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.

6 thoughts on “Public Facilities Maintenance: Lack Thereof

  1. I suppose it could be worse. In the SF Bay area, they’ve been using creeksides for bike/pedestrian paths. One had a wooden-decked section where it snaked under a road bridge. The wood was deteriorating, so they put some “high friction” decking on the section. Well, the friction was OK in the dry, but not in the wet.

    I discovered this the hard way in the mid ’90s, on a day when I came around a blind corner with sprinklers watering the deck. A couple of people were walking the other way, side by side, in the middle of the path, and when I braked to keep from killing them, I went down with a faceplant. I was fond of that tooth, though the ER doc got my lip back together. Have I mentioned I’m not a fan of bike/pedestrian paths?

    Up here, we have a rail-to-trail park that used to be a logging/freight trunk route. It’s gravel near us, so almost no bicycles. It’s paved near Klamath Falls, so it gets the usual mix. Julie and I stopped riding bikes a long while ago, but Real Soon Now we’ll hit one of the unpaved sections on foot.

    1. not a fan of bike/pedestrian paths

      They always seem to be designed to the absolute minimum recommended width, thus allowing pedestrians to fill the path from side to side, with an optional dog-on-leash extending into the bushes. Actually, I contend that pedestrians behave like a nearly ideal gas, expanding to fill the entire space, no matter how wide.

      I always walk tucked up against one side of the trail or with one hand on the railing, but that marks me as the odd one.

      You gotta get a matched set of recumbent trikes, I keep telling ya… [grin]

      1. You gotta get a matched set of recumbent trikes

        Already have that tee shirt. I bought the prototype of [redacted]’s 1st gen model. (Should have held out for the 2nd gen trike…) Things I didn’t notice on the easy, low speed test ride turned out to bite me in use. A few off-geometries, both in steering and rear stay to back cluster clearance were the hardest to live with. Easily fixed in a second run, but I ran out of budget to get a better one, and rebuilding the geometries wasn’t doable…

        Not sure the trike would have passed the vehicle strainer on the path entrance. [grin]

        1. held out for the 2nd gen trike

          Or at least the V1.1 release… all of us should know better, but we suffer the triumph of hope over experience all too regularly.

          the vehicle strainer on the path entrance

          Aye, that’s a definite downside. We’ve even had trouble easing our long wheelbase ‘bents through slow-you-down chicanes on some paths.

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