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Asphalt roads reverting to gravel

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Asphalt roads reverting to gravel

Old 12-17-09, 05:53 PM
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squirtdad
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Asphalt roads reverting to gravel

Some counties are reverting to gravel roads due to budget needs, Doesn't sound like a huge trend yet....but it could add complications to cyclists if does become a trend.....and maybe a new niche bike market....

https://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091217/...back_to_gravel
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Old 12-17-09, 06:05 PM
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fat tires rule!
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Old 12-17-09, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
fat tires rule!
Rivendell would say "country bikes rule" https://www.rivbike.com/products/show...-hilsen/50-650
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Old 12-17-09, 07:36 PM
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Time to buy some Jack Brown's from Rivendell! Cross bikes Rule!
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Old 12-17-09, 07:48 PM
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Like that is really going to happen in CA. CA folks would rather go homeless and live in their cars, than drive on gravel roads.
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Old 12-17-09, 07:59 PM
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its happening, and not only in California!

when there's no money for the counties to buy asphalt and aggregate and crap, theres' no fixin of the roads!

Last edited by Bekologist; 12-17-09 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 12-17-09, 08:08 PM
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I live on a dirt road.
I like it.
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Old 12-17-09, 08:08 PM
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Should be good for the auto industry. Cars don't last as long with rock chips letting rust get started and with suspension systems and other components subjected to much more stress. Michigan should benefit twice - lower costs of road maintenance and more industry employment.
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Old 12-17-09, 08:11 PM
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Dirt roads take a great deal of maintenance actually.
If they are not regularly scraped they become neigh impassable fairly quickly.
They also used to spray them down with oil to keep the dust down.
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Old 12-17-09, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
Dirt roads take a great deal of maintenance actually.
If they are not regularly scraped they become neigh impassable fairly quickly.
They also used to spray them down with oil to keep the dust down.
An excellent dirt road cannot be matched for smoothness in a car. Does your dirt road hold up well to the small footprint of your bike tires?
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Old 12-17-09, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
its happening, and not only in California!
Are you sure it's happening in California? I sure don't see any evidence of it locally and the article didn't mention California. In our area the state and towns seem to be going all out for assorted repaving projects, even on roads that don't appear to be in need of it. Just last week I reported a slight water seepage where our house water line comes in from the street. The water company came out, determined that they needed to replace their feeder line, and brought in some equipment to do that. They had to cut a small hole in the street pavement, but they patched it afterwards and I figured they were all done. But this week someone came out to inspect and noticed some little tiny cracks in the asphalt - probably aggravated by the heavy machinery that had been there. Hardly noticeable at all, but now they're going to tear up half the street in front of our house and do a full repaving job.
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Old 12-17-09, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
An excellent dirt road cannot be matched for smoothness in a car. Does your dirt road hold up well to the small footprint of your bike tires?
It was just re-graveled so it is murder on 23mm tires.
The 1 inch tires on my lane bomber are fine though.

When the gravel gets absorbed you can roll on it with thin tires quite well.
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Old 12-17-09, 09:06 PM
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there's not a state in the union that doesnt have counties suffering crumbling asphalt and a budget crisis in fixing them.

actually pulling up pavement to replace it with gravel, not sure how many are doing that but pavement reversion is happening in cities like detroit much less small towns in counties with budget shortfalls in the roads budget.
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Old 12-17-09, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
Dirt roads take a great deal of maintenance actually.
If they are not regularly scraped they become neigh impassable fairly quickly.
They also used to spray them down with oil to keep the dust down.
For lower volume streets, it can work quite well, in that you just dump a couple of loads of gravel on the road, and regrade the surface, knocking off the ridges and filling in the holes. Spray some calcium based dust reducer on it -- oil is environmentally hazardous if it gets into the water table -- and your done for six months to a year. Gravel also doesn't seal the surface so water can soak in rather then running off. It sucks for narrow bicycle tires 23mm bicycle tires, but tires over 35mm shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 12-17-09, 09:38 PM
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Many cities in Washington State are facing the same issue.

If I remember correctly, the city of Kent, Washington has projected that their street maintenance budget will require them to start returning residential streets to gravel in the next decade if something isn't done to fix the funding available.
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Old 12-17-09, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
Many cities in Washington State are facing the same issue.

