I find myself increasingly fascinated with the alleys of Eagle Rock. They are not so numerous but there are definitely enough of them for me to notice. Lately I have thought that if slightly reconfigured, some of Eagle Rock’s alleys can resemble Dutch bicycle streets. Dutch bicycle streets are narrow roads where cars and bikes share but cars are not allowed to pass cyclists and must go slow, partially because the conditions cannot accommodate speed. Sometimes there are diverters but most importantly the streets are often too slow and too narrow for a car to use it to bypass traffic. Bicycle streets are also frequently residential streets and perhaps more relatable to the Bicycle Boulevard concept pioneered in cities like Portland and Berkeley. If some of Eagle Rock’s alleys/parking lots were converted to Bicycle Streets I think cycling would be even more attractive in this town.
This being Eagle Rock, I spotted two friends while filming so you will hear me say ‘hey’ twice. Once to the banana-man and then again to a dark clad guy in the Super A parking lot. Throughout this day I also saw my ERHS counselor, a former classmate in his car, and was treated very kindly by the staff at Corner Pizzeria upon my first visit (I didn’t order anything, the friend I was with did). It is this kind of interaction I have while cycling or walking that can never be rivaled by car travel and leaves me confident that Eagle Rock remains a small town despite its spike in popularity.
In this video I mostly go through parking lots, but the feel is still very much like an alley. I also find myself thinking at times if we don’t stop the additions of surface parking lots, or amend parking requirements, perhaps parking can be planned so that a bike path is fit in. And if a street is completely lined with parking, it would be nice if there were a safe, direct path for cyclists to take like in this video.