While some may think this post is most appropriate for the Advocacy and Safety forum, I am posting it here because of the greater wisdom and experience that comes with age (that means you folks).
Washington State Dept. of Transportation in general and Yakima County DOT in particular continue a love affair with chip seal that began a couple of years ago.
Last week, a road resufacing subcontractor violated the DOT's own guidelines of not using gravel more than 3/8 inch in diameter and chip sealed one of the most popular cycling routes near Yakima with, well, rock, making it all but unusable by a road bike. The story was covered briefly by a local TV station: http://www.kimatv.com/news/local/53873117.html
This chip seal is dangerous not only for cyclists but for motorcyclists, and with gravel that size, there will be plenty of windshields that are going to need replacing from flying gravel.
The county commissioner for this area, Mike "don't look back" Leita, is typically dismissive of the concerns over the chip seal. His basic response is, "Can't do anything about it now."
The DOT loves chip seal over hot mix asphalt because of the money savings. This conversion of county roads to more and more chip sealing is bound to continue until sufficient numbers of people (e.g. cyclists and others) say enough is enough. The irony is that the resurfacing of these roads with chip seal has made many of them worse than they were prior to the chip sealing.
Do any of you have experience with this kind situation in your area? What has been done to counter the move to chip seal? What actions and organization have had to occur to get the powers that be more responsive to those who actually use these roads?
Thoughts and ideas are welcome.