Brian K. BikeRider and Charles Bouldin posted in Santa Fe Road Riders.
Below is a copy of the email I sent this evening to the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico regarding the shoulder paving situation that has been discussed down the page. — Brian
Board of Directors, Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico
John Hooker, President
Diane Albert, Vice President
Stephen Newhall, Treasurer
Jackie Shane, Secretary
On October 1, 2015, Pam Reynolds posted the following on the Santa Fe Road Riders Facebook page describing a recent accident that occurred on a ride by the Santa Fe Seniors on Bikes: “If you are thinking of riding the Ojo Caliente-El Rito loop, please be aware that a stretch of Hwy 84 from 285 (Hernandez) to 554 (El Rito turnoff) has been newly paved. As in, leaving at least a two inch lip between the travel lane and the shoulder. Two riders on the Seniors on Bikes ride today went down because of it, sending one to the ER and another to urgent care. They’ll be ok, but it was scary.”
On October 10, as part of a Santa Fe Road Riders bicycle ride, I had a chance to ride south on US 84 from NM 554 and observe the partial shoulder paving. The new paving ended at the south end of the Rio del Oso bridge. After the ride, I drove back to that section of US 84 and took photographs. Two of those images from October 10 are attached to this email.
Image 1 is looking south where US 84 crosses the Rio del Oso bridge. As you can see in the image, the shoulder completely disappears as you approach the bridge and any cyclist is required to vault a 3+ inch lip differential between the crumbling shoulder and the newly paved travel lane.
Image 2 also looks south and shows multiple travel lane pavement layers next to old style rumble strips. One may only conclude that the travel lanes have been paved at least twice previously without the shoulder being fully paved.
In addition to the road hazard created by the partial shoulder paving, failing to pave the shoulders here did not allow the NMDOT to redo the rumble strips shown in the photo to bring them in compliance with Appendix D of the NMDOT’s own January 2009 Bicycle-Pedestrian-Equestrian Advisory Plan: http://s3.amazonaws.com/zanran_storage/dot.state.nm.us/ContentPages/18959442.pdf
So here we have a clear example of harm caused by the NMDOT’s failure to pave and maintain the full road shoulder. The question then becomes what’s to be done about it before there are yet more victims of the NMDOT’s deficient and hazardous paving practices. The answer of course is full shoulder paving. What we don’t want is asphalt cold patching to address the most egregious flaws.
Please advise as to what your intentions are to directly address this situation on US 84.
Yours very truly,
Edgewood, New Mexico
cc: Santa Fe Road Riders Facebook page