Saturday, January 17, 2015

Trail Report January 16, 2015

Little late on this.  Snow removal of the January 5th snow event.

The City of Des Moines had the trail(s) from Mullets to the Raccoon River Bridge in Water Works Park cleared of snow by the afternoon of the 6th.  However, the bridge itself would not be cleared for another 2 days, January 8.  Worse was that they left a 200 meter stretch of trail north of the bridge unplowed until the 7th.  Many bikers chose to ride on the snow covered grass.

The MLK Trail was cleared the 6th.

At some point the Principal Riverwalk/East River/Neal Smith/Trestle to Trestle Trail(s) were cleared.  I could not get a confirmation by of my friends when this was done and was unable to verify this myself until the 16th.  Suffice to say, I was able to ride from my southside home to Johnston, Iowa, on snow free trails last night.  Mary did notice the plowing of the T2T on Saturday the 10th when she drove to Johnston.

The Beaver Creek Trail has also been cleared.  Urbandale will plow their trails unless they are "neighborhood" trails going through residential areas.

The Des Moines River Trail has also been plowed.

Like many trails, refreeze will be a major issue on some stretches of these trails.  The stretch along Penn Ave on the east River/Neal Smith by the 3 large houses is always an issue because the trail/sidepath/sidewalk is too close to the street so when the street is plowed the trail is reburied and the residents, I believe, do their best to remove the snow but there are remnants.  Also in that section just south by the apartments there was a water main break last month and subsequent construction work leaving the trail/sidepath/sidewalk muddy and icy and wet.

The City of Johnston DID NOT PLOW their "InterUrban Trail." However, the section from Johnston Dr to 55th is clear thanks to the sun.  Be careful as this is curvy and steep and refreeze will be an issue.  I locked up my rear wheel a few times riding down this stretch (studded tire).  The trail north of 55th is awful and the shoulder is not an option do to soft ground and recent construction.  So take the streets.

The City of Clive gets my recommendation for Trail Keeper of the Year.  Not only was the Greenbelt plowed the day after the snow event, it was plowed well.  Great improvement over last year.  Thank you.  Clive also rehit areas that were spoiled by drifting snow.  Thank you again!  I think they understand how important the trail is for all users.

Windsor Heights also did a timely and good job clearing their section of the Walnut Creek Trail and redoing areas affected by drifting.

Des Moines recleared some of the drifts but has ignored the section along SE 30th to George Flagg south of Water Works Park.  I take the street in the morning but have been able to power through it on a road bike.  Judging by the tracks, most people opt to ride on the snow covered grass.

It has been too cold and we have not had a need to make the exploration up north to those trails until recently.  I will endeavor to make that trip next time.

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