Apr 30, 2012

More Progress on Cargo Way Cycle Track

The Cargo Way cycle track is almost open for business!

While some final touches remain, the new cycle track on Cargo Way is essentially complete. I took a ride down last week and was pleasantly surprised to see the fence all the way up and even more paving work completed.

To sum up the progress:
  • The fence is all the way up
  • There's been more patch paving to smooth the road surface
  • Paint stripings are still pending (along with green paint at Mendel Ave)
  • Intersection treatments are also forthcoming

Experience-wise, it's a really pleasant cycle track to ride in. The fence is ugly and will surely get banged up in no time, but it does the trick. With swift truck traffic only inches away, I'm happy to have the extra separation. I'm also glad they gave the road surface another round of paving – I hope we're starting to set precedent with bringing pavement condition up to par before installing new bike facilities. The width of the cycle track is a tad narrow, but certainly allows to people to pass each other or to snugly ride two-abreast.

Now we just need some regular sweeping, as the track has already collected a lot of debris. I don't think a standard sweeper can fit in the narrow track, so we might need to send out for the Green Machine!

Here's why we need the extra physical separation from motorized traffic – a big USPS mail facility is right around the corner.

More after the break.

Some sort of green paint will still be added to make this long intersection more easily navigable.

Since the signals already face both directions of bike traffic, no new light systems will initially be necessary at the intersection with Mendel Avenue. I hope what's already here will be sufficient.

I'm more interested to see how they will manage the west end of the cycle track. Heading westbound, I can't see how one could safely reach 3rd St or Illinois without special signals and crossbike stripings.

It still remains to be seen how the Illinois end of the cycle track will interface with Cargo Way traffic. You'd think an elaborate crossbike treatment with special signals would be necessary to even approach making this intersection "8-80 friendly".

Plenty of problems still exist with Cargo Way – not the least of which are its sidewalks. While we wait to make more permanent improvements to the corridor, DPW please regularly sweep, weed, and trim the trees along the sidewalk. Its current condition is really inexcusable.

Please, please, please... don't forget about the sidewalk!

I'll keep you all posted with photos of the final product once the paint stripings go in. We should schedule a ride to explore the City's southeastern neighborhoods when it's complete. Bike Party anyone??

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