Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Great Moment in Bicycle Infrastructure History Revisited

I know I've already harped on this, but the fam and I were out riding Sunday morning and happened to return to the scene of the city of Monona's crime against cycling humanity.

I guess that city engineering has "addressed" the ambiguity for cyclists that was built into the original design by scraping the stripe off of the pavement adjacent to the whatever-it-is and re-painting it to funnel cyclists onto the salmon-colored concrete whatchamajigger. Here we see how well that has all worked out. Granted, the folks putting in the railroad tie edging won't always be there to interfere with bicycle traffic, but just imagine that it's someone walking their dog taking up the same space. The cyclist is right back to deciding which way to go.

This street was a lot better when it was just a wide expanse of pavement with no bicycle/pedestrian facilities at all. At least everybody knew where they stood. I remain convinced that this is among the stupidest bicycle facility I've ever seen. And I've seen some that are pretty stupid.


BlueRobot said...

I noticed that they repainted the lines. To me, the salmon colored things look like sidewalks, which are not legal turf for cyclists in Monona. I end up just riding a few feet left of the white strip -- not the result they were hoping for, I'm sure.

Mauricio Babilonia said...

Excellent point. I had forgotten that unlike Madison, Monona does not except bicyclists from the Wisconsin state statute that prohibits them from riding on the sidewalk.

So I guess that if this salmon-colored thing is a sidewalk, then I'm right there with you... to the left of it.

Tex69 said...

is it an optical illusion that it looks downhillish going into the paved part? or is it just the worst paint job ever?

Mauricio Babilonia said...

It's a bit downhill there, but I think the difference in color between the old asphalt in the foreground and the new asphalt, combined with the left stripe funneling onto the sidewalk that makes it look more so.

The whole thing makes my head spin.

Ed said...

I've ridden that stretch of road. I don't know what they're trying to accomplish there. I mean, come on! It's not that complicated to provide adequate space for bicycles when you're already going to the trouble of re-doing a road. Somehow, I've always gotten the feeling that Monona just doesn't like bicyclists.

merlin said...

This is a quote from the city of Monona's 2008 Fall/Winter Guide.:

The author is Lieutenant Fred Fenton. Feel free to send him an email ffenton@ci.monona.wi.us

(excerpt #1)
• ride on the “red concrete” when riding on Winnequah Road. These concrete paths are there for bicycle and pedestrian use—you give up your rights as a cyclist
when staying on the road where the paths are available

(excerpt # 2)
When deciding on how to ride, or whether it is a good idea to
“insist” on your biking rights, it is helpful to remember the “lug nut rule.” The lug nut rule is: the vehicle with the most lug nuts usually wins. For example, most trucks have at least eight lug nuts per wheel—a bike has four—
the truck wins. Most cars have four or five lug nuts per
wheel—a bike has four—the car wins. A fire hydrant has eight lug nuts—well, I think you get the idea. Ride safely, so as to be able to ride another day.

Mauricio Babilonia said...

Thank you Merlin. Methinks it's time to make a big stink.