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Family hopes to preserve Lefkowitz legacy at site of new bike bridge

Original post made on Aug 13, 2021

Benjamin Lefkowitz never got to ride through the seasonal undercrossing that bears his name. Now, as the city moves to replace the undercrossing with a bike bridge, Lefkowitz's friends and family hope his legacy won't be forgotten.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 13, 2021, 6:57 AM

Comments (16)

Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:21 am

felix is a registered user.

He sounds like a wonderful man, but maybe we’ve honored bike activists enough. We named Bryant St. Bike Blvd. after Ellen Fletcher (and a school for her, for biking and other aspects of her life).
If the bridge would be named, there are others to honor for other types of community contributions.
Just something to think about.


Posted by Jim Colton
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 13, 2021 at 11:02 am

Jim Colton is a registered user.

In addition to his vast reputation as a bicyclist, Ben was also an avid tennis player. I recall many a noon hour meeting Ben at the MA tennis courts for a tennis game followed by an interesting conversation. Since Ben was an expert in investments, I also got some free and reliable investment advice. Not many months go by when I don't recall some conversation with Ben that took place over 30 years ago.


Posted by lstovel
a resident of University South
on Aug 13, 2021 at 11:12 am

lstovel is a registered user.

As I waited patiently (or not so patiently) for the new bridge, I regretted that Benjamin Lefkowitz’s name would disappear along with the underpass, which I too used to get to work for many years. I am delighted to hear that his family does not want that to happen, and I wholeheartedly support adding a remembrance to the new bridge.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2021 at 1:12 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

The tunnel remains, it just won't be accessible to the public, only SCC Water Authority.


Posted by Fr0hickey
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 13, 2021 at 2:01 pm

Fr0hickey is a registered user.

Call it "Bridge over Benjamin Lefkowitz Undercrossing"


Posted by Jan Buck
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2021 at 3:03 pm

Jan Buck is a registered user.

It might be fitting to blow up the photo montage of Ben that sits on the sofa in your photo, Im curious as to what's in it......if so, thanks........


Posted by marahfab
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 13, 2021 at 4:56 pm

marahfab is a registered user.

Last year I was there the last weekend the underpass was open, & spoke to several people about it there. Years ago I participated in a couple of Ben's delightful, imaginative bike rides. I wrote about all this in a short piece (under 1200 words).


Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 13, 2021 at 4:58 pm

StarSpring is a registered user.

"Naming a city facility after an individual involves an extensive process that includes reviews by relevant city commissions, a recommendation from the Palo Alto Historical Association and a vote by the City Council"

Really? If this is true our city staff is too bloated. Name the bridge after Mr. Lefkowitz and be done with it. We are just replacing one freeway crossing mechanism with another one in the same place.


Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2021 at 4:59 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

I love this idea. I never met Mr. Lefkowitz, but I am grateful to him every day for the safe, off-road connection to bay trail bike routes my husband has ridden for years between our Palo Alto home to his job in San Jose. Our whole family has used the tunnel to go for walks, birding, and biking in the baylands. We eagerly look forward to using the new bridge.

Yes. Please honor Mr. Lefkowitz by naming the bicycle/pedestrian bridge after him. After all, the bridge will replace his namesake tunnel. Without the tunnel, so many people who love to walk and bike would not have discovered our glorious bay trails. It was the tunnel that increased use and demand for a year round facility at that location.

City Council, let's please carry forward Mr. Lefkowitz' well-earned honor by naming the new bridge after him.--and maybe put up a plaque with some history this time. I don't think a lot of people realize how hard it is to get any kind of bike facility approved and built--no matter how much it is needed.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 13, 2021 at 5:39 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

What a beautiful and simple quote” I bicycle because it's a healthy, economical way to get around, and it's ecologically sound. It gives me a sense of freedom and motion I have found in no other activity.' — Benjamin Lefkowitz.

It’s a no brainer to keep his legendary pedal pushing alive and well for all generations to enjoy and learn! Please name the bridge after him.


Posted by Bart Anderson
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 13, 2021 at 8:16 pm

Bart Anderson is a registered user.

I'm grateful to Mr. Lefkowitz for his pioneering and advocacy. May we continue in his spirit!


Posted by cheese guy
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 13, 2021 at 8:46 pm

cheese guy is a registered user.

I agree with Star Spring's comment above, the bridge should absolutely be named after this wonderful man. So, we have to go through a "Palo Alto Process" for this? Really? Just name the bridge after him and be done with it, one supsects the City Council could adopt a resolution to this end if they so wanted.


Posted by Ron Wolf
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 16, 2021 at 4:41 pm

Ron Wolf is a registered user.

A good opportunity to mention that the Western Wheelers Bicycle Club remains quite active with over 1,000 members & rides for all abilities and interests. Perhaps the best way that one can honor Lefkowitz’s legacy is to ride a bike & ride it often.

Wonderful that Palo Alto is finally getting this bridge done. Over 20 years in the making.


Posted by Steve Dabrowski
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 17, 2021 at 11:54 am

Steve Dabrowski is a registered user.

The city really should name the bridge after him and drop all this nonsense about all the difficulties. If not, the people of Palo Alto and the local newspapers can just continue to refer the bridge as the Ben Lefkowitz bridge whenever discussing it. We don't need anyone's approval!


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2021 at 7:36 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Regardless of what it is named officially, it will be called the new bike bridge for a very long time.


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Me 2 is a registered user.

Maintaining an honor for a white man? Come on. We're dropping the ball on virtue signaling.

We need a minority LGBTQ+ transgender female tricyclist instead!

(sarcasm)


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