Thursday, September 8, 2016

good engineering; poor planning and poor enforcement

Somerset Crossing Drive in Gainesville VA is a relatively new, divided 4 lane road with a wide median, turn lanes and sidewalks on both sides. The posted speed limit is 45 mph.

Sidewalks are typically 5 feet wide (less in some places) asphalt. Trees planted close to the sidewalk have made sidewalks an asphalt mogul course--poor planning.

Adding to the problem of asphalt moguls and the relatively narrow width, adult bicyclists ride their bicycles on the sidewalk. My wife and I, walking side-by-side, have been assaulted by adult bicyclists coming up from behind us, where we can neither see nor hear them--poor enforcement.

If the sidewalks had been built with concrete, then they would be unserviceable, even though they are relatively new. "Bumps", depressions, cracks and "steps" caused by tree roots would have made it impossible for a handicapped person or a person pushing a baby stroller to use them. Cracks and asphalt moguls caused by tree roots make it difficult for even an able-bodied person to use the asphalt sidewalks. 

Using asphalt instead of concrete could be considered "good" engineering. If concrete had been used, then the relatively new sidewalks would have been unserviceable. However, making them only 5 feet wide when adult bicyclists use them is both poor planning and poor enforcement by the Prince William County police.

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