Author Topic: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?  (Read 7501 times)

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Offline PeteJack

ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« on: March 05, 2014, 01:25:44 pm »
I love ACA maps and I get the impression that they route away from undesirable areas in big cities, at least I have that impression from going through Philly and Cleveland and I further believe that ACA maps in this respect are superior to, say, Google maps which will pick the most direct route from A to B. Am I right or not? I realize this may be a sensitive topic for some but I have just advised a young lady to stick to ACA routes to avoid potential trouble on the Southern Tier.

indyfabz

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Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 10:32:55 am »
So you liked the spur into Philly? It passes a few blocks from my house near the Art Museum. In that particular case, it's the most logical way into what we call "center city" from the nearby 'burb the route passes through. You can get all the way to the Art Museum with very little street riding thanks to the various trails and recreation paths. In fact,  the Manayunk Canal Path underwent some improvements relatively recently, the most important of which was the addition of limestone to the once all-dirt path surface. Assuming it has not been raining heavily, you can now easily ride it with skinny tires.

For anyone taking the spur into Philly, note that the entire length of the four lane MLK Drive (f/k/a West River Drive) is closed to cars on the weekends from April to October between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. The eastern last 1.5 miles opens to cars at noon, but the remainder stays closed to cars (except people driving in to picnic in the park, which is usually not many at all) until 5 p.m. Much nicer than taking the MUPs along the river as they can become very crowded with walkers, joggers, etc.

Offline John Nelson

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 11:27:09 am »
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "undesirable". The ACA Route Criteria lists 13 criteria, but none of them mention anything about avoiding high-crime areas.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/default/assets/File/USBRS/Route_Criteria/ACA_Route_Criteria.pdf

Offline PeteJack

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 12:18:28 pm »
Thanks John.
Quote
2.) The route should be designed to follow “corridors of attraction,” i.e., scenery,
cultural/historic points of interest, varieties of geography, terrain, and inhabitants.
I suppose this helps rule out most high crime areas.

Offline John Nelson

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 12:35:44 pm »
Well, if they want to show you "varieties of inhabitants," then I suppose they need to go into gang areas.   ;)

Although they don't necessary strive to "route away from undesirable areas in big cities," they do generally strive to route you away from big cities altogether, so the issue doesn't come up very often.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 12:39:32 pm by John Nelson »

indyfabz

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Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 09:37:07 am »
I find the apparent assumption that big cities are the only areas you have to be concerned with interesting. The only place anyone ever tired to steal anything (my MSR Dragon Fly) from me during a tour was in DuBois, WY on the TA route. In tiny Ione, WA, which is on the NT, I witnessed several drug sales take place in the city park where our group camped. Keep a keen eye on your possessions in areas of bucolic VT, especially Bennington. The state is in the throes of a heroine epidemic which has spawned crime. In contrast, if you pop off the Manayunk Canal Path (mentioend above) and on to Main St. while heading through Philly on a nice Saturday around noon you will pass a local coffee shop that often has upwards of $50,000 worth of bikes sitting outside unattended.

Offline Cyclesafe

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2014, 09:48:59 am »
I find the apparent assumption that big cities are the only areas you have to be concerned with interesting. The only place anyone ever tired to steal anything (my MSR Dragon Fly) from me during a tour was in DuBois, WY on the TA route. In tiny Ione, WA, which is on the NT, I witnessed several drug sales take place in the city park where our group camped. Keep a keen eye on your possessions in areas of bucolic VT, especially Bennington. The state is in the throes of a heroine epidemic which has spawned crime. In contrast, if you pop off the Manayunk Canal Path (mentioend above) and on to Main St. while heading through Philly on a nice Saturday around noon you will pass a local coffee shop that often has upwards of $50,000 worth of bikes sitting outside unattended.

Epidemics encouraged within our culture, no doubt, by such movies as Laura Craft and Hunger Games....

Offline staehpj1

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2014, 09:53:21 am »
The only place anyone ever tired to steal anything (my MSR Dragon Fly) from me during a tour was in DuBois, WY on the TA route.

