Norbiker David Marcus started mapping major roads in Norwalk. CLICK TO VIEW MAP. What’s really good about it is that he color codes the routes with detail, like “has shoulder,” “path,” “caution,” “dangerous,” and “recommended.” It’s an early and good start to developing a comprehensive cycling map. David grew up cycling in King County, Washington, a very cycling-friendly area, and knows how to rate roads. Some posts ago I mentioned the Madison, WI map. Here’s a link David provided to the King County map. . It’s another great one.
Bikely provides us with pretty simple ways to map rides. I mapped two routes this evening, both to and from the Norwalk Green to the South Norwalk Train Station.
Norwalk Green to South Norwalk Train Station: Good in the early morning. Part of it runs along East Avenue, a dangerous street. Like many people I ride on the sidewalk for safety reasons. The west side of the street has no cross streets, so the sidewalk is a long stretch. The route goes under 95 instead of over – another danger spot, and comes out on a secondary street. I don’t recommend this route for returning because the traffic is dense.
South Norwalk Train Station to Norwalk Green: I like this route for afternoon returns. You’ll notice that leaving the station it rolls along North Main street to Marshall (or Ann) rather than go down to Water Street and cross the entrance to the Stroffolino Bridge. Here the reason is to avoid the traffic coming from 3 directions that want to go over bridge. At quitting time there’s too much traffic and none of the drivers is thinking about a cyclist.
Analyzing my logs I noticed that Andrew Cline’s Carbon Trace blog directed traffic our way. Very impressive collection of posts, links, etc. about “getting around under my own power in Springfield, Mo.” He’s been at it for a number of years, writing about etiquette, getting to school and such. His “1-mile solution” is brilliant:
The idea is simple: Find your home on a map. Draw a circle with a 1-mile radius around your home. Try to replace one car trip per week within that circle by riding a bicycle or walking. At an easy riding pace you can travel one mile on a bicycle in about seven minutes. Walking takes about 20 minutes at an easy pace.
I’m going to try it.
Through my commuting and shopping trips I’ve come to acknowledge the value of obeying stop signs, traffic signals and crosswalk indicators. Though I’m tempted to cross on the “red pedestrian” it’s really best not to because, on the busy street I commute on during evening rush, cars come out of nowhere and they’re not expecting cyclists. Patience is a virtue. I’m hoping that my behavior signals to motorists that cyclists are respectful and should be treated respectfully.
The NY Times had a great story on the tensions between cars and cyclists that sums up a lot of the issues. I was disappointed to read, however, that one Texan stopped commuting after a road rage incident left him broken, bloodied and bruised.