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Gap in the GAP First Ride!

This topic contains 101 replies, has 32 voices, and was last updated by  Pierce 1 yr, 3 mos.

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durishange

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May 20 2013 at 3:30pm #

If I want to get away from traffic find it much easier when heading from Sandcastle towards Costco to simply leave the trail and head towards PF Changs. I then work my way to the light on the other side of Dave and Busters. Ultimately, my goal is to travel behind Giant Eagle and Lowes. It’s easy to cross back over the main road at Lowes to get back on the trail.


Marko82

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May 20 2013 at 3:37pm #

At the Waterfront I always stay on the road and take the full lane when appropriate. Yet I’ve lost count of how many drivers have looked right past me and turned across my path into any number of driveways down there – even with daylight blinkies & safety vest. I think there is some sort of psychological disconnect that happens with all of the roadway space down there. I would hope that in time the developers down there will extent the cycletrak through the length of the development which will be more convenient, but the driveways will remain a potential conflict zone. As proof, last fall I was almost left-hooked by a car turning into the pump house parking lot with a bike strapped to the trunk rack. Go figure


Mikhail

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May 20 2013 at 4:16pm #

Marko82 wrote:At the Waterfront I always stay on the road and take the full lane when appropriate.

+100500


J Z

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May 20 2013 at 4:51pm #

Rode this today w/ our youngest. Kudos, kudos for sure. Liked the Eat N’ Park racks, good design (told management we appreciated it too, as well as on the survey on the receipt). Saw some long distance GAP folks locked up and loading up on supplies @ Giant Eagle. So much awesome here, Baldwin section was much more busy than usual.


Drewbacca

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May 20 2013 at 6:29pm #

@Stu, I didn’t have any problem negotiating the “problem spots.” I think it’s more of an issue if you a) have a trailer attached or b) you have to maneuver around others using the path.

Having the path to myself at 11pm-ish… there was plenty of room. The corners were a little awkward and required slowing down but not dismounting.


Ahlir

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May 20 2013 at 6:51pm #

If the trail will have significant traffic, why not install some signals? Or, is it preferable to wait until some kid(s) gets squashed by an SUV?


Mikhail

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May 20 2013 at 7:51pm #

byogman wrote:They should open the gate whenever possible. If it is open weekends then I’ll take the kids this way sooner rather than later.

Just got from SVTC. “go arounds” should stay closed at all time. Some members of the council and ER teams will have code to unlock them in case of emergency or a big ride.


pbeaves

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May 20 2013 at 8:09pm #

with the way those “gates” are positioned, its not difficult for a regular bike to get thru, albeit very slowly,
however, i can see tandems / tag-a-long kid bikes / kiddie carts / trailers having a wee bit of negotiation issues.


salty

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May 20 2013 at 8:29pm #

I’m confused about what the “go arounds” are? Are they the big yellow gate things where the path makes some 90 degree turns and crosses the road, where the mirror is? If so, 3/4 of those were wide open when I went through yesterday.

The road crossings especially by Costco also struck me as dangerous. I assume there’s unfortunately not enough room to run the trail behind all the buildings by the river. Hopefully there is some room for improvement there though.


Vannevar

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May 21 2013 at 3:39pm #

Had a chance today to speak with somebody involved with the negotiation with Keystone Metals. They explained that the trail-traffic-calming gates ended up there as a result of a negotiation, in which KM gave up additional land for the trail in return for other considerations. Without those gates the trail might not have gotten built.

KM’s concern was an inbound truck stopped for crossing cyclists along the main alignment with the truck’s back bumper not quite clear of the railroad tracks. One intent of the gates and stop signs is to ensure that trucks don’t get stuck on the railroad tracks.

That was an interesting perspective that I never would have considered.


Ahlir

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May 21 2013 at 5:13pm #

I’ve been by there on a working day. The Keystone traffic is real and the trucks are big and nasty looking. On the positive side, I expect that most of the problem traffic (casual bikers, families, etc) will most likely be there during non-business hours. But all it takes is one incident…

Maybe if the time and money were there we could have had signals coordinated across the trail and road (and tracks?) Anything coming along the road (from either direction) would cause a red light on the trail. Of course we’d need to vote Corbett out first (so that we can again spend our money on transportation).


Marko82

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May 21 2013 at 6:03pm #

I haven’t been down to see this completed yet. But stopping at the “go arounds” sounds like a minor inconvenience compared to dealing with the RR ballast and a locked Sandcastle gate for the last few decades.


Ahlir

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May 21 2013 at 7:29pm #

I’m not completely sure what we mean by “go arounds”. There’s the 90° turns just before the road, and then there’s the big yellow gates at the edge of the street. The former make a lot of sense. The latter are a hazard and should be replaced by lights. (And I hope that the idea is not to lock the gates at any time: people will simply ignore it.)


Mikhail

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May 21 2013 at 10:42pm #

Ahlir wrote:then there’s the big yellow gates

Those are not the gates because when the are “closed” a bicyclist rides easily between them. That is why Ben called “go arounds”.


Vannevar

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May 21 2013 at 11:03pm #

In a way, the trail-traffic-calming devices are sort of stationary turnstiles, forcing single file movement, forcing non-skilled cyclists to dismount – and if the cyclist in front of you dismounts, you’re probably going to have to stay behind them at least through the device.

I do wish I knew the correct term for the device though.
“stationary turnstile” can’t be right.


Mikhail

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May 22 2013 at 5:09pm #

Vannevar wrote:I do wish I knew the correct term for the device though.
“stationary turnstile” can’t be right.

I think Ben terms “go arounds” is pretty good one. I got the meaning without a problem.


shadow

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May 22 2013 at 5:24pm #

I’ve seen “dismount gate” used for them.


Steven

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May 22 2013 at 5:39pm #

I haven’t seen it yet, but it sounds like a chicane. Wikipedia has a photo of a “pedestrian chicane” for slowing bikes in New York City.

A “stationary turnstile” could be simply a stile, but what’s there sounds more like a chicane to me.


Vannevar

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May 22 2013 at 6:18pm #

Yes, Steven, I think you’re quite right. Thank you. I’d always misused the word for a bending winding “fun” road, but I think a chicane is exactly what these devices are.

Which leads me to think, I might refer to this crossing maneuver as “Sandcastle chicanery”, eager to hear more cleverer variations.


paulheckbert

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May 22 2013 at 8:27pm #

Here is what the chicanes look like:

Above: chicanes to slow bike traffic where the GAP trail crosses Haysglen St between Sandcastle and Keystone Metals, under Glenwood Bridge.


salty

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May 23 2013 at 12:44am #

It’s a hell of a lot less obvious those are “go arounds” and not “gates” when they’re open, as they were on Sunday. Definitely a “picture is worth 1000 words” thing (especially when it’s two words repeated 500 times…)


Pierce

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May 23 2013 at 9:17pm #

I now go through them twice a day; they’re about as inconvenient as turning off the hot metal bridge down the pedestrian walkway (like we kind of did when the bates st overpass was down and the detour was on the other side of Second Ave, before we realized it was just easier to stay on Second Ave and jump back on the trail after bates)

That being said, it seems kind of overkill for the “intersection” and I don’t think I’ve ever seen any traffic coming through there. I think bollards and a stop sign would have sufficed

Have there been any discussions as to whether or not the trail will be maintained during the winter? I think the SS trail was, but I’m not quite sure because it didn’t snow much this year

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