This Tuesday, Feb 9th, at 10AM, Bike Walk Tompkins and us are scheduled to meet with Tompkins County Roads Department. Because Tompkins County Roads Department chiefly determines the cycling environment for us, we need to give them specific input. When you ride that crumbling shoulder or that dangerous merge, remember this is where and when we need to hear from you.
We are looking to you to give us a list of priority cycling routes where improvement is needed. Please post your suggestions below or contact me off list.
William Shang, FLCC Advocacy Chair
Decidedly unbike friendly soft shoulder on repaved Farrell Road
Tompkins County Highway Department is seeking design plan input for safety improvements at the intersections of Coddington Road with Burns Road and East King Road. Construction is planned for 2018.
When – Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Where – The Coddington Road Community Center – 920 Coddington Road, Ithaca, NY
If you can’t make it, please post concrete and specific suggestions.
“In light of a 2008 court decision, the County will revise the project Design Report and update its right-of-way estimates. The rebuilt road will have two 11-foot lanes and 4-foot paved shoulders (existing lanes are 10-11 feet wide, with 3.5 foot (avg.) paved and gravel shoulders). The NYSDOT rejected a County request for less than 11-foot wide lanes.”
Design Report (2007 version)
Aerial Map View
The FLCC Advocacy Committee in conjunction with BWT will be meeting with the TC Hwy Dept on February 9th at 10AM at their headquarters to discuss ongoing ways to improve the local road system safety for cyclists. If you are interested in making Ithaca and Tompkins County more bike friendly, please consider becoming active through the Advocacy Committee.
As the days get longer, are you dreaming of summer cycling? Starting to plan your rides or tours for 2016? If yes, check out some of the rich possibilities for this year by going to the links at right: “2016 Regional Rides”. For a sampling of the organized tours in our area and beyond, go to the “Tips and Info/Links” page and scroll down.
The day before Christmas this year was an extraordinary one, with 70-degree temperatures and sunshine — but, also a sad day for those of us who numbered Richie Berg among our friends. Richie’s struggle with leukemia came to an end with his passing on December 24. It was my loss that I knew Richie only through the bike club — his many other involvements and projects are mentioned in the complete obituary below. But, through encounters on local bike rides and, particularly, the FLCC group “getaways,” I came to know his quick smile, wit, and love of life. It was a great ride.
Richard B. Berg
December 4, 1954 – December 24, 2015
Richard Berg – known to almost everyone as Richie – succumbed to leukemia at the age of 61 on December 24, 2015, at his home in Ithaca. He was first and foremost a loving partner and devoted father. He was also a successful entrepreneur, activist, and enthusiastic participant in the local community. He was a treasured friend of many. Continue reading →
I am sad to say my son’s bike was stolen Friday evening from Ithaca High School while he was there at an event.
FUJI Newest 2.0 Road Bike, frame 46 cm. Grey & black.
If you happen to see it anywhere or see it for sale, please contact me. We filed a police report Saturday morning.
ON BEHALF OF MICHAEL BOGGS:
They were my sons bikes – They are both off to college and haven’t ridden them in a few years. On day you park them in the garage awaiting the next ride – only to realize, now that they are off to college, they will never ride them again. So time to get them to someone that will make good use of them. One is a 20” the other a 22”
Free to a good home.
My cell is 607-342-6633 is best. Email email@example.com (not so good unless it is today) I live in Jacksonville on RTE 96
The second bike:
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.