05-19-2012, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Subject To Change
And the article he wrote...
The fail made the local newspaper...
Kraig Scattarella/The Oregonian
The city says it will return to Southwest Portland's Patton Road to apply a second coat to a new fog line recently painted over assorted debris. City officials say driver's eyes should be able to fill in gaps in the new striping at normal speeds.
To the mailbag:
Q: Portland recently striped Southwest Scholls Ferry and Patton roads near the Washington County line. Several times in the past, I’ve seen them paint the fog line directly over gravel, leaves, vegetation and fir boughs. And they did it again! The striping in poorly prepped areas will be gone after a rain or two. The city that works?
A: It takes a lot to surprise me these days. Hearing that Snooki just released her second novel? Yeah, that caught me off guard.
And I must admit, I suspected you were being a wee bit dramatic – until I took a drive up into the West Hills. What in the name of Miller Paint? You weren’t kidding!
The number of rocks, gravel patches, branches and other debris skunked with white traffic paint was shocking. The sprayer even strayed into grass. Sloppy.
Reflective “fog lines” — the paint mix includes tiny glass beads — are critical in that part of Portland. In rain and darkness, they alert drivers to the often-abrupt edges of those hilly, curvy streets. But along some tricky turns, parts of the 29 miles of new white stripes applied May 7 have already vanished.
Any good contractor — or my 12-year-old daughter — knows a paint job is only as good as the prep work.
You’d think city maintenance crews would at least call out a street sweeper before spending tax money on striping the pavement. The paint alone costs $94 a mile.
“We will flag it for pre-cleaning in advance of applying the second coat of paint near the end of the summer painting season,” said PBOT spokeswoman Cheryl Kuck. It just so happens that, for the first time in years, the city is applying a second layer to all new striping in 2012.
Striping crews, Kuck explained, try to coordinate with the street-sweeping team.
But with day-and-night schedules and squeezed budgets, she said, it doesn’t always work out, especially when street painters must mobilize quickly to take advantage of sudden patches of dry weather.
Striping machines do have a small compressed-air blower to clear small debris and dirt ahead of the paint nozzle. On a two-lane curvy road with no shoulder, however, stopping to remove a branch or other large debris would be hazardous, Kuck said.
So, what about roadkill? “We would not paint over roadkill,” she said. Workers are expected to pull over and drag dead animals out of the way.
Good to know.
Q: I’m thinking about taking up bike commuting but don’t have a lot of money for a bicycle. I recently passed on a $150 Raleigh at yard sale because I was worried that it might be a lemon. As a novice, what things should I be looking for when buying a used bike on the spot?
A: First, if someone’s selling a $5,000 hand-built Vanilla Bicycle for $200 on Craigslist, let it be. It’s a death trap or, more likely, hot.
Still, despite the Portland area’s reputation for exorbitant used-bike prices, finding a decent commuter ride for under $200 is possible.
“Wheels are a big component piece,” said Erik Tonkin, owner of Sellwood Cycle Repair, which sells about 500 used bikes a year on consignment. “Check each wheel. Make sure it spins straight.” Broken spokes are bad sign. Having to replace wobbly wheels could quickly double the price of that $150 Raleigh.
A bike frame is a pretty linear thing. Make sure it’s not bent. Same goes for the front forks. And look for hairline cracks in the welded joints.
Surface rust on the chain and cog is OK, as long as the parts move freely.
That's a good start. I've posted additional tips on my Hard Drive commuting blog.
Joseph Rose covers commuting for The Oregonian and writesa weekly column about commuting issues.
Riding my bike is MY pursuit of Happiness!!!
Last edited by K'Tesh; 05-19-2012 at 08:55 AM.