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  1. #1
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    The city is closing a road I commute on!

    I just read in the paper yesterday that the city is planning on removing a bridge and permanently closing a road to through traffic in one neighborhood, a road I take for my commute in the mornings, to help alleviate some flooding issues in that neighborhood. Unfortunately my other options are few and less than ideal. Anyone familiar with suburban community planning knows how limited the alternate routes for cycling can be, if you want to avoid the busy arterial roads. This particular route I take is such that it limits my time on several different arterials, and is also better terrain-wise.

    I only have 2 other viable options, both of which substantially increase my time on either 5-lane arterial roads or busy 2-lane roads with no shoulder and not much opportunity for passing. I emailed the mayor yesterday to see if some type of wooden bike/ped bridge could be built when the road bridge is removed, similar to what we have in the city park near my house. He said he will talk to the engineers about it. The bridge removal will be discussed at next Tuesday's Board of Alderman meeting, so I'm going to try to attend and maybe bring up my concerns and suggestions to the Board. I might even print out some large-format graphics on boards to take with me.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    suburban community planning
    Oxymoron.

    But yeah, I feel for you, cycling always seems to be an afterthought, and the result is generally not great. I fear change.

  3. #3
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    Sorry to hear the news, but......sometimes city planners put out press releases far before the event actually occurs. Until they actually take the bridge down, you can still ride it.

    You might have some 6 months of riding with no one around. Who knows?

  4. #4
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    lol yeah, lack of planning.

    The road in question actually used to dead end at the creek that has been flooding (we got so-called "100-year" rains back in September, and also once last year). Then when more stuff started being built, they added the bridge and extended the road west, which is where I go, to one of the arterial roads. So by closing the road they're more or less taking it back to the way it was.

    Sucks for me, though, because when I first discovered the route I was like "ohh I can go THIS way!"

    A wooden bridge like we have in our park should be relatively easy and cheap. Maybe I need to go to that meeting and make a case for maintaining pedestrian and cycling access, for the good of our town.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TallTravel View Post
    Sorry to hear the news, but......sometimes city planners put out press releases far before the event actually occurs. Until they actually take the bridge down, you can still ride it.

    You might have some 6 months of riding with no one around. Who knows?
    The project is actually privately-funded by a construction company who owns the nearby land. So it's not actually a public city project. They're just seeking the city's approval. And when it's granted (the homeowners in the area fully support the bridge removal from what I understand), the work will likely start in the next month or two at the latest.

    I also have thought about going around to some of the nearby houses and asking homeowners myself if they would support a pedestrian bridge to be put in place of the road bridge.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Target dog owners as they're the ones most likely to support this sort of thing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member metz1295's Avatar
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    I have seen highway on ramps turned into access lanes to bike paths. there is a solution and you could be the big brain at the meeting with a huge cost saving solution.

    big question: is it the actual bridge that is causing the flooding? or...are they concerned that the water overtakes the bridge because of backup that is caused by something down stream?

    if the bridge is causing the flooding, you're probably out of luck. maybe one day they'll put in a ped bridge, but it sounds like they don't want make that investment at this time.

    if they're worried about a water overtaking the bridge, I would recommend closing the bridge to automobiles while still allowing pedestrian and bicycle traffic. this can be done for almost no money.

    be sure to keep this string up to date. I'm curious about how this turns out.

    good luck

  8. #8
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    Ford the river like you're playing Oregon Trail on the Apple IIe in the library
    Genesis 49:17

  9. #9
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    The homeowners already support the removal of the bridge EQUALS the homeowners who attended the last meeting supported the removal of the bridge.

    Answer:

    Bring more enlightened/educated homeowners to the next meeting, and call for a new vote.

  10. #10
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Complete streets is the term they use here for new or replacement street projects, and this means there is some way to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic. I think there is some connection with government funding with this too, as in the local government looses the subsidy if the complete streets criteria isn't met. Has anyone mentioned that yet?

  11. #11
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  12. #12
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metz1295 View Post
    I have seen highway on ramps turned into access lanes to bike paths. there is a solution and you could be the big brain at the meeting with a huge cost saving solution.

    big question: is it the actual bridge that is causing the flooding? or...are they concerned that the water overtakes the bridge because of backup that is caused by something down stream?

    if the bridge is causing the flooding, you're probably out of luck. maybe one day they'll put in a ped bridge, but it sounds like they don't want make that investment at this time.

    if they're worried about a water overtaking the bridge, I would recommend closing the bridge to automobiles while still allowing pedestrian and bicycle traffic. this can be done for almost no money.

    be sure to keep this string up to date. I'm curious about how this turns out.

    good luck
    The street is just an un-laned residential street leading out to an arterial, 48 feet wide curb-to-curb. It used to dead end at this creek, with only the eastern part of the street in place. The bridge and western end of the street connecting to the arterial was added about 10 years ago (truck in the pic is right on the bridge). The bridge is most likely some type of box culvert, which apparently is obstructing the water flow and at least partially responsible for some of the flooding in this neighborhood.

