in Los Angeles, where celebrities dress their pets in designer clothes, a proposal for a $455,000 animal path over the 405 Freeway has riled residents who say scarce transportation dollars should not be used to help deer and bobcats get around while humans remain stuck in endless traffic.

The cost could balloon to $1.4 million if environmentalists can persuade the city to extend the wildlife path, which would be part of an overpass for vehicles and pedestrians, beyond the freeway, officials said…Even some activists who have long supported green causes are ridiculing the idea of a special path on the Skirball Center Drive bridge so coyote and opossum can commute across the Sepulveda Pass.

“What are they going to do, have Doctor Dolittle standing there directing animals to use the bridge?” scoffed Ernest Frankel, a member of the Mountaingate Community Assn., a residents group…

A connection between the habitats adjacent to the 405 would help animals flee when disease or fire affects them on either side, Edelman said, and avoid isolating them in a way that leads to inbreeding.

Stay away from my nuts!The Tiny Gay Squirrel says: “Inbreeding. Right. Next time I see a six-legged bobcat setting up home in a ratty trailer I’ll let you know right away.”

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6 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. artgal says:

    “A connection between the habitats adjacent to the 405 would help animals flee when disease or fire affects them on either side, Edelman said, and avoid isolating them in a way that leads to inbreeding”

    Is there going to be someone there to supervise the animals so they know how to get to the proposed path to escape fire and disease? Will a big directory with a ‘You Are Here’ posting – like we see at malls – be built for our animal friends to sniff/read? Will there also be a bill in the making at some point to offer tax-payer funded insurance policies to our friends in the wild? A burnt nest or smoke damage in a cave really sucks.

    Geez, I don’t think we should worry so much about the inbreeding occurring w/i the animal kingdom. Seems that is what produced the ‘humans’ thinking up this crap at The California Dept. of Transportation. Maybe they’re in need of a special path.

  2. Kelly says:

    The last time I drove on the 405, I was more worried about the crazy drivers (inbred or not), than I was about Bambi vainly trying to cross for a rendezvous with Wiley E. Coyote.

    Now I have visions of the Tazmanian Devil as the crossing guard.

    This is going to be an interesting day…

  3. helpunderdog says:

    I think it’s a wonderful idea – some compassion for those innocent beings who are totally at our mercy.
    Think of all of the accidents caused by motorists hitting innocent wildlife – it’s a win-win situation.

  4. Ann says:

    There are several of these bridges already in use in New Jersey. So much for innovation.

  5. mythusmage says:

    As Ann pointed out above, special road crossing for wildlife are already in use. Mostly tunnels under the roadway, but some bridges over too.

    Animals adapt to such things quickly. Those that use the bridge survive and have kids. Those who don’t, don’t. In a few generations you can expect the deer at least to use the wildlife bridge in perference to anything else. Though I do wonder if a broad underpass for exclusive wildlife use wouldn’t be better.

  6. mrfixit says:

    I was listening to morning radio on my way to work and heard about this. A caller said that for his recent college theisis, he studied the proposal, and found four crossings that allow wildlife to move between these areas. He named them off but I don’t remenber where they are. He said that he actuallty observed movement at these crossings before he would consider them as a viable crossing. The wildlife is using these four points now. It will take years before a new crossing will become “naturalized” to the crossing.

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