Monday, July 18, 2016

Wheelchair excursions, Light Rail, Bicycle Freeway

Probably RantWoman should not quit her day job and offer to become tour guide for her buddy in transportation agitation, Transportation Nag. Here's a sample reason why:

Here is the latest missive from TN's adventures temporarily relying on a wheelchair for outdoor transportation.

Actually you cannot get there in a wheelchair

Transportation Nag has a lot of energy to burn off. She is used to biking almost everywhere and she has been getting about in her wheelchair and on the bus for all kinds of things. RantWoman is awed by TN's energy level.

RantWoman has also been rather insistently lecturing TN about one intersection near her house that scares RantWoman. RantWoman has been nagging insistently, but none of that adjusts either the sudden reality of Transportation Nag's need to interact with the intersection or the physical realities of her neighborhood.

RantWoman has also been suggesting excursions, not always entirely seriously. One not entirely serious suggestion:

--TN can roll to the bus stop at 25th and Madison nearest to her house and a level ride to and from.

--TN can ride the 8 UP THE HILL a stop or two, cross a level street and board the 8 going the other direction. (Or TN can ignore RantWoman's advice, try to cross Madison at 25th and just start out going the desired direction. RantWoman does NOT recommend this street crossing because of high traffic speeds and bad lines of sight for eastbound drivers coming over the hill but TN has survived it a couple times already in her wheelchair.)

--TN can ride the 8 over to the stop near the I90 pedestrian tunnel, roll through the tunnel, grab a  scenic overlook of Lake Washington and I 90 for awhile and wheel back either to catch the 8 home OR wheel through the other park to look at the site of the Rainier Avenue Light Rail station now nearing final design stages and THEN go back and catch the 8 home.

---Yes, RantWoman would be sending Transportation Nag right into streams of bicycle commuters who use the Mountains to Sound Greenway to get between downtown and the eastside. Yes, RantWoman and TN agree this trail segment can reasonably be called the bicycle freeway, and NO, neither of us would try it in a wheelchair at rush hour

--Speaking of rush hour and people in wheelchairs, or with canes or other mobility limitations, RantWoman and TN are both wondering just how the bicycle traffic is going to interact with all the other pedestrian traffic expected also to come and go from the 23rd Avenue side of the new Rainier Avenue Light Rail station.

--RantWoman does not necessarily want to second guess what the designers and engineers have proposed so far, but RantWoman DOES think it would be good to think in more detail about pedestrian and bicycle flows in a time frame where it is possible to make design changes if that seems appropriate.

Stay tuned!
And take note: this website is also on RantWoman's mean to read more of list.

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