The day before yesterday, construction equipment began digging around the Northern entrance along Warren Road. In a follow-up conversation, this morning I spoke with Carl Martel, the Assistant Highway Department head who said the permit for construction had already been granted by Jerry Stern some time ago. In other words, in spite repeated efforts to provide input over the last two years following the June 2013 death of a cyclist, construction of the two entrances will proceed unchanged from the “final” C&S engineering diagrams the FLCC Advocacy Committee received several months ago.
It is my sincere desire to put this episode behind and stay in regular contact with the The Highway Department. Ongoing road reconstruction and striping such as the planned East Hill Plaza intersection work provide incremental opportunities to improve cyclist safety. It is unfortunate the cycling community was not able to provide input on the BW reconstruction plans. This morning I spoke with Karim Beers of StreetsAlive!Ihaca (Bike Walk Tompkins) to coordinate our efforts. Perhaps those who have experience with how County level departments operate can pitch in to help FLCC’S Advocacy Committee and together we can make the roads we all ride on safer.
Last month, Cornell Design Connect finished an extensive feasibility study on a 6.5 mile rail trail connecting the East-West Recreational Pathway to Bill Schrug in Dryden. For those seeking a car free way of going east, this will be a bonanza. The link below to download the pdf file outlines the planning to date and invites interested parties for their input. As a Rails-to-Trails member, I am glad to see something like this happening is our own community!
Once again, the Empire State Senior Games’ cycling events were held at Greek Peak in Virgil, organized and staffed by FLCC people. Mark Rishniw was, as customary, the invisible hand behind everything — invisible on race day because, also as customary, he was out of town. But, a quorum of the usual suspects (Dave Heck, Glenn, Marcia, Jack, . . . you know who you are) were there to place signs and cones, mind corners, keep track of everyone, and award winners.
The stars of the day, of course, were the people who turned up to compete. I’ve put up a bunch of photos on Facebook — the awarding of medals and some people in the road race as they passed my corner. The photos are on the Finger Lakes Cycling Club facebook page.
These are PDFs of the results for the three racing events of this year’s games. You’ll find photos of the winners receiving their medals as well as some photos of action on the road race on the FLCC Facebook page.
There were some warning grooves cut across White Church Rd., on either side of the sharp curve by the cemetery on the Brooktondale end. They really made a mess of bicycling and several people complained loudly. Fortunately, the county road people took these complaints to heart and filled in the right-most 22″ or so of each groove, for bicyclists to have a place they could get past this hazard.
While it’s great to have the needs of cyclists addressed, I still feel that this situation isn’t quite up to snuff. Good cyclists don’t ride along the fog line, much less outside it. And, the amount of smooth pavement inside the fog line is only a very few inches. A normal, prudent line to take along a road would put the cyclist at least a foot away from where the safe passage is located; it would mean the cyclist gets the full brunt of that groove.
In addition, there is no warning that these dangerous grooves are there. One must spy them, then find the accommodation at the edge of the roadway, and make sure that one’s wheels both arrive in that small strip of safety — before doing it again for the next groove in the set of three.
This matter has seen a satisfactory conclusion for those few individuals who have visited the site, inspected the problem, and identified the solution. I don’t think it provides anything for people on that road for the first time or people on recreational rides expecting normal pavement conditions to prevail. I don’t know if it is likely to result in injury, though it clearly seems possible. I know that I’ve hit unexpected bumps and had to struggle for control of my bike on occasion. Still, maybe this can be left alone.
But, the lesson I would like to take from this episode is that the county road people are willing to listen and to make things work for cyclists as well as other users of the road. The only problem is that they don’t get to hear from the cyclists’ viewpoint until they’ve already gouged up the road. So, we need to establish a way for the projects in the county, town, and city to be run by a cyclist committee before being finally approved. In most cases, we’ll probably have little to add or quarrel with. But, in many cases we’ll see simple, inexpensive modifications that can make a huge difference. The FLCC advocacy committee has been trying to have input on the Borg-Warner exit redesigns on Warren Rd. I hope this pattern — seeking input before beginning work — becomes the norm in our region.
Ever since a cyclist was killed in traffic coming from the Borg-Warner plant on Warren Rd., many people have been thinking how to modify the two Borg-Warner driveways so that cyclists and pedestrians can have safe passage past those points. The effort has been led by Bill Shang, who lives up there, and several other club members have added their opinions and expertise. I’ll try to provide more info on the chain of discussion on this topic as soon as I can.
I’m posting this here so that we can link to the rather large PDFs sent by John Dennis, showing plans for the intersections — documents way too large to make it on our club email list.
At the risk of sowing confusion, I am attaching four images. The two file names that end in “..by Licht” are the important ones for your consideration and comment. Rob has replaced the hazardous acceleration ramp with the Stop-signed T-intersection at Warren which allows drivers to look left and right with equal ease before proceeding.
