Daily Archives: August 20, 2009

I survived riding the entertainment district of Arlington, and now you get Fed

I survived a perilous trip through the entertainment district of Arlington TX to get to the Bike/Ped Advisory Committee meeting at NCTCOG yesterday. The trip there was “fun” as in not really fun. First of all the temp was about 99 F with a heat index somewhere shy of 110, and second the trip I had carefully planned with Bike Route Toaster plan your trip here to avoid heavily traveled roads and steep hills was blown all to Hell by construction on the SH161 tollway, which took out some of the streets that I would have ridden yesterday. So, I got dumped in some very busy streets with some short, steep, hills and had to replan the trip on the fly from what I remembered of the maps while looking up the route the day before. Unfortunately this ended up putting me on some very bad pavement that was very rough on Gigi, and after the meeting put me in the middle of Grand Prairie’s rush hour traffic. I consumed 72 oz. of water getting to and from Centreport Station, and another 48 oz. after I got home before I rehydrated enough to be able to urinate. Needless to say my anti-perspirant died long before I could get to the meeting.

And the meeting was not entirely a waste of time, close, but not the entire meeting. First the good news, they have secured funding to pay for the Veloweb that TxDOT can’t raid to pay for something else. These funds have to be spent on bicycle or pedestrian infrastructure and cannot be spent on any kind of road or highway project. Second, most of the projects will be grade separated (no cars anywhere near the facility) and will connect residential to commercial and manufacturing areas for jobs and shopping. These will not be MUP in parks that wander hither and yon, these will be as straight as right of way permits. Now the bad news, some of the connections are going to be glorified sidewalks that will only be 7 feet wide in commercial and manufacturing areas, but that was as much as they could put in given land use restrictions and previously installed infrastructure, and to get some areas connected they had to repurpose MUPs from parks to bypass major streets and highways. So one of the sections of the bicycle version of Central Expressway will have more than 17 gentle turns of more than 45 degrees in less than 1/2 mile. But by the Winter of 2010 you will be able to ride a bicycle from Downtown Plano to Downtown Dallas without ever using a road built for motor vehicle travel, all with a 25 MPH speed limit. Sometime after that you will be able to go from Garland to Ft. Worth in a similar fashion on purpose built infrastructure that is completely grade separated except at park and ride facilities where you can park your car and bring your bike, or just ride your bike from your home to a convenient entry point. That is due before 2020, maybe as soon as 2015. At which time (2020) I will be 62 years old and probably no longer in need of getting from Garland to Ft.Worth. 😛

Up first are recalls for Felt cyclocross bikes, Cannibal BMX bikes and Burley kid trailers, now made outside instead of the US… Recalls If you have any of these products stop using it immediately and get the product fixed or replaced as the recall advises,

More on that hit-and-run in FL involving a 14 YO kid. Cape Coral police seeking vehicle involved in hit-and-run that injured teen and also Bicyclist injured in hit & run identified This was the exact same kind of wreck that killed Larry Schwartz and created the Ride of Silence, only the kid survived this one. They still suspect possible brain damage, but with a 14 YO it’s hard to tell brain damage from normal 14 YO male activities 😉 If you see a vehicle matching the description of the one mentioned in the article (silver or grey Ford van) with the appropriate damage to the passenger side mirror please notify authorities. The thing that impresses me most about the wreck other than the kid surviving was the bike left tire marks on the pavement at the wreck site.

More on that wreck on US71 in IA. Bicyclist killed in Clay County accident and Officials: Cyclist hit, killed, today near Spencer The reports indicate there may be criminal charges placed against the van driver for hitting the cyclist and never doing anything to avoid the wreck, as there were no tire marks from the van prior to the impact with the cyclist. The only good thing I can put here about the wreck was the driver stayed at the scene and voluntarily submitted to a blood draw. That will keep him away from the sealed room full of kittens and the induced cat allergy to cause anaphylactic shock and a slow painful death. But if he was drunk I say hang him with a short rope. Now if he was sober just lock him in a room and forget about him for a couple weeks. If he lives, then he can go home and never drive a motor vehicle ever again in his life. If he doesn’t live, problem solved… I get cranky when I have to climb hills that I had carefully planned to not climb and it takes me a while to get un-cranky.

More on the driver that crossed the road to hit a cyclist head on. Queen Creek man jailed after bicyclist killed I’m glad to see that homicide charges are being pressed after this drunk killed one and almost got 2 more cyclists in one swoop. Two words: short rope.

And another hit-from-behind wreck in AZ, which some are trying to call a SWSS. Bicyclist killed in collision with truck Usual stuff for a hit-from-behind wreck. Mirror, alert, be ready to bail to an escape route at all times.

More witness’ statements for that “SWSS” that is turning out to be something entirely different in MA. Marshfield bicyclist killed in accident and Cyclist killed in Marshfield, Mass. crash and with pictures Bicyclist struck, killed by car in Marshfield One witness reported the impact was to the driver’s side of the windshield, and directly from behind on the bike, and another witness reported the cyclist was hit so hard that helmet or not he would be dead.

In spite of spending millions of $ for bicycle infrastructure they’re still killing cyclists in record numbers in Seattle. Cyclists on crash course to set deadly record Although NYC is decreasing cyclist deaths by half while doubling cyclists on the road, Seattle is not faring as well.

A memorial/benefit for a cyclist killed by a drunk driver on a closed race course. Bicycle club’s benefit ride will remember triathlete The heirs and survivors of the deceased cyclist will be in attendance.

A SC (?) city ponders making driver get along with cyclists and creating safer streets. Task force explores ideas to make city bicycle friendly I don’t agree with some of the suggestions, like allowing sidewalk riding, which strikes me as doing things just to be seen as doing things.

A CA cyclist comes back after getting hit in a wreck. Herhold: A cyclist’s resolve Another run in with a damned drunk driver (who should be damned) that wasn’t as bad as it could be (bad enough but not as bad as it could be).

More on that auction in Ottawa for the 5 cyclists hit by an insane driver. Lance Armstrong bib nets $5,000 for injured Ottawa cyclists and Armstrong bib auction fetches $5,000 for injured cyclists I’m glad people are contributing to helping these people out.

And getting back to infrastructure and NYC comes a call for a bike lane and traffic calming on Queens Blvd. Bicycle victim’s friends rally for bike lanes in Queens Infrastructure!!

And that’s all I got today after visiting the lab rat keeper.

Billed @$.02, Opus