Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Western Area Walkways, by Jerry Merkey

Jerry Merkey has marked in red the connections he uses (or has mapped out, at any rate) through the Western Areas. Click on the image for a full size version. Thanks and a tip of the helmet to Jerry.

It looks to me, although I have not tried it, that Canyon bike traffic could jog over to Trinity by taking a left onto 39th Street and a right on Trinity, continue across Diamond on Trinity and then jog over to Fairway at 43rd street and hop on the bridge sidewalk. Has anyone tried that?

Kyle Zimmerman said that during rebuilding of the sidewalk leading to the bridge, there will be ped/bike diversions (these will be protected space). This will be a fluid situation. Use best judgment. He also reminded cyclists that some of the paths that Jerry mentioned are narrow—be careful to not catch a handlebar on a fence or other object lining the narrow passageways.

Frankly, I think that some of these end runs might not improve cyclist "safety" vs. simply riding in traffic. One should not confuse the self-imposed self-consciousness of riding a little slower than a car is being driven with being unsafe. But as the saying goes, YMMV...I think avoiding the construction zone in the name of safety is highly overhyped.

Note and update: This morning I took a variation on Jerry's Western Area route (see previous post).  Instead of bearing left just past the tennis courts and connecting to 41st, I continued on that short straight link of sidewalk also shown in red. That dumped me on 42nd Street. I turned right on Trinity and rode up to 43rd and turned left to get on Fairway and took that to the bridge. This minimized my sidewalk time. Be aware that the short, straight section of sidewalk that connects from the tennis courts to 42nd street is quite narrow and has an off-camber rickety drainage crossing where the sidewalk sections are somewhat tilted. Use these routes carefully, keep the speed down and yield to any pedestrians. This route was quiet and peaceful, but I'm not sure I'll use it if Diamond is clear and fast. If Diamond is bottled up that is a good way to avoid stop and go traffic and congestion.

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