By far the most exciting thing I saw while riding in Appleton this last Sunday for Fed Fest was the following improvement on Newberry Street.
As we all know, railroad crossings present one of the most potentially dangerous conditions for people who ride bikes. Tracks, especially wet tracks, must be crossed at as close to a right angle as possible to avoid the possibility that our wheels might slip out from under us.
Unfortunately roadways don’t always cross tracks at a right angle. The choice then is to adjust our steering to insure that we cross the tracks properly. Often times we’re required to change our lane positioning and our speed and behave in a manner that isn’t entirely predictable for other road users.
Along with providing a newly striped bike lane on Newberry Street the City of Appleton has greatly improved the safety of people who ride at the railroad crossing above. Note how the city widened the roadway and provided easy to navigate striping to allow people on bikes to cross the tracks at the proper angle.
Appleton is clearly working to distinguish itself as one Wisconsin’s most bicycle friendly cities. The improvement above is one of the most simple, thoughtful and context-sensitive bicycle designs I have seen in Wisconsin. If you live in Appleton, bike over to city hall and give the engineer responsible for this improvement a big kiss. For those of you that live outside Appleton, print out these pictures, pedal over to your city hall and show your public works director and city engineers how simple and inexpensive it can be to create a more bicycle-friendly community.
Next Thursday evening none other than Andy Clarke, the President of the League of American Bicyclists, will be in Appleton to meet with the community to fuel their bicycle-friendly ambitions. If you’re in and around the Fox Cities this event should not be missed. Here are the details:
Creating a Bicycle-Friendly Appleton and Beyond
Thursday, September 27, 2012
6 -7 p.m.
More details here.