This blog has a number of readers in the municipal bureaucracy.
So I have to be careful with this story, because I don’t want someone rushing out to “undo” what some citizen has done. So, a Holiday Monday posting might help it slip through. And the exact location must remain a secret.
We know that the bureaucrats want cycling and walking paths to “end” at a controlled intersection. Same thing when these paths are crossed by a street.
So users of certain popular facilities get frustrated when a path ends at a curb that hasn’t had a curb cut, or depression, to help one cross the street or join the street. A curb cut won’t be installed because there isn’t the budget for a signal (apparently stop signs aren’t good enough…).
In my view this promotes a worse situation, where cyclists and wheelchair users ride down the street sidewalk looking for a curb cut, and then cross the street at a bad angle, with bad sight lines, and maybe only after leaving one walkway discovering there is no corresponding curb cut on the opposite side. Beech Street is one such location that comes to mind.
Evidently frustrated by the lack of a curb cut, some enterprising citizen built his own curb crossings. Out of concrete no less. Now they may not survive winter snowplowing, but until then they will provide considerable convenience to cyclists. Note also that there is even a blue painted cycle symbol on the walkway so that the approaching cyclist knows where the ramp is before s/he can see over the lip of the curb. How complete.
I used these ramps
today.Saturday. I must admit I would prefer a broader curb cut, but these ramp-ettes allowed me to cross a deserted street without dismounting. The wife cyclist made it down the ramp on her bike, but rolled her bike up the opposite one.
more on this story: The comments received are interesting, as always, readers are so insightful. To repeat here: there is a curb cut at Gladstone, but as far as I know a traffic signal is planned for that crossing, just not yet installed.
As for the concrete rampettes, several people emailed me to say the ramps were widened since I took the picture. Here is that story, as contributed by a reader:
Hey Eric, I noticed your review of the ramps on Beech.
I talked with a few people at City Hall about the curb cuts there. They said they would fix Beech! In 2014. This temporary fix should give users access to the path across Beech for 2013 (provided they last).
Apparently a group of three cyclists went out at 1am on Thursday and invested some spraypaint, a $9.83, 30kg bag of fast-set cement and an hour or so of their time. I understand they mixed the cement on site and weren’t noticed by any of the local dogwalkers or taxi drivers. Then on Friday they realized that the ramps were a little small for 6.5″ and 6.0″ curbs.
You might want to check out the ramps as of 1:45am early this morning. It looks like they went back and put down another two bags to widen them.
Ahh, my new superheros !
And here are some pictures showing what a lovely cement patti-cake Queen Victoria can make when so inclined: