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Archive for July 6th, 2013

Public Facilities Maintenance: Lack Thereof

I have a deep and abiding cynicism about the wisdom of building Special Facilities for bicycles and pedestrians. We very much enjoy biking along the Dutchess County Rail Trail, but I fear the County’s initial enthusiasm and funding will quickly wear off, leaving us with another poorly maintained facility.

For example, the section of trail just south of Morgan Lake (a.k.a., Phase II) opened in July 2009, a mere four years ago. This view shows the North Grand Avenue at-grade crossing:

DCRT N Grand - overview

DCRT N Grand – overview

Shortly after the opening, the ADA-mandated vision-impaired tactile pavement strips at that crossing began to deteriorate and, by now, they’re just rubble-filled depressions across the trail on either side of the road.

The south strip:

DCRT N Grand - South ADA Strip

DCRT N Grand – South ADA Strip

The north strip:

DCRT N Grand - north ADA strip

DCRT N Grand – north ADA strip

Evidently, the Official Personnel traversing the DCRT lack the responsibility / authority / initiative to apply a broom and sweep the pebbles out of the path, much less schedule a repair crew. I suppose I should haul a shovel along on one of our trips and privatize the upkeep; it’s been two years, so further waiting will be pointless.

It’s not as though there’s no Official Traffic, as witnessed by this well-worn informal entrance at the south end of that trail segment:

DCRT Overocker - vehicle tracks

DCRT Overocker – vehicle tracks

There’s an Official Gate just to the left of the trail at that crossing, but, judging from the weeds, it’s evidently easier to stay in the car or truck than get out and unlock the barrier:

DCRT Overocker - vehicle gate

DCRT Overocker – vehicle gate

Perhaps pebbles now count as tactile paving.

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