New York State Bike Route 9: Maintenance Thereof

One might expect the NYS Department of Transportation to maintain New York State Bike Route 9, a.k.a. NYS Rt 376 from Poughkeepsie to Red Oaks Mill, in a bicycle-aware manner.

One would be mistaken.

The most recent patch strip very carefully avoids the deteriorated shoulder, all the way around the curve:

Rt 376 SB patch - shoulder deterioration - marker 1111 - 2018-08-23

Rt 376 SB patch – shoulder deterioration – marker 1111 – 2018-08-23

The weeds growing in the serrated shoulder add a decorative counterpoint to the black asphalt patch in the travel lane:

Rt 376 SB patch - shoulder grass - marker 1110 - 2018-08-23

Rt 376 SB patch – shoulder grass – marker 1110 – 2018-08-23

It was a rather large repair crew:

Rt 376 Road Repair Crew - marker 1110 - 2018-08-23

Rt 376 Road Repair Crew – marker 1110 – 2018-08-23

The crew chief said they were there because “somebody wrote a letter” describing the conditions. I suppose that would be me, although after half a year it’s hard to establish causation, let alone correlation.

He also says no details of the letter reached him, which explains why they laid the patches in the travel lane, rather than repairing the conditions I described. He was adamant they were doing the best they could with the inadequate manpower, materials, and time available for the projects.

There are absolutely no requirements to consider bicyclist safety in their repairs, so laying asphalt over the shoulder never happens.

NYS DOT’s Bicycling FAQ says I should “take the lane” around that curve, due to the deteriorated shoulder, to ensure motorists pass only when it’s safe.

Whenever I offer to take a NYS DOT bureaucrat on an inspection ride along their roads, they never have the time. Of course, they don’t “work” on weekends, so they’re unwilling to join me on a pleasant ride around the area some Saturday or Sunday morning.

Just another day of bicycling along NYS DOT’s “complete streets” …



  1. #1 by Andy on 2018-09-01 - 00:50

    At the other end of the Gaussian distribution curve of public spending on bike lanes, we have the Christchurch City Council in New Zealand. They have spent over $US150 million to date of a budgeted $US200m on bike lanes in the city for a mere handful of users and a tax funding population of just on 400,000. Vehicle use in the city has dropped to snailpace speeds with road width reductions and related changes. City retailers and office workers hate the changes as do most rate payers. Conclusion: Nobody is happy on the fringes of spending distribution curves.

    • #2 by Ed on 2018-09-01 - 09:17


      Basically, competent road maintenance would go a long way toward solving the problems around here. Frills like bike-sensing signals, left-turn boxes, and adequate clearance would be nice, but start by fixing the damn potholes …