Funny, that is one of two places I had something stolen.  Outside the grocery someone took my Crocs, probably for the nice locking carabiner they were hanging on.  The other theft was a nice pump nicked outside a walmart in a similarly small town.  In both cases they were items in plain sight outside of the bags on top of the rear rack and easy to grab without opening anything.  Probably a bad idea to leave anything there, too tempting.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2014, 12:37:05 pm »
Epidemics encouraged within our culture, no doubt, by such movies as Laura Craft and Hunger Games....

Clever!  ;)

Offline BobG

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2014, 09:21:51 am »
The ACA map service directory ('08 edition) did list a rather "crummy" motel in Pueblo CO, The Bramble Tree Inn. Our 2009 TransAm group stayed there for two nights for a layover. As leader of the group I chose that motel due to it's map listing along with convenience to the route and downtown restaurants. Upon arrival we learned that it served as a halfway house and had many residents. We had no problems but we were warned to keep our bikes locked inside.

edit- change map "recommendation" to map "listing"
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 12:50:11 pm by BobG »

Offline Cyclesafe

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2014, 10:22:25 am »
ACA is certainly not recommending accommodations, they are merely pointing out that at one time they may have existed.

Offline BobG

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2014, 10:55:19 am »
Thanks for the correction, Cyclesafe. I've re-worded my post above.

That motel may or may not have been listed in the ACA leader notes for that year, I don't remember. That list is indeed more of an edited list of both recommended stays and those to avoid. I probably added that motel to the "avoid" list in my leader notes for the trip. Some of my group were taken aback by it's state of cleanliness, repair and safety. Not sure if it's still on the map. That said, it's perfectly located right off the TransAm route in walking distance to the fun downtown. Staff also was friendly enough.  All of the big chain motels are on the outskirts, probably why it's listed.

Hmmmm.......Bramble Tree may be beyond crummy. This happened 2 years after our stay..........

http://www.koaa.com/news/innocent-bystander-dead-after-stabbing-at-pueblo-motel/

« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 07:06:36 am by BobG »

indyfabz

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Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2014, 12:17:17 pm »
The only place anyone ever tired to steal anything (my MSR Dragon Fly) from me during a tour was in DuBois, WY on the TA route.
Probably a bad idea to leave anything there, too tempting.

I left my stove out in plain sight at the Circle Up Camper Court in DuBois. I was sitting outside the laundry laundry facility reading a book. There was a dirt road along side the open tent camping area. From watching people come and go, I got the idea that the road led to a residential area. Only a low rail fence separating the area from the road. Two kids drive by. All of sudden, they stopped the car. After about a minute, one kid gets out, walks towards the fence and is about to hop it. I could tell what was up so I get up and start walking quickly towards my tent. The kid sees me, jumps back in the car and the two speed off.

Offline PeteJack

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2014, 12:42:43 pm »
we were warned to keep our bikes locked inside.
Reminds me of a motel in Port Angeles the only place I was specifically not allowed to take my bike into my room (they did have a locked garage I could put it in). That was the place where I was quoted "$100 with a view" I asked how much without a view? "There aren't any." This was on the ACA list I believe. FYI If you go further inland to where no view is available prices drop dramatically.

Offline BobG

Re: ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2014, 09:30:52 am »
I also question the safety of  Rock Creek Park,  the corridor for the Atlantic Coast Route through DC. Maybe times have changed, but having grown up in the area back in the 50's and 60's I remember that park as having a high crime rate. My mom and dad were even afraid to take me to the National Zoo!  :'(  This was long before the Chandra Levy murder. Can any DC area forum members update or correct me? The Park Service website calls it "relatively safe" but then goes on to suggest that hikers, runners and women travel in twos. 

Washington is so easy to approach or exit more westerly through rural Maryland and most road touring bikes can handle the lower 15 miles of the C&O canal. The C&O delivers the rider directly to Georgetown and the tourist areas of DC without crossing the whole city, albeit in a park setting.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 09:48:11 pm by BobG »