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Old 08-12-17, 09:45 AM   #1
Equinox
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Road Conditions

I live in a highly taxed Northeastern State. Our roads are deteriorating at an alarming rate. There is zero maintenance, and repaving is done only on an emergency basis. Two friends have been seriously injured after hitting potholes. At first I thought I was using road conditions as a lame excuse for not riding. Further consideration leads me to conclude that my concerns are justified. There are beautiful routes here, but the road conditions in recent years take the fun out of riding.
I did a group ride in an area that I don't usually ride, and we were on some of the worst conditions I've encountered. There was no safe place to ride. Someone called out "car back", but we couldn't get out of the way if we tried. It's frustrating and dangerous.I feel like filing notice with the appropriate agencies that I intend to hold them responsible for any damages, injury or death that occurs due to poor road conditions. The deterioration of the infrastructure in my area is widespread and well documented. The agencies are failing in their mission. I ride a lot. There are potholes that have not been tended to in 5 years. Just do a little maintenance.
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Old 08-12-17, 04:33 PM   #2
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Ride a hybrid with 2 inch tires and your problems are solved.
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Old 08-12-17, 06:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
I live in a highly taxed Northeastern State. Our roads are deteriorating at an alarming rate. There is zero maintenance, and repaving is done only on an emergency basis. Two friends have been seriously injured after hitting potholes. At first I thought I was using road conditions as a lame excuse for not riding. Further consideration leads me to conclude that my concerns are justified. There are beautiful routes here, but the road conditions in recent years take the fun out of riding.
I did a group ride in an area that I don't usually ride, and we were on some of the worst conditions I've encountered. There was no safe place to ride. Someone called out "car back", but we couldn't get out of the way if we tried. It's frustrating and dangerous.I feel like filing notice with the appropriate agencies that I intend to hold them responsible for any damages, injury or death that occurs due to poor road conditions. The deterioration of the infrastructure in my area is widespread and well documented. The agencies are failing in their mission. I ride a lot. There are potholes that have not been tended to in 5 years. Just do a little maintenance.
How else do you prove that the public sector is far more inefficient than private business. To do the job properly would prove otherwise and would be contrary to the dominant economic/political theory of the last 30 or so years
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Old 08-12-17, 07:43 PM   #4
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Taxpayer funded road maintenance managed by government doesn't need to be inefficient and incompetent. More direct accountability can resolve those problems.

In Texas most local road maintenance is handled through the commissioners court system, particularly in rural areas. County commissioners are directly elected. Constituents won't tolerate much inefficiency or incompetence before they'll vote the rascals out and put in new rascals.

But good luck changing the paradigm in older northern and eastern states. Even some Texas municipalities are switching from direct elections to decentralized city management systems that are more oriented toward council of gummint think tank polices and less concerned about the immediate concerns of local constituents. In some cases that's not a bad thing. A few "liberty city" experiments in Texas have gone awry when folks discovered libertarianism is a lovely concept that fails in practical application.

The downside is that most rural and secondary urban roads are being chipsealed. It's cheap, quick and durable but rough riding for bicycles compared with other paving. Still, it beats potholes on neglected roads. Often they'll "fog seal" or smooth-coat the chipseal in suburban and urban areas, which is really smooth for awhile. But rural roads are seldom coated after the chipseal.

The main complaints about chip seal are it's noisy and it wears out vehicle tires more quickly. The sound of tires on chipseal carries for miles in some areas. Bicycles don't even enter into the equation.

Fortunately we're enjoying a trend toward wider, softer riding bicycle tires that are both tougher and faster. On some of my favorite rural ride segments with chipseal, striated concrete or poorly maintained roads my hybrid with 700x42 tires is still faster than my road bike with 700x23 tires. I'd put 700x28s on the road bike if the frame would clear 'em. I'd really be better off with a CX or gravel bike instead of an old school road bike.
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Old 08-12-17, 07:51 PM   #5
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Ride a hybrid with 2 inch tires and your problems are solved.
this is all I can fit on mine

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Old 08-13-17, 03:34 AM   #6
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Well that's not bad, a lot more forgiving than the average racer tire.
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Old 08-13-17, 07:14 AM   #7
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I don't think the problem is that government can't maintain roads. It's that it's easy to steal money from the maintenance funds for other stuff and you won't see the results for a year or so. That may as well be forever; politicians almost never get flak for something they did a year ago, people only seem to remember what's going on right this minute. And it's easy for them to blame the department for doing a bad job and not have it bounce back to their taking money away from that department.

