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Old 05-21-02, 05:47 AM   #1
LittleBigMan
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How good are the roads where you live?

We have plenty of variety as far as roads go. Wide. Smooth. Bumpy. Narrow. Blind corners. High visibility. Heavy traffic. Light traffic. High speed, low speed, direct or meandering.

One thing I've noticed, unfortunately, is that one of the most direct downtown routes on the map is about as favorable for cycling as a minefield.

Strangely, it's the street designated as the "Bike Route."

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Old 05-21-02, 07:13 AM   #2
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Around Columbus, Indiana the road conditions that I have seen have not been too bad. There are a few sections on my commute that are concrete and can be a little bumpy at times.

The roads in West Lafayette, Indiana are not bad either. There are a few bad sections within town. The county roads are not bad either. Maybe I have just taken good county roads.

I am originally from a rural area just south of Muncie, Indiana. The roads out there are bad. You can not miss the pot holes. When I am out on those roads, I just tell myself that it could be worse.
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Old 05-21-02, 07:32 AM   #3
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In California, a "bike route" is a Class 3 bikeway (Class 1 = separated from motor vehicles; Class 2 = designated bike lane; Class 3 = recommended route where a Class 1 or 2 is not available). As usual, those with well-maintained surfaces and either low speed limits or wide curb lanes can be quite good.

The biggest dangers arise at specific intersections (fast, freely-flowing merges and diverges) or bridges (fast and narrow). Because some of these short-distance problems can ruin an otherwise highly satisfactory route, I strongly favor spending bicycle and pedestrian funds on fixing these problems, rather than building an expensive network of Class Is.
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Old 05-21-02, 07:57 AM   #4
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The roads in Montreal range from little Koppenburgs to excellent. The roads in my neighbourhood are in generally very poor repair, particularly at this time of year. Winter freez/thaw and the runoff from melt tends to lave massive potholes and cracks everywhere... But that's mostly local.

In terms of roads for rides, there are some very good roads around here. Lakeshore Road is a good example; it's in generally very good condition, with some stretches in Pointe Claire and Beaconsfield that are excellent. The part where it runs through Lachine [where it's called St. Joseph] is quite good, except where road crews have tried to plug up cracks with ribbons of soft tar. It can be dicey if you get a wheel stuck in one of those at 45 km/h.

There are a number of bike paths/lanes that I do or don't take depending on the situation, though I'm glad there's a lane on the Camillien Houde Parkway [a hill used in the local WC race], since it's pretty twisty and it's hard to see traffic up and back.

One nice thing about Montreal is that most downtown streets are one-way. I find this makes things much safer; you don't have to worry about an oncoming car jumping into your lane, you can take the left side of the street to avoid car doors, traffic at most intersections only comes from one side and there is, of course, no right on red in Quebec.

A good number of roads outside of downtown are designated as "shared use" routes -- notably the Lakeshore -- where the speed limit is relatively low and motorists are continually reminded by signs to keep an eye out for cyclists.

On the whole, I'd give streets in the city a grade of B and the roads outside the city, like the Lakeshore, an A-.
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Old 05-21-02, 08:53 AM   #5
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Well around here its covered with cyclepad, 90% in very good shape and some dykpaths are bit worse but thats the only thing!

Too much tarmac around here for my Mtb
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Old 05-21-02, 08:57 AM   #6
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A variety of pavement qualities from glassy-smooth to Paris-Roubaix worthy. Also a similar variety of traffic speeds and driver behaviors. A silver lining to rapid population growth in my area is that much of it is electronics/computer biz driven and a substantial number of newer residents are less redneck than long time locals as well as being more likely to be cyclists. I really do think that drivers are more important than roads. Unfortunately two bad conditions prevail--gutless cops who won't really try to control motorist behavior and a population that's too dumb to make a connection between horrid pavement and too-low gasoline taxation. Ve need a FINAL SOLUTION to drunk and speeding drivers, ja?
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Old 05-21-02, 09:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by LittleBigMan
Strangely, it's the street designated as the "Bike Route."
Just curious Pete. What road is this?
I live in Decatur and work in the burbs (Norcross) so don't know the downtown streets.

