Wednesday, July 19, 2006
I went south on Duncan to Windsor. The first half mile is peachy because it's just to Parkland and that one subdivision; minimal traffic. (Wish I could sneak a tiny little bike path over the interstate to Duncan on the other side...) Over the interstate I scope out the sidewalk to my right, since other folks who wouldn't brave the streets have talked about getting to Parkland that way. Seems to my eye that there's about a three inch step, though, to get over the bridge. Will check with camera soon. The next mile is so-so - more traffic, lots of four-way stops. From Sprinfield to Kirby is truly yucky - narrow road, lousy road condition, lots of traffic.
So I get to the light and ease into the middle of the newly formed right lane, 'cause there will be two nice lanes for a little while and then a nice shoulder up to Duncan and Winsor. (What a difference 10 yards makes!) Out of the mirror/corner of my eye I realize there's somebody else in the right lane so I scoot over a tad and hear a quiet "Thank you," from the young male driver (you know, the stereotypes who are supposed to be maniacally destructive) who can make his right turn on red. I nod my best smile as the light turns green.
Sweet cruise to Windsor (see above). Left turn at light. Bike lane's in good shape. Then the transition to off-road. It's 5:00 and there's tons of traffic, so my psyche dictates that I turn into a sidewalk schlepper.
Yup, it's pretty much textbook "what's wrong with bike paths." Some cars want to give me all kinds of rights and room, others don't know I exist, at the many driveways and cross streets. Oops, no choice here, the sidewalk is suddenly CLOSED. Fortunately - but only a coincidence - I can tell from enough distance to get out into the road at a green light and not have to do a dicey merge.
STick to the road 'til Neil, then to that sort of sidewalk thing with the lousy drainage and the glass. Then back to the road at First Street where the lane returns to it... then up to Race, where just before the intersection, the path veers off again. ONly problem: I"m going left at said intersection. It's four lanes all four directoins at the four-way stop - so the added confusion of somebody (pedestrian or cyclist) on a path at rush hour is asking for disaster, so I scope out my rear view and head back into the lane instead,...
... and somebody utterly lays on the horn at me from a distance, apparently incensed at my decision. This makes me slow down on general principle, so I then have the pleasure of being more immersed than necessary into the traffic flow, but since it's one little light cycle I could just slow down until they were all by me. Not sure what I'd have done if the traffic flow had bene more constant - yes I am, I'd have proceeded straight through the intersection and regrouped.
With confusing layouts like that, no wonder drivers are aggravated, though. The whole experience made for good fodder for the advisory commission meeting.