Vagabond Shark

Ideas, Bikes, Art, Design, Architecture, Politics, Tech, Software

A simple request?

Posted by Peter W on October 27, 2007

Turtles

There is a section of Walker Road just West of 185th Ave that I ride on often when biking to work. From 185th the bike lane exists until Walker hits NW 191st Ave, at which point something very strange happens.

There is a fairly new subdivision development there and it appears that when it was built the developer was required to do an “improvement” to add a turn lane and a stub of a second through lane on one side (why the thru lane you ask? Because they plan to widen the road to five lanes in the near future). Apparently, however, the developers weren’t required to think about cyclists and our need for space on the road.

View from East

The bike lane ends, and where the road stub exists, instead of a bike lane there is a bunch of pavement that is unusable due to a giant array of white turtles (plastic bumps). If not for all those bumps, that section would be nice because it is so wide, but as it is, there is less room than most shoulders and you are forced to basically ride right next to traffic. Can you imagine biking there with a kid in a trailer in tow?

I asked if the Traffic Engineer from Washington County if they could remove a few of those of those bumps from each row so people could ride their bikes more easily through there without needing a full suspension mountain bike. The response was that the bumps where needed so cars wouldn’t run off the road, because it is such a sharp turn in the road. What!? I’ve driven and biked that section of road hundreds of times and not once have I had problems staying on the road. It is pretty obvious too, that you shouldn’t drive on the asphalt currently covered with turtles because there is a giant reflective barricade at the end of it.

Their response makes me wonder – are they engineering it so people can drive blindfolded or something?

Would it really be that much of a problem to remove some turtles and make room for bikes?

A motorist would have to be blindfolded to miss this curve.

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2 Responses to “A simple request?”

  1. Jen said

    That sure is a bizarre stretch of road. I hope they get around to fixing it.

  2. vagabondshark said

    Another idea: What if a strip of bumps were placed where the white paint is, so cars would be warned if they cross it, instead of putting bumps in what should be the bike lane?

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