Friday, November 4, 2011

but I didn't WANT a giant bridge with matching roadblocks

Rapunzel is now in 2nd grade, but when she was in preschool I would bike the two or three miles to her preschool, settle her in to my double-wide Burley wagon, bike ten miles home and collapse face down in the driveway.  The trip from work to the preschool was mostly nice, I rode on this cute multi-use bike path (the Stevens Creek Trail) and it was just about a straight shot.

The non straight shot piece involved crossing a busy road.  No problem though, there was a light.  You pull up, press the button, wait, and then go across the busy road in safety and relative comfort.  All was well until the city of Mountain View thought "damn, it's a hassle having to stop for those goddamned bicyclists whenever they push that fucking button" and the city of Mountain View thought "wtf do we do with all this extra money we have?  give it to the area schools?  lame!  No way!  what was it that was so annoying, yeah, stopping at that red light was annoying.."

What did the city of Mountain View decide to do?  Build a bridge over the highway for bicyclists and pedestrians.  I should be overjoyed, right?  Yeah well I was not.  Overjoyed.  I was annoyed.  Here's why:

1.  We did not have a problem.  We had a spot where we whoa'd up and pushed a button and then continued on.

2.  The city of Mountain View spent a metric butt ton of money on something I ended up hating.  Instead of stopping and pushing a button I had to weave through their bicycle-slower-downer with my big wagon and then pedal up a steep hill and then scream down a hill on the far side and hit the brakes so as not to be trapped in the 2nd bicycle-catcher.  It sucked.

3.  What did I want?  Some paint.  There are multiple locations in Mountain View (for me the critical area is in front of the new PJCC on Charleston) where the bicycle lane abruptly ends for about a block and bicyclists become open game for passing automobiles.

What's the moral of the story?  Stamp out giant infrastructure projects that drive bicyclists onto tall skinny walkways with gates on either end.  Give us our place on the road and stick some paint on it to make it official.  It's not the 1800s and we aren't your schizophrenic first wife so stop locking us up in the goddamned attic and forgetting to feed us.

What you give us:

What we want:

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