Most of the streets I ride on are crowded with cars, trucks, SUVs, and buses that are all going way too fast. Many of the roads have lots of potholes and cracks (separations??) in the asphalt. :irritated

I just gazed into my crystal ball and it was revealed to me that the week after I die the legislature will appropriate the funds to repave the roads. Ha ha ha.
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Old 05-21-02, 09:23 AM   #8
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I have to agree with velocipedio about the quality in Montreal, they vary widely, because the road work tends to be patchy at best. Out on the west island where I live, the main north-south route next to my house (St-Charles) is in abismal condition. It a 6 lane seprated with a vehicule speed of about 50-60-70 km/h. The road is so bad on the right hand side that I usually take the middle of the lane because the right side is unrideable.

As he does say, Lakeshore, the preferred is pretty good condition all the way from the western tip to where the Lachine Canal bike path starts. The parts in Beaconsfield are excellent.

I have to say though, that I have gotten so used to the poor road condition that I just avoid them on the road.
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Old 05-21-02, 11:00 AM   #9
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The road in Toronto if your going to place them on a scale of 1 to 10 and 1 is bad and 10 is best I give the road/Street of Toronto, 7 its not really that good but, it okay , but it can used an additional improvement, on the country side I would give the Provincial road maybe 8 or 9, and its better to ride your bike in the Country road, coz, less traffic lights and you can really hammer your bike for miles and miles.
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Old 05-21-02, 11:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by RonH

Just curious Pete. What road is this?
Ron, I am referring to Edgewood Ave., a downtown
street connecting Piedmont Ave. (a nice, 4-lane one-way) to Inman Park (Little Five Points area.)
Minefield...once a policeman politely corrected me over his loudspeaker, "Please ride over to the right--thank you!" Being a driver, he could just bomb over those killer ruts and steel plates, but I had to weave--even when trying to ride in the middle of the lane!

Feldman, ve do need to do somezink about doze shpeedahs! I agree, the driving habits are perhaps more important than the road conditions!

John, sometimes all we need is to connect one good cycling route to another, instead of trying to create an entirely separate, but "equal" system.
Reminds me of the "international language," Esperanto. Does anyone really use it? No, the languages we have are good enough.
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Old 05-21-02, 11:20 AM   #11
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Most of the roads in my town are OK, but a bit fast for their width. The seafront road is a major hazard, lots of visual "noise", emergency vehicles, central bollards at intervals, with fast overtaking between, and drivers with less brains than normal.
Before the seafront cycle path was official, everyone used to bike it anyway in preference to the car racetrack.

The narrow country lanes are really pretty but on summer evenings thay can have fast cars on them.
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Old 05-21-02, 11:37 AM   #12
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Most of the roads here in Fort Collins are pretty biker friendly. There are bike lanes all over the place. The city is even putting in a new bike/pedestrian ONLY route through about half of the city in order to ease traffic congestion. Of course, just like any city, there are routes to avoid.

The one thing that your road cyclists may not like is the amount of gravel that piles up on the roads in the late winter/spring. I only ride a mountain bike or my commuter (which is also a mountain bike) so this doesn't bother me at all. It's never bad enough to make me slide around.
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Old 05-22-02, 11:49 AM   #13
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One of the benefits of living in a state dependent on the dairy industry, is that all the rural back roads are kept up and paved for the sake of the tank trucks which come to farms to pick up milk.

The country roads where I live are generally excellent, when they are not under construction. (Repaving a road may be stretched out over a couple of years, and you may find that they leave the bare gravel there for passing traffic to pack down really good for months before they pour the blacktop.)
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Old 05-22-02, 12:26 PM   #14
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Even though SW Missouri is very hilly the small towns here are surprisingly conducive to bicycling, even tho there are no facilities for us. Branson, Hollister, Forsyth, and Reed's Spring are all easy to get around in by bike.

Those who live in Reed's Spring can ride the 40 miles to both Nixa & Springfield MO on hwy160 which has an 8 foot shoulder all the way. However it very difficult to ride from Reed's Spring to Branson because the road (248) is a narrow, curvy and hilly, high traffic volume 2-lane with no shoulders.

Branson and Hollister have grown together and you can ride from one to the other with ease. Both towns have access to US65 which can take you to Ozark, Springfield, and Buffalo MO (also Omaha and Harrison Arkansas) with shoulder all the way.

