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WA MUPs closing - trend?

Old 10-08-09, 06:41 PM
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vrkelley
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WA MUPs closing - trend?

OK first it was/is the 520 trail closing for construction of a new bridge. Now the Green River trail is closing so trucks can use it to sandbag a dam. Trails closing due to inadequate urban planning...is this a new trend?
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Old 10-08-09, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by vrkelley View Post
OK first it was/is the 520 trail closing for construction of a new bridge. Now the Green River trail is closing so trucks can use it to sandbag a dam. Trails closing due to inadequate urban planning...is this a new trend?
The 520 trail is not "closed". One segment is closed while the bridge is built, and a signed detour is provided. Happens all the time on roads.

I would not call the Howard Hanson dam problem "lack of urban planning", more like a design or maintenance flaw.

Trend? Not in my book.
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Old 10-08-09, 09:09 PM
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If the Green River floods, lack of a MUP will be the last of our problems...
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Old 10-09-09, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by vrkelley View Post
OK first it was/is the 520 trail closing for construction of a new bridge. Now the Green River trail is closing so trucks can use it to sandbag a dam. Trails closing due to inadequate urban planning...is this a new trend?


I'm not familiar with the closure at the HH Dam, but if it means the river can be kept from flooding and causing massive damage to homes, roads, businesses, etc. then the inconvenience of a temporary closure is well warranted.

The 520 trail detour is inconvenient, but don't forget what kind of bridge they're building there: It's a pedestrian/cyclist bridge. Not for automobile traffic. Don't complain that they're making an improvement to the cycling infrastructure!
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Last edited by CliftonGK1; 10-09-09 at 09:16 AM. Reason: Whoops. Wrong quote!
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Old 10-09-09, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
The 520 trail detour is inconvenient, but don't forget what kind of bridge they're building there: It's a pedestrian/cyclist bridge. Not for automobile traffic. Don't complain that they're making an improvement to the cycling infrastructure!
Hey Clifton - while the new bridge will have a ped/cycling path on it, I am pretty sure that it will be open for automotive traffic as well. Check out the artists rendering of the new bridge:

https://www.redmond.gov/community/ove...tBridgeMap.pdf

And the city of redmond construction page:

https://www.redmond.gov/community/ove...NE36Bridge.htm
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Old 10-09-09, 09:51 AM
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Hrm. Interesting...
I haven't been following the project because I rarely head over that way. When it was first proposed, I thought it was supposed to be a ped/bike only bridge.

Previous statement halfway rescinded: They're still improving cycling infrastructure with what appears to be a fully separate ped/bike path off the roadway, so it's not all bad.
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Old 10-09-09, 11:39 AM
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Just to continue the theme of this thread - this morning while commuting into downtown Seattle I was greeted by a work crew that was *painting over* the bike path on the south side of 4th Avenue South. That bike path was just created about 9 months ago or so (I forget when).

I think it's due to construction in the neighborhood, which has eliminated a lane of car traffic, so I guess they're grabbing the space back from the bikes. I hope it's just temporary, as it's the path I used to get into downtown coming from the I-90 trail.
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Old 10-09-09, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Previous statement halfway rescinded: They're still improving cycling infrastructure with what appears to be a fully separate ped/bike path off the roadway, so it's not all bad.
I agree.

I would also add that when the bike path closure signs notification signs first went up, I called over to the City of Redmond and talked to the Project Engineer. He was very open to discussing the project and was very intersted to hear thoughts in the proposed bike detour. He also took pains to emphasize that they would be re-opening the bike path as soon as they safely could, even before the new bridge is open, if possible. He encouraged me to call him back if there were any issues affecting cyclists during the construction. When riding the detour, I soon noticed one of the storm drain grates on the route had the old "suicide slots" with no cross bars. I called the Project Engineer back, and he had a city crew out that same day to change that grate out and he had them check the rest of the grates on the route.

So at least in the case of the City of Redmond, they do seem to be responsive to the needs of cyclists.
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Old 10-09-09, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by vrkelley View Post
OK first it was/is the 520 trail closing for construction of a new bridge. Now the Green River trail is closing so trucks can use it to sandbag a dam. Trails closing due to inadequate urban planning...is this a new trend?
Hmm.

These particular examples have been addressed, but, it seems to me that if bike lanes are placed in locations that are located to pacify businesses, i.e., out of the way places, then, it's not unreasonable to predict that more closures vs. fixing could happen. Out of the way places/lower traffic areas are not maintained as well as higher-use areas. In my book, broken is broken, and everything should be fixed.
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Old 10-10-09, 12:03 AM
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I got that impression also. It seems like the trails are more 'multi-purposed' than I imagined i.e., it's open to peds and cyclists but if need be, the gov can use it for it's own purposes. Of course sandbagging to protect homes is important. I guess it shed a new light on MUPs that they're not just a civil service project for people to walk/run/bike on.

Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Just to continue the theme of this thread - this morning while commuting into downtown Seattle I was greeted by a work crew that was *painting over* the bike path on the south side of 4th Avenue South. That bike path was just created about 9 months ago or so (I forget when).

I think it's due to construction in the neighborhood, which has eliminated a lane of car traffic, so I guess they're grabbing the space back from the bikes. I hope it's just temporary, as it's the path I used to get into downtown coming from the I-90 trail.
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Old 10-10-09, 12:06 AM
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Instead of a few months, I believe the news spoke of the closure for the Green Trail as in something like 10 years!
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
I' the inconvenience of a temporary closure is well warranted.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:01 AM
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well, an MUP IS a 'public right of way' and the US government officially classifies MUPS as 'highways' just not for motorized vehicles. I don't know specifically how WA state defines a MUP but suspect they are considered a public highway right of way.

municipalities have every right to close, drive vehicles down for service or law enforcement, and work on or use MUPs as what they are, public property. the army corps of engineers decision to use the trail to place flood control devices is unfortunate but i suspect a bicyclist will be able to skirt the 'closures' once the bags are in place.

its unfortunate but regional flood control takes precedence over access to a local highway MUP for bikes. without having ridden the closures i'm nonetheless confident governments could be more proactive at providing viable alternate routes and signage.

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Old 10-10-09, 09:13 AM
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Looks like a light rail is also going through!
[QUOTE=woodway;9827456]Hey Clifton - while the new bridge will have a ped/cycling path on it, I am pretty sure that it will be open for automotive traffic as well. Check out the artists rendering of the new bridge:

https://www.redmond.gov/community/ove...tBridgeMap.pdf
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Old 10-10-09, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by woodway View Post
I agree.

I would also add that when the bike path closure signs notification signs first went up, I called over to the City of Redmond and talked to the Project Engineer. He was very open to discussing the project and was very intersted to hear thoughts in the proposed bike detour. He also took pains to emphasize that they would be re-opening the bike path as soon as they safely could, even before the new bridge is open, if possible. He encouraged me to call him back if there were any issues affecting cyclists during the construction. When riding the detour, I soon noticed one of the storm drain grates on the route had the old "suicide slots" with no cross bars. I called the Project Engineer back, and he had a city crew out that same day to change that grate out and he had them check the rest of the grates on the route.

So at least in the case of the City of Redmond, they do seem to be responsive to the needs of cyclists.
I talked (well, exchanged email) with the cascade bike advocate at the time, and according to him, the project team "forgot to do" the *required* public portion of the project. I also got the same story from the Microsoft commute folks.

I didn't have any luck with the project engineer. I asked him a) how much effort they had put into coming up with a better detour and b) why such a project required them to close the trail for so long.

The answer to the first was "we tried, but some of the property owners weren't interested", and to the second all I got was that construction was dangerous and they were trying to protect the cyclists.

I don't think this is a trend - the City of Redmond has never really cared about cyclists, or been willing to involve them in the planning process. A few years ago the closed off one of the prime entrances to Microsoft for months to put in a new light, and their proposed detour was just stupid.
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Old 10-10-09, 01:22 PM
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the Green RIVER Trail is basically a paved route on top of a levee, right?
And levees are meant to control flooding,
And the Hanson dam has got major problems, so 'they" won't be relying on it to hold as much water back .. or, out of the Green River Valley.
Ten years is a pessimistic view of how long it will take to fix the dam. Might only take 5 years.

Redmond: who wudda thunk it, given the olde penny-farthing "welcome to town" sign, that the city fathers' employees wouldn't be bike-aware?
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Old 10-11-09, 10:21 AM
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If the 'fathers rode that stretch by the Bike-welcome, they were probably run-over!
Originally Posted by moleman76 View Post
Redmond: who wudda thunk it, given the olde penny-farthing "welcome to town" sign, that the city fathers' employees wouldn't be bike-aware?
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Old 10-11-09, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
municipalities have every right to close, drive vehicles down for service or law enforcement, and work on or use MUPs as what they are, public property. the army corps of engineers decision to use the trail to place flood control devices is unfortunate but i suspect a bicyclist will be able to skirt the 'closures' once the bags are in place.
Yep. Many people don't realize it, but many MUPs are really gov't easements. (Think about the sewer mains under the SRT for example). Providing bike or ped access is only a secondary function.
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