Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bike to Work Month - Day 13 - A Pathetic Bike Path

There is about a mile stretch of my commuting route home where I ride on the sidewalk. While it is legal for me to do so, I hate it because it crosses a lot of side streets where I have to slow down to cross. Furthermore, I have to regularly navigate around pedestrians, most of whom are walking dogs on those leashes that expand in and out. When I come upon these folks, quite a few give me ugly looks for being on the sidewalk. If only they knew that I hate it as much as them and that I ride on the sidewalk out of necessity, not convenience.

For you see there was a time that I rode on the shoulder of the adjacent road. Then people started parallel parking on that shoulder which forced me to ride out in one of the three lanes of rush hour traffic. After an untold number of close calls, honking of horns, cursing, gnashing of teeth and shaking of fist, I could take it no longer. I opted for the lesser of the evils - the sidewalk.

Recently though, the city reworked the sewer system on this road and in so doing shifted the lanes to eliminate the shoulder on the right side of the road, thus creating this...

Now I've never heard of a bike lane on the left hand side of the road. I've never heard of painting diagonal yellow lines on a bike path. Then I remembered the city in which I live and realized that our city designers and engineers can't even spell "bike path", much less conceive of creating one. But those yellow lines also mean no parking. So - I have abandoned the sidewalk and now claim this yellow hatched, left hand side of the road as my bike path.

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