Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Seriously, people?

Is it really that difficult for the municipality and the state to coordinate snow removal from streets and bike paths? We've been talking about this for years.

It’s simple, folks. Even a dumbass like me can figure it out: Plow the streets first, then the bike paths, because you clearly can’t grasp the concept of not heaping snow on top of already cleared pathways. This one on my commuting route is so moronic, I made a point of carrying a camera today.

Not only did the driver of a road grader put a small mountain of snow directly across a bike path, but he did it at an intersection that’s already among the most dangerous in town. And the bike path was cleared days ago, so no one's coming back to remove this thing.

This kind of crap ensures that bicyclists who are crossing the scary C Street to O’Malley high-speed auto chute have to dismount and lift their bikes over this icy beast. It most cases, such a thing is highly annoying. Here, it adds to the danger of a poorly designed crossing. Any pedestrian with mobility problems is doubly screwed.

I'm startin' to think you guys will never get it.

9 comments:

Whitney Erin said...

I had the same problems today on my commute...pretty infuriating when you have to walk your bike an entire block because the huge chunks of snow got blown all over the bikepath...

Vito said...

I gets to the point here that it is rather comical. I don't know how many times the the bike and walking paths are plowed, only to be buried again when the streets and roads get cleared.

Nobody seems to be able to figure this out.

clark said...

fortunately, you have that fat tired monster so you can just plow right over it like it isn't even there!

surreyuss said...

I have an acquaintance who works as an equipment operator for the state DOT. I asked him this very question after the last snow. His answer indicates the attitude of the Anchorage area DOT supervisor regarding the bike trails may be the root of the problem.

The state snow plow and truck operators have been instructed to intentionally move the snow as far off the road as possible and onto the bike trails. The bike trail units are then expected to move it farther away from the road. The bike trail units are viewed not as trail clearing tools, but as supplements to the road clearing process.

I was told that the state had acquired several more of those units and that their job now was to work in continuous loops to “supplement” the movement of snow away from the roadway. There is no “coordination” of effort however.

I got the impression that it is the DOT supervisor that is causing this problem by using the trail equipment in a manner other than what was intended. And of course there is no coordination between the state and the city either. Dah!

WheelDancer said...

My winter commute has just this situation as well. There is a bridge, not quite a mile long, that has a bike lane on one side. The bike lane is plowed before the road and the road plows plow the entire two lanes plus wide shoulder onto the bike path where it remains until the next snow when the path is plowed apparently to make room for the next round of road snow. It does sometimes get plowed in between but the slop rarely gets cleared off to less than four inches of bike tire-rutted and foot traffic potholed frozen solid slop.

It wouldn't piss me off so much if it wasn't the only way across the river without adding five to ten miles to my commute and those options are often not plowed at all.

Notorious T said...

Thanks for that info, surreyuss. Interesting. And a tad disturbing.

As for you, Wheeldancer, it sounds like you need a fat bike!

WheelDancer said...

We have the dang things on order but are caught in the vortex of two 'island time' bike shops wrapped in the Susitna 100 and the ITI. Hoping to see progress soon but suspecting there will be no snow left by the time we take delivery which of course isn't all bad.

I know, patience is a virtue and I have been trying to get some RIGHT NOW...

The Old Bag said...

same shit, different city...with the plowing AND the island-time shops!

welshcyclist said...

Four inches of snow here results in no movement on the roads at all, car or bike. You'd laugh at the standstill that ensues.