NW Natural Repairs Fox Hollow Bike Lane

The New (very nice) Concrete Patch

On December 8th, I reported that a NW Natural work crew had left an unmarked steel plate in the high-speed downhill bike lane at Fox Hollow and 46th.  The following day they finished work and replaced the dangerous steel plate with an asphalt patch.  The crew did not bother to grade the asphalt patch level with the rest of the concrete bike lane, creating a dangerous hump in the otherwise pristine bike lane.  I cried foul, pointing out that this was an extreme hazard because people on bikes, usually traveling in excess of 25mph in this area, would not expect this hump to come out of nowhere.  I tested the hump myself at 25mph on my Xtracycle loaded with groceries and caught air under both my wheels.  Needless to say if a 190lb rider can catch air on an 80+ lb bike, this creates quite a hazard for lighter rider on a road bike who may not expect to  find themselves suddenly airborne. (if you want to catch air you can always ride on Lorane.)

I reported the hazard using the City’s online hazard reporting form and e-mailed City of Eugene Bike/Ped Coordinator Lee Shoemaker.  I also e-mailed NW Natural directly, though they never responded.  Thankfully, the city officials listened. The next morning a City of Eugene inspector was at the scene and left a large sign warning of the bump.

Then nothing happened for a little over a month, with the exception that the sign blew over several times until I secured it myself.  Finally, around January 12th, NW Natural re-patched the area using concrete and graded it perfectly.  I know it was them because their name was on their barricades – which were left in the bike lane overnight and not lit. It took them a month, but NW Natural finally did the right thing (albeit in a dangerous way).

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Pearl Bike Lane Temporarily Gone @ 5th St.

Editors Note: The following story was submitted to WeBikeEugene by EugeneBicyclist.com in an effort to spread awareness about this potential hazard.  The post also appears on his site.

The disappearing bike lane

Posted on December 7, 2010 by Eugene Bicyclist
Here’s a hazard you don’t run across every day: You are coming home from work, a bit weary, in the dark, and set about making a habitual left turn into a bike lane that … that … whoa, what’s that pair of headlights? Coming straight at me!

This happened Monday evening. I rode west on Fifth Avenue, past Fifth Street Market, as I often do. I approached the four-way stop at Pearl, right in front of Lucky Noodle, slowed and got ready to turn left onto Pearl.

Pearl, just south of Fifth, has that bike lane in the middle of the street, between the north and southbound vehicle lanes. I turned south, toward the bike lane. I do this all the time.

This is when I noticed the headlights. I quickly veered right, into the auto traffic lane. And then I pulled over and stopped to figure out what had just happened.

After some rough cocktail napkin calculations, I concluded that the bike lane that used to be here is gone. I returned to the scene the morning after…

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Online Bike Lane Problem Reporting, Bike Blog Roundup, and August InMotion

Good day, wonderful people.  As you may have noticed by our plethora of recent articles (sort of), our summer slowdown has mostly ended.  Yay!

I wanted to give a quick shoutout to the other area bike blogs that helped pickup WBE’s slack over the summer, and which continue to be a joy to read.  These blogs are different from the GEARs, SRTS, and EugeneWeekly blogs (viewable in RSS form on the right of this page) in that they focus more on culture and less on news.

I’ve mentioned EugeneBicyclist.com before (I think) but I feel like mentioning it again.  The man behind it is a mystery (oooh, spooky!), but I’m pretty sure he isn’t a zombie. If he is a zombie, and he eats you, I’m sorry.  Not that it would be my fault if he DID eat you, but more because I’m sure being eaten is not an enjoyable thing and I would most likely feel empathy for you.

Another newish Eugene cycle blog is Eugene Cycle Chic, a blog featuring pictures of Eugenians in their utter hotness riding their bikes, or something like that.  It’s like a Eugene version of Copenhagen Cycle Chic – the main difference being that Eugene riders sometimes wear helmets and probably don’t speak dutch danish.  I’ve yet to find a picture of me on Eugene Cycle Chic, but I think it’s because I’m too pretty and they don’t want to make other people feel embarrassed.

The City of Eugene’s InMotion continues to make our job easier by condensing tons of information into a wonderful little newsletter.  There is a lot of information in this one (posted in full after the jump), but the following bit of information has me very excited.  It’s something I’ve been asking for for awhile, they promised us in March,  and now they’ve finally delivered!

Online Bike Lane Service Request!

Online hazard reporting directly to the city – available when the city hotline (541-682-4800) is closed!  This can be used to report glass, debris, etc 24/7!  Quoted:

New Online App Offers Easy Way to Report Bike Lane Problems
A new web-based application makes it easy for cyclists to report problems and request maintenance services in Eugene’s bike lanes. The bike lane service application is located at www.eugene‐or.gov/pwm (look for the bike lane service icon). It is one of six online services (the others are report nuisance vegetation, report a pothole, get notified when street is scheduled to be swept, report graffiti, and request leaf delivery) now offered by the Eugene Public Works Department

All of the service request applications use a map-based system. Customers enter a street address to generate a marker “pin” that can be dragged to an exact location. Customers fill in an easy online form that includes a notes field. The final step is to click the “submit” button, which automatically sends the request to the correct work group. For more information about the bike lane service request application, contact the Public Works Maintenance Division at pwmaintenance@ci.eugene.or.us or call 541-682-4800.

Take the jump to view the entire InMotion newsletter.

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