Freeways, Toll Roads and Bicycles

I was speaking with a traffic engineer in a Midwestern state not long ago.  I don’t even remember what it is that prompted me to call him or what we talked about.   In fact, the only thing I do remember about the call was him asking me rather contemptuously if I expected his department to build bicycle paths along freeways.  No, I explained, I didn’t expect that.  In fact, I told him that I didn’t expect much of anything from him.  I’m not proud of that, but no matter.  He didn’t get it.  His mind was too closed.  He was absolutely sure he was right and equally sure that I was a moonbat.  Es bueno.  I’ve been thought worse of.

Speaking of thinking, I hadn’t thought about that guy until today and only then because I was out joyriding on bicycle paths next to Interstate 84 and later Interstate 15 here in Ogden, all the while thinking that I must be the luckiest guy in the world.  Really.  Check out the pictures.

My way's freer than their way.

My way’s freer than their way.

Yes, they're faster but here's the thing...I'm not in a hurry.

Yes, they’re faster but here’s the thing…I’m not in a hurry.

Freeways and bikeways together.  What's the world coming to?

Freeways and bikeways together? What are my traffic engineers thinking?

Maybe it was the weather or the bike or the beautiful mountains in the distance but I hardly even noticed the cars whizzing by and even if I had, so what?  I’m pretty sure I was having more fun than those people.

It gets better.  Earlier I went through a toll booth…without paying…LEGALLY!  It turns out there’s this little toll road called the Adams Avenue Parkway that provides a shortcut from the Ogden suburb of Washington Terrace to Interstate 84.  Motorists can go the long way or they can pay the $1.00 toll to take the short cut.  I’d never been before, but it was a beautiful day so what the hey.  As luck would have it, the toll gate is about halfway down this monster hill and I’m carrying no cash so if I have to pay I’m going to have to turn around and climb my way out, but I’m an optimistic guy.  I like my odds.  Sure enough, bikes are free.  The nice lady collecting cash from the grumpy motorists told me to take the outside lane next time and don’t worry about slowing down.  Just wave as you fly on by.  I liked her.

Where am I going with this?  Well, here.  Today was a very good day, thanks in part to some people I’ve never met who had the courage and vision to think differently about things.  These people are everywhere.  I’ve seen bicycle paths next to freeways in Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas and probably a few other places I’ve forgotten.  Bicycles belong next to freeways and on toll roads.  I appreciate that these nice folks agree, and I just wanted to say thank you to them…wherever they happen to be.

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One thought on “Freeways, Toll Roads and Bicycles

  1. Thanks for the write up. I’ve looked everywhere for info on whether this toll road makes bikes pay and there is nothing, until now. I work on base and have started commuting to and from work, and now I have yet another option within the plethora of them as to where I can ride. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

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