Stimulate North Lamar!

So yesterday in the web 2.0 social media circles there was much derision over the City of Austin’s inclusion of a disc golf course in the stimulous package going through the political process up in Circle K Ranch, aka Washington D.C. The Statesman ran articles here and here and an editorial here all of which attracted some helpful and some not so useful comments, but such is the online world. Safe to say though that the Statesman was just reflecting the opinion of the Wall Street Journal who outed the story in the first place.

This morning, News 8 ran a piece by Reagan Hackleman, where city official John Hrncir said the disc golf course was “Very much taken out of context,” – in a very cover our ass – sort of way. The piece ended with Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez saying he wants to make sure the public is involved in choosing which projects get funding.

Well Mike, having biked from South Austin to Round Rock twice this week for work, I got to tell you if the city doesn’t have funds allocated to re-pave Gaudalupe from 38th St and then North Lamar from around the point where it merges with Gaudalupe to all the way up to just before 183, then you need to get that on the list quickly. It is one of the worst streches of road I’ve cycled on in many countries.

That stretch of the road, especially where it goes up and past, ironically, the Texas Dept. of Public Safety is just way too broken up to cycle on safely on anything except a mountain bike. There are also a number of covers missing from access holes. There is no bike lane up there, and no room for one, so the road surface on the edge of the road is really important for cyclists.

There are many cracks and holes that you have to swerve around, bump over, or try to jump. Of course, in peak commute time that increases the danger as that means the car drivers behind have to expect the sudden weave in and out around these obstacles. Leaving the road as it is won’t save money, New York, London and other big metropolitan cities discovered that, they don’t repair themselves, and just get worse as the cars, trucks and buses regularly hit the defects!

Of course, thats not really my idea of a stimulus item to get the economy going and create jobs, but hey-ho think of it as an earmark, some ones got to do it.

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