[Updated] Ask WeBikeEugene: How often are the off-street paths cleared of leaves?

Slippery when wet!

Before we get this article underway, I’d like to acknowledge that I am, indeed, blatantly ripping off the idea for this feature from BikePortland. If you can’t beat ’em (and who could?) join ’em copy ’em.

Today’s question stems from a hodgepodge of posts that showed up on the GEARs mailing list over the last few days.  Posts like:

“The River Trails were great yesterday!  However, the leaves are falling at a good rate and are starting to cover the pavement in spots, really well, hiding those areas that may cause someone to fall or worse.”

and

“I’d love to know the answer to how often they clear off the river paths.  I roller blade (yesterday) as well as bike (today on my rain bike – ’93 Specialized Rockhopper) and last winter I was EXTREMELY PLEASED to find the paths occasionally cleared.  Or maybe it was my imagination?  Or maybe it was the wind?  I really don’t know.  Does anyone?”

So how often does the City clear the leaves on the off-street (multi-use) bike paths?  Did the budget cuts which we were warned about back in April affect this schedule?  What can we do when we encounter a path blocked by leaves?

These are the questions that I asked the City of Eugene’s intrepid Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Lee Shoemaker.  I summarize and expand on his answers after the jump!

Continue reading “[Updated] Ask WeBikeEugene: How often are the off-street paths cleared of leaves?”

Why Do Cyclists Wear Rubber Boots?

Winter 2009.

When I’m riding eastbound on the south bank of the Willamette River Path, heading towards the Knickerbocker Bridge,  there’s a funny sign that sticks out of the river just past the railroad underpass. I use that sign as an informal way to track the height of the river. In the summer, you can see a lot of the pole below the yellow sign itself. Even when the river is running pretty high in the winter, you can usually make out at least the top of the sign. Well, we’ve been having rather a lot of rain this June. This Friday morning on the way to work, I rode under the railroad trestle and noticed something new:  my little sign was totally underwater.

And then I noticed that the path was underwater, as well. Here’s how it looked around 9:30 on Friday morning:

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Water lapping at the South Bank river trail

Continue reading “Why Do Cyclists Wear Rubber Boots?”