View Full Version : Gravel on Texas 487
03-06-2003, 06:41 PM
The section of highway 487 between the small towns of Davilla and Bartlett (northeast of Georgetown) used to be one of my favorite places to practice my cornering skills. It was re-paved with fresh black-top about a year ago so the surface was very good. Excellent sight-lines through the curves too since it's out in the middle of open farm country.
Well, I guess all good things must come to an end, because my last ride through there a couple of weeks ago revealed that a maintenance crew had laid down crushed limestone along all the curves, resulting in rocks and pebbles being strewn all over the road every time some car or truck edged off the pavement. What was once a fun ride has now become a hazard that requires a very slow approach to negotiate safely on two wheels.
It kind of ticks me off that this sort of thing is done without any apparent thought given to the hazard it causes bikers. :angryfir:
03-26-2003, 12:28 AM
:tab You know, this drives me nuts. Motorcycles are duly licensed vehicles in our country and yet they seem to play little if any role in the decision making processes regarding road maintenance, construction, etc,... Anyone know if the AMA has any info about work being done to educate State and Fed road adminstrations?
:tab I have seen two different really dangerous things done to the roads. First, is the deadly Chip & Seal. Here, potholes or even the entire road surface is covered with a film of hot oil/tar and then a LOT of loose gravel is spread over the oil. Ideally, the road crews are supposed to press the gravel with a steam roller and sweep away the excess afterwards. I don't recal ever seeing this done. Instead, there is loose deep gravel on the road surface, particularly at intersections. Then when it gets hot, the turning, braking and accelerating forces of cars and trucks pushes the gravel all over the place causing the road surface to become quite bumpy and rough. All of this stuff is inherently dangerous for motorcycles.
:tab The other thing that drives me bonkers is the dumping of loose gravel along the edge of the shoulder. Inevitably, cars and trucks go off the edge of the pavement and scatter loose gravel all over the pavement. We encountered some of this on FM 256 during the East Texas Butt Burner ride (http://www.twtex.com/viewtopic.php?t=94). Very annoying.
:tab Does anyone know to whom we should address letters or emails in an effort to address this issue?
03-26-2003, 09:04 AM
I just checked the TX-DOT website and found a contact page to send a message to various departments. I'm thinking perhaps "Maintenance" and "General Counsel Office" would be good places to start. Here's a link: http://www.dot.state.tx.us/cgi-bin/mailform.pl
The thought occurred to me that we might also need to contact the county maintenance departments whenever we see these conditions on the back roads. I've noticed on numerous occasions that the pavement quality can change pretty drastically whenever the road crosses a county line. Highway 50 northeast of Bryan had a terrible stretch that ran from the Robertson County line up to the town of Mumford. Fortunately, it was repaved last year and is now better than the section that extends south into Brazos County.
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