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#1 2008-06-01 21:29:04

Lynn
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 22

Steck - gravel

Anyone know what is the deal with Steck? My trip to the hardware store this afternoon was a bit more exciting than I could have hoped for! Is this fine gravel some part of the paving process that I'm unfamiliar with?

Lynn

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#2 2008-06-30 15:04:42

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: Steck - gravel

Roads are periodically maintained using a method known as seal coating.  This involves laying down loose gravel that gets embedded into the road by regular motor vehicles.  After a short period (days? weeks?) the remaining loose gravel is picked up by maintenance equipment.  Any loose gravel left after that point usually gets kicked into the edges of the roadway where bicyclists usually ride.

I rode Steck yesterday and from what I saw, the road is in the last stage that I mentioned above.

1) Avoid riding on the gravel if it makes you feel unsafe.  You are allowed by law to avoid road debris.
2) Call 311 as soon as you see a road hazard like this.  They will forward your description of the situation onto the appropriate department.  Ask how long it will take to remedy the situation.  Most likely such a situation will be remedied within a week or sooner.  Be sure to mention in your report that it is a hazard to bicyclists.

If you neglect to report hazards such as these, then it is essentially certain that another bicyclist will encounter the same hazard as you did.  Since the City of Austin relies upon citizens to make these reports, the problem won't be solved until a citizen calls it in.  Most people don't realize how effective it is to report a hazard such as this... but now *you* know.

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#3 2008-06-30 18:16:47

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 546

Re: Steck - gravel

You forgot to mention the tar step.  Basically, they spray down tar, then put down gravel, and a few days later they pick up some of the excess gravel.  At least that's what I think we're talking about here.

It sucks.  They just did our street a few weeks ago.  It's mostly OK for cycling (though it wasn't before they picked up the excess gravel) though it's still nowhere near as good as clean aslphalt, but  It'll be months before I can walk down the street barefoot.  On the bright side, after something like six months it'll be OK.  Until they do it again.

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#4 2008-07-04 10:17:07

eraycollins
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 7

Re: Steck - gravel

After they successively graveled my neighborhood and my two most used commuter routes, my complaint was that I started having flats once or twice weekly. I was using Schwalbe Marathons at the time. I switched to slime tubes and tires, which I overinflated to 80 PSI, and that solved that problem.

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