Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jordan Creek Trail Revisited

It was a combination of boredom and detours that caused me to take the Jordan Creek Trail home from work instead of the Clive Greenbelt.  Head south on 60th/128th Street.  On map it appears to be out of the way and longer so I never used it for commuting,  But since giving it a chance I enjoy the JCT.

Sure, I may have said some bad things about this trail in the past, mainly how easy it is to get lost on it due to numerous neighborhood trails and the underpasses.  I retract those statements.  Since using this for commuting I have only made one wrong turn.  Still I recommend taking the fattest Sharpie available to make your own signs until you have it memorized.

Convenient  Several places that I need to frequent are along the JCT.  My bank, US Bank, Ace Hardware, Hy Vee and a Dahls (if I feel like I have too much money).  Let's not forget Saints West literally right off the trail.  And then Valley Junction.  Or take a left at the intersection of 60th and the trail and head west to the town center and all the commercial offerings it has to offer.   Raccoon River Park is on the trail's southern extent.

Safety  I also feel SAFER riding to the JCT on the sidepath than I do the Greenbelt.  Taking the sidepath to the Clive trail involves a lot of armleutchers who attempt to cut bikes off especially at the Walgreens.  The trail itself is safer as well because it is comparatively straight as opposed to the zig zag switchback design of the Greenbelt.  No sharp turns with surprise head ons with other bikes or pedestrians with dogs.

Friendly  Trail users seem friendlier.  This may be because there are less of them when I ride but it seems as if the pedestrians smile more often when I say hello as I pass them.  More importantly, I have yet to see a Lance wannabe training for the big race on the JCT.  This is a major hazard on many trails.  Race training is dangerous on narrow trails.

Connects with the Bill Riley Trail  This is super because I end up where I want to be and where I need to be and where I would be if I would have taken the Clive trail.

Detouring  Sure there is a major project on the JCT.  Construction crews are working on I-35 and that portion of the trail is close.  Take the sidewalk or street for 1 block.  No switchbacks up hill to get around this detour.  And the detour for the sewer project involves taking streets east of 63rd for a little bit.  Not bad despite crap pavement but this should be ending soon.  The Greenbelt route has had up to 3 detours simultaneously this year.  One of which is a major pain in the arse and dangerous.  There have been a few times that I have had cars pull out in front of me on the detour.  One even apologized and admitted that he was not looking.

I have yet to take the Jordan Creek Trail to work.  Same old fear of  losing time.  Experiments at 5 am are not good on work days.  But the more I take this path home the more I like it.

The metro is looking at a 30 plan for the area.  They worry about affordable housing for future workers.  How about expanding this trail and clearing snow off it during the winter??  Just a thought.

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