Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Thoughts on the 250 Bypass

First, let me state that I do not regret, nor do I want to refute anything I've said in my previous posts regarding 250.  

So far, the feedback I have received on riding 250 is:
       One vote for yes, let's ride it.
       Three votes against it.

I've also recently learned that plans have been put in the works to build a paved trail along 250 in the exact section that I've ridden (between McIntire Rd. and Hydraulic).  My initial thought on that is that it is not a better option for cyclists than simply riding on the road itself.  One of the main reasons for that thinking is that there are at least two on/off ramps.  I've heard the trail plans include a stop signal of some sort that will allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross those ramps.  This will impede the smooth flow of traffic that everyone is already used to, not only out of practice, but that is what on/off ramps are for, to keep the traffic moving smoothly.  A cyclist riding in the lane will not impede the traffic as long as they are moving forward in a controlled, predictable manner.

Today I rode to the same destination as when I rode 250 previously.  However, I did not use 250.  I took a different route in which I crossed 250, and it took me 32 minutes, the same or less amount of time it would have taken had I used the bypass.  That is a viable argument against using 250.  However, I contend that I'm not necessarily safer going this other route.  Plenty of accidents occur between cyclists and cars where speed is not the main factor.

Again, I am not trying to brag or be controversial by discussing riding a bicycle on the 250 bypass.  In fact, seeing a cyclist on it shouldn't even bring up those feelings.  It is not an interstate.  The posted speed limits (35 and 45mph) should not deter an experienced cyclist.  There is room for lane sharing.  In fact, if the middle dotted line was moved about a 1/2 foot over, there would be even more room for lane sharing.  The main thing that makes it 'scary' is that many drivers speed on it.  Does 'Bypass' mean 'go really fast,'  or is it simply an alternate, more direct route to a destination?

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