Billions of dollars for freeways criss-crossing the state – now how about some pennies (relatively) for a few bike lanes? Maybe it’ll happen after a few get killed – that seems to be the city’s attitude when it comes to adequately accommodating pedestrians near the Michigan Union or along Plymouth Road – oh, woops – the crosswalk by the Islamic center is still in the works. God forbid we slow down those busy bobos on their way to the farmer’s market!

“Kris Talley was biking on Scio Church Road west of Ann Arbor last summer when she experienced the kind of scare every cyclist dreads.

A large gravel truck topped a hill and was coming up behind her fast, she said. There was no paved shoulder to slip out of the way, and an oncoming car meant the truck driver couldn’t ease into the other lane to pass. Talley said she managed to bail out on the rough gravel shoulder as the trucker blasted by, hand on horn.

The Ann Arbor resident and chair of the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition managed to follow the driver until he pulled into a nearby gravel pit, where she confronted him about driving too fast. In the end, the two agreed on one thing after their hour-long conversation: Both motorist and cyclist would be better off with a paved shoulder for an emergency exit.

Such incidents are the reason Talley and others in the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society and the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition are campaigning to have paved shoulders added to many county roads.

Paving road shoulders is part of an increasing effort by area residents to create many more safe places for people to walk and cycle – not just for recreation, but for transportation. And it can be done far more cheaply and quickly than can buying land or acquiring easements for greenways, advocates say.

The city of Ann Arbor, the Downtown Development Authority and the University of Michigan commissioned a $100,000 project on non-motorized transportation to find out how to get more people to bike and walk. Ann Arbor is paying $60,000, with $20,000 each from the DDA and U-M. … “

> AANews: “Road shoulders get 2nd look Bicyclists campaign for paving along roads”

Author: Rob