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Shoal Creek Debacle, Part XXXVII

Well, I rode down Shoal Creek yesterday (I've taken to alternating between two routes home - one east on Morrow to Woodrow and then south to North Loop; the other south on Shoal Creek and east on Hancock, then down Burnet and Medical Parkway). This one trip brought up several recent and not-so-recent points:

  1. Debris - Shoal Creek is now effectively a wide curb lane facility from Foster (just south of Anderson) to 45th. The debris is horrible - worse than I remember it. To be fair, the bike lane stretch between Steck and Anderson has one large gravel patch in it as well. This reinforces my thinking that the absence of the stripe does not in fact encourage cars to act as street-sweepers, or at least, that they don't do a very good job of it.
  2. Parking - at the time we went over the Shoal Creek debacle, some claimed that the criminally negligent design sponsored by the neighborhood would not be a problem since it would rarely happen that you would be passing a parked car at the same time a car was driving past you. This happened six times during my short trip on Shoal Creek yesterday.
  3. Neighbors - during one of those six times, I took the lane as I always do, and a car turned left onto Shoal Creek behind me, and proceeded to lay on the horn. I told her via a charming pantomime that she was number 1 in my book. So it goes; even when you ride legally, sometimes some motorists don't get it. (This is a bone thrown to my colleagues who disobey every traffic law they find inconvenient on the theory that all motorists hate them anyways).

Years later, Shoal Creek has no stripes and no calming. Read up on this page for more background on why the neighbors won, and why we never should have negotiated away the flow of traffic on a top-5 bicycle route in the city (and in my opinion, why we never should have supported their downgrade of this road from arterial to collector in the CAMPO plan).

This entry was posted in the following categories: Austin , Bicycling in Austin , The Shoal Creek Debacle , When Neighborhoods Go Bad

Comments

There is one traffic violation that is difficult to understand and that is passing-on-the-right-not-in-safety. We are supposed to ride on the right. And, we do it in safety 99.99% of the time. But, the moment it is no longer safe, then we are placed at risk and at the same moment we violate the law.

The only time I got one of these tickets was when a metro bus discharged passengers in the middle of the road, not at a stop, just prior to making a turn. The bus driver was doing a rider a favor. The bus moved to the center of the street, so it could turn right. If you see a bus do this slow to a stop--trouble ahead. Then, out came the passengers. I hadn't stopped as the signal light came on just as I caught up with the bus. I hadn't slowed down. A passenger got hurt. Metro paid the hospital bills. I got a ticket for not-in-safety for going straight, driving on the right, and not seeing "not-in-safety" in the situation slightly ahead. The DA didn't prosecute, but could have. And, even worse, lets say the bus didn't discharge passengers. I would have ended up tangled up with bus at some point as it turned the corner.

Not acting like a car has it's problems. If a car couldn't do it, neither should we.