Friday Feedbag and Quotable Links...

Enlightened, or simply more fair-minded and equal perspective: "... 78 percent of voters say they have a favorable opinion of people who ride bicycles in Seattle, including 38 percent who say they have a 'very' favorable opinion of them."

"...bicyclists are the happiest of all commuters."

"Most people in Beijing cope by buying inexpensive 3M dust masks, or even full on gas masks..."

"Have we so given up on managing our streets in a rational way that we're now just medicating people?"

"I'm pleased to see more people getting around the city the easiest and quickest way - on their bikes."

Last item out of the feedbag this week:

What we have here is a view looking east along Bonita Avenue, showing the lane markings of the Citrus Regional Bikeway. A couple years ago the City paid, what I am sure must have been, a good deal of money to resurface and then realign the lanes along Bonita in order to accommodate the Bikeway. When it was completed the ride along Bonita was, well,  beautiful. It was smooth luxury. Then a couple months ago there was some utility trench work, with the resulting patch job, which goes as far as that first traffic light seen in the photo. It may not look it from the view, but that is one miserable piece of work. 

From the time you reach the near edge of the patch your head bobbles around like the spring-loaded head of a toy dog on the dash of a 1971 Impala. Camera, keys, phones without a rubber case, fly out of jersey pockets. Socks, normally tight fitting slink down around your ankles. You find your eyeballs, at first focused on the road ahead, are suddenly cockeyed, each looking a different direction. Your helmet, once securely perched atop your head, has slipped and is now protecting the side of your face. And thank goodness for the shoulder straps of your bibs - if not for them, by the time you reached the far end of the patch, who knows what would be exposed.

Poor patch jobs seem to be de rigueur, standard practice, on our roadways. I know there are things like settling of the material which affect them, but all too often they seem to be hasty afterthoughts. Just backfill, apply a layer of asphalt, add a little extra to accommodate any settling, and hope for the best. Not much thought in other words. I don't know, maybe this is still considered a temporary patch; maybe the work underground is awaiting some official sign-off before a smooth finish patch is made. Maybe there is going to be more work in the trench. But it has been this way for how many weeks now? At least a months worth - long enough to seem like the finished deal. If so, and if it were my company/agency that repaved, I would be embarrassed, because there is nothing "finished" about that patch. 

For additional commentary about this patch job, check out Paint is Not Enough, at