Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cyclists Vs. the Motorized World: First We Take Manhattan

Many of you saw the J. Mango post at DCF about turning Silver Ave. into a "bike boulevard". Very interesting stuff, and it's led to some print/vid media coverage of the issue. I like this story all around, including the fact that blogs can serve as news generators, especially if that news doesn't conform to a "if it bleeds, it ledes(leads)" mentality.

On the subject of Silver itself, I decided to check out the road in question myself yesterday. Living in the South Valley and working north of Central, I don't have much call for a bike stroll down Silver. Here are some thoughts from last evening's expedition:

  • Silver has some flavor of a "bike blvd." already, as the percentage of cyclists is high.
  • One thing a "bike blvd." might want to address is the number of parked cars alongside the street. The street is narrow as you head toward Carlisle, and the multitude of parked cars make visibility difficulty. I don't know what the parking situation is for residents along the street (alley parking, e.g.?), but this visibility thing is a problem as it sits now.
  • Yes, the stop sign mishmash has to end. I know I couldn't pass a quiz on which cross streets have four way stops, two way stops, two way stops for Silver v. Street X, etc.
  • I know BikeABQ wants to start small, but something has to be done about getting downtown. To get from downtown to Thai Ginger at Trumbull/San Mateo last night I had the decision to either:
    • sign life's ultimate liability waiver and go up Coal Avenue
    • ride up MLK, go through UNM and then drop back down to Silver
    • in case you're wondering, no going up Gibson wasn't considered. I don't like to even drive up Gibson, much less bike it
  • So I ended up going up MLK. I know it's a hill, but I love the wideness of the street and lack of traffic. In fact, I was dreaming as I rode up about a super pedestrian/bike walkway over I-25 off of MLK, combined with creating a "bike blvd." system between MLK east of I-25, some North/South street from MLK to where Silver starts up, then up Silver to Carlisle.
I'm going to make another run up Silver today, creating dehydration-induced hallucinatory scenarios for cyclist's heaven as I ride. Be sure to look over the many parked cars on Silver to see me if you're driving in the area.


Anonymous said...

FYI: KOB-TV also did this story this week.

Cheers, Mi3ke

history said...

A bike friendly town is one that accomodates bikes. Why should a bike only be allowed on one street downtown. I should be able to get around all of downtown, and for that matter anywhere else I want to go on my bike. Once THE BIKE BOULEVARD opens, then it's going to be, "Why aren't you on the bike boulevard you motherf-r?" I appreciate bike paths and such, but this town has deadends all over the place and one more in downtown doesn't turn my crank. There are way too many places bikes just can't get to. I think a comprehensive plan for adding bike lanes and linking them to other parts of the city would be a much better solution to communting around ABQ and the downtown area.

michelle meaders said...

According to the Weekly Alibi May 31-June 6 issue, the City Council last week passed an ordinance forbidding parking on lawns or other "permeable" surfaces. I haven't seen anything else about it. How will this affect street parking and visibility for drivers and bikers, especially in student neighborhoods? By the way, I hear that it's very expensive to get a curb cut to widen a driveway.

Anonymous said...

I always wonder how cars pass each other on Silver when there is only really room for one car. Scary.

Anonymous said...

Do you people actually drive around this city? NO BODY IS USING THESE DAMN BIKE LANES! maybe some gung-ho weekend cyclist, but who commutes from the heights to downtown using these paths? Get a clue, this city was built around the automobile and continues to grow outwards on that asumption that peole here drive. What kind of cholas do you see sweating it out on these paths? We burqueans drive cars and hurl obsenities at those on bikes and that's the way we like it.