23 June 2008

Ascension Parish, LA: Bicyclist dies crossing Interstate

The Advocate - Bicyclist dies after being hit by car

Believe it or not, this behavior isn't totally unheard of down here. Sometimes you hear of it happening in the larger cities in the state, on foot. It's not as common as politicians getting into trouble, though, hence why it's important enough for the blog.

Obviously, if you've read some of my posts or seen my road pictures, you know that Yours Truly uses a bicycle to get around most of the time. In this day and age, it's cheaper. Four dollar gas has priced me out of driving. Still, I know better than to make a boneheaded move like that. You're not going to catch me trying to cross the Interstate on the actual Interstate. Riding on it with traffic... that's a different story, and only on sections where it's the sole route (Pearl River (past LA 41 Spur) to Picayune, MS for example - I-59 is the only game in town).

Looking on Google Maps, the area of I-10 where it intersects LA 73 (near Gonzales and Prairieville) is not one of those areas. The crossings are few, but they're within a few miles of one another, a distance easily covered even on the most in disrepair of bicycles. The bicyclist was at fault here. His first mistake was trying to cross the Interstate at that point in the first place. His second was trying to bicycle across the lanes. If you absolutely have to go across the Interstate's lanes, walking the bicycle across the roadbed (actually, running across the lanes with the bike) is faster.

All in all, while this was a tragic death, it was also a stupid and needless one.


Froggie said...

I was under the impression that biking was *NOT* allowed on I-59 across the river. Not that I'd try it anyway...no shoulder on the river bridge. I've always had the understanding that one had to head up to Bogalusa (LA 10/MS 26) or down to Pearlington (US 90) to cross the Pearl on bike.

It'd be nice to have another bike route across, though. There's some awesome biking opportunity in the Pearl River WMA...and being able to connect to Tammany Trace would be a plus too.

Taralyn said...

It's not, no. Still, I've been tempted to make the attempt anyway. Going up to Bogalusa, the route needed (LA 21 from Abita northward, specifically) is way too hilly. Plus, there's a hill just past LA 1075 that is impossible to climb back up on a bicycle.

Also, it adds way too many miles to a trip. I'd likely have to set aside two days for that trip.

Froggie said...

Well just keep in mind that there are NO SHOULDERS on either the I-10 or I-59 bridge. That's something that would have to be remedied before FHWA would even BEGIN to think about allowing bicycles across the Pearl River.

You'd be better off just building a new bike bridge somewhere, if you could get the funding, that is. The old Hwy 11 crossing would be a good location...the old bridge piers still exist (you can hike to them from the Mississippi side).

Taralyn said...

I'm not worried about the I-10 bridge. US 90 isn't multiplexed with I-10 in that area, so an alternate route DOES exist.