Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Improvement Or Not: Yes!

Last year I blogged about some changes that were made on an intersection on a major cycle route to downtown and I thought they were making the intersection worse for cyclists. So I asked the city council about it and they emailed about the roundabout they were going to build once they got the money for it.

Well, I guess the money was available and they'd almost built it before I noticed it, maybe because I've been out of town :-)  Two weeks ago they were still building it. Here's a clip showing what it looked like then.

The excavator was trying to get out but the cars got in the way.

And here's what it looked like today. Looks quite good, actually. It just isn't smooth as the road is about two inches lower than the bikeway. Even though the kerb stones are tilted to make riding easier it certainly is bumpy.

As for the other construction project, the Big Dig aka the underground parking garage, they've fenced off half the market square. The fences are not that interesting and they block the view of the beginnings of the tunnel pretty effectively so I haven't managed to get good pictures about it yet.

What I've read on the newspaper they're drilling and using explosives already to blast the bedrock. At the moment it looked like there was a hole in the ground but not a tunnel yet. Must be interesting to live on the houses on top of the future parking garage and hear the drills and explosions from below. And there's a hotel right next to it, too. I wonder if they mention the noisy construction site in their brochures. :-P

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Where's mee washboard?


 It's been a long summer without posts, sorry. I did take some photos during the summer, but I've been busy and with limited net access the whole summer so when I had time it was mostly to check my email.

The photo below is a gravel path. It's not part of the official bikeway network, and if I recall correctly it doesn't get plowed in the winter. Still, it's a path and can be used as a shortcut so it gets it's share of people on bikes, not just dog walkers and people taking their evening stroll around the block. If I recall correctly this photo was taken in late July.

The whole summer has been rainy, as in "most rain in 100 years" rainy. Low pressure zones kept coming and it has rained almost every day. Or at leat it feels like it. There were a few cases of heavy rain causing floods in downtown, where the plumbing is old. There was so much water in the underpasses going under the railway track that some cars couldn't get through and stalled when they sucked water inside the engine. And when the whole area is pretty flat rivers flooded too. There's been reports about a dairy farm that was blockaded by water for a week, and others lost all their crops for the year when the fields had two meters of water in them.

So these gravel paths might get some rain damage with the runoff washing away the gravel or the whole path turning muddy. Looking at the path it's obvious there's no damage because it has been maintained.
But I wonder if they did the washboard on purpose to get cyclist off the path to the real bikeways, or did it happen naturally? Because that path was rather nasty to ride on. And I think it would wake up a baby in a pram too.