Friday, June 13, 2008

Rick Green, stop pedaling ON 84 to get across the river!

I was excited to read about a column entitled, Grabbing Idea By The Handlebars. I usually like Rick Green's Column. I like this one except he really got something really wrong and so i gots to speak up and let people know.

Five paragraphs in, Green writes, “In Hartford, it is nearly impossible to safely ride to cross the river and easily ride through the city.” Huh? Sorry dude, but what the hell are you writing about? I assume, “to cross” was supposed to be “across” but who knows? Perhaps my assuming is making an ass outta me?

Have you ever even ridden across the river? Really? Or even walked across? What was so dangerous?! I wanna know. Please comment and answer, the people demand the truth!

There’s a freakin’ 20 foot wide pedestrian/bicycle lane on the Founders Bridge completely separated from the highway. And both the Charter Oak Bridge and the Bulkley Bridge have pedestrian/bicycle walkways that are also completely separated from the highway. Unless you are either crossing on the railroad bridge or riding a bicycle on the actual interstate; there is no danger from cars. None!

And then, whilst i am still wailing from the bridge comment, gasping and horrified at all the would-be commuters giving up their dreams of leaving the car at home; you hit me with, “I’m tired of hearing complaints….”

Me too! Especially complaints that aren’t even true! arrrggg!

Hartford certainly has plenty of bicycle infrastructure and idiot driver issues that need to be discussed and solved, but crossing the river is not one of them. I love my city. I love what's good, and seemingly unlike most people, I can also admit to what is bad. But lets not be saying that things are bad that aren't!

If you somehow only meant riding through the city was almost impossible to do safely, i must still strongly disagree with you. Send me an email and we'll meet up on bicycles and I'll show you a safe way to get where ever you need to go! And then, please, write about that!

ps. even with a 1/2 gallon of gin and juice, 3 of us were able to safely cross every bridge in Hartford at night!


Bridges and Mud and Mud

No more to READ MORE

EDIT NOTE. my original post was a bit meanspirited due to me being angry about recent events in Hartford and the response from the media, city officials and people in general. my apologies to all.


Brendan said...

I disagree. I think Rick Green is a good guy to have on our side. I've talked bicycles with him. He's been a staunch supporter of a bike path/lane on the Putnam Bridge. And, to be technically accurate, there's a "walk your bicycle" sign on the Founders bridge and the Bulkley Bridge has a rather unsafe entry way from the Hartford side. Thus, the only bicycle-friendly bridge is actually the Charter Oak bridge and that becomes problematic on the East Harford side.

I came in third in the alley cat tonight. :( Won my money plus $2 back.

Rich said...

Overall, a good column, and Green is obviously eager to be an advocate, which is a good thing. He just needs more exploration experience.

Example: on their ride, he mentions they didn't find a designated bike lane until Fern in W. Hartford. There are several designated lanes in their direction of travel, notably Capitol and West Blvd. Not only that, but starting from the train station, they were a half block away from picking up the marked East Coast Greenway in Bushnell Park that essentially leads them right to the Farmington Canal Greenway.

The good thing: hope for more designated bike lanes on streets such as Farmington and Asylum.

Personally, I still feel like I'm new to Hartford, so I'm always going out and finding new places and neighborhoods I've never been to. As a result, I'm always trying to figure out good routes to bike. For example: going to the Corner Pug for happy hour...not too wise taking New Britain Ave. Had I known New Park was so nice...

Last week, I discovered that Franklin Ave. had a marked bike lane coming back downtown from The Sidewalk Cafe (a surprisingly nice bar, BTW)

It would be great to have a list of bike-friendly streets, or a map of preferred routes. I'm just sayin'.

Brendan said...

it wouldn't be hard to make that map. it might be a good resource for this site.

chillwill said...

i like rick green too, but i think he wrote some whack stuff, and the internet has given me a voice!

i want him on our side too. i was serious about riding with him and showing him how to cross the river and ride through the city safely.

chillwill said...

oh yeah, uhhhh well, even if you technically have to walk you bike...that is NOT almost impossible to do safe (assuming sobriety.) so no, i must disagree with you disagreeing, the founders bridge is indeed bicycle friendly!

and the hartford side to the bulkley path...also NOT almost impossible to do safely.

congrats on 3rd. who'd you beat as far as contenders go?

Rich said...

Interestingly enough, while manning the valet bike parking at "Celebrate! West Hartford" (punctuation included), a lady who identified herself as a member of the WH town council parroted exactly the bit of Green's article that set chillwill off. She actually said while signing the bike advocacy petition that "there's no way to get across the river."

So like a theme of Jon Stewart's stand-up show last night, perception steers people's behavior. Clearly Green's POV is the perception in this region. I pointed out that I live in Hartford, and commute by bike to work in East Hartford, so I must get across that pesky river somehow. Probably this transporter beam I've been developing.

I would love for chillwill to take a ride with Rick Green sometime. Changing perceptions is a noble pursuit.

As far as the map idea goes...I pulled out the paper CT Bicycle Map that the state put out. The detail of greater Hartford is pretty pathetic. I think such a thing would be a great resource. If not this blog, maybe the CCBA could put something out. There's only so much info Google maps can tell me.

Congrats on 3rd. $2 can buy you a beer on some nights. Cool, frosty profit.

Adam Bulger's Girlfriend said...

I liked Adam Bulger's story in the Hartford Advocate more.

Brendan said...

Are there any Obama-esque Bulger cycling pictures?

Julie Dixon said...

Although I'm pretty new to biking in Hartford, I've safely crossed the river on the Riverfront Recapture walkway and crossed back over on the Charter Oak Bridge.