Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sign of the Auto Apocalypse? Mr Roadshow devotes column to bikes.

My friend Dan Connelly has at least once in the past made a disparaging remark about Gary Richards, the San Jose Mercury News' "Mr Roadshow" whose column deals with various issues with roads in the Silicon Valley. I'm a bit of a map and transportation freak in general and can even take some pleasure in the minutia of road design for autos, though these days it is more curiousity than anything and I don't really care if they fix such and such freeway offramp - more traffic may mean that more will turn in their car keys.

Most of his columns are question and answer sessions from readers aggravated at some random traffic engineering feature - along the lines "Why don't they put more metering lights on 85" or "Why do they have metering lights on 85". It's very amusing when he can come up with completely contradictory questions like this. Often time the reader has a point, and he can act as sort of a consumer advocate getting word to the right guy at Caltrans to fix an issue.

Once upon a time - I don't have the details - there was a question about the auto infrastructure at some particular intersection I was very familiar with - I am thinking Mofett and Mathilda. My annoyance was that this intersection had no bike sensor so I always had to run the red light to make a left turn, but the intersection was very heavily trafficked such that this was a very dangerous maneuver. I never heard back from Mr Roadshow - of course not, because "all he cares about is cars".

I also came after him about his "Why I drive" column that included "Daydreaming" - he didn't print my rant but he printed some others that aligned with my thoughts.

To his credit Gary has always been VERY critical of drunk drivers.

Anywho, I subscribe to his updates. Today, his entire column was on bikes. New bike bridges just constructed, new bridges being planned, old bridges being torn down which will be replaced by new ones. This was a follow up to an article about the new Borregas Avenue Bridge. Wait - that's TWO articles by Mr. Roadshow fully devoted to bikes in a month.

The times they are a changing...

1 comment:

BikeBoy said...

More roadshow columns on bikes! (Perhaps soon more columns on bikes than on cars?)
- May 14: http://tinyurl.com/pr6h9s
- May 12: http://tinyurl.com/o2nyxu