Why does it matter?

June 11th, 2012 Andrejs Posted in Bike Gang, BPAC, Hector/Floral 9 Comments »

LACS during school hours, May 2012

I know that some of us make ourselves obnoxious with our ceaseless, repetitive requests, pleas, demands for lanes and trails and other cycling infrastructure and I think it sometimes gets lost why we’re doing it. What really is the big problem, the big deal? Is life really so bad that we should always be complaining?

Well, this picture shows what the matter is — and, to me, it shows that things really are that bad.

Twenty years ago, when I first came to Ithaca and my kids were enrolled at this school, these bike racks were full. This year, the norm is one or two bikes except during trips, when a few more might appear only for special training days. Read the rest of this entry »

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A ride around Ithaca

March 4th, 2012 Andrejs Posted in Bike Gang No Comments »

I haven’t been up to much cycling lately, but the warm weather yesterday was irresistible, so I thought I’d do the little city ride we did for New Year’s, when the weather was equally mild.

I was heading from West Hill across toward the South Side and found myself on Malone, waiting for the light at Meadow St. This is the corner where Wegman’s traffic comes and goes. There are two lanes in eastbound Malone at the intersection, one for left turn and straight Read the rest of this entry »

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Mystery stencils

November 16th, 2011 Andrejs Posted in Advocacy, Bike Gang 3 Comments »

It took us several decades to get a bike lane striped up East State Street and only one more year to get the lane extended along Mitchell St for a couple blocks. Apparently this last chore must have had some paint left over to create some rather mysterious stencils on the downhill portion of that route. I was driving home one day along those streets and was surprized and puzzled to see the standard bike-lane stencil in the gutter of Mitchell St and, again, on State Street. What explains those embellishments? Are they meant to be bike lanes? Are they meant to advise riding next to the curb? Are they in anticipation of striping a bike lane down that side of the street? Read the rest of this entry »

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Anniversary of a bad crash

November 16th, 2011 Andrejs Posted in Advocacy, Bike Gang, Hazards 3 Comments »

Cheese graterIt’s been TWO YEARS — actually a month more than that — since local cyclist Ace crashed crossing the Clinton Ave bridge near the police station on a rainy day. Her injuries were very serious and, even after much treatment that she could ill afford, she is far from restored to the health she had a right to expect. Recall that we had a great debate to get at least some more prominent warnings posted — more than that was deemed inappropriate because the bridge would be completely rebuilt in two years. (See Andy Goodell’s summary of BPAC debate: BPAC debate re Clinton St. bridge and a more detailed description of the accident and problem: Cheese Grater Bridge.)

So, what are the plans? Is something about to be done, or is the matter forgotten?

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No rumble strips?

December 10th, 2010 Andrejs Posted in Bike Ed, Bike Gang, BPAC, Hazards No Comments »

I just realized that at the end of the warm season we got some exquisite new pavement on some New York State roads into Ithaca — and that those roads don’t have any rumble strips on them! Remember, about a year ago, we heard about a state policy change that was going to add rumble strips by default to all these roads. We debated and objected at the time, but heard nothing. All summer, no further rumble strips. And, now, new paving projects with not a sign of the dreaded rumblers.

Of course, I hope that the universal rumble policy was put aside as unworkable. That would make sense, especially on our curvy highways around Ithaca. But, just in case, maybe we should all write the highway authorities to thank them and tell them the rumble strip plan should be permanently put away. If they have changed their plans, they’ll be glad to get an appreciative note. But, if they haven’t they will at least know that we care — and that we want our roads unvandalized. Read the rest of this entry »

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How about those sharrows?

May 31st, 2010 Andrejs Posted in Bike Ed, Bike Gang, BPAC No Comments »

Four quarterly reports on the “sharrows” that were painted along the length of Cayuga Street are now available for review. A fascinating read (pretty large PDFs; sorry). See Sharrow Reports.

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Walk and Roll!

May 11th, 2010 Andrejs Posted in Bike Ed, Bike Gang, Bike to Work Day 1 Comment »

Walk and Roll is a really great website and a great idea; here’s their main principles —

Walk+Roll works to encourage and remind people to walk and bicycle in their daily lives by:

  • - Organizing human-powered neighborhood events that combine fun with active living, learning and participating.
  • - Advocating with politicians and community leaders so that they consider cyclists and pedestrians in public policy.
  • - Promoting biking and walking through press releases and outreach to the media.

Walking and cycling rather than driving – particularly for short distances – saves money, improves physical and emotional health, decreases smog, improves neighborhood safety and encourages social interaction which builds community.

Most of their ideas are things we’ve kicked around here in Ithaca as well; some of their events are worth emulating. All in all, much food for thought.

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GRumble Strips

December 9th, 2009 Andrejs Posted in Bike Ed, Bike Gang, BPAC, Hazards, News 4 Comments »

bcrumbleRecently there was a “leaked” report that the New York State DOT is about to revise its policy regarding the installation of rumble strips along state roads — whereas previously rumblestrips were an option to be considered, henceforth rumble strips will be default, to be added to every road project unless otherwise specified.

I found it a really disturbing prospect and expected cyclists around me to rise in protest. But no such protest seems to be materializing; most people I’ve talked to have said it’s not a big deal; if there is sufficient space left Read the rest of this entry »

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Cheese Grater Bridge

October 5th, 2009 Andrejs Posted in Bike Gang, Hazards No Comments »

Passing this on for consideration as a cycling issue for Ithaca. Quite a few comments have appeared on the Cornell and FLCC email lists — generally unflattering to the authors of grate-bridge technology. The point would be to think about all the hazards around town that are particularly problematic for cyclists.

gratedear fellow flcc-ers and cu-cyclers –

i was just cleared from the hospital following a bike accident i had saturday morning, while commuting. the roads were a little wet, no biggie… i was riding downhill, but not very fast since i was approaching an intersection. anyways… as soon as i rode on the steel bridge by the police department on clinton street, by bike skidded sideways and i immediately lost control. i fell dead on my right knee, then my right hip, and my right elbow swept the ground for what seemed to be an eternity (15ft slide). Read the rest of this entry »

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Bike Parking

May 31st, 2009 Andrejs Posted in Bike Gang No Comments »

We took a trip to Ottawa over Memorial Day weekend with the Finger Lakes Cycling Club touring group and stayed in the University of Ottawa dorms. They don’t let you bring bikes into the rooms there, but they give you a key to the bike room in the basement of the building. What a terrific surprise that was! Not just a dungeon into which to squeeze a bike, but a special array of racks that holds bikes and provides a way to lock them up. I’ll have to find out what the investment is in the hardware, because there are certainly many places in Ithaca that a rack like that would be a valuable addition.

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