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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Typical poor facilities...

    This article highlights the treatment cyclists get in "Americas' Finest City" as San Diego touts itself. Now bear in mind that this city received the award last year for best cycling city for population over a million.

    Yet this is typical of the facilities we have at our disposal:



    By Ruth McKinnie Braun
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

    January 9, 2008

    THE PROBLEM: The San Diego bike path along state Route 56 from Carmel Valley to Rancho Peñasquitos is straight and smooth, but getting to it from El Camino Real is a jarring experience.

    Mitch Lynn sets out from his home in Mission Hills twice a month for a ride that loops north to Carmel Valley across to Interstate 15 and then back home.


    THE SITE: State Route 56 bike path in Carmel Valley.
    Lynn said the 10-mile path beside Route 56 is one of the region's best rides. He just wishes it was easier to get to.

    When Caltrans built the path, it included a paved entrance from southbound El Camino Real, but not from the northbound side.

    Cyclists have forged a 200-foot dirt trail to the asphalt bike path, but there are no signs and no curb cuts leading there. Some cyclists, Lynn said, ride down the somewhat steep trail filled with ruts, but many walk.

    “If you are not a strong rider, you will fall down,” Lynn said.

    Northbound riders can use the southbound entrance, but that requires riding against traffic on El Camino Real, cutting across six lanes of 50 mph traffic and a center median or riding to a traffic light more than a block away and circling back. Lynn and other riders who have contacted Just Fix It want Caltrans or the city of San Diego to pave the trail and put in a curb cut.

    Lynn also said part of the paved path between El Camino Real and Carmel Creek Road is chronically flooded.

    STATUS: Just Fix It called Caltrans, which said San Diego is responsible for maintaining the path.

    Brad Jacobsen, a city associate traffic engineer, said paving the trail would cost about $245,000 and is not as simple as it appears. Because of sensitive habitat near the trail, the city would have to provide environmental mitigation.

    The city has unsuccessfully applied for money for the project from the half-cent sales tax that pays for transportation projects in the region. Jacobsen said the city will apply again and is looking at other options.

    The flooding is caused by an overgrowth of native plants in Carmel Creek. Jacobsen said the city is looking for money to install a flood-control channel.

    WHO'S RESPONSIBLE: Brad Jacobsen, who can be reached at (619) 533-3126 or bjacobsen@sandiego.gov. The city has a bicycle hotline at (619) 533-3110. NEED A PROBLEM SOLVED: Is there a problem government hasn't taken care of despite your complaints? Whether it's a missing bus bench or an unkempt park anywhere in San Diego County, Just Fix It might be able to help.

    Complaint forms are at justfixit.uniontrib.com, or call (800) 820-8714 to describe your problem.

    From: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/j...z1m9fixit.html

    The sad thing is that this dirt path leads to perhaps one of the best bike paths in the area... a nice wide path with below grade crossings and bridges and entrances and exits similar to a freeway. But getting there is another thing.

    But this is only the tip of the iceburg... other paths are cracked and broken, one path has stairs leading to it, and most paths do NOT have curb cuts, thus cyclists are forced to carry bikes over curbs to access paths... if they can find them, few paths are signed, so if you don't know it is there, you might miss it completely.

    What do the facilities where you live look like?

    Noisebeam posted this the other day: "Safer streets" implies some streets less safe than others?

    And Cyclaholic shared this: "Safer streets" implies some streets less safe than others?

  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    What I was getting at in posting photos of facilities is that it is always possible to post only the good or only the bad representation of facility. I think bringing attention to the bad (as the lead off article does) is far more important. This is because a bicycle route is only as good as its weakest points.

    All to often, whether bike lane or bike path, the weak points get overlooked due to stretches of clean intersection free pavement in between them.

    Al

  3. #3
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    One of these days I will get a video camera and show you my ride to work. My office moved and added 5 more miles to my trip. Because the whole extra 5 miles can be done along a bike path, it adds hardly any time because there are no traffic signals. It is not a perfect path and I'm sure the VC whiners will find plenty wrong with it. But it's much better than the alternative (the surface streets) and there are many delightful things along the way (like frogs croaking louder than the freeway or trees full of giant dopy-looking birds next to the ocean) that make the ride something to look forward to.

    I'm so tired of the VC macho men declaring pleasant facilities like mine a bad thing. If it weren't for the facilities I wouldn't enjoy the ride as much and probably wouldn't do it. Even Gene's dirt path looks better than riding next to a freeway with honking yahoos and belching diesel trucks.
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  4. #4
    Back after a long absence joelpalmer's Avatar
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    At the risk of sounding like an @$$ hole, at least you have any bike facilities. Try riding in place like Baltimore where there is almost 0 support for biking (there's one nice trail that has nothing to do with getting from anywhere to anywhere, it's purely recreational) and the streets are poorly maintained to boot. Sure, having a nice trail with bad access is a pain, but it beats the @#$@# out of having no trail.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    What I was getting at in posting photos of facilities is that it is always possible to post only the good or only the bad representation of facility. I think bringing attention to the bad (as the lead off article does) is far more important. This is because a bicycle route is only as good as its weakest points.

