Caption Contest: TxDOT’s Shiny Happy People Sucking in Highway Exhaust

Caption this rendering! Source: TxDOT
Your caption here. Source: TxDOT

This rendering of State Highway 45 Southwest in Austin — one of 12 highway boondoggles singled out by U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group this year — inspired some mockery on Twitter:

And that got us thinking… Caption contest! Give us your entry in the comments and we’ll choose a winner.

  • Jake A.

    Derp in the Heart of Texas

  • Justin Vick

    Cyclists with leg cramps have the luxury of hitchhiking back home.

  • This infrastructure is TUMBLEWEED APPROVED!

  • “Hey buddy, where are you headed?”
    “Nowhere. LITERALLY!”

  • Is that WHOOSHing sound a high speed truck or money being flushed down the toilet? Hard to tell, really.

  • Tom Wald

    Studies on the subject indicate that the exhaust affects the car lanes but does not affect nearby paths much. Even bike lanes on city streets have significantly less pollution than the main lanes next to them. I did not see any sources in the post to indicate that exhaust would actually be a significant factor.

    The “greenwashing” may be real, but the pollution claims are probably not. The addition of a shared-use path on many local tollway projects is welcome, but does itself justify construction of those new roads and highway lanes.

    I definitely agree, too, that bicycling or walking near a freeway is significantly less pleasureable than on a path along a creek.

  • That’s a terrible caption. 😉

  • Thumb cramp!

  • M
  • M

    I see they were inspired by the LA River bike path along the 134 and the 5….

  • Chris

    “Can you crop out the bike path?”
    “Almost! We’ll knock the rest out in budgeting/planning.”

  • Kevin Love

    Bike paths with pointless curves because we want to take longer to get from A to B.

  • Tyson White

    Then when no one will bike on it they can later say, “why should we make new bike lanes if no one uses the ones we gave them!

  • Corey Burger

    To be fair, I would love to have trails alongside the highways for bike tourism. Better than forcing people to ride on the shoulder.

  • Dawn Smith

    “Improve your health! Get outdoors, run, walk or bike on our new highway pedestrian/bike path!”

  • I don’t think that this snarkiness and this dismissiveness are warranted. In New York City we have a bike path running for six miles alongside the Belt Parkway, and another one running for three miles alongside the Cross Island Parkway. Our Hudson River Greenway parallels the West Side Highway / Henry Hudson Parkway for about 14 miles.

    In the neighbouring counties, there is a bike path that runs for 4 miles alongside the Bronx River Parkway in Westchester County (with a small gap), and one which runs for 9 miles alongside the Wantagh Parkway and Jones Beach’s Ocean Parkway in Nassau County.

    These are good things. These paths allow for long-distance travel of a mostly non-stop nature (notwithstanding the odd red light on the Hudson River Greenway).

    I can get with objections to the building of a highway. But, if the highway is going to be built, then I would very much like to have an express bike route adjacent to it.

    Indeed, I wish there were more bike paths parallel to highways. Travelling long distances through New Jersey would be a lot easier if more highways had bike paths alongside them. I once rode to Philadelphia and back home to New York; it would have been nice to have the option of taking a bike path adjacent to U.S. 1 or even to I-95.

  • Steven

    “Can you make the pedestrians and cyclists look more ghost-like? I want it to be very clear what will happen to you if you use this path.”

  • Alan

    Bike paths next to highways can actually be very useful (though not necessarily pleasant) because in highway-oriented regions, one often needs to go several miles out of their way in order to avoid them.

    For example, my commute in San Diego would have been 15 miles instead of 10 were I to avoid riding on the interstate. That was true of many routes in that city.

    That said, highway-adjacent bike paths in San Diego have had issues with drivers flying off the freeway and killing people:

    http://bikesd.org/tag/sr-56-bike-path/
    http://bikesd.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Bike-Ride-5-10-13-1024×577.jpg

  • Alicia

    The highway may be unnecessary (I’ll leave that for Texans to decide), but what’s the issue with this bike path, if it does get built? Provided it’s far enough away and there are barriers between the highway and the path that will stop vehicles from careening onto the path, I don’t see the issue.

  • Joe R.

    My thoughts exactly. Bike paths along highways shouldn’t be the only bike infrastructure, but they certainly form a very useful part of a larger bike network for the reasons you say. I wish we had non-stop bike paths adjacent to every highway in NYC. That would make going medium to long distances in NYC by bike a lot faster, safer, and more pleasant.

  • I can understand the concern about building a new freeway, but the bike path is not something that should also be derided. If they’re going to build the highway anyway, including the bikeway is the least that they can do. Reference the bikeway next to US-36 in Colorado, examples others have posted in the comments below, and even the Dutch do it: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.3565344,6.1447963,3a,75y,124.04h,80.62t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sO7w1w96yFxm5iB6M8lAZpA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656.

  • Edwards

    Whats that? “I SAID IT SURE IS A NICE DAY FOR A BIKE RIDE” Oh I couldn’t [cough hack cough] hear you over all the road noise!

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Will Seattle Blow Its Chance to Reclaim Its Waterfront?

|
It’s bad enough that Washington DOT is building a huge underground highway by the Seattle waterfront at enormous expense and financial risk. Now the city is poised to ruin the one benefit of the highway tunnel — better pedestrian connections to the waterfront. Advocates have been warning against replacing the current elevated highway with a highway-like surface street. But […]

Night of the Living Highway Extension

|
Tacoma resident Evan Siroky got a rude reminder of what’s in Washington State DOT’s project pipeline yesterday, reading in the local paper that officials are looking to revive plans to extend state route 167 as a limited access highway. The new highway segment would reach the Port of Tacoma, and Siroky writes on member blog […]

Fred Barnes: Americans Mainly Want to Stay in Their Cars

|
After yesterday’s electoral drubbing, the Obama administration will have to deal with a starkly different Congress when they make their expected push for a multi-year transportation bill early next year. We know that some influential House Republicans, like John Mica, don’t necessarily believe that bigger highways will solve America’s transportation problems. And we know that […]

Two Highway Lanes Won’t Fix Baton Rouge’s Traffic Problem

|
Everyone agrees there’s a traffic problem in Baton Rouge, but not everyone is sold on the state’s plan to address it. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s solution, presented this week, is to add two lanes to Interstate 10 through the Southdowns neighborhood. The widening will cost $350 million and require the demolition of a […]