All summer there’s been some construction on the roads I take to work. For the last month, it’s been in a weird interim stage whereby the semi-reconstructed areas have a lot of gravel and the vegetation is overgrown, but the felt surrounding the storm drains hasn’t been removed because some other group has to rip it all up some more. Just because.
The mess starts with decommissioned railroad tracks, grooved pavement and gravel. At point 1 the bike lane vanishes and the remaining HOV lane is shared by buses, commuters and German luxury vehicles. I think the intent of the traffic planners is the cyclist is supposed to hop up onto the sidewalk for the three blocks before I-90. The problem is at point 2, a large, orange sign “HOV lane change” blocks most of the sidewalk. The next opportunity to jump the sidewalk is kind of tricky. If I miss it, I practice my steel plate jumping skills at point 3 Traffic gets very dense thereafter as people queue up for I-90 westbound. Half of the sidewalk at point 4 is overgrown with blackberry bushes seeking out new prey. There are two trees that hang down low. At point 5, there’s a chunk of sidewalk missing, or possibly pulverized into bits of gravel strewn on the road.
Believe it or not, this is better than driving (slower, but I get to listen to NPR) or crossing I-90 at the next exit eastbound where approximately 5x the traffic flows (aka “death wish 2005”).
I got smacked in the lip pretty hard by a blackberry bush last week. I forgot about it by the time I got to work. However, before I left, I remembered and called the Issaquah Public Utility department. They’re early-risers, so I left a message asking if they could please sweep and/or pare back the vegetation. I described it as “southbound on 58th street towards the state park.”
If the map is at all readable, you’ll note that it’s actually an east-west road. And it’s not 58th, it’s 56th, except where it mysteriously turns into “NW Sammamish Rd,” roughly where the cross-street numbers get wonky. (City limits, perhaps?) I know this because “Mike” called me a few days later because he wasn’t sure what I meant. I spent five minutes attempting to provide relative geographical reference points (“Albertson’s, past the espresso stand near the animal hospital, all the way to the Arco”) to an engineer expecting hard block numbers or GPS coordinates. While he was patiently trying to explain he had looked at where he thought I meant (and, possibly, I was clueless), I summoned google maps to salvage the situation.
It’s been a few days since I spoke with him. I may try calling again to see if they’re actually going to whack the bushes down.
Over the weekend the construction has mysteriously moved
southwest again, this time removing the curb and leaving a roadless gap bordered by more cones. Construction is too fomplicated. It seems like they rip it up, do a half-assed patch, then come back two months later to mess with it some more. Why can’t they
finish the stretch they’ve already ruined before destroying more road?