Posts Tagged Tax Dollars Asleep
NYS DOT Region 8 Dutchess South recently did enough over-the-rail clearcutting to make Rt 376 bicycle-able from Red Oaks Mill to Maloney Rd!
To the best of our memories and judging from the tree stumps along the rail, it’s been a decade since DOT last clearcut that section; the Japanese Knotweed has definitely taken over since then.
Here’s what the Knotweed looked like in June, just north of Maloney Rd, after a trimming in May:
Now, it’s not nearly so snug out there:
Here’s a slide show starting with Dutchess North’s routine grass mowing in Red Oaks Mill and ending with Dutchess South’s clearcut just north of Maloney Rd:
The Wappinger Creek bridge seems to be a no man’s land between the two Residencies, but we can generally take the lane:
We hope Dutchess South’s over-the-rail maintenance will become an annual event and prevent the brush from taking over again.
After nigh onto 18 years, the pipe straps holding the Zzipper fairing struts to the handlebars of our Tour Easy recumbents finally shrugged off their plastic wraps:
Although they still worked, riding over broken pavement produced distinct rattles; alas, the roads around here feature plenty of broken pavement.
The solution is a rugged plastic block capped with aluminum plates to spread the clamping load:
The solid model is straightforward:
A slight bit of tinkering made the stack exactly the right height for 45 mm screws secured with nyloc nuts. No washers on either end, although that’s definitely in the nature of fine tuning.
The three sections print without support:
I reamed the smaller hole with a 3/8 inch drill to match the fairing strut rod. The as-printed larger hole fit the handlebar perfectly, although the first picture shows the tubing isn’t exactly round on the near side of the block, where it starts the outward bend toward the grips.
The cap plates cried out for CNC, but I simply traced two outlines of the block on 1/8 inch aluminum sheet, bandsawed near the line, introduced them to Mr Disk Sander for finishing & corner rounding, transfer-punched the holes from the plastic blocks, and drilled to suit:
Making two pairs of plates by hand counts as Quality Shop Time around here.
The first few rides confirm the fix: no rattles!
The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:
Returning from a long ride, we spotted an unusual sign at the Vassar Farm entrance (clicky for more dots):
I hadn’t noticed an uptick of the insurgency around here, but I suppose it could happen.
It looks like a Cougar HE 6×6 MRAP on loan from the DLA 1033 Program to the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department. The flat top suggests they dismounted the CROWS gun, which seems a definite step down in no-knock capability.
The M106 is an impressive hunk of tracked armor, although it seems unsuited for urban warfare and would certainly scuff up the streets pretty badly. I don’t know if they scrapped the M106 in favor of the MRAP.
I’m hoping they don’t collaborate with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Department to patrol the Rail Trail, even within the City limits.
They were practicing hose deployment and structure entry in a soon-to-be-demolished building:
That’s theatrical smoke, not a real fire; the folks off the right of the picture told me it’s impossible to burn down old structures for practice nowadays, what with all the environmental regulations.
The Tower Truck obviously has more reach than they’ll need for the second floor:
A few days later, we spotted Fairview Fire District folks scoping out the house.
We think this might be Vassar’s way of contributing back to the various emergency departments, as the College is mostly tax-exempt.
Spotted high on the wall of the local USPS office:
A closer look:
The USPS uses VLC. Who knew?
I darken their doorway so infrequently I have no idea what’s normally displayed up there. Surely it shows advertisements for USPS products, which begs the question: why VLC?
The newly built Capital Region Welcome Center on the Thruway has a small playground for small children, featuring appropriately small signage:
Here’s the world we live in (clicky for more dots):
Fortunately, we lack a small child at risk of damage.
You (well, I) just can’t make this stuff up.
[Update: I could get behind Adventure Playgrounds!]
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 Avenue’s original “standards compliant” design has undergone some revision during the last few years:
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:
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:
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.