To spot what is very possibly the single stupidest roadway sign in Albuquerque it helps to not be terribly bright yourself.
The Better Burque Tactical Urbanism Team (BBTUT) cycled north and west yesterday. At some point in this venture, a decision was made that immediately resulted in dramatically heightened pulse rates, via fear of impending death, and spotting of this sign:
What was this decision (1) and why did two not terribly bright cyclists make it (2)?
- “Let’s turn right on Coors at Southwest Polytechnic Institute Road instead of left, as we have always done, and ride Coors past Paseo del Norte to Irving Boulevard.”
- Because the official Albuquerque Bike Map indicates Coors has bike lanes:
Regarding #2 above, yes, BBTUT was guilty of the same offense committed by Flounder in “Animal House.” “You fucked up. You trusted us.” Problem was, once committed to turning right onto Coors, the not terribly bright cyclist is left with the only seeming option: plow forth.
From above, such high-pulse plowing looks something like this:
And did I mention the average speed on this part of Coors is ~50mph?
Nevertheless, regardless of the witlessness of your humble blogging team, it is an ABSOLUTE, INDISPUTABLE FACT that the Official Albuquerque Bicycle Map, and thus the City of Albuquerque, considers this stretch of Coors Boulevard a “bicycle facility.” In other words, riders are EXPECTED to be here.
Further proof, in addition to presence of (importantly incorrect) bike lane/route designations on the Map itself, is this sign:
The sign above located just north of the Paseo del Norte overpass, and just before thousands of drivers whiz off PdN and fly through the slip lane “on-ramp” also seen above, is there because this is a “bicycle facility.” Somebody, most likely at NM Department of Transportation (remember Coors is a “State Road”), was compelled by this “bicycle facility” status in deciding that the sign above must be ordered and placed.
Of course that process of decision-making is almost as stupid as deciding to ride Coors north through Paseo del Norte, and that’s almost as stupid as this sign. Which illustrates just how stupid this sign is.
An additional wrinkle or two about this sign. One, it’s interesting to consider how few living humans have actually ever read this sign. The thousands and thousands of drivers/passengers flying by each day are going WAY too fast to notice it, and the very few cyclists/walkers going slow enough to read it stand a good chance of being killed very shortly after doing so.
Two, Better Burque is looking, searching, and looking some more, but can’t find this sign ANYWHERE in the lengthy list of approved Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) signs. This is important because EVERY time cycling/walking advocates come to governmental entities asking for a sign to be placed, e.g., one like this which could be placed at the uber-dangerous train tracks on El Pueblo:
we are asked if the sign is MUTCD-compliant.
And it’s possible this stupid sign is actually buried somewhere in the bowels of MUTCD, but I haven’t found it yet. Which makes sense, actually, because it’s a really stupid sign.
As readers might have guessed, the good news is that your not terribly bright BBTUT survived riding Coors north past Paseo del Norte and on to Irving Blvd. We even lived to tell of riding around Cibola High School (perhaps the least non-motorized user friendly public school in the world) to the Northwest Transit Center, which you very likely have never heard of.
It was one of those trips that make great stories around the fire with grandchildren, if you live long enough to have grandchildren given how stupid you were. Speaking of fires, BBTUT recommends “Bicycles Merge Right” be thrown (merged) into a fire, and that the Official Albuquerque Bicycle Map be corrected a wee bit in the area of Coors and Paseo del Norte.