Last Saturday when I biked over to the Japanese Summer Festival, I noticed that for once, the Department of Transportation was thinking about cyclists and even gave us some benefits cars didn't get. I knew there was construction on the Campbell Creek trail under the Seward Highway and at Dowling and I decided to take surface streets to avoid that. But going south on C Street from Tudor, I saw there was a detour at Potter.
BUT, while cars were forced to go right or left because C Street was closed, the bike path on the west side of C Street was open, allowing me to keep to my route. And it was marked too. This is something that didn't use to happen. But clearly someone had to have thought about this and said, "Well, we can leave the bike trail open." Hey, humor me, I measure progress in very small increments.
The cow parsnip was in full bloom along the path. This picture of the creek along the trail should give you a sense why I was willing to add a mile to my (now seven mile) trip back to be on the trail instead of the city streets.
Under Minnesota the creek had flooded and the trail was covered in mud and water. Fortunately there were some drier spots (on the left.)
But then it was beautiful again.
At Taku Lake (I posted a video of the beaver I saw there already), there was also this duck dock right near the trail. So much nicer that navigating the sidewalks and intersections.
But soon I was nearing Dowling and getting curious how I was going to get past the construction. I needn't have worried. There was a big sign blocking the path, but pointing out a detour. In the past, there just would have been a sign blocking the path with no help for the cyclist to navigate around the blockage. But this detour led to the construction site (Dowling Road) where a flagger got me and a pedestrian past the heavy equipment and around to another flagger who directed me to more signs that led me easily back to the bike path.
At Old Seward Highway, after the Arctic Road Runner near the Peanut Farm, the signs aren't quite as helpful. There they say the trail is blocked at Seward Highway and direct you to take Tudor or Dowling. There, you really have to know how to find the bike trail yourself. You have to wander through the neighborhoods to pick it up after the creek crosses under the New Seward Highway, where they are widening the road and raising the bridges over the creek and where, by the end of next summer they say, there will be a real bike trail under the highway. Now, from Tudor, looking south, the construction looks like this.
When the trail goes under Dowling and New Seward when this construction is done, you'll be able to bike from Dimond and Northwood to University Lake between APU and the Native Hospital (about 7.5 miles) with only having to cross one street (Lake Otis). It mostly follows Campbell Creek going under or over bridges at other roads. And I found this cool 2009 video by MijelRiak that takes you on the trail from New Seward Highway to Dimond and Northwood. (Where the video crosses the street is Dowliing, where the construction is now.)