I work at place on an intersection along Silver, just south of UNM. We watch and hear dozens of cars every day that go flying along the bicycle boulevard at speeds far above the posted 18 mph limit. That strange speed limit is supposed to catch drivers by surprise and make them slow down because of how eye-catching it is. Of course, that assumes that people are even reading posted signs. (And that the visual clutter along our roadways is somehow helpful. Turns out it isn't. But I digress.)

When the bike boulevard was initially completed, APD ran a handful of traffic patrols. It seemed that some people were ticketed and many were warned that the speed limit had changed and they needed to be more aware of cyclists. It's been ages since those of us who live and work near the bike boulevard--and who use it daily--have seen a concentrated effort to curb speeding.

Just a few minutes ago, my fellow employees and I watched an individual in a lifted F150 go flying down Silver at what seemed like 50mph, but was certainly more than twice the posted speed. (Yes, it's been slow this week and we've been staring out the windows occasionally.) We knew he was coming because we heard his tires squealing as he peeled out at the 4-way stop down the block from us. He passed a few cyclists and multiple groups of pedestrians, some of whom were getting ready to cross and one of whom shared a....let's say unfriendly, though not undeserved, gesture.

I bring all this up to express my disappointment that APD hasn't done a more rigorous job of enforcing the speed limit on this street. Even a once a month patrol to the bike boulevard could make a difference. Maybe the officers who patrol on bikes could do this. (Though, I don't know how well they'd handle the assignment, given how many of them I've seen cruising around on the sidewalk in business districts like Nob Hill and downtown.) It seems to me that the combination of slower cyclists, heavy pedestrian traffic and plenty of 4-wheeled idiots looking to circumvent the lights on Central is a bike boulevard tragedy-in-waiting.

Views: 6

Tags: bike, boulevard, silver, speeding

Comment by El Heffe on May 27, 2010 at 11:28pm
I heard that APD is going to start ticketing bikes and cars on Silver. I believe I heard it through the Safe City website or from the Nob Hill board meeting from last month. Can't rememer. Frankly, the new breed of bicyclist is taking more chances than ever. My wife had an encounter on Girard and Silver when one looked right at her and tried to cross as she was nearing the intersection. She slammed on her brakes and he quickly turned around. As she started to move forward, the a**hole did it again, turned right back around. This is one of their games.

And then there's the others out there on their trendy single speeds with NO brakes and they hop around, almost out of control, trying to stay with traffic. It's scary following one who's trying to slow down coming down a hill, bouncing the back tire back and forth. Also, these chickens never wear helmets. Ok, my rant is over..

As far as Silver, the only way to make it safe for bikes is to remove the cars, or have parking only go in one direction.

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