Watering the dead…

I like roundabout routes that get me seeing things other than stop lights, cars and the all too familiar cookie cutter strip malls in Arizona. I’ll go a few miles out of the way to hit canals or crosstown bike routes to avoid major streets. I also like cutting through parks and other interesting places where possible. Crossing Interstate 10 heading westbound on Broadway Road is a challenge (I-10 at Broadway Road). It’s a pretty high speed crossing and complicated by several things including intersecting with the 143 and a terrain change. It’s one of the few places where I don’t trust drivers to see me. The north side of Broadway has no sidewalk to move onto, and I have to make a left before 48th Street, so I salmon* the south sidewalk for about a 1/4 mile. I then cut through the Tempe Cemetery to access Westcourt Way which runs through the Cotton Center Corporate Park eventually winding my way over to Esteban Park after about 10.5 miles for my weekly Friday ritual, Kickball.

Tempe Cemetery closes to cars around dusk, but the pedestrian gate is always open. As I was biking through last night around 6:30 I found it very odd to witness the landscape sprinkler system spraying water over all the graves and headstones and I immediately thought “they’re watering the dead…”, it felt very Monty Python-ish.

Also, as I was biking through the fairly elaborate yet deserted Cotton Center I imagined that it’s what Las Vegas might look like if it went deserted, obviously nowhere as large or lavish, but it’s a bit strange to see such a well manicured area all lit up but completely deserted with the fountains running.

This reminds me, I need to check in with City of Phoenix or Tempe to find out what the status is of the once discussed pedestrian bridge that would connect Alameda to Roeser over the I-10, would be nice but I have to say I’d miss the cemetery.

*To salmon on a bike is slang for riding the wrong way, aka against traffic. This practice is actually illegal in Tempe (on sidewalks) and it’s one of the most unsafe places to ride, statistically speaking. However I feel it’s the safest option at this intersection. I certainly don’t advocate wrong way sidewalk riding, but I trust my judgment in this specific case.

1 Comment to “Watering the dead…”

  1. By Socks, January 20, 2010 @ 13:54

    Two updates on I-10 crossings. A year or so ago, TBAG wrote a letter of support for Tempe’s proposal to build that crossing. It was the #1 prioritized project at the regional level, but the state decided to build something else somewhere.

    Now, the fate of I-10 crossings lies in the hands of AZDOT, in association with the I-10 freeway expansion. I think this is an item that deserves some political action, in the form of publicizing what AZDOT is or is not going to do. Tempe should push for AZDOT to provide support for crossing construction as easment for the freeway expansion.

    And I agree with you about salmoning in that area. Riding Broadway westbound across I-10 makes me feel uncomfortable, too, but there aren’t any alternatives in that part of town.

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