I've been cycling for 30+ years, commuting off-and-on for the last 7. In the last year or so, one part of my route to work has seen a significant increase in traffic. Unfortunately, there is a twisty, narrow, uphill stretch that is particularly bad now. The speed limit is 35mph, but cars routinely do 50mph or so (I can do about 10). I got buzzed on my last commute so closely that it's really got me afraid to keep doing this. I've got a headlight, a blinky, high-vis clothing, etc. I've traditionally ridden AFRAP. But recently I tried taking the lane. That is even worse, because the cars pass anyway, even with oncoming traffic (I do take the lane in other, less busy scenarios, like blind hills, and it works well nearly always).
The only other route that avoids this stretch adds 3 miles to my 7-mile commute. That's tolerable. But, it passes directly in front of three different schools, with the attendant traffic. So this option isn't available until summer break.
The shoulder on "my" side is narrow, sloped away from the road, and pretty rough. But, the other side of the road is better. It even has a footpath of sorts worn in by pedestrians (though I've never seen anyone walking it). I'm considering finding a safe spot to cross over, dismounting, and walking my bike up the hill. I hate it, because I feel like I'm giving up. But I can't think of any other option. And, I don't want to get hit by a car. I haven't tried this yet. And it's not without its own issues (crossing the road twice). Walking up the hill on my side isn't an option.
Here is a view of the hill in question. The yellow highlight represents my route. The red dashes represent the foot path. Note I turn off this road at the top of the hill, onto a nearly unused road. My alternate route merges at that turn from below:
commute route 1.jpg
Here is a street view of the uphill portion. You can see how narrow the shoulder is:
commute pic 1.jpg
The homebound direction is much better. I can nearly keep up with traffic going down that hill. And the other side of the valley is straight, with much better visibility and wider, flatter shoulders. Also, traffic is generally lighter at 4:45pm than at 6:45am. I suppose I might try going in earlier, to see if traffic is better. But, it just takes one car.
Any other ideas?