There will soon be a new connector to the University Parks Trail from Reynolds Road, just south of Central Avenue. Please join us in thanking Promedica who owns the land and is paying for the improvements to connect the Wildwood Complex to the U/P Trail. Based on the activity, the project will complete within May and provides a formal connection to Reynolds south of Central.
It is great to see the new bike racks being installed today at the Sylvania Library, currently under renovation. We attended several public meetings and asked for improved bike parking at the new library. Please join us in thanking the Toledo-Lucas County Library for providing routine accommodations for cyclists at their libraries. Infrastructure improvements can take a long time, requiring patience, diligence and sometimes just plain luck. We would also like to thank the general contractor, The Spieker Company, who actually took the time to call us for installation guidance today (this is rare). Lastly, we appreciate HBM Architects and Stough and Stough Architects for including the bike racks in the plans.
Large vehicles present special hazards you need to understand.
The simple but essential rule is:
never ever… ride along the right side of a large truck
Do not pass a truck on the right.
If a truck passes you and then slows, or stops next you at an intersection, do not stay beside it. Do what you need to do to not be there.
To explain why, we’ll show you how trucks turn, where their drivers must look, where they can’t see, and how large vehicles hide you from other drivers. In order to keep the trailer from rolling up over the sidewalk, truck drivers must start from farther left, then pull forward - sometimes having to drive into the oncoming lane for the cross street. This initially makes it look like the truck is going straight. As the truck is making the turn, the driver must watch any pedestrians on either end of the crosswalk, as well as the vehicle at the front of the queue for the cross street. A bicyclist riding along the curb or in a bike lane would most likely be in one of the trucks huge blind spots. Sadly, too many cyclists that get into the situation never see it coming. The off-tracking trailer comes across very quickly, and the only escape is to immediately jump off the bike and run to the right. Hanging back will keep you out of this danger zone. But while a cyclist who hangs back isn’t trapped in the sweep of the trailer, she would be screened from view of any on-coming drivers preparing to turn left.
The savvy cyclist will move to the left side of the lane behind the truck, so she has the best vantage to see and be seen by other drivers.
Get your 2018 pass today, they're free and allow 24/7 access to the trail for commuting!
Regional trails are used for commuting as well as recreation, fitness and enjoying nature. Because trail hours are the same as the Metroparks - 7 a.m. until dark every day of the year - it limits some commuters' options. For example, someone bicycling to work, school or church during open hours would be unable to return on the same trail after dark.
For this reason, Metroparks Toledo issues special permits for after hours commuting on the University Parks Trail and the Wabash Cannonball Trail.
Commuter permits can be attached to a bicycle to show that the commuter has received permission to use a trail for transportation during hours when the trail is closed. The Blade published a story here.
We were fortunate to install our last bike rack project of 2017 before the snow and deep freeze. This is part of our work with the Lucas County Health Department through a Creating Healthy Communities project. With the help of Tony Maziarz and Amy Abodeely, we installed our first asphalt rail-mount at St. Paul's Community Center, one of a dozen bike rack projects in Greater Toledo.
Toledo Metroparks has received great news about grant requests to advance three important trail projects. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has awarded the following, pending final approval:
$214,098 from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund toward the cost of extending the University/Parks Trail 0.6 miles from King Road to Silica Road. The three-phase project will eventually extend the trail all the way to Sylvan Prairie Park in Sylvania
$143,040 from the Recreational Trail Program toward the cost of constructing a trailhead parking lot and restroom building along the Chessie Circle Trail at Copeland and Detroit avenues
And $16,056 from the NatureWorks program toward the cost of building a trail-head in Fulton County for the Beach Ridge Trail in Oak Openings
We anticipate that the projects will complete by end of 2018 but look for more details as they become available. And for mountain bike enthusiasts...
Mt. Bike Trail Progressing Quickly
The Oak Openings staff, with the help of volunteers, has roughed in the entire Beach Ridge singletrack trail. Over the winter and next spring, they will install several boardwalks, bridges and signs to complete the project. Praising the crew and management by Craig Elton, Joe Fausnaugh said that not only did the work get done faster than he anticipated, but it was done "at such a high level of quality that this will very quickly become the best mountain bike trail in the state.”
