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Old 05-02-2011, 04:14 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Default Bethany Area Biking Boondoggle

I'm sorry to be a little sneaky in catching your interest by putting 'Biking' in the title. Read and maybe even scope out the situation yourself personally, and you may find that, as I believe, the situation is one that affects more than just road users on bikes. I didn't check the archives. About this situation, maus may have done a story a couple years ago.


Scene:

McDaniel Rd, westbound, approaching Bonny Slope Grade School, 3pm.

Issue:

'Well whaddya know? there sure are a lot of cars backed up out of the school driveway, even out onto the street; is there some kind of special school event going on or something? Nope. This is just the daily occurrence of out of area parents picking their kids up from school.

Unfortunately for road users like myself on a bike, this means that on the slight uphill rise in the road where the school driveway meets the road, I have to ride close to the roadway's center line to get around the cars hanging out on the road itself. You see, the rise is just enough to kind of hide the view for road users approaching from the east to vehicles approaching from the west. This is a hazard for all road users.

Today was a good day; bright, sunny, not raining, though it was noisy with the wind. And there was only three cars backed up on the road. From the street to the schools front entrance is another 100' or so, almost solid cars, idling away. As a road user, think about a miserable, dark, rainy day in Oregon having to deal with this situation.

Just by chance, on the school ground's west boundary, there's a mom walking her dog and waiting to pick her kid up. They're on foot. I stop and ask the mom what's up with all the cars backed in front of the school and onto the street. She's where I got the tip that the parents picking their kids up are out of the area. Because they're out of the area, they don't get bus service, so they drive (it wouldn't just be an excuse to drive...would it?) She also said it's not uncommon for the string of waiting cars to extend the length of the schools property, in the eastbound direction.

She said she's called the school about the situation. No change. She also had a solution, which she ran past me, but not being familiar enough with the layout...I couldn't follow it.

The following is a little eulogy for Bonny Slope, Thompson Rd and McDaniel. Don't bother reading if you see no worth in laments about the passing of what was.

About Bonny Slope and Thompson Rd in general. I probably qualify as a veteran of riding Thompson over a period of 20+ years. Infrequently in the last 7 years. Simply put, I knew the road pre-development. The dramatic contrast in character of the area, pre-development and post-development, is kind of shocking.

Thompson, east of Murray to McDaniel and then on to Skyline Rd used to be (and I mean this in the best sense of the word, reflecting on the rural beauty of that area.) a little like Appalachia. Wooded and grassy knolls, funky, kind of shacky homeplaces with jalopies and big country utilitarian 4-wheelers out front. Peaceful and quiet. Rural Washington County hill country.

Only a little bit of that rural hill country is left on this part of Thompson Rd. There's one fairly big natural ravine yet untouched. The crummy ex-service station that's been a motorcycle repair shop is still there, still used for fixing bikes. McDaniel to Skyline from the intersection with Thompson, is nearly an unrelenting string of mini-mansions. Dinky little roadside real estate sign: 'Houses in the 300's'. Whoo-hoo! No time to waste! Most of the natural character of the roadside has been obliterated; carved and shaped in symmetrical rounded banks. I'm sure the high side of the road used to have some quarry faces exposed, the sound of water run-off trickling during rainy season, but I don't see any of that left

One, I thing the big developers did do that I suppose is in a way positive, is chop out the hills woodland to allow some broad vistas into the valley below. I'm afraid their reason for doing this, most likely was simply to sell houses, rather than provide a nice view for cyclists and people out for a drive in the country. There always were views down into the valley, but when I rode there pre-development, the trees had grown up, making impossible the kind of expansive views the developers dramatic treatment has produced.

Last edited by wsbob; 05-02-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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