I recently was biking into town, down Canal Street towards Malfunction Junction. I have done this many times before. Somehow, it dawned on what a stupid and downright dangerous route this is. Where the cars are (in relation to your unarmored self) changes as you proceed through Malfunction Junction. I can easily keep track of all the cars around me but the cars were so close to me, I can only assume that the drivers just didn't even know I was there. In short, I was almost knocked over by the meat eating / wall of steel known as "Buick."
At the intersection of South Main and Canal, you have cars behind you and ahead of you and to your left is the on coming traffic. As you move through the Junction, the cars are basically all around you, no matter how legally you ride, because if you are going straight / left, you CANNOT really expect to travel in the right lane. In the right lane, it is mandatory for traffic in that lane to turn right. So, into the sea, yeah verily into the middle of cars you must go.
OR, skip trying to get into town that way, which is what I have started to do. Sure, I have legal right to go that way, and I should be respected as a living human being with bones and a nervous system, but it is better to be alive than to demand respect on Malfunction Junction. So instead, I now take South Main to Washington, or to Pine, and head down Birge Street, and lackadaisically and safely roll into Brattleboro from Elliot Street.
Personally, I will break any law if doing so increases my safety, (and there are situations where following the law makes you less safe). But I also am for staying alive long enough to see my boy ride a bicycle around town. The cars win this one, I concede the road between South Main and Elliot Streets.
Other bicyclists mus have found similar safe and less safe ways to travel about the greater Brattleboro Metropolitan region.. What might be great, is a map. Who knows about efforts to make any such map?
Could it be, Dave Cohen? I am not psychic, I vaguely remember Dave C. talking about the effort to create such a map. Does anyone know about this ? Dave ? Anyone?
Maybe such a map already exists. Help me here, so that I am not tempted to recreate the wheel.