Saturday, June 6, 2009

Stupid Planning?

Every year around this time, there is some kind of bike race or bike-a-thon or something involving a lot of people riding bicycles. Every year there are what seems like a hundred cyclists bogging down the streets of Niagara County. I don't know what it's for or what it supports (if anything), but I am amazed that I don't hear on the news of dozens of people being killed or maimed during this event.

Who plans the route for this thing? Granted, I don't know the whole route, but everywhere I've seen these guys riding has been on a busy and/or dangerous road. With so many bike paths around, why can't those be used? Or maybe a more bike friendly area?

I've seen these bikers riding on Transit Road - with volunteers (I'm assuming) stopping four lanes of traffic repeatedly to let one or two of them go by. Every other road I've seen them on over the years were two lane back roads with speed limits of 45 - 55 mph with no shoulder at all for them to ride on. Not a very safe place to be riding a bicycle.

It's even a horrible experience getting out of my driveway on Event day. At my present house, it isn't as bad - I don't have to back out onto the street so it's easier to see the bikers coming. At my old house I didn't have that option and I did have to back out onto the street. Every year I was terrified of hitting someone (my house happened to sit on a curve). Once I had to wait almost ten minutes before I could leave my driveway. That may not seem like a long time, but just try it some time... sit at the end of your driveway for ten minutes before going to where you need to go - it seems like forever.

At both houses, there are/were never people riding bikes down the street - presumably because people have better sense. On normal days, I didn't/don't have to worry about hitting cyclists or pedestrians while pulling out of the driveways. But BEWARE on Event day.

I think that whoever is in charge of planning the route needs to rethink it. The present route - at least what I've seen of it - is a menace to the cyclists and drivers alike.

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