Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The perils of a snowy climate

Before I start ragging on the men and women who plow the streets of Minneapolis, let me insert a caveat. The fine folks from Minneapolis Parks & Rec who plow the bike/walking paths and the Greenway are officially excluded. They're doing a bang-up job, and should all be given raises. Now that's out of the way.

The city of Minneapolis has done a fairly decent job of clearing the streets of the big snow dump we got last weekend. Automotive traffic is moving along at it's usual brisk pace. However, it's still a little dicey for those who are travelling by a different method. I took Portland Ave home last night and tonight, and tonight I finally whipped out the camera.
minneapolis bike lane
No, this car wasn't idling or just pulled in waiting for someone. It was parked. And as you can see, it took up three quarters of the bike lane. Somebody didn't want to get their tootsies wet in the puddle. Now I normally turn a blind eye when it's just one knothead. But there was at least one car like this on every block. Usually multiple. The norm was that their wheel was on the white line and they only took up a slice of the bike lane. The worst offender was a dualie pickup that's been parked in the same spot for two days straight. That thing is nearly jutting into the car lane! I'll snap a photo if it's there next time I ride.

And it's not just bike folk who are overlooked when it comes to snow removal. Here's a shot of the intersection where the Greenway crosses over Hiawatha.

The snow has been trampled down over the last three days, but the first folks who mounted that pile so they could push the walk button were risking life and limb. I took this photo from out in the street, which is where I had to be in order to cross without climbing over the mound. And if you make it past this, there are additional snow dams out in the crosswalk. That's not a long light either. Good luck!

Date: February 28
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Raleigh
February mileage: 282
Year to date mileage: 601

1 comment:

rigtenzin said...

I used to ride Park/Portland to downtown Minneapolis and ran into this same problem. Sometimes, there were so many cars in the way that I moved over to the right lane. Then some butt holes would yell at me to get in the bike lane. You can't win.