If I remember correctly, the city of Kent, Washington has projected that their street maintenance budget will require them to start returning residential streets to gravel in the next decade if something isn't done to fix the funding available.
I think the key phrase here is funding available, the city wants more money from the state and threatening to return streets to gravel is a way of trying to get more money. Considering that cities bare the brunt of the subsidy to motor vehicles (free streets to drive on), but get none of the government revenue from those same vehicles (gas tax and licence fees), maybe the cities have a point here.
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Old 12-17-09, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Some counties are reverting to gravel roads due to budget needs, Doesn't sound like a huge trend yet....but it could add complications to cyclists if does become a trend.....and maybe a new niche bike market....

https://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091217/...back_to_gravel
<quote>
Some drivers don't like it and warn of danger ahead, including mud, dust and damage to their cars.
</quote>

Hmm, maybe if they weren't driving so fast they wouldn't kick up gravel and damage their cars.
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Old 12-18-09, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
I think the key phrase here is funding available, the city wants more money from the state and threatening to return streets to gravel is a way of trying to get more money. Considering that cities bare the brunt of the subsidy to motor vehicles (free streets to drive on), but get none of the government revenue from those same vehicles (gas tax and licence fees), maybe the cities have a point here.
Washington State used to have reliable funding for street maintenance through annual vehicle license fees. But those fees were quite unpopular, in part because they were based on fictional depreciation schedules that grossly overvalued cars more than a few years old. Perpetual citizen initiative sponsor Tim Eyman led to those fees being slashed, but nothing has replaced the transportation funding they used to provide.

Meanwhile, other state legislation has cut deeply into some of the local taxes that used to fund streets in many cities -- the dedicated revenue sources still exist, but general fund subsidies are running low all over the place.
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Old 12-18-09, 12:26 AM
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I have a cross bike. Roads? Where we are going we don't need... roads! In many places, pavement just isn't necessary. It might seem a step backward, but we're not talking about main streets becoming gravel.
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Old 12-18-09, 07:07 AM
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Old 12-18-09, 07:25 AM
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My sister lives on a dirt road in Oakland Township, Michigan and her house is about 4000 square feet. So while it isn't like that in Ohio and other states, there's some history there with dirt roads and a preference by locals to keep them that way, even in expensive areas. People ride ~40 mph on that road, even though the speed limit is 45. No one speeds. Disadvantages are more surface irregularities and the mud in spring and dust in summer, but the advantages are the low cost, less maintenance, and less traffic. If you want people to stay off your road, keep it dirt. She has to wash her cars more often, but it's not so bad.
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Old 12-18-09, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post

Hmm, maybe if they weren't driving so fast they wouldn't kick up gravel and damage their cars.
+1

I think that's the real root of the issue, anyway, is that people can't go as fast on them. I used to live on a dirt road and loved it.
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Old 12-18-09, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Are you sure it's happening in California? I sure don't see any evidence of it locally and the article didn't mention California. In our area the state and towns seem to be going all out for assorted repaving projects, even on roads that don't appear to be in need of it. Just last week I reported a slight water seepage where our house water line comes in from the street. The water company came out, determined that they needed to replace their feeder line, and brought in some equipment to do that. They had to cut a small hole in the street pavement, but they patched it afterwards and I figured they were all done. But this week someone came out to inspect and noticed some little tiny cracks in the asphalt - probably aggravated by the heavy machinery that had been there. Hardly noticeable at all, but now they're going to tear up half the street in front of our house and do a full repaving job.
Roads in San Diego have been declared the "roughest in the country." So while there may not be an actual campaign to turn these roads into gravel, nature is doing her part to render them to gravel anyway.
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Old 12-18-09, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
+1

I think that's the real root of the issue, anyway, is that people can't go as fast on them. I used to live on a dirt road and loved it.
There are a number of advantages to dirt or gravel roads, they are amazingly cheap to build, compared to asphalt roads, dig down a few feet compact the earth, then dump on some gravel and keep rolling it as you layer on more gravel to build up the road. Road work like utilities work is also much easier to deal with in that edges do not need to be sealed.

It's more environmentally friendly, because water can flow through the road surface rather then running off, pollutants are limited to a much smaller area. Speeds are limited by the surface, so it's safer for other road users, the road surface can be "tuned" to limit driver speed, rather then needing a stop sign ever block.
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Old 12-18-09, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
There are a number of advantages to dirt or gravel roads, they are amazingly cheap to build, compared to asphalt roads, dig down a few feet compact the earth, then dump on some gravel and keep rolling it as you layer on more gravel to build up the road. Road work like utilities work is also much easier to deal with in that edges do not need to be sealed.

It's more environmentally friendly, because water can flow through the road surface rather then running off, pollutants are limited to a much smaller area. Speeds are limited by the surface, so it's safer for other road users, the road surface can be "tuned" to limit driver speed, rather then needing a stop sign ever block.
Gravel roads are fine for light traffic use and in colder climates, and though they maybe cheaper to build, in high volume traffic situations the saying "Pay me now or pay me later" comes to mind. Over the long run with high volume traffic, paved roads over time would end up costing the same or less due to less maintenance.
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