A critical safety gap for long-distance cycling might be remedied as a by-product of the redesign of U.S. 550 through Bernalillo. Included in the project, as reported by Rick Nathanson at the Journal, is a new Rio Grande bridge, one that will include a bike/ped walkway.
Other details, such as whether the renovated stretch running from Camino del Pueblo (NM-313) to NM-528 will include bike lanes in both directions, are not clear, but the story includes mention that it will include elements of a “super street” including that “new” traffic idea of signalized U-turns. Studies are showing that U-turns are actually safer, particularly with bikes/peds than left-turns.
Fully addressing this gap from a bike infrastructure safety perspective would make popular Burque-area rides, such as the one up NM-313 on to Jemez Dam, far less dangerous. Done properly, more riders might also consider extended rides along U.S. 550 itself, thus more safely freeing up several long-distance options in Central/Northwest New Mexico.
Here’s a NMDOT/Journal rendition of the work:
The story/project also illustrated the importance of *
wombats cyclists attending public meetings, as focus of the newspaper story is, of course, on the motorists implications, and the NMDOT website has no information on the project whatsoever. Better Burque plans to place a call into NMDOT tomorrow during working hours to find out more.
*The “wombats” mention, for those who haven’t memorized every Monty Python Flying Circus skit, refers to the idea of an international news show solely from the perspective of how said news affects wombats. Yes, it’s funnier in the original than in this written recap. In a remarkable development illustrating that the Internet isn’t actually the repository for all things, and is, in fact, a horrible disappointment, your humble blogger cannot find the “News for Wombats” clip. Our apologies at Better Burque. It is/was really funny, though.