Hwy 9 widening makes progress

The narrows, about a mile up from Saratoga on Hwy 9, has been widened. Good news for cars and bikes.

The narrows, about a mile up from Saratoga on Hwy 9, has been widened. Good news for cars and bikes.

Highway 9, Big Basin Way, has been under construction, with delays up to 10 minutes, but now both areas no longer have traffic signals. There’s still some finishing work.

I think there is more work to be done, but Hwy 9 is looking safer all the time.

2 Responses to “Hwy 9 widening makes progress”

  1. Mike Buncic Says:

    Thanks Ray, thats a very helpful update.

    Mike Buncic for Mid Pen OSD ward 1

    http://Www.mikebuncic.com

  2. jay Says:

    Ray,

    I ride up to Saratoga Gap on an almost weekly basis–usually continuing to Page Mill but occasionally I head back down to downtown Saratoga.

    My main observation is that this year was probably my favorite for climbing. When the two stop lights were in I learned to bypass one by taking Pierce and I would usually not effected by the second light because I’d cautiously proceed through on a red if I sensed there was no downslope traffic. I noticed motorcycle traffic had almost entirely dropped off because of the lights. I’ve talked to motorcyclists and they mostly seem like good guys, but I’ve never understood why they have been allowed to treat the road as a personal race track–it really can destroy the mediative aspects of climbing for me.

    Yesterday I went up and then down. I’m not sure if the road smoothing in entirely done at the stretch above Redwood Gulch, but it’s not too bad right now–thankfully it’s not the same paving job that was done on Skyline.

    The best thing from my perspective is that the choppy section between Pierce and the downtown (where I believe the San Andreas fault runs) was been substantially smoothed over-you still got to really concentrate when riding that section, but you can stay in the saddle the whole way and don’t have to worry about lane positioning as much now.

    Road has been widened in many places, I’m not sure this is a really big deal for me, but on occasion it does allow me to move further over when climbing if there is a pack of cars passing me.

    However safety is a relative term on Nine. On the days I descend it (like yesterday) I always think of the Jan Lipson tragedy. Whenever I approach an area where there is a potential for cars to turn in front of me (like the Savanah Channel Winery) I strain to look as far ahead as I possibly can to anticipate possible trouble.

    As luck wouldn’t have it yesterday, a truck with trailer was in the process of making a very wide sweeping right turn from Redwood Gulch. He was entirely in the left lane as I approached at 30+ mph. Fortunately he was able to move into the right lane before I passed, but I had to wonder what the scenario could had been if I have entered the equation two seconds before I did…

    Last thing to note, I still shake my head over the fact that over 90% of the riders do not deploy a headlight on this road (sometimes even wearing black jerseys!). I find this inexplicable and just stupid.

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