I’m probably going to ruffle some local feathers with my comments this week, because the subject of this column took considerable effort by some of my fellow Foothills residents to make happen.
As an avid cyclist, I’m thrilled that we now have bike lanes on Foothill. I thank the CV Town Council from the bottom of my goofy bike shorts for their hard work in making it happen. It probably won’t solve the motorist vs. cyclist wars that have gone on since Mr. Ford invented the Model A. But it does give us biker-types at least a narrow ribbon of pavement that we can rightfully claim as our own. Again, beaucoup kudos on behalf of current and future bicyclists in our community.
I just have one question: What’s with those new bike racks? It seems to me the majority of the new racks are as close as it comes to being useless due to their odd locations. Who’s actually going to use the things? I mean – a large, metal, bike-shaped rack cemented into the sidewalk outside a dry cleaner’s next door to a florist? Really? I guess that’s good news for all those cyclists who take their tailored suits and designer dresses to the cleaners on their Huffys. But I can hear the romantic conversation now. “Honey, I bought you this beautiful dozen red roses. I know they’re mostly stems and thorns after bringing them home stuffed into my bike jersey. But it’s the thought that counts, right?”
Another odd placement is the shiny new peg and hitch installation imbedded in the sidewalk in front of the old rock church at Rosemont Avenue – a sidewalk far away and way below grade of the church entrance. Seriously. If you rode your bike to St. Luke’s, would you park it on the street, completely out of sight from the church? I know God is always watching over us, but I’m not so sure about our bikes.
When I first saw the new racks being installed I thought, OK, they’ll probably get around to putting the things outside the library, or in front of Vons or Ralphs, Walgreen’s, Office Depot – the sort of destination where you can reasonably expect at least some bikers to go, especially local students. That might be a worthy expenditure of municipal funds.
But drive along Foothill and look where the new racks are. The placement looks either ridiculously random or as if it’s been done to strict “governmental guidelines.” As in: “… a galvanized device for securing manually powered modes of transportation shall be installed at intervals of precisely 150 yards between the business establishments present for public egress and ingress and blah-di-blah, blah, blah.”
Actually, according to the recent CV Weekly article, “Bicyclists No Longer ‘Rack’ Their Brains for Place To Park,” (July 14, 2011), business owners were asked if they wanted a bike rack installed in front of their establishment. Merchants who were “hesitant” were bypassed. There must be quite a few Foothill business owners who think cyclists are a sketchy bunch of hooligans who shouldn’t be encouraged to visit their establishments. That’s too bad.
It’s been several months since the new racks have been installed along Foothill. I drive this route several times every day and have yet to see a single bike parked at any of the new magic metal municipal money erasers.
So, here’s an idea. If there are any racks still laying around in a warehouse somewhere, maybe we can install a few of them at the wonderful new dog park that will soon be built at CV Park for use by all those dog owners sure to be arriving on their Schwinns. Makes as much sense as putting one outside a florist or dry cleaners, doesn’t it?
And now that the entire CV Town Council will be driving around looking to run me over on my bike, I’ll see you ’round town.