Also in northern states, they have a gigantic unknown in the budget every year - snow removal. It could easily take more than half their budget for the year, or it could be almost nothing. You just never know ahead of time. On bad years for snow removal, counties without an elastic budget or a specific fund for it may have to do nothing but emergency repairs for a year or two.
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Old 08-13-17, 07:20 AM   #8
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With road conditions such as those described, we can see what cyclists all over the world had to (and some still have to) deal with. This is no excuse. With real estate taxes, excise taxes and all other taxes through the roof, they should at least be able to keep the roads in good repair.
On second thought, why not build permanent roads, like the Italians did, centuries ago, or
make a composite out of waste in garbage dumps. Even if that lasts only one year as a road material, it would employ lots of people and prevent accidents.
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Old 08-21-17, 04:59 AM   #9
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OP, You said you live in the Northeast U.S.. So that is Conneticutt, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont. I lived in Vermont, near the VT-NH border, on three separate occasions, in the same 'city'. I remember dirt roads having lots of pot holes.

Are the bad road conditions you are referring to, on what are supposed to be paved roads?
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Old 08-21-17, 08:19 AM   #10
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Michigan is really bad and seems to get worse all the time. Here in Indiana, the roads are pretty good.
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Old 08-21-17, 08:36 AM   #11
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I did a group ride in an area that I don't usually ride, and we were on some of the worst conditions I've encountered. There was no safe place to ride.
Any pictures available?
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Old 08-21-17, 08:50 AM   #12
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Buffalo NY if I remember right?

Whinging on the internet about road conditions isn't getting things fixed for you?


See problem? Report problem.


You have to deal with town, city, county, and state jurisdictions. Sometimes there will be multiple methods for reporting.

Will reporting help? Maybe. (Whinging won't work.)

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An update:

Westborough has replaced many of the parallel-bar grates with square opening grates. All the parallel-bar grates left (that I've seen) have been turned, but for one. Pretty impressive.

I've ridden more streets in another of the towns to which I wrote, and the only one I noted originally has been changed, and it looks like they have had a program of checking the rest. The town Manager told me they would do that, and turn any that were aligned with the direction of travel.

The third has replaced the grate with a square-grate type (not to mention reconstructing the entire road, but somehow I suspect that's just a coincidence ...)

Doing some house cleaning I came across some of my Father's writings - seems he had an introduction to parallel-bar storm drains somewhere down South in the late 30's, early 40's. I don't know the consequences, except that he raised a hullaballoo whenever/wherever he found one.
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Old 08-21-17, 09:41 AM   #13
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A lot of the issue for us bike riders is that marketing (and the cycling crowd itself) has convinced a lot of people that they want lighter, faster, skinnier tired bikes like the pros race. Poor road surfaces have been a fact of life for much of the country since long before our grandfathers were kids. Now, picking a bike that limits enjoyable riding to smooth roads is fine IF that is where you ride and you don't plan to ride in one of the many areas with poor roads.

I just rode incredibly bad roads on my old Peter Mooney, but I did it with 38 and 35c tires and it was a pleasure. (Well except for the very loose rock and up to 18% pitches!) But I had that bike made to be ridden in "the lower 48 states 12 months of the year" with clearances for appropriate tires and fenders. 531 frame and Peter Mooney handling. It "suffers" from other design decisions so it is not race handling (chainstays for touring) but still a very rideable bike.

Likewise my old Raleigh Competition can handle 35s easily and rides like a true racer of 70 years ago.

I know well the joys of skinny/light rims and tires. I raced out of New England and rode sewups until about 20 years ago. The "cost" of doing that was three or four wheel rebuilds/year not including crash damage. Dented and pulled straight rims. Also riding was done knowing there was always a crash risk from road surfaces and debris riding those wheels. By contrast, I loved what I could do with the bike Saturday with those fat tires. I felt I I could ride anywhere! Getting forced off the pavement wasn't an issue at all.

I see the endurance trend as being good for all. Great bikes can be made that fit tires that handle bad roads nicely and tires are just getting better. (I love the new Vittoria Corsa G+ in 28c. I hope they go larger. And every Pasela I have ridden at any width up to 38c so far has been a good ride. They get better as they get fatter.)

Ben

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Old 08-21-17, 01:49 PM   #14
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OP, You said you live in the Northeast U.S.. So that is Conneticutt, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.
Uh...Those states make up New England.
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Old 08-21-17, 02:20 PM   #15
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A lot of the issue for us bike riders is that marketing (and the cycling crowd itself) has convinced a lot of people that they want lighter, faster, skinnier tired bikes like the pros race. Poor road surfaces have been a fact of life for much of the country since long before our grandfathers were kids. Now, picking a bike that limits enjoyable riding to smooth roads is fine IF that is where you ride and you don't plan to ride in one of the many areas with poor roads.

