With the arrival of these brisk temperatures and wintry weather the issue of infrastructure maintenance comes into play yet again as it relates to bicycle commuting. While the state and localities scramble at the first flurry to mobilize their resources to ensure our autos can penetrate deep into any planned communities (cul-de) sac’s, our cycles generally benefit from the same resources while commuting on our roadways albeit often to the dismay of drivers who feel the gutters are storage for excess snow and debris (which they also consider cyclists, incidentally) and the lanes are for travel by motorized transport at speeds in excess of the posted by at least 20 m-p-hs’. Nonetheless, the majority of our commutes (in the city at least for me) are travelled on communal roadways (socialism, sorry had to throw that in) which are cleaned to a spit shine for the sake of keeping our economic engine speeding along at the current rapid pace you see today (ahem). This is great for everyone but with the renewed commitment by leaders in the community to establish and maintain “green’ avenues one must present the issue faced in the maintenance and upkeep of the non-vehicular arteries of passage utilized by “green” commuters on their awkward velocipedes. While I did encounter some treacherous passages yesterday and anticipate the same tomorrow, we must ask ourselves the same tired old question, chicken or egg. The mayors commission on bicycles, pedestrian, etc seems to conclude that “If you build it they will come” to which I am generally in agreement, but to which I ask who will maintain it when it is built? A bridge covered in snow is of little more use to me than an automobile without gasoline. As Ned once said to Homer
NED: remember that plow company you owned?
Homer: I never owned a plow company.
NED: Yes you did, it was called Mr. Plow, you’re wearing the jacket right now
Homer: (Begins to sing Mr. Plow theme song)
and so it too goes for us:
Me to city: Remember the commitment to the pedestrian, cyclist mayors commission?
New City Administrator 2012: What Commission?
Me: Your wore the commitment to it on your candidacy for public office.
New City Administrator: Forest Hill must be widened at all costs!
And so it will go for years to come…….1-800-Mr. Plow…that name again is Mr. Plow!