SANTA CLARA -- Just about everything needed for the San Francisco 49ers' new $1.2 billion stadium seems to cost a lot of money -- even the bureaucracy.

Officials are getting ready to spend $56,500 just to study whether they should paint a bike lane outside the new Santa Clara stadium.

The city of Santa Clara, the 49ers and the Valley Transportation Authority are splitting the cost of the study, which the Santa Clara City Council is expected to approve Tuesday night.

So why does a study about re-striping lanes amount to the cost of a brand-new Mercedes-Benz -- or a few thousand cans of paint?

The contract with North Carolina-based Kimley-Horn and Associates includes a traffic study, three possible new road configurations, meeting with affected government agencies, public outreach and clearance under California environmental law. They'll have to determine how many people would use the lanes and how it would impact vehicle traffic along the city's 1½-mile portion of Tasman Drive, which also includes VTA light rail tracks and stops in the median.

"We want to get all the information before just saying, 'OK, this is what we're going to do,' " said City Traffic Engineer Dennis Ng, noting there would be up to three public meetings for people to weigh in.


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City officials say Kimley-Horn's proposal was actually the cheapest of three bids they received for the work in January. The 29-page agreement with the company includes fee rates ranging from $220 an hour for a contract manager to $85 an hour for clerical workers. Up to $8,305 can be spent on expenses ranging from pens and print cartridges to faxes and travel.

Fans who ride bikes to the 49ers games and big events will have bike racks and lockers to use, and even valet bike parking, which officials are pushing as a way to reduce congestion before and after events at the 68,500-seat stadium.

Separately, the council on Tuesday is also expected to approve $3 million for a new Motorola radio system for the Santa Clara Police Department to help patrol the city and the new stadium. Revenues from the stadium will pay for $560,000 of the radio cost.

Finally, as reported last week, the council on Tuesday is set to finalize the start of a process to refinance the $850 million public loan needed to build the stadium, an effort intended to lower long-term interest costs.

Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/RosenbergMerc.