Many of you may remember my quest to get a block of dangerous concrete removed from Cobb Parkway. Well – I’ve got a new cause without a rebel looking for a rebel without a cause. I guess this one fall squarely on my shoulders.
For the better part of 3 years, GDOT has been working on the “Macland – Windy Hill Connector”. It’s finally finished, including a grossly oversized bridge to nowhere. I drove it for the first time on Friday and was sad that they managed to make the shoulders so unfriendly. They are wide, then narrow, then a curb then wide… all over the place for no reason. This will force a cyclist to feel a false sense of security only to be pushed back into traffic and piss off some texting cougar in her Escalade (it’s already happened….) Anyway, that lovely picture of cycling bliss and serenity I just painted for you is only 10% of the absolute DANGER imposed on cyclist on this road in at least 12 locations.
To those of you who don’t ride on vehicles with tires that are 23 mm wide, you may not realize the danger that is presented here. I’ve been riding a WHOLE lot of years and can tell you, in general I can miss a 43×41 square of steel in the road. I’m a big boy and I can steer. In perfect conditions, I could probably bunny hop that thing if I had to… but in and oh-crap situation, for some strange reason – everything isn’t perfect. You and I both reasonably smart people, or at least I would like to believe I am… I will let you decide. I’m going to give you all the benefit here – and ask you if you try to put a 1″ wide tire in a 2-3″ wide slot – will it fit? YUP – YOU ARE RIGHT! Sure enough – it will drop right in there.
Now – I’m one for a story and all, but I’m not about to go dropping in to show you what could/would happen if I that thing at 24 mph. I will however put Wilson II in there to show you what is next. I am going to say – and this is my expert opinion, there is not a cyclist in the world that could survive that without going tukus over tea kettle and or changing their dental records forever. There are at least a dozen of these grates on this new 2 mile road. They are in dark shadows where even an experience cyclist might not see them.
You aren’t supposed to complain unless you have a solution… I tried hard and even took my measuring tape out there to see if the solution was easy … nope, they are not square, they are rectangular. IDIOTS! The drain should go perpendicular to the road, not parallel. This is already ILLEGAL in Oregon and Seattle aint bullsh*t’n (It’s rap song), they are going to replace ALL of their storm grates. I think with a little work, they could be fixed – or with the purchase a helper/fixer. I’ve seen and ridden across those before.
Words can not convey how disappointed and angry I am that new road projects are not even THINKING about cyclists. This is crap. I will be coming up with something to do about this!