I just rode incredibly bad roads on my old Peter Mooney, but I did it with 38 and 35c tires and it was a pleasure. (Well except for the very loose rock and up to 18% pitches!) But I had that bike made to be ridden in "the lower 48 states 12 months of the year" with clearances for appropriate tires and fenders. 531 frame and Peter Mooney handling. It "suffers" from other design decisions so it is not race handling (chainstays for touring) but still a very rideable bike.

Likewise my old Raleigh Competition can handle 35s easily and rides like a true racer of 70 years ago.

I know well the joys of skinny/light rims and tires. I raced out of New England and rode sewups until about 20 years ago. The "cost" of doing that was three or four wheel rebuilds/year not including crash damage. Dented and pulled straight rims. Also riding was done knowing there was always a crash risk from road surfaces and debris riding those wheels. By contrast, I loved what I could do with the bike Saturday with those fat tires. I felt I I could ride anywhere! Getting forced off the pavement wasn't an issue at all.

I see the endurance trend as being good for all. Great bikes can be made that fit tires that handle bad roads nicely and tires are just getting better. (I love the new Vittoria Corsa G+ in 28c. I hope they go larger. And every Pasela I have ridden at any width up to 38c so far has been a good ride. They get better as they get fatter.)

Ben
I really have to object to that statement. In California, this grandfather rode on excellent roads made of actual pavement and totally lacking in potholes in the 1960's through the 1980's. After that, the "magic" of Jarvis-Gann and their revolting assault on reasonable taxation took its toll and the roads (and other public amenities like education) began to crumble. Things haven't been helped by the rise of ever-heavier SUV's (pavement damage is proportional to the fourth power of weight) and further advances of the tax-cut culture at all levels of government. Remember that user-specific fees and taxes currently only pay for about 40% of the now underfunded road maintenance budget. Most of the rest comes from local property taxes that have been frozen at low levels for decades.

Oregon copied California's Prop 13 and also froze property taxes at unsustainable low levels. Low gas taxes and the loss of timber revenue (all the big trees got turned to stumps) has meant that our once world-class pavement (who else paves forest roads?) is now crumbling. This was not always the case and I resent revisionist history that pretends otherwise.

I don't know the tax situation in the OP's east coast state, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that the motorists do not pay their share of the road damage they do. If that's the case, then from a roadway standpoint the state is low tax, imo.

Above disagreement aside, I heartily agree that the age of inefficient high pressure skinny tires is at an end. It would be nice if more bike manufacturers got on with adding more tire clearance to their frames, but I guess that sort of thing takes time after decades of fooling people into thinking aero frames and tires that behave like solid rubber are faster. If they change on a dime, no one will trust them any more.
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Old 08-21-17, 02:48 PM   #16
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Our roads are deteriorating at an alarming rate.
I live in a 3rd World country (Louisiana) where the roads have historically gone from bad to worse, and when they get repaved the do it on the cheap. We call them "election roads" because generally someone paves them cheaply to get elected.

Here is THE answer:



Don't need no stinkin' road maintenance.
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Old 08-21-17, 02:51 PM   #17
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I ride a vintage bike that won't take anything larger than 25s. Fortunately, those work just fine on the roads around here. Even the few chipseal roads are well maintained and they paved a few formerly dirt roads in the last 5 years opening up a number of nice new loops. Of course it helps that there are no deep freezes here so more lightly traveled rural roads require very little maintenance.
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Old 08-21-17, 04:29 PM   #18
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I really have to object to that statement. In California, this grandfather rode on excellent roads made of actual pavement and totally lacking in potholes in the 1960's through the 1980's. After that, the "magic" of Jarvis-Gann and their revolting assault on reasonable taxation took its toll and the roads (and other public amenities like education) began to crumble. Things haven't been helped by the rise of ever-heavier SUV's (pavement damage is proportional to the fourth power of weight) and further advances of the tax-cut culture at all levels of government. Remember that user-specific fees and taxes currently only pay for about 40% of the now underfunded road maintenance budget. Most of the rest comes from local property taxes that have been frozen at low levels for decades.

Oregon copied California's Prop 13 and also froze property taxes at unsustainable low levels. Low gas taxes and the loss of timber revenue (all the big trees got turned to stumps) has meant that our once world-class pavement (who else paves forest roads?) is now crumbling. This was not always the case and I resent revisionist history that pretends otherwise.

