Saturday, September 25, 2010

Phase IV: Removing the construction barrels

Phase IV, looking south. High School at left,  Med Center straight ahead. LANL over horizon.
Woo-hoo. I noted on Thursday that much of the final pavement was being put down in front of Mezgers and across from the High School, meaning Phase IV of the Diamond Drive rebuilt is just about finished. So Phase I, II, III, and IV now are largely history and cyclists, walkers, and bus riders no longer have to feel like they are in the back of the Great Transportation Bus.

Yesterday was taken up with running errands down in White Rock and off the Hill so my bike was sitting at home when I drove back to town to see that the new striping was in place. I put the small Olympus C765 in the rack trunk and rode back to town to shoot some pics. Sorry to George Glass and his friends who escaped being photographed.  They were riding on the other side of the road just as I got off my bike and unpacked the camera.

The bike lanes look as advertised except they seem a tad narrow where they were fudged under the H.S. flyover (i.e., pedestrian overpass), which was done without moving the flyover. Moving the flyover would, I think, have required a total rebuild to ADA requirements. But even there I think they look at least four feet wide--I will ride back with a tape measure and at any rate, no one will have to hold their breath riding under the ped bridges.
Bike lane looking north under H.S. flyover

Cyclists and motorists must be really careful in this section. Most of the Diamond bike lanes are in areas with few side streets and other turning and crossing points. The newest section, Phase IV of the project, are in a very busy area of town. Motorists and cyclists must be CAREFUL to avoid the usual turning and crossing hazards typical to these installations, i.e., a cyclist overtaking slower traffic on the right in the blind spot of a motorist who is about to make a right turn, and a motorist overtaking a cyclist and then braking to turn right. Both these common scenerios result in the cyclist hitting or being hit by the side of the car. Read my long winded discussion here or view the relevant video here on the Mass Bike site.

Be careful out there. These nifty new bike lanes don't take the place of active personal safety and smart riding. If anything, they require a higher degree of vigilance! If you want a tutorial, contact yours truly, Neale Pickett, or Amy Pickett.

Keep the rubber side down. And oh, yeah. I got bored with the old blog design and changed it. Unfortunately, it looks like once you get rid of the old format, you can't go back.

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