Friday, March 19, 2010

Where the rubber meets the road: on lowtech-friendly transportation in Nevada County

See July 2011 update.

There's a (relatively) new blog in town, by Nevada County's Alliance for People-Powered Transportation. Even better is their "SeeClickFix" citizen-powered Hazards Map, where you can report cycling and pedestrian trouble areas.

I added two spots that have kept me from feeling comfortable about bike commuting - they're stretches on Brunswick Road where the "bike lane" (read, gravel-free paved shoulder) is a foot or less, in a 45mph zone. It's a little too exciting, when you're being passed by a semi.

But there was hope:
A Mar. 12 article in The Union reported that brush-clearing along Brunswick was being done to prepare for resurfacing the roadway:
"The project is scheduled to clear brush along the busy road from Idaho-Maryland Road to Highway 174... The Public Works Department then will overlay Brunswick Road from Brunswick Pines to Woodrose Way, [Nevada County roads supervisor Dave] Keck said."
I called Mr. Keck to find out if the resurfacing would extend the shoulder paving to give us poor cyclists - especially us wider ones - a little more room; and while he assured me that their engineers will be looking for ways to improve local road shoulders for cyclists, the bad news is that the Brunswick resurfacing isn't scheduled to occur for another year and a half, in Fall 2011.


Our recent loss of cyclist Jim Rogers underscores the need for safer local cycling routes. Here's hoping that APPT's hazards map and Dave Keck's road engineers can make a real difference.


Anna Haynes said...

I should add, that adjacent to the scary flat stretch of Brunswick is a lovely new little mountain bike trail that John of Gold Country Trails has blogged about, e.g. here. But parts of it are "mountain bike heaven"* - i.e., completely unsuitable for a street bike - so it doesn't solve the bike-commuting problem.

* at least, this was true the one time I tried riding it, and it seems unlikely that this trail section is substantially different now.

AbbotOfUnreason said...

What a cool resource, the map hazards thing.