I went to a presentation last night on the "new urbanization." The speaker talked about the next 25 years in city planning. One of the things he believes is that the millenials and aging boomers will both want the same thing -- no yard, no long drives, no schools, and living in community. Thus: the transit oriented developments are born. So the idea of "walkable" cities is very big in design right now.
That concept is allegedly driving our new Metro station. I wanted to check it out today. So after I rode the 6 miles on the no-kidding-this-really-is-a-mountain-bike-trail (more on that later), I went to see.
The biggest issue cyclists and pedestrians will have is getting INTO the station from the north side. There will be a stop light with a pedestrian signal.
This is what the brand new curb cut looks like:
I don't know if you can tell, but going into the curb cut from the commuter lot (I was standing in it to take the photo), there are sharp curbs on both sides, an immediate 90 degree turn to the left and then another to the right. Just past my bike, there's a curb cut into the VERY busy street, again with the sharp edges.
Apparently this design is the "new" curb cut, a kind of chute for the wheelchairs and scooters to go through. If you're not lined up JUST RIGHT, you're screwed. One of my cyclist friends was trying to go into one last fall and the edge caught his back tire. He ended up with a broken arm. The chute is bad enough, but the twisted jog around the light? Do people get paid to design this stupid stuff?
So back to the mountain bike story. No I do not ride a mountain bike nor do I like riding unpaved trails, especially those with lots of mud. But my womens biking group is coming this direction tomorrow so the leader asked me if I'd check it out ahead of time because she had seen this trail on the county map.
Um...there were BIG tree roots, BIG rocks, a creek without a bridge, and LOTS of mud. I had a grand (sarcasm) time and walked about half of it, pushing my bike. At least I'll sleep well tonight, and I've spent the afternoon developing an alternative. Those 60 year old ladies are NOT going to want to follow THAT trail!