Tuesday, April 22, 2014

dream story

I felt like that cover story about biking in the SNR was my dream story. It was not sidetracked by the endless circular argument about cyclists breaking traffic rules. I always say - build the infrastructure and people will not break the rules. The article starts with Jim Brown, director of the Sacramento Area Bike Association trying to get to the Amtrak station. It even mentions that he, an avid (if not rabid) cyclist feels forced to ride on the sidewalk at times.

This is timely for me because I took the train to Davis today for the first time in a long time because of Fix50. I ride about 25 blocks down 5 and the train station might as well be surrounded in barbed wire for that last little jog. If you can picture F street where you cross the street to where it ends, I really felt like I might get hit because I was going straight on a green and I feared that the giant truck crowding me might assume I was going right and hit me, since most people on that ride don't use their turn signal. Then, the endless construction has blocked the safe side route through the parking lot and up that little alley, so I have to ride on the sidewalk up to the station, and then cross that busy street with no light or stopsign (and a crosswalk that every car ignores). Not to mention the irritating walk to the train. Took about 25 minutes for a 25 block ride. Granted I bike hella slow.

Then, I arrive in Davis and the campus is seriously like Amsterdam at certain times of the day. So cool. And they have copious functional bike locks, rather than decorative, or the kind on the side of the R street corridor where you can only lock your front tire. Those are your 2 choices right there - a giant stupid bike-shaped one where two bikes can fit, or locking your front tire. The best choice is a traffic sign right. Last night at Lowbrau I did the usual lock it to the fence. I'm stoked that they are going to take over a couple of parking spots for bikes soon.

Monday night is such a great night to hang at Lowbrau. Not too crowded and they tap special brews. Last night they had 2 tart Zymatore beers that were both delicious. Did NOT dig the snotty bartender, though.

17 comments:

beckler said...

on a non-bike/beer subject, I just finished Mad Men season 6 last night and I am surprising myself with how emotionally invested I am. I wish it could go on forever, although I really don't, of course.

Ever since someone on Jervis' fb post called it a soap opera I realized how much it is one, though. Secret babies, affairs, murders, etc. And most of the scenes are like 2 minutes long! I had never noticed that before. Not sure if they've gotten shorter over the years.

The Armeniac said...

Have you seen this? it's a Dutchies take on American biking.
neathttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2THe_10dYs

Stephen Glass said...

Yeah ... that friend of mine basically likes to point how she doesn't like anything. Prolly doesn't even like soaps.
And I prefer "ponderous 42-minute quasi-existential contemplations on American identity" for the show, which, hell, has a whole college course about it:
http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/04/mad_men_college_class_professor_teaches_an_entire_course_only_about_the.single.html

Anonymous said...

That is a great article. Its the first time I have read an article about Sacramento as a bike town that really hit all the points I think need to be discussed. Any discussion is good, I really find that over the past 15 years the Sacramento driving population has become much more aware, they aren't trying to kill me on purpose anymore at least.

Natalie

-Natalie.

beckler said...

they also hit the point of connecting all the bike trails!

I want a safe side entrance to the Amtrak station

let's get those greenzone bike areas at intersections like Portland has! you get out in front of the cars so no one will crowd you or turn right into you. not every street has room, but some do

Cody S. said...

Do you have a means to watch season 7 of Mad Men yet? This last episode was soooo good.

beckler said...

yeah, I was just catching up so I can watch with some peeps. I didn't know it was going to get split into two parts a la breaking bad, though! 2015!?

Cody S. said...

Yeah, that totally blows. It's like ripping off a band-aid really slowly.

sharper said...

I'm glad you liked the article. Jim's been getting a ration of shit from the rabid cyclists about being willing to call the city out for being such a shitty place to bike overall.

Funny, though, is that a bunch of those rabid cyclists (like Blair Anthony Robertson, who fumed over that article on Twitter) don't know what it's like not to be a hardcore asshole bicycle savant, so they don't realize that maybe Sacramento isn't some bike Mecca.

Natalie Rose said...

I wouldn't call myself a rabid cyclist, but I do bike everyday, both as a commuter and longer rides on the weekends. And I have been waiting forever for someone to write this article. All the self congratulating and back patting this town does for having a few bike lanes and a trail is ridiculous.
Getting better does not equal totally perfect.



beckler said...

Right on. There is room for improvement and it would be ridiculous to state that theew isn't. A geared up person with a confident aggressive style who likes to recreationally ride trails for exercise is way different than me, a poky rider who rides 2-3 times a week (excepting this month of train commuting). I like the idea of connecting the bike trail but I never ride on it. I would be happy with wider lanes that are well-marked and don't disappear from block to block, increased driver awareness, and more bike racks. The driver awareness will come with increased bike presence, which will be a natural result of better bike lanes and more parking. Magic!

beckler said...

On my ride yesterday home from the train station, H around 14-16 was so scary! The bike lane is about a foot wide and you have to hope you don't get car-doored, too. Everyone is angry and wants to turn right on a red light, therefore making them likely to turn right into you, and at 15th you have that curbs that juts out and crowds you quite suddenly out into the lane to go straight. At 15th it becomes chill and awesome.

beckler said...

a pro-looking commuter in front of me just started riding on the sidewalk, which is the logical choice in that situation, lawful or not

sharper said...

The back-patting's pretty bad. Jerry Way, the city Public Works guy (who oversees the Transportation department), told my city management academy class that the city's doing tons of pro-biking stuff.

I want to invite him to tell that to my mother, who won't ride alone to the Sunday farmer's market from her apartment across the street from the Amtrak station.

beckler said...

I wonder if there is much discussion of a bike entrance to Amtrak going along with the supposed railyard development. I'd go a little bit out of the way for a safe, clearly marked entrance.

sharper said...

From what's in the Railyards Specific Plan, it doesn't look like there's anything for the Amtrak station there -- if I'm reading it right, the best you can do is take G Street west on a bike lane, then 5th Street south with nothing, then take a right at H to get into the station parking lot.

Don't worry, though, there'll be plenty of bike lanes in the door zone when they finish building out the Railyards!

Dave Smith said...

I didn't read the SNR article. Internet at this guesthouse in Vietnam isn't good.

In Portland, they would take 18th and 22nd and make them a fucking pain in the ass to drive cars on. They (18th, 22nd) are remodeled for bikes to become a bike friendly zone for crossing town.

It makes more sense to do that instead of decreasing 19th and 21st into 2 lanes. You just encourage bikes to use a different path. Faster for cars, faster for bikes.