Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

1st St., between Alamitos/LB Blvd

This street is TERRIBLE.

Potholes, uneven pavement, ridges, trenches... it's one of the worst streets in the downtown area.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

LB Towers

Location: In front of LB Towers apartment building, 600 E. Ocean Blvd.
District: 2nd District

Problem: On this fast-moving street, a cyclist takes his life into his own hands. The asphalt at this location has a variance of 5 inches for roughly 16 feet. The asphalt appears to have sunk while the cement has held its ground.

Drainage Grate at 3rd/Alamitos

Location: NW Corner of Intersection 3rd St. / Alamitos
District: 2nd District

Problem: Drainage Bars are placed in the gutter area for water to flow into them during rainstorms and flow eventually into rivers, etc. Until circa 1970, these were aligned with the road, enabling a bicycle wheel to fall through. If the front wheel falls through, it means a sudden flip-over of the bicyclist and a good chance of head injury. If the rear wheel falls through, it destroys the rear wheel. (This happened to me on Sepulveda Blvd. under the LAX runway). Most have since been changed to bars perpendicular to the road or in both directions, except on freeways where bicycles are banned.

California Streets and Highways Code section 161 provides: "On construction projects, the department shall install on the surface of state highways upon which the operation of bicycles is permitted only those types of grates which are not hazardous to bicycle riders."

This only applies to Department of Transportation, and therefore local agencies are not held to the standard; however, many local agencies have adopted the Highway Design Manual (the design standard followed by Caltrans) as their own design standard.

Street and Highways Code section 891: "All city, county, regional, and other local agencies responsible for the development or operation of bikeways or roadways where bicycle travel is permitted shall utilize all minimum safety design criteria and uniform specifications and symbols for signs, markers, and traffic control devices established pursuant to Sections 890.6 and 890.8."

HDM Index 1003.6(3):
"Drainage inlet grates on bikeways shall have openings narrow enough and short enough to assure bicycle tires will not drop into the grates (e.g., reticuline type), regardless of the direction of bicycle travel. Where it is not immediately feasible to replace existing grates with standard grates designed for bicycles, 25 mm x 6 mm steel cross straps should be welded to the grates at a spacing of 150 mm to 200 mm on centers to reduce the size of the openings adequately."

"Corrective actions described above are recommended on all highways where bicycle travel is permitted, whether or not bikeways are designated."

HDM Index 837.2(2): "If grate inlets must be located in roadway areas where cyclists may be expected to travel, bicycle proof grates are to be specified. Bicycle proof grates are shown on Standard Plan D77-B."

Special thanks to Alan Wachtel for this information.

3169 Los Coyotes Diagonal

Location: Residential service road, Los Coyotes Diagonal
District: 5th District

Problem: Along this quiet residential street, there is a very large section of road that is raised, divoted, bumped and cracked. Some parts raise as high as 6 inches, while other spots dip to sub-3 inches. The area is 9 feet wide and about 20 feet long. I know of at least one person that has had an accident on her bike here.

100 Block of Linden

Location: Linden Ave. between 1st Street and Ocean Blvd.
District: 2nd District

Problem: Running almost the entire length of this street is a 2-inch wide crack, deep enough to get a bicycle tire wedged into. This street is traversed by many bicycles daily, due to its proximity to the Arts District and the many coffee shops and cafes along it.

San Gabriel River Trail / Coyote Creek Bridge

Location: Bridge over San Gabriel River Trail
District: 4th District

Problem: I hate to bring any negative attention to the beautiful San Gabriel River Trail, but something needs to be done about the western side of the bridge spanning the river. For many years there has been a large gap where the bridge meets the pavement.

It is a tricky corner to maneuver, as the trail narrows at this point - then you are forced to cross a gap similar to a railroad track, while trying not to catch your handlebars in the chainlink fencing. When I arrived at this location today, there was a gentleman just finishing his flat repair after getting a pinch-flat from this exact problem.