    After the bridge is removed, I assume they will build up the banks to prevent future flooding, but they could add some type of path, and a 6-foot wide wooden bridge spanning bank-to-bank similar to what we have in the nearby city park, where there are several wooden bridges spanning the drainage creek running through there. It could likely be built suck that it wouldn't obstruct water flow at all. And honestly it could probably be done for just a few thousand more dollars.

    You can see a sidewalk that was put in with the street on the west side. Unfortunately that neighborhood has no sidewalks at all. I suppose I could make a better case for a pedestrian bridge if there were sidewalks on both sides that needed connecting.

    Plum Point Bridge.jpg
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  13. #13
    Fahrradfahrer jwarner's Avatar
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    Cheapest way, if I understand everything at play here, would be to just leave the existing bridge structure in place, and reclaim right over the surface. This provided there are no flooding, permitting, or ROW issues that affect the existing bridge.
    Strange things are done in the land of the midnight sun by those that bike in the state bought by oil

  14. #14
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwarner View Post
    Cheapest way, if I understand everything at play here, would be to just leave the existing bridge structure in place, and reclaim right over the surface. This provided there are no flooding, permitting, or ROW issues that affect the existing bridge.
    From what I understand the bridge itself is contributing to the flooding issue.

    See the pic above, it's more like just the regular roadway, with most likely a box culvert structure underneath. It's not like an actual bridge with concrete columns and beams, concrete road surface, etc.
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  15. #15
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    I would check out state law and determine whether expenditure on a road project, addition or removal, requires percentage expenditure on green transport (bike/buses lanes). Maybe you wouldn't get anything locally, but it could go into a state-wide pot and might prevent them from doing it.
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  16. #16
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    Not as bad as you made it sound at first. I envisioned something like this for the pedestrian replacement

    Genesis 49:17

  17. #17
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    I would check out state law and determine whether expenditure on a road project, addition or removal, requires percentage expenditure on green transport (bike/buses lanes). Maybe you wouldn't get anything locally, but it could go into a state-wide pot and might prevent them from doing it.
    It's a private project, not a city project.

    The wooden bridges at the park that I was referring to look like this:

    bridge.jpg
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  18. #18
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    A wooden bridge like we have in our park should be relatively easy and cheap. Maybe I need to go to that meeting and make a case for maintaining pedestrian and cycling access, for the good of our town.
    Asking how are the kids going to get from one side of the creek to the other without the bridge would make it harder for them to just get rid of the bridge. It's always harder for the city to take things away from kids without looking bad.

  19. #19
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    truck in the pic is right on the bridge
    Plum Point Bridge.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Not as bad as you made it sound at first. I envisioned something like this for the pedestrian replacement

    Yeah....that's not a real long bridge, or very wide creek. The first thing that comes to mind is Evil Knievel.

    I used to deliver south of I-40 on Warford St. There were times that the neighborhood park at the river would have water up to the nets on the basketball goals. I remember the campers along the frontage road in West Memphis had to retreat to high grounds. The whole Mississippi River from Iowa to the Gulf would be a mess.
    Disclaimer: It's just an opinion that I have. It works for me. I am not the forum "Police (Of Anything)". Others may disagree. And....YMMV.
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  20. #20
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Not as bad as you made it sound at first. I envisioned something like this for the pedestrian replacement

    That looks rideable.

  21. #21
    Senior Member metz1295's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    from the above pic and the pic of the wood bridge, you have a tough fight ahead of you.

    first, the existing bridge: a box culvert would have headwalls and wingwalls that would be easy to spot from an aerial photo. my guess is that it's a bridge.

    second: a wood bridge option: not gonna happen. if that bridge floods every time a big rain rolls through, a wood bridge would crumble at the first sign of rain.

    with the little that i see, i think the road will be returned to it's dead end state of mind. however, they could be willing to put some sort of elevated ped bridge that won't restrict the water.

    don't give up the fight. if you can get enough voices on your side, those with the gold will come up with something. you just might not see it in real life for awhile.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    That looks rideable.
    I would suggest a fat bike.

  23. #23
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    It's a private project, not a city project.
    On private land? Like a toll road? Just curious here.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    I'm not sure why they are removing the bridge, so i cannot comment on if a smaller ped/bike replacement would even be doable

    However, that wood bridge you posted isn't going to be what is built. you would need to make it steel and wood for the height and span to keep any structure away from flooding waters.

    As far as water crumbling wood bridges... In fact some of the most resilient bridges are wooden. As long as the members are attached properly & don't create too much resistance, they can often survive several floods before needing refurbishment or replacement.

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  25. #25
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    On private land? Like a toll road? Just curious here.
    The mayor just told me that the project is being completed by a private contractor who owns the land south of the road, and that it's not a public project.

    Yeah the park by my house has flooded a few times also, but those wooden bridges are still there.

    I don't care if I can't access the bridge when it's flooded (hopefully this work will prevent future flooding), I just want to be able to continue to cross the creek right there as I have been to this point.
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