Day 13: detouring bikes the wrong way down a one way street

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 8.08.04 AM
What’s wrong with this picture?

Update: Can report that as of this afternoon, 5/26/2020, Advantage Barricades has added a temporary protected bike lane down the left side of this bridge to separate bicyclists from oncoming cars.

By John Fleck

This is the heavily used and normally quite safe bike trail underpass beneath Carlisle NE, at the end of Cutler.

On May 14, when I first noticed the trail closure, I dutifully (but obviously not mindfully) followed the detour sign and turned directly into the path of an oncoming car. Because, as you can see, it’s a one way street going in the other direction.

To be crisp: Advantage Barricade has created a detour that sends cyclists the wrong way down a one way street.

I called the city’s 311 line to report it. Report closed, problem not fixed. I called again. Report closed, problem not fixed. I called the city sign inspector directly to discuss it. Promises were made. Still not fixed. I filed a SeeClickFix report. Still not fixed. Since there was no actual work underway on the trail, I dragged the signs out of the way. Someone dragged them back. Someone else filed a SeeClickFix report. Closed without being fixed. Someone (not me) reopened that report with an articulate and passionate plea to deal with the underlying problem. I emailed my city councilor. Twice.

This morning, when I stopped to take the above picture and make what by my count is my 8th attempt to find someone at the city who could address this safety problem, four cars drove across this bridge – four accidents waiting to happen for any cyclist foolish enough to actually do what the detour signs directed.

We’re now entering day 13 of a detour sending cyclists the wrong way down a one way street.

Here’s what Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said last year when signing the city’s “first Vision Zero policy”:

“It’s not acceptable for cities to have roadways that are uninviting and unsafe for anyone but drivers,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We are changing that with street designs that encourage walking, cycling and riding the bus. No matter your mode of transportation, you deserve to feel like you belong on your city streets.”

That box doesn’t seem quite checked yet.


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