March 11, 2014

Taking the Scenic Route

Along the Wingra Creek Bike Path

I'm of the mindset that the shortest bike route isn’t necessarily the best route. I often go out of my way to take bike paths or low-traffic roads, but until recently, I never applied this to my commute to work.  

The first half of my commute was comprised of Wingra Path, the Capital City Trail, and some calm residential streets. The second half was dominated by a two-mile section of West Broadway, a four-lane, 45 mph road through Monona. West Broadway does have a bike lane, or at least until it snows. Even with no snow, I rarely see another person on a bike, the lane is littered with debris, cars speed, and semis sweep past me.

Snow and ice in the West Broadway bike lane

I didn’t feel like I had any good options for avoiding West Broadway, because the alternate route added two miles each way, included residential roads not well maintained in the winter, not to mention Pflaum Road, which I couldn’t believe would be any better than West Broadway. Still, about a month ago, I took the alternate route.

First, the extra distance is SO worth the reduction in traffic stress! Second, I don’t mind biking on the snowy, quiet residential streets. Third, I was surprised to find that Pflaum is much better than West Broadway! There are two lanes of traffic instead of four and speeds are reduced in part by schools along the way.

A scenic and snowy route

I’m very happy with my new route and feel silly for waiting so long to try it out!

No comments:

Post a Comment