I don't know the tax situation in the OP's east coast state, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that the motorists do not pay their share of the road damage they do. If that's the case, then from a roadway standpoint the state is low tax, imo.

Above disagreement aside, I heartily agree that the age of inefficient high pressure skinny tires is at an end. It would be nice if more bike manufacturers got on with adding more tire clearance to their frames, but I guess that sort of thing takes time after decades of fooling people into thinking aero frames and tires that behave like solid rubber are faster. If they change on a dime, no one will trust them any more.
I guess I should have been clearer. Not "us grandfathers" but "our grandfathers" and talking to people my age. My grandfather's early years were the turn of previous century. I'm guessing California's roads weren't quite as smooth then although I don't actually know that, I do know from my dad's experience riding bicycles all over New England as teenager that the road surfaces in the 1930s there weren't what we would now call "good". Also that winter took a heavy toll on road surfaces every year.

Ben
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Old 08-21-17, 04:38 PM   #19
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Uh...Those states make up New England.
You didn't quote why I mentioned them.
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Old 08-21-17, 07:38 PM   #20
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You didn't quote why I mentioned them.
Uh..This is what you wrote:

"OP, You said you live in the Northeast U.S.. So that is Conneticutt, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont." (Emphasis added.)

Those states comprise New England only. The general northeast is comprised of more states. Geography 101.
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Old 08-21-17, 09:06 PM   #21
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Uh..This is what you wrote:

"OP, You said you live in the Northeast U.S.. So that is Conneticutt, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont." (Emphasis added.)

Those states comprise New England only. The general northeast is comprised of more states. Geography 101.
You still didn't quote why I mentioned it.

Quote:
OP, You said you live in the Northeast U.S.. So that is Conneticutt, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont. I lived in Vermont, near the VT-NH border, on three separate occasions, in the same 'city'. I remember dirt roads having lots of pot holes.

Are the bad road conditions you are referring to, on what are supposed to be paved roads?
I was mentioning that I had lived in the North East and remembered a lot of pot holes on dirt roads. But not many on paved roads. Since they can cope with snow, salt and other corrosion. Better than those states, that don't have snow in the winter.

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Old 09-02-17, 10:33 PM   #22
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I live in a highly taxed Northeastern State. Our roads are deteriorating at an alarming rate. There is zero maintenance, and repaving is done only on an emergency basis. Two friends have been seriously injured after hitting potholes. At first I thought I was using road conditions as a lame excuse for not riding. Further consideration leads me to conclude that my concerns are justified. There are beautiful routes here, but the road conditions in recent years take the fun out of riding.
I did a group ride in an area that I don't usually ride, and we were on some of the worst conditions I've encountered. There was no safe place to ride. Someone called out "car back", but we couldn't get out of the way if we tried. It's frustrating and dangerous.I feel like filing notice with the appropriate agencies that I intend to hold them responsible for any damages, injury or death that occurs due to poor road conditions. The deterioration of the infrastructure in my area is widespread and well documented. The agencies are failing in their mission. I ride a lot. There are potholes that have not been tended to in 5 years. Just do a little maintenance.
The weather is great for you to come to do a POT-HOLE / ROAD comparison of [county] San Diego.
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Old 09-02-17, 10:37 PM   #23
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I live in a 3rd World country (Louisiana) where the roads have historically gone from bad to worse, and when they get repaved the do it on the cheap. We call them "election roads" because generally someone paves them cheaply to get elected.

Here is THE answer:



Don't need no stinkin' road maintenance.
You need a vacation to Asia; you don't know what a "3rd world country" is. Go ride in a REAL such country; you'll SUFFOCATE.
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Old 09-12-17, 04:17 PM   #24
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Bad roads cost motorists more in total than cyclists. Join forces for more traction.
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Old 09-13-17, 03:17 AM   #25
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You can't get blood out a stone. Welcome to the bumpy end of the oil age.

"But we have renewables!"
"Oh? So you gonna pave the roads with solar panels instead of oil-base tar"
"Well no, of course not... But we can make concrete roads instead!"
"Like from cement clinker that's made in an oven at 1600-degC, steel rod forged in furnaces, and crushed aggregate etc?"
"Well they'll come up with something!"
"Yes, they already have"


Omaha’s Answer to Costly Potholes? Go Back to Gravel Roads
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/u...s.html?mcubz=3

This started 10 years ago in rural areas and no one believed it would ever happen in a city, never in a CITY

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