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Cornershot: Any more great ideas, Dan?

Cornershot: Any more great ideas, Dan?

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I like Dan Casey’s column. I always have, because he’s so full of good ideas. He had one of his best a few years ago, when he suggested that the city reserve and develop neighborhood alleys as connectors to the greenways so people don’t have to ride their bikes in traffic to get to them. Of course, this is a fine discussion for those us who have access to alleys and are within biking distance of the greenways, but not so much for the rest of you. Sorry.

Nobody ever picked up on that idea, so the other day, I thought that since I can’t lift my bike on and off the rack anymore, I’d go ahead and give it a try to see if it was doable. A few years ago, when the city began using trucks equipped with robotic arms to pick up trash, alley collection ended in most places. Since then, many of them have not been maintained and have become overgrown and impassable. Luckily, the alleys paralleling the busiest streets are still used, I guess so the trucks don’t stop traffic on the main arteries.

It took some zig-zagging around, but the trip to the Roanoke River Greenway was easy, safe and scenic. It was when I turned around to go home that I realized I’d made a serious miscalculation. Water always finds the lowest point and always runs downhill. The greenway follows the river. That meant that the trip back was uphill most of the way, which kind of ruined it for me.

I think it’s time for Dan to come up with another good idea to fix this. Or maybe it’s up to me. Perhaps a ski lift that can accommodate bikes? How about it, Dan? Any suggestions? And who wants to fund this swell idea of mine?

— Betsy Biesenbach, a reader in Roanoke

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