    All to often, whether bike lane or bike path, the weak points get overlooked due to stretches of clean intersection free pavement in between them.

    Al
    I agree with you... which is why I keep whining to the local advocacy group about the facilities... Sure there is "some pavement" out there... but if there are "barriers to entry" such as dirt paths, curbs, stairs, and what have you... then it is a lousy network.

    The same situation exists with just regular streets... (that the VC only crowd insists are "just fine"), in that if there are dangerous sweeping on ramps or off ramps for example, then the regular streets are NOT ideal for cyclists.

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    can I ask why that person in the picture is walking that bike ?

    are they trying to gain sympathy by looking emo...ohhh dirty can't ride anymore WAHHHHH


    as other posts indicate, count yourself lucky to have any access at all. I have to ride through
    5 foot deep broken shards of glass 20 miles with tigers chasing me, just to get food.


    "The sad thing is that this dirt path leads to perhaps one of the best bike paths in the area... a nice wide path with below grade crossings and bridges and entrances and exits similar to a freeway. But getting there is another thing."

    wow...''the sad thing''.... jeebus I think that having access to 'one of the best bike paths in the area' is a good thing.

    I dunno call me silly but I don't really get it. you have paths. most don't.

  7. #7
    Selfish bitter clinger.
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelpalmer View Post
    At the risk of sounding like an @$$ hole, at least you have any bike facilities. Try riding in place like Baltimore where there is almost 0 support for biking (there's one nice trail that has nothing to do with getting from anywhere to anywhere, it's purely recreational) and the streets are poorly maintained to boot. Sure, having a nice trail with bad access is a pain, but it beats the @#$@# out of having no trail.
    That's the problem I face in Baton Rouge, LA. I'd love to have bad facility's. The city's idea of a bike lane is just a narrow four lane boulevard converted to wide two lane inside lanes and a painted bike lane on the outside lane. Not that bad I guess, except they go nowhere and are just for recreation.

    Separated and protected paths and MUPs are not even in the city's vocabulary.
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  8. #8
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edzo View Post
    can I ask why that person in the picture is walking that bike ?
    Maybe he's riding on 23's and they can't handle what looks like 5 inch ruts?
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edzo View Post
    can I ask why that person in the picture is walking that bike ?

    are they trying to gain sympathy by looking emo...ohhh dirty can't ride anymore WAHHHHH


    as other posts indicate, count yourself lucky to have any access at all. I have to ride through
    5 foot deep broken shards of glass 20 miles with tigers chasing me, just to get food.


    "The sad thing is that this dirt path leads to perhaps one of the best bike paths in the area... a nice wide path with below grade crossings and bridges and entrances and exits similar to a freeway. But getting there is another thing."

    wow...''the sad thing''.... jeebus I think that having access to 'one of the best bike paths in the area' is a good thing.

    I dunno call me silly but I don't really get it. you have paths. most don't.
    The bike path that was put in was done so as the road that was once used to access the community down the way was removed and a freeway was put in... without the path there would be no access to a community where access had existed previously. This was a concession to cyclists based on the fact that prior to the freeway, they could at least ride on the existing road. The freeway is closed to cyclists.

    The problem is that once the freeway was built, the finishing of the path was pretty much stopped. Cyclists do use the path quite frequently. I have counted as many as 30 cyclists in an hour on a typical evening.

    The cyclist is walking their bike as the dirt there is not dirt but mud and sand... pretty soft sand at that. Very fat tires may be able to handle it, but anything narrower than about 1.5 inch tires are going to bog down and flip you off the bike.

    It is not a sympathy plea, but a broken promise by the city and CalTrans, who now are pointing fingers at each other. Imagine a freeway built for cars with no on/off ramps... that is pretty much the situation. (there are on/off ramps from the path a few miles down from the dirt area)

    BTW this is not in the heart of town but connects suburb communities together... and allows cyclists from further out to reach a major industrial area we call "Telecom Valley," and from there connect to other places in town.

    BTW the road that this almost connects to, is a 6 lane 50MPH arterial road... where folks tend to easily drive faster than 50. You don't want to fiddle around and fall in the face of 50MPH traffic due to a crappy connection to the road.

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoebikerLa View Post
    That's the problem I face in Baton Rouge, LA. I'd love to have bad facility's. The city's idea of a bike lane is just a narrow four lane boulevard converted to wide two lane inside lanes and a painted bike lane on the outside lane. Not that bad I guess, except they go nowhere and are just for recreation.

    Separated and protected paths and MUPs are not even in the city's vocabulary.
    Better get them a better dictionary.

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