After an overcast and damp morning, conditions Wednesday became downright pleasant for our Poky Pizza Pedal. Eight Poky Pedalers shared pizza-themed Bike Fun as blue sky gradually emerged from between the clouds.
We met at Point Area Bicycle Service where we learned about the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza that PABS is putting on this Sunday. As part of that event, I will be staging the Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point challenge and tournament. Look for a blog post shortly to learn more about this upcoming event.
From PABS, we headed out on a 4-mile loop upon neighborhood streets east of downtown. We rode southeast until we reached Center St, a scenic and calm east-west route that we then rode to Frontenac Ave. From there, we generally bicycled north and west to Franklin St.
We stopped at the intersection of Franklin and Division St to learn about the new crosswalk treatment the city recently installed, a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB). When the RRFB button is pushed by someone wishing to use the crosswalk, alternately flashing yellow lights alert people on Division to their presence.
The flashing yellow lights themselves do not obligate Division traffic to stop. Rather, once someone enters the crosswalk, the lights basically serve as a reminder that people walking across the intersection have the right-of-way, meaning that traffic should stop for them as dictated by state law.
It is worth mentioning that even if the lights are not flashing, Division traffic is still obliged to stop for anyone walking in the crosswalk. There is no ‘Don’t Walk’ condition associated with the RRFB. That being said, many people may feel more comfortable knowing the flashing lights are operating before stepping into the crosswalk.
The RRFB was installed in the last few weeks. It will be interesting to see how traffic responds to it and whether the walk crossing of Division at Franklin will now feel safer. Since this walk crossing gets substantial use from those traveling to or from UWSP, such observations will be particularly interesting once the fall semester starts.
Our Poky Pedal continued west on Franklin to Third St, where we turned south to return downtown, specifically to Polito’s, our pizza destination. This was our first visit to Polito’s on a Poky Pizza Pedal. Everyone made their pizza selections from among the many available choices, and we sat together at one of the benches to enjoy conversation, pizza, and beverages. Once we finished our feast, our Poky Pizza Pedal came to an end.
And there will be adventure galore in a few days on the Bicycle Adventure Extravaganza, during which all Poky Pedalers will have the opportunity to claim the title of Pokiest Pedaler in Stevens Point. I will have more to say about this on the PPSP blog shortly.