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Posts Tagged Tax Dollars Asleep

Monthly Image: Terrifying Playground

The newly built Capital Region Welcome Center on the Thruway has a small playground for small children, featuring appropriately small signage:

NYS Thruway rest area playground
NYS Thruway rest area playground

Here’s the world we live in (clicky for more dots):

Playground warning sign - detail
Playground warning sign – detail

Fortunately, we lack a small child at risk of damage.

You (well, I) just can’t make this stuff up.

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Sharing the Road on Raymond Avenue

This time, I neglected to give my “We’re taking the lane!” signal, whereupon the driver behind us assumed we would all fit into the roundabout / traffic circle at Vassar’s Main Gate:

Raymond Ave - passing into Main Gate roundabout - rear camera - 2019-03-28
Raymond Ave – passing into Main Gate roundabout – rear camera – 2019-03-28

Raymond Avenue’s original “standards compliant” design has undergone some revision during the last few years:

Raymond Ave - passing into Main Gate roundabout - helmet 1 - 2019-03-28
Raymond Ave – passing into Main Gate roundabout – helmet 1 – 2019-03-28

The brace of black bollards centered on the median at the “pedestrian refuge” now replace the original quartet of illuminated, albeit non-reflective black, bollards, after errant drivers successively destroyed them.

There’s apparently no standard governing the placement or depth of drain grates along the right edge of the lane, nor the amount of gravel and trash allowed to accumulate to the right of the fog line:

Raymond Ave - passing into Main Gate roundabout - helmet 2 - 2019-03-28
Raymond Ave – passing into Main Gate roundabout – helmet 2 – 2019-03-28

Mary is just barely clearing the grate, I’m moving leftward to ensure I’m the first one to get hit. Fortunately, common sense broke out:

Raymond Ave - passing into Main Gate roundabout - helmet 3 - 2019-03-28
Raymond Ave – passing into Main Gate roundabout – helmet 3 – 2019-03-28

We got through the traffic circle without further contention and continued on our way.

Getting squeezed into a traffic circle happens often enough to show whatever NYS DOT uses as a “design standard” doesn’t include pedestrian or bicyclist safety as measurable quantities.

As we all know, anything you don’t measure doesn’t happen.

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Dutchess Rail Trail: Access Gate Control

Five different agencies can drive through the Dutchess Rail Trail’s Overocker Rd trailhead vehicle gate:

Dutchess Rail Trail - Overocker Rd ruts
Dutchess Rail Trail – Overocker Rd ruts

Well, four of them can, because whoever snapped the barely visible small lock around the long-shackle lock (horizontal, to the right) is SOL:

Dutchess Rail Trail - Vehicle Gate Locks at Overocker Rd
Dutchess Rail Trail – Vehicle Gate Locks at Overocker Rd

Perhaps they’re from the DC W&WWA?

The last time we rode past the Diddel Rd trailhead, there were zero locks on the (unchained) vehicle gate; evidently somebody forgot to relock the gate on the way out.

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Frozen Fire Hydrant

Spotted on a walk around the block:

Frozen Hydrant - Rt 376 at Sheldon
Frozen Hydrant – Rt 376 at Sheldon

Hydrant valves attach directly to the water main, far below the frost line, which means the hydrant itself should be dry when it’s not in use; the ice reveals a nasty valve leak. The corroded paint suggests a longstanding leak, but I admit to not noticing anything before now.

I uploaded the picture so I could include the URL in an email to the local fire department. I’ll take a look the next time we walk by to see what’s happened.

It’s definitely not a shapely hydrant!

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Dutchess Rail Trail: Maloney Rd Drive-In Entrance

Perhaps they should just saw off the bollard in the middle of the entrance and be done with it:

Maloney Trailhead - tire tracks 2018-12-15

Maloney Trailhead – tire tracks 2018-12-15

Some backstory may be of interest.

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Dutchess Rail Trail: Maloney Rd Trailhead Ruts

It seems the DCW&WA SUV makes regular trips through the “No Motor Vehicles” bike access:

Maloney Rd Trailhead - 2018-11-07

Maloney Rd Trailhead – 2018-11-07

If it’s not them, then it’s somebody following their example.

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should … but, of course, the ordinary rules apply only to little people, not public servants.

Someone in the bike advocacy apparat once told me I’m the most cynical, bitter person they’d ever met, at least on the subject of getting along with public servants. As I see it, I came by my attitude honestly.

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Sharing the Road on Raymond Avenue: Squeeze Play

We’re riding home with groceries along Raymond Avenue, approaching the Vassar Main Gate roundabout, and, as is my custom, I’ve been pointing to the middle of the lane for maybe five seconds as I move leftward to take the lane:

Raymond Passing - Approach - 2018-10-04

Raymond Passing – Approach – 2018-10-04

The driver of HCX-1297 is having none of it:

Raymond Passing - Near Miss - 2018-10-04

Raymond Passing – Near Miss – 2018-10-04

The mirror passed maybe a foot away from my shoulder; I’d reeled my arm in as the front fender passed by.

All three traffic circles / roundabouts on Raymond neck the lane down and angle it rightward into the circle, which is supposed to “calm” traffic:

Raymond Passing - Roundabout - 2018-10-04

Raymond Passing – Roundabout – 2018-10-04

The design doesn’t allow much flinch room for cyclists and certainly isn’t calming for us.

The NYS engineer who designed the Raymond roundabouts said the whole thing was “standards compliant”, refused to go on a check ride with me to experience what it was like, and told me to detour through the Vassar campus if I felt endangered while sharing the road.

Obviously, NYS DOT personnel do not dogfood their “share the road” bicycle standards by riding bicycles.

 

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