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Bumpy Ride

23 Aug

Bicicletta. Fahrrad. Bicicleta. Biciclo. Bisiklet. Bicycle…Midland, MI is filled with people from many different languages and although we may not all come from the same background, bicycling is a common outdoor activity in all countries. Luckily in Midland we have the opportunity to bike not only on the Rail Trail, but on sidewalks that run throughout the city. I truly believe that you could get wherever you want to go in Midland, by bike! With that being said, traveling by bike is not always the smoothest or safest when you have cracked sidewalks, untrimmed greens covering the paths and no bike lanes on main streets.

Let’s first talk about the sidewalks. Yes, I am 100% grateful that they weave and wind everywhere throughout Midland, however some of those turns can easily cause a crash, because they are so sharp and abrupt. The sidewalks are also uneven in many areas and although there are spots which are fixed, there are still several “drops” in the paths. These cracks make it easy for quick accidents to occur and are hard on the structure and tires of the bicycles themselves.

Trees and greenery add a color ambience to a scenic bike tour. Midland Blooms does a wonderful job at making Midland look beautiful in the summer months, filling the sides of the roads with bright flowers and colorful plants. As plants and trees continue to grow more maintenance is required. There are locations throughout Midland that have overgrown their planted “homes”. I am specifically talking about the tree branches that hover the sidewalks, like door frames, and the plants that have grown across the ground, like carpet. These plants create visual impairments for riders making the journey quite dangerous, unless you travel off the sidewalk, through the grass, to avoid them.

Bike Lanes are placed on main roads to keep bikers out of the way of walkers/runners. These paths travel alongside the road and are marked with a white line and a bicycle symbol. Although Midland has been improving their non-motorized transportation paths, more bike lanes through the city would eliminate the first two problems stated above, keeping biking safe and protecting the riders.

I know that Midland is an active town. People love to be outdoors whether it is biking, running, swimming or walking. I do not believe that the cracked sidewalks, untrimmed greenery or lack of bike lanes will hold anyone back from enjoying the beautiful summers we have here, however it would make for a smoother ride!

Learn more about what the City of Midland is doing today to improve transportation in our area at http://www.midland-mi.org/government/departments/planning/Planning/NMTCommittee.htm.

Follow the City of Midland online for transportation updates and information and view the map of the current routes through the city.Biking in Midland

 

 

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