I hadn’t realized there was any rumble stripping entering the bike lane. If it is still there in these images, I’m sure Rob can address that as well. I’m forgetting when Bill Shang returns, but perhaps we should aim to share imagery with the County by the end of this week?
Joe, Kyra, & others, please advise whether further edits are needed to Rob’s images. Rob has looked at most of the intersections on Warren and has added the Post Office intersection as an example of a standard T-style intersection which is safer for both cyclists and pedestrians (EXISTING warren rd intersection.pdf).
Borg Warner Exits Plan-2.pdf shows the improvements that Tompkins County has tabled for our review.
May 26th, 2015 | Category: News | Comments are closed
It’s barely more than a month to Memorial Day weekend and we need a very quick show of hands from those who would want to take part in the annual Memorial Day Weekend Getaway, this year in Montreal, Quebec.
As usual, we would plan to get to Montreal on Friday evening to sleep in the hostel, leaving all of Saturday and Sunday for exploring the city; on Monday there will be the option of one more ride in the morning before heading back home.
Please reply right away if you want to participate — email me: email@example.com. I’ll know by Tuesday, April 21, if the trip is a “go” this year. The details:
Dates: May 22-25
Location: Montreal, QC Lodgings: Montreal Hostel (HI) Type: Bunk dorms (very limited possibility of private double) Cost: Approx $100/person for weekend (3 nights) Distance: ~ 300 mi/5 hr by car from Ithaca.
We made this our destination a couple years ago and found ways to deal with a rainy weekend. Even so, we got a lovely ride in during a break in the weather. But, there is a great deal to do in that city besides biking, so I think everyone had a good time. I think we need to go back and experience it in good weather.
Again, please let me know as fast as possible whether you would plan to go. The hostel needs to be booked right away.
April 16th, 2015 | Category: News | Comments are closed
We’re looking for feedback on the Sunday rides — which ones do you like and want to do again; which ones would you rather never got scheduled again; and what your suggestions are to improve the routes and the rides. Please take the survey. Sorry, it will take a bit of time, but it’s your club and we need to know what you’d like!
(If the survey doesn’t fit your screen, try this direct link: http://aozolins.polldaddy.com/s/flcc-sunday-ride-update)
April 3rd, 2015 | Category: News | Comments are closed
The current issue of Adventure Cyclist, the magazine of the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA), has a photo including our club president, Steve Powell, in its regular “Letter from the Director”column. The column lays out the whirlwind of activity throughout New York State regarding bike touring that included a very well-attended event at Cinemopolis in Ithaca on January 27. The ACA director, Jim Sayer, contributed to the Ithaca event and Steve was also involved with some of the other events in New York City and Saratoga. The upshot is that a lot is happening these days with regard to popularizing the use of bicycles, and touring is getting a huge boost in the process. And our club president is taking an active role in supporting and extending ACA activities. To follow these issues, visit the ACA website and consider becoming an ACA member (members get that magazine).
February 26th, 2015 | Category: News | Comments are closed
FLCC Annual Meeting — Sunday, March 29, 5:30-8:15 pm
A social hour (with food), followed by a special speaker, and then the club’s annual business meeting including officer elections. The club will supply pizza, drinks, plates, and utensils. If you would like to bring a salad, side dish, or dessert to share, that would be great, but it is not required. RSVP appreciated to: <firstname.lastname@example.org> so we can order enough pizza.
Special Speaker — Jim Reed — Q&A on N.Y. Bike Law
(FYI, Amelia Habicht’s presentation has been postponed to a future date)
Jim Reed is with the Ziff Law Firm in Elmira and will make a presentation and then conduct a Q&A on N.Y. bike law. Jim will also describe his affiliation with BikeLaw.com which is a nationwide network of bike lawyers. BikeLaw.com just officially partnered with the League of American Bicyclists, and will be playing a much more significant role in the bike advocacy movement. It’s a real treat to have a bike law expert on hand and we all look forward to his presentation — bring your bike law questions with you.
The club has some great events and activities planned for 2015, starting with the Hollenbeck’s race in early May, and a slate of overnight bike tours also starting in May. This is in addition to our regular weekly rides starting when the weather breaks in the spring. Come to the annual meeting and renew your cycling friendships and come voice your opinion regarding any of the club’s activities and vote for the officers.
Speaking of officers, you may notice below that there are several unoccupied positions, so now is a great time for you to serve as an officer. Nominations can be made by email to <email@example.com> or at the meeting. Self-nominations are permitted. Note: it is perfectly fine to have multiple candidates for officer positions.
If you are not yet an FLCC member then you are encouraged to attend and meet some of the officers and club members that are passionate about cycling. And a reminder to all members that now is time to renew your membership for 2015. Your membership fee helps support local races, tours, group rides, youth events, charity sponsorships, the club website, club insurance, plus other cycling related activities. The renewal process is very easy and can be done online. Just go to: http://flcycling.org/welcome/membership-application/