Fosyth has desserted backcountry roads leading away from it in all directions. Many of my favorite rides start from Shadow Rock Park. Unfortunately it is impossible to commute from Forsyth to Branson (where the jobs are) because the only road connecting the two cities is way too dangerous for bikes.

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Old 05-22-02, 12:35 PM   #15
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Pretty bad round here - main roads are 'okay' but even larger minor roads are pretty terrible. One trick they seem to do on minor roads where the edges are breaking up badly is to simply narrow what they class as road by painting white lines a foot or two in...

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Old 05-24-02, 12:47 PM   #16
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For the most part awfull, but some are really bad No shoulders never a bike lane, some blind curves/hills. The local drivers are ok or maybe rednecks don't pick on rednecks. The local black drivers are good since most of them have bikes. Now the folks cutting through are not so good.
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Old 05-25-02, 07:17 PM   #17
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Downtown Portland, OR (USA) there is a trolley with tracks that run in the street lanes, parallel to the traffic flow. There are even signs (yellow, diamond) that show a bicyclist (stick man) doing a flying swan dive off of a bicycle that has gotten caught in the tracks.

I want to commute down there, but I think I should learn how to do a lateral bunny hop first.
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Old 05-26-02, 03:21 PM   #18
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Atlanta's new mayor has a"pothole posse" (sp) to fix the potholes now. I've noticed a bit of an improvement on that front but the water dept has been tearing up so many streets to replace aging pipes that some roads on my way to work are almost impassable by bike.

Oh well...I guess that's the price you pay for indoor plumbing.
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Old 05-26-02, 04:42 PM   #19
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Atlanta's new mayor has a"pothole posse" (sp) to fix the potholes now.
Yes, Mayor Shirley Franklin. I wish her lots of success.

Say, Urban, where do you ride, man?
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Old 05-26-02, 05:13 PM   #20
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My commute is from Emory/VaHi area to Chattahoochee ave area.

I usually take 10th st in the morning but it varies depending on construction. My evening ride depends on what errands I have to run on the way home.

I've tried Edgewood a few times but the road is terrible as you know.
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Old 05-26-02, 05:23 PM   #21
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I'll check it out on my map. I love looking over my map to examine routes. I'm not sure why, but I love it.



I've tried many routes to get many places around here, not always work-related. I just love "conquering" a new road.
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Old 05-26-02, 09:09 PM   #22
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Don't sweat the trolley tracks in Portland; they are only on about four downtown and Northwest neighborhood streets at least two of which I'd do anything at all to avoid on bike or in car.
Use NW 24th instead of 23rd, SW 13th or Park instead of SW 11th.
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Old 05-26-02, 09:57 PM   #23
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Thanks, that is reassuring. I have not actually commuted there yet, by car or bike, but I remember the sign. I told my brother about it (he lives in Seattle WA) and he could not believe they would put something like that on a sign.

I'll remember your advice when I start working downtown this summer.
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Old 05-27-02, 12:08 PM   #24
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I live in winnipeg, Canada, and the streets here are a joke, a lot of potholes, almost every street is bad, or at least the ones I use, The city wastes so much money on ****, that it isn't funny, our mayor supposedly rides to work, which I don't believe, because he either doesn't see the potholes, or he dosen't care. I ride on the sidewalk when ever I can, because of poor drivers, and the sidewalks are almost as bad, they are not level, and from one block to the next the curbs can be as high as 3 inches.
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Old 06-02-02, 08:15 PM   #25
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The roads here vary widely. The well-paved roads have more traffic. The country roads are bad in that there are sharp turns, low visibility, and the cars really speed on the back roads. I'm in the saddle again (for a week) since being hit in April. I have this fear of being hit from behind, since many of these back county roads have absolutely NO SHOULDER.

The only roads here marked with "share the road" signs are those located in the Metroparks - and there really aren't nearly enough miles of those roads.

Some of the country roads in Kirtland, and Bolton aren't even paved - I don't ride on those unless I'm just aching to fix a flat - NOT.

There is only one marked bike lane that I have found, and that is in South Euclid, and goes nowhere! Overall, I give Northeast Ohio a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best).

I wonder if this fear I have of being hit from behind will go away?
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