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Road Conditions: October 2015 Summary

It took a while, but the owners of Janet Drive did a commendable job of resurfacing the giant potholes that were consuming the parking lot entrance:

Janet Dr at 708 Dutchess Turnpike entrance - 2015-10-05

Janet Dr at 708 Dutchess Turnpike entrance – 2015-10-05

That patch covers all the holes, has a smooth surface, and neatly joins the adjacent pavement without huge bumps. It’s entirely possible to do good repairs, if you just hire the right contractor.

Which doesn’t happen if you’re NYSDOT, unfortunately, as they regards a few random hand-tamped blobs on a section of Rt 44 (and Bike Rt 44, for whatever that’s worth) as entirely adequate:

Rt 44 - 695 at Quest Diagnostics - 2015-10-05 - no progress

Rt 44 – 695 at Quest Diagnostics – 2015-10-05 – no progress

The sinkhole on Rt 376 that we must dodge maybe four times every week continues to grow:

Rt 376 2015-10-05 - Northbound milepost 1110 - sinkhole

Rt 376 2015-10-05 – Northbound milepost 1110 – sinkhole

Somebody who should know better suggested the NYSDOT crew just ran out of asphalt after patching all around the sinkhole that I’d reported back in July, but …

The NYSDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator (yeah, she exists) assured me the engineers were studying the signal timing and would contact me directly:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-08-31 - Yellow 8 s after green with cars

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-08-31 – Yellow 8 s after green with cars

That hasn’t happened after four months, so I’d say NYSDOT uses the word “study” to mean “stonewall”.

There are more examples, but, to make a long gripe short, I’ve (once again) proven to my own satisfaction that there’s no point in reporting bicycle-related maintenance problems to NYSDOT: it only annoys them and they retaliate by making things worse.

We just keep riding…

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  1. #1 by bonnev659 on 2015-10-08 - 07:33

    great job looking out for us bikers! and sad DOT is slow.. I know I asked a DOT a few items and 1 of them was fixed… so I was happy with that and other is/was in process but I haven’t looked at that road in a month.

  2. #2 by madbodger on 2015-10-08 - 11:23

    There are some areas along the edge of route 287 near us where the substrate has failed and the pavement is crumbling. VDOT does send an email reply “Your request, tracking number RAP-006-hn9-9it-515-eyo, work order number(s) 2163753, has been received by our Customer Service Center and has been submitted to the appropriate work group for review.”. They did eventually put down new asphalt on those patches, but as the substrate isn’t solid, it soon started crumbling again.

    • #3 by Ed on 2015-10-08 - 11:58

      it soon started crumbling again

      As nearly as I can tell, they get graded on whether they respond, not how good a job they do. As a result, something will happen, but it won’t necessarily solve the problem.

      That model suggests two repair trips will produce two good grades: there’s a powerful incentive to not make permanent repairs…

      • #4 by madbodger on 2015-10-08 - 13:15

        Judging from the highway work I see, in Virginia they’re paid by the project. Things are finished very quickly, but have to be redone soon. In Maryland, they’re apparently paid by the hour, so large projects can take YEARS. The work seems to be well done, but they take so long that by the time they’re finally finished, it’s time to start again. Not that I’m cynical.

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