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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Belleville roadwork a danger for cyclists

Cyclist Larry Luecking wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in today's edition of the Belleville News-Democrat. In it, he complains about road conditions on West Boulevard in the eastern part of the city.

(In case you're wondering why West Boulevard is in east Belleville, the road is named after a gentleman named West.)

After a recent resurfacing of West Boulevard, the surface of the road is now much higher, but the grates were left at the old street level, making them hazardous as they were before the positioning of the grates were changed. "All it would take is one moment of forgetfulness for a cyclist to be severely injured," Larry wrote.

Larry says he's sure there's other streets in Belleville with similar problems.

I don't know if there similar problems, but there are problems in or near Belleville and I know there are more in the St. Louis area. If you know of any, leave a comment. I'll get the ball rolling with four of them, two on roads and two on paths:
  • The northbound lane of State Street Road near Lake Forest Drive in Belleville. Cyclists who enter the curve after a nice downhill have to be wary of a meter cover that's a bit below the road surface. If you hit that just wrong and at speed, you could be headed for a spill.
  • Simmons Road north of O'Fallon. A bridge between Kyle and Bethel School roads has seams that are parallel to the flow of traffic. If you get your road tire stuck in one of those cracks, you're bound for a nasty fall.
  • MetroLink Trail at North Green Mount Road in Belleville. I fear this is a major accident waiting to happen. Cyclists are forced to cross an extremely busy road to get to the other side of the trail. The concern here is that a cyclist -- especially a child -- who misjudges oncoming motorists' speed could be struck.
  • Richland Creek Greenway Trail at Second Street in Belleville. Squared-off and high curbs make it somewhat difficult to safely make a turn onto the trail from Second Street.

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