There is a new ride-share program in Ohio, sponsored locally by TMACOG, that provides resources and incentives to promote alternate forms of transportation to reduce single-occupant motor vehicle commutes.
If you use your bike to commute to work, or for routine activites like grocery shopping, you are a candidate for this program. Click through the link to find out more info and register to participate.
We Are Traffic is working with local businesses that have employees that commute by bike and in many cases, it is their only form of transportation to get to work.
Last week, we met with the manager of Cinco de Mayo on Central Avenue and presented a helmet and light kit for one of their employees who signed up for Gohio Commute. Carlos is very thankful for the incentives as he commutes many times after dark, previously without lighting.
Contact us if you have an employee that could benefit from the Gohio Commute program!
UPDATE - 10/5/17: With a few minor items on the punch list, the trail is complete from Centennial Road to Kilburn Road! Look for more information on the bike lanes proposed for Kilburn Road from Sylvania-Metamora to Secor Metroparks. Public hearings should take place early next year.
Work is underway to fill in the six-tenths of a mile of missing segments along 2.25 miles of the path that runs along Sylvania-Metamora Road between Kilburn and Centennial Roads. The side-path will make it easier for families to bike and walk to Pacesetter, Centennial Terrace and the quarry. Many thanks to the residents that wrote letters in support of the project and Lucas County engineer Ronald Myers for his perseverance.
Occasionally, a Facebook post can be a call to action for others reading the post and that was the impetus for this project. A cyclist posted this video from his on-bike camera to TAB's Facebook group:
The cyclist is driving west on Monclova Road where two lanes merge into one just before the railroad crossing (you'll find a satellite view at the end of the video). Share the Road signs generally promote "sharing" the road but in this area, the lane is less than 14' and the added hazard of the angled railroad tracks should mandate full use of the lane. Railroad tracks at a non-perpendicular angle, especially when wet, can easily bring a cyclist down. If your watch the point in the video when the cyclist crosses the track, the car passes within the travel lane and another car is oncoming. Morning dew on the rail may be the tipping point of a terrible crash. Cyclists should consider taking the full lane in this section of Monclova Road, taking extra caution when crossing the tracks, especially in the rain.
We Are Traffic contacted the Lucas County Engineers office to make them aware of the Facebook video post, and discuss plans to make Monclova Road more bicycle friendly. While you will find bike lanes further west on Monclova, bike lanes in this section were to be developed as part of a Fallen Timbers TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) Agreement dated August 1, 2006. The agreement was made during a time of expected commercial expansion in the Fallen Timbers area. To date, there are no concrete plans for this development to trigger the bike lane construction. With the growth of cyclists using this corridor and greater awareness of safety issues in this area on Monclova Road, Lucas County will re-evaluate this section of Monclova Road for a public improvement project.
Roadway projects can take a long time to bring to fruition. As we work to promote better facilities in this area, We Are Traffic suggested a change from the "Share the Road" signs to "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" signs in this area on Monclova Road. BMUFL signs are regulatory and need jurisdictional approval, in this case the Lucas County Commissioners. CLICK HERE to read the signed resolution, authorizing the placement of the BMUFL signage on September 27, 2016. The new signs were placed in early October of 2016.
Cyclists should each consider all available information, along with their experience, when deciding the proper position to ride in the roadway. The BMUFL signage will help remind cyclist of their right to use the full lane, and to educate motorists about the law.
UPDATE: After publishing this article, I received the following comments from Julian Avery, the cyclist in the video:
"I have not had any issues with this area (since the signs were installed). I now feel comfortable taking the entire lane since their is a friendly reminder to motorists that I have that legal right. The majority of my run-ins with drivers are due to them not being aware of the laws. They often yell to get on a sidewalk or get on the side. With signs communicating my right to use the entire lane, I'm much more confident that these types of situations will not be as frequent and allow other cyclist to feel comfortable using the full lane when warranted."
This is why BMUFL signs are more effective than Share the Road signs, they are easier to understand and better educate motorists and cyclists alike. If you know of an area that BMUFL signs would improve safety, please get in touch with us.