Posts Tagged Tax Dollars Asleep
The weeds are once again taking over the shoulder along Rt 376 south of Red Oaks Mill:
New shoots from the Japanese Knotweed stand just north of Maloney Rd have begun punching through the asphalt along the edge of the shoulder.
This section is in the purview of NYS DOT’s Dutchess South Residency, extending south of Red Oaks Mill to the end of Rt 376 near Hopewell. In contrast, DOT’s Dutchess North Residency continues to keep Rt 376 well-trimmed northward from Red Oaks Mill to Poughkeepsie. I’ve never gotten any explanation why the two Residencies have such strikingly different weed-control standards.
The gashes don’t look like much:
Not even from the side:
When they happened, I knew where to look, because the Kevlar-belted Primo Comet had two conspicuous bulges surrounding debris jammed between the tread and the carcass along the sidewall: the gashes were wide open!
Much to my astonishment, the tire hadn’t gone instantly flat.
Some screwdriver probing in the leftmost gash produced this nasty glass chip:
AFAICT, the smooth side slid over the internal Kevlar belt as the edge sliced between the rubber tread and the carcass. I think the top entered first, with the somewhat crushed end hitting the pavement on each revolution:
The other gash emitted a somewhat smaller chip.
I rode over something crunchy, most likely the remains of a beer bottle, in a shaded section along Rt 376, and we stopped a few driveways later to diagnose a once-per-revolution thump from the front tire. The tube still wasn’t losing pressure, even after extracting the glass, so I continued the mission; it was a fine day for a ride!
I later filled those gashes (plus a few others) with silicone rubber to keep grit out. It’s surely a feel-good gesture, but maybe it’ll help the tire reach the end of its tread life.
You can judge our “riding environment” by the tire’s condition …
Nothing lasts forever, not even concrete:
The downspouts are obviously more recent than the splash blocks, but the whole shopping center wasn’t more than a few decades old. Rain isn’t nearly as acid as it used to be, but it still eats away at concrete.
After about two decades, though, even high-quality concrete goes bad:
That’s the upper surface of the Rt 376 bridge at Red Oaks Mill, with a fragment of the corroded lower edge still dangling over the Wappinger Creek:
Mostly, we manage to bike around the decayed infrastructure.
The pavement along Rt 376 between markers 1111 and 1108 has deteriorated into deep chasms, potholes, and fissures.
The linear disintegration south of marker 1111 seems to follow an underlying concrete joint. The shoulder has deep, tire-trapping fissures, forcing cyclists far out into the travel lane along a narrow and curved part of Rt 376:
The hole at address 2181 (across from Paula’s House / GastroPub) was previously patched, but recent weather has excavated it nearly a foot deep. The shoulder has also deteriorated, again forcing cyclists into the travel lane:
The previous patches along the inside of the curve just north of Heathbrook Drive (south of marker 1108) have disintegrated. There’s no shoulder at all along that section and the fissures in the travel lane force cyclists into the lane along a blind curve:
This section of NYS Bicycle Route 9 poses an immediate danger to both cyclists and motorists, so I reported all these to NYS DOT and, a day later, a crew traveled along Rt 376 shoveling cold patch into many of the holes and flattening the lumps more-or-less parallel to the road surface: it’s now driveable, if still a hazard for bicycle traffic.
Hope springs eternal; after all, they did repave Rt 376 around Red Oaks Mill.
NYS DOT’s recent Rt 376 repaving projects improved the road surface, but the infractructure seems to be crumbling apace, as we spotted on a recent walk across the bridge over Wappinger Creek:
The ragged edge of the deck shows other slivers have fallen into the creek.
My arms aren’t long enough to get a closer view:
The concrete roadway is developing potholes in the right hand southbound lane, so the upper surface has begun crumbling, too.
I think the bridge dates to the mid-1990s, based on the aerial photo history from Dutchess GIS, so it’s a bit over twenty years old. Nothing lasts.
Repairing stuff is hard …
This example of the City of Poughkeepsie’s branding seems poorly thought out:
Maybe not quite as bad as the “Too Cool to Do Drugs” pencil, but …
We’re approaching the Vassar Main gate roundabout on Raymond Avenue. I’m signaling for the middle of the lane, which involves extending my left arm straight out and pointing downward:
Evidently, the driver figures he can get past us into the roundabout, missing my hand by maybe a foot:
Six seconds later, we’re all stopped, because the planter in the middle of the roundabout is designed to hide the oncoming traffic and make you slow down:
I’m getting more assertive about moving leftward before we enter the approach, but obviously I’m not quite far enough over.
So it goes.