Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bike to Work Week Spokane

Another bike to work week in Spokane. This is a picture of the traffic leaving the comunity where I work at 5:00 pm or shortly there after. They've allowed all of this development both housing and business with little or no thought to the traffic problems. There is only one lane to get on the freeway going westbound. There are road closures and bridge closures everywhere. No matter what they do to repair and build to accommodate cars it's never enough.

To top that off they built this expensive pedestrian bridge over the freeway in exactly the wrong spot forcing people to cross traffic just to get to it at the intersection you see in the distance. As a result I never use it with my bike and just cross freeway on the one lane with the cars. The last thing anyone needs is a cyclist trying to get across the intersection here at this time of day. It's just a huge mess.
It is better to cycle for me though. With this much traffic it takes me about the same amount of time to cycle as it does to drive. Since I've been riding my bike to work I've only been hit by one car driven by a lady who turned into me head on. She said she didn't see me.


Jules said...

Happy Bike to Work Week.. I'm glad you're starting to ride. So much less headache and hassle leaving at 5. That traffic line up would test anyone's patience, I think, being stuck in it. Be safe, though, hey!!

Jules said...

Sorry, I have to say also.. the irony of it being bike to work week but there being only one bike in that photo! Well, 2 if we include yours.. but still. Not many people take it seriously, looks like! LOL

Diane said...

I almost got hit by a car when I was walking because a lady was gabbing on her phone and didn't see me.

Haven't seen too many people biking to work this week though.

That lane looks a bit crazy. What would it take to take surface streets to the next on-ramp?

don said...

Yes Jules, not that many people bike to work here. Just the regular bikers who always do it. Who knows though, they might pick up a handfull new people each year but most people find a reason not to do it. (I even do that too)

Many people in cars still view the people on bikes as just in the way here. I never got yelled at on my bike in Montana ever.. I get yelled at here even when I'm not doing anything wrong. I even had a (nice) old lady yell at me. She had two lanes to work with and I was just inside the line because it was gravel on the shoulder.

The ramp to the east on the freeway is closed so that's backed up just as bad as this ramp Diane. The next one to the west would be ok but the bridge across the river at that one is closed for repair and that adds 5 miles or more to the drive. So this is the only real option for a car. But on the bike it doesn't matter that much.

To top it off, soon they plan close the bridge to the east and that's going to be just as bad. So the bike really is better than the car this summer.

BiketoWork Barb said...

Thanks for riding! Hope you stick with it--you're moving forward while all those drivers just sit there....

Is this westbound in Liberty Lake by any chance? (Given the description of the ped/bike bridge over the freeway I'm guessing it might be.)

Co-Chair, Bike to Work Spokane

BiketoWork Barb said...

(knocking on wood in superstitious fashion so you don't get hit by yelling driver)

Here's the SRTC blog post about the Appleway Bridge closure:


don said...

Hi Barb, I ride my bike to work all the time during the summer. I got yelled at again today on my commute home and I was on my side of the white line.

Thanks for the links.