Monday, October 20, 2008

Belt Tightening

For you south of the river workers and dwellers:
The City of Eagan's going to be cutting back. According to their Nov/Dec newsletter, funds aren't available to hire contractors to clear the Eagan trails, so they're going to make the City crews do it. Street clearing will remain top priority; winter trail and sidewalk clearing will be done between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Mon - Friday. The new service delivery time will likely be 2-5 days after snowfall. During significant storm events or back-to-back storms, winter trail and sidewalk maintenance may not occur until conditions and operations return to normal.
It won't effect me much since I roll straight to Highway 13 and normally take the shoulder all the way to the Mendota Bridge, but I know several locals who commute into and out of Eagan year round and this could throw a potential wrench into their lives.  Except perhaps Karl, whose Pugsley can conquer all.
I would anticipate that my biggest obstacle will remain the Mendota Bridge.  And the plowing scheduled that Eagan is proposing sounds extremely similar to my experience on the bridge over the last few years.  As I look back and look forward (neat trick!) I'm thinking I will concede and allow the bridge to win this year.  Meaning that my plan going in to this winter is that I won't be cycling when the bridge isn't plowed.  I may make exceptions to this if it's a light snowfall, or I may take a risk of getting caught at work and having to make my way home over an unplowed sidepath, but once I know that the bridge is more snowy than I consider passable I'll be avoiding the bridge.  Which, by nature of it being the only reasonable river crossing between me and work, means avoiding the bike.  But the risk/reward ratio has been getting skewed further and further away from reward the last few years and I'm just not that interested in fighting that battle any more.  Perhaps I'm getting soft in my old age.  So what.


midway cyclist said...

It'll be an interesting winter. Last year i was well-equipped and gung-ho to ride through but child shuttling (mostly) and illness (somewhat) kept my riding to a minimum. This year i'm just as well-equipped, but i have been increasingly driving on wet cold days. Maybe once it gets cold enough to stay dry i'll be alright. Or maybe i should enjoy the privilege of getting soft in my old age too.

Boone's Farm said...

I remember that you did have trouble last winter with the Mendota bridge not being passable after snowstorms. Biking over that bridge is part of my usual route to work. Fortunately for me, I have alternatives, which include either the Ford bridge or the Marshall bridge. And that's what I do December through March. Maybe once the Cedar bike/pedestrian bridge gets built, you'll be able to use that.

Hey I checked and in 1/8 " sturmey sprockets, I only have 18 tooth cogs. But that's probably what you're currently riding. In case you're interested, let me know.

Jim K said...

We lived in Eagan way back when the city was compelled to begin plowing sidewalks. A tragic collision between a car and a person in a wheel chair on Lexington was - in part - the event that caused the city to plow sidewalks. Sadly, the collision resulted in the death of the person in the wheelchair. Its too bad that the city is taking a different approach.