Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Which route is safer?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Which route is safer?

Old 02-08-10, 10:44 PM
  #1  
brazo_fuerte
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Which route is safer?

I live about 6 miles outside of town. I can either take the wide shoulder of Interstate 17, or a forest service road that hooks up with SR 89A. The problem with 89A is that there is no shoulder at all and I'd have to be on it for about a half mile. It would also add an extra mile or so to my commute. What do you guys think?
brazo_fuerte is offline  
Old 02-08-10, 11:09 PM
  #2  
chephy
Two H's!!! TWO!!!!!
 
chephy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 4,267
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
How much traffic is there on SR 89A? It can be quite peaceful and safe or extremely nerve-wracking. The worst kind of road to bike on is a fast narrow country road with only one lane in each direction and a constant stream of traffic both ways. Even half a mile might seem long under those conditions. However, if there is not much traffic, it can be a nice option.

How many interchanges/merges/diverges do you have to cross on the interstate and how busy are they generally?
chephy is offline  
Old 02-08-10, 11:17 PM
  #3  
frpax
Steel is real, baby!
 
frpax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 2,534

Bikes: 1984 Pinarello, 1986 Bianchi Portofino, 1988 Bianchi Trofeo, 1989 Specialized Allez, 1989 Specialized Hard Rock, 2001 Litespeed Tuscany

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Things to consider:

Are you allowed on to the Interstate there?

Is either leg of your commute when it is dark?

How well lit is either route? 89A probably has none...

What's the traffic like on 89A? Two lane, I assume...
frpax is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 09:10 AM
  #4  
brazo_fuerte
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There was quite a bit of traffic on 89A the couple of times that I've been on it, but I've never been on it early in the morning. You're right chephy, that half mile seems long because it is up hill and I'm up against a guard rail for part of it.

On the I-17, I would be able to get off on the first exit I come to and ride the next two miles on a bike path into town. But it would be a lot faster to stay on the Interstate and get off at the second exit.

Yes, it is legal to ride on the Interstate here.

No, none of my commute will be in the dark (I'm hoping), and neither road is lit at all.

89A is two lane with almost no shoulder and the speed limit is 55 I believe.

Thanks for the responses guys! I might have to take a day off and ride up to 89A to study the traffic at the time I might be riding on it.
brazo_fuerte is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 09:41 AM
  #5  
Arcanum
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 903

Bikes: 2010 Kona Dr. Dew, Moose Bicycle XXL (fat bike), Yuba Mundo V3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
If you don't have to actually cross I-17, it sounds like that would be safer, except possibly if 89A's traffic is much lower. The difference between 55 mph and 65 mph isn't much, and you've got a wide shoulder to ride on on the interstate.

I'm surprised cycling on the interstate is legal, though. In most places it is illegal to walk or ride bicycles on interstate highways.
Arcanum is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 09:51 AM
  #6  
chephy
Two H's!!! TWO!!!!!
 
chephy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 4,267
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Arcanum
I'm surprised cycling on the interstate is legal, though. In most places it is illegal to walk or ride bicycles on interstate highways.
Typically it is legal where no other reasonable routes exist. That usually is in the not-too-densely populated places. Apparently, there are long and quite pleasant stretches of interstate along the U.S. West Coast where cyclists are allowed, and lots of touring cyclists use them.
chephy is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 09:51 AM
  #7  
thermador
Bike Commuter
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 94
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
So I'm looking at the area on google maps. The vegetation looks pretty darn thin there. If it were my ride, I would not take either road. I would stay off-road the whole time.

I think of commuting this way: once you get splattered by a car, you are dead and that's that. If humanity had a better grasp of risk, they would take the safest routes possible all the time. I would rather ride a longer, rougher route and live to see my grandchildren grow up.

I would save up about $1000, get a nice classic hard tail mountain bike like a Kona Cindercone or a Specialized Rockhopper or something and go for it.



thermador is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 09:55 AM
  #8  
brazo_fuerte
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It is illegal for pedestrians to walk on the Interstate, but there's a sign as you're getting on the I-17 that says "Bikes use shoulder only". Which now that I think about it, is pretty funny. Who in their right mind would ride anywhere but the shoulder on an interstate?
brazo_fuerte is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 10:00 AM
  #9  
brazo_fuerte
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I totally agree, and there is a piece of single track from my house that connects with the urban trail system that would get me into town. The one thing that Google maps does not show is the massive amounts of snow on the ground right now. In the Spring and Summer that will be a fun option.
brazo_fuerte is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 10:01 AM
  #10  
Arcanum
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 903

Bikes: 2010 Kona Dr. Dew, Moose Bicycle XXL (fat bike), Yuba Mundo V3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by brazo_fuerte
It is illegal for pedestrians to walk on the Interstate, but there's a sign as you're getting on the I-17 that says "Bikes use shoulder only". Which now that I think about it, is pretty funny. Who in their right mind would ride anywhere but the shoulder on an interstate?
*eyes the Advocacy and Vehicular Cycling forums* No comment.
Arcanum is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 10:04 AM
  #11  
thermador
Bike Commuter
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 94
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ah. Did not think about snow. I forget that not all parts of AZ are boiling hot retirement communities. ;-)
thermador is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 10:07 AM
  #12  
CACycling
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oxnard, CA
Posts: 4,571

Bikes: 2009 Fuji Roubaix RC; 2011 Fuji Cross 2.0; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by chephy
Typically it is legal where no other reasonable routes exist. That usually is in the not-too-densely populated places. Apparently, there are long and quite pleasant stretches of interstate along the U.S. West Coast where cyclists are allowed, and lots of touring cyclists use them.
I'm in SoCal and usually ride HWY 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) at least once a week and HWY 101 occasionally. There are sections where, as cephy noted, don't have reasonable alternatives so are legal. Never really had any issues riding either except having to patch a couple of tubes once on 101. Tough to find pin holes with all the big trucks blowing by.
CACycling is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 10:10 AM
  #13  
ItsJustMe
Se˝ior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
If it were legal to ride on the interstate here I'd do it a lot. I think it would be the safest bike route I had to get to some destinations. On the interstate there's a full lane shoulder with rumble strips, nobody ever goes on it. The non-interstate route is narrow, lots of traffic, no shoulder, and the pavement is in bad shape.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 07:46 PM
  #14  
wheel
Senior Member
 
wheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Crystal MN
Posts: 2,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would go for I 17. Ear Plugs.

Its not that bad and can be quite relaxing with a wide shoulder. (your not looking over your shoulder for traffic)
I think they both would be safe. i 17 should be plowed first.
wheel is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
geo8rge
Advocacy & Safety
27
01-16-17 06:21 PM
clawhammer72
Commuting
29
10-07-12 06:29 PM
lorenjz
Commuting
7
07-03-12 08:01 AM
Spire
Commuting
9
08-09-10 07:06 PM
Tyrell
Texas
5
02-16-10 09:43 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.