Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Commuting Downtown to Evansdale

Recently, I got involved with the Campus Connector project which is a bike/walk path from Grant Ave and 8th up to the Green House/Watertown near Ag Sciences. It's a great idea, and seems to be moving forward, after nearly 10 years of planning. There were a lot of great reasons why, primary because there is no route that is both safe AND legal way to get from downtown to on top of the hill that is all the rest of WVU.
The primary routes one would take are Beechurst, University, Jones, 8th, 6th, Rail-trail/Arboretum, Stewart St.

  • Beechurst-is the only one of these roads that I am aware of WVU Cyclists being hit by a car. Makes no sense as it has a wide shoulder (with a bit of debris), but traffic speeds are around 50mph

  • Universtiy-This is most of the team's method, except we take the sidewalk. Yea sure it's illegal, but I'd rather be in jail than underground. Road is narrow, with a blind turn, bikes would go 8-10mph, while cars go 35.

  • Jones-very low traffic, pretty steep hill. Usually glass everywhere. Bottom 1/3 is 1way, the wrong way.

  • 8th- Probably the safest, legal way to get there. Long steep hill, minor traffic, very wide, very visible. It's not a direct route though, so takes much longer.

  • 6th - Less traffic than 8th, but has a killer short kicker just before getting to Grand Central (Positive Spin). Then you go through a parking lot with another hill.

  • RT/Arboretum-no car traffic until you cross US19. Much longer way around. Safe, and legal.

  • Stewart St-A lot of traffic, but slightly wider roads and more visibility. Could ride the sidewalk. there are options to go through some side streets and come out at top of Jones.

So this new path would be great, you go down Grant, and up this path which won't exceed 8.3% grade, comparable to University Ave.

I post this because today, the University sidewalk was covered in ice and so I tried to take the lane on University coming up. And I just took the Traffic Skills 101 course. Even with low traffic today, I feared for my life and turned into Grand Central. If I could redo, I'd have gone up 8th street today.

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