Friday, April 03, 2009

I Support Snakebite!

Sam & City:

Thank you very much for hosting the open house at Oyate Community Center. Unfortunately I was unable to attend but I understand many interested cyclists were there. It sure is nice to see people out learning the process and showing their concern. Thanks for the teachable moment!

Chris Pierson mentioned to me that the current plan for the greenway trail going north from 41st along the country club golf course is to place the asphalt along the down slope on the river side of the dike. I would like to echo Chris’ and other cyclists concern that this is an unfortunate development.

Please change the plan. Put the path on top.

First, when the snow melts and runners, walkers, cyclists are itching to enjoy the first tastes of spring we’re Pavlov’s dogs – we know that the west path clears of snow and dries first. It’s where people go that teaser of a 60-degree day in February to enjoy some of what the city offers.

I agree with my cycling friends that under the new plan snowmelt runoff will subject the trail to icy conditions much longer than necessary.

Please change the plan. Put the path on top.

Second, rider safety, part 1 - ice. It seems I have the same conversation at least once a year. People know I ride a lot. I’m approached often in the spring by someone with a new bike anxious to ride the famed path. Please be aware, the path under the bridges will be slippery. This year a friend new to biking crashed. I said – let me guess, under a greenway bridge? Indeed. Please don’t put that long stretch of trail on the down slope and subject that section to the same icy conditions.

Please change the plan. Put the path on top.

Third, rider safety, part 2 – golf. The number of bicycle safety measures that are counter-intuitive amazes me. Want drivers to stop buzzing you? It’s more practicable to ride further from the curb. I’d like to suggest the counter-intuitive new danger of a down slope path. For the past (has it been?) 20 years golfers and cyclists were aware of each other on that stretch. Occasionally a path user gets buzzed by an errant tee shot; I imagine less often someone gets struck. I strongly suggest to you that putting users out of site of golfers could increase the danger. Golfer’s are surely looking forward to fewer distractions along those holes. Now they will be able to swing away in blissful ignorance of path users. Blissfully ignorant path users, soon can be struck by blissfully, ignorant and anonymously hit golf balls. A plus for the golfer, a minus for path safety.

I’d rather live as a community. A community where path users know that people golf and people who golf know that path users walk, ride, run, skate...

Please change the plan. Put the path on top.

Thank you.

Michael Christensen, local cyclist
Sioux Falls Bicycle Committee - Member
MPO Citizen’s Advisory Committee - Member
Falls Area Bicyclists, Inc, - Treasurer
South Dakota Bicycle Coalition, Inc - Treasurer
Sioux Falls Bike To Work Day - de facto chair
The MinusCar Project - blogger

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Yeah, I'm trying out a new signature. Kinda arrogant, no? I'm thinking I'll try it one more time in a letter to a traffic engineer and the city attorney...coming soon. I'll report how it's recieved too - or just check the comments.

3 comments:

SD_pedalpower said...

Nothing arrogant about listing your involvements/titles. If it might have someone take a more serious look at your request, by all means, list them. Plus, it shows how committed your are. Thanks. Stand up and be recognized sir.

CoalesceKid said...

My comments shipped off last night as well, but I didn't list my titles...you arrogant bastard! :) I kid, I kid.

bikingbrady said...

Man, I need more titles. I feel like a weenie now.

Well put MC. Hope y'all make enough noise to get it done correctly.