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If you’re an MTA rider, you might have noticed the new bus pads going in along the #61 route heading South (Roland-University-St. Paul).  There are orange barrels and construction equipment everywhere.

And there are holes.  BIG holes.  This is in addition to the terrible road surface that makes me avoid St. Paul Street between 33rd Street and North Avenue like the proverbial plague (I opt for Maryland Avenue in this case).

At University Parkway and Roland Avenue, there is a tub hole (graduated from a pot hole) and a huge linear crack running parallel to the lane, right in the middle of a Sharrow, where we’re supposed to ride before the bike lane kicks in — when the cars are still honking at each other because 4 in 10 drivers at that intersection at rush hour are on their phones (yes, I count sometimes when I’m waiting for the bus).  This crack is big enough to throw you off of a mountain bike, so 700c/650b riders should really watch out.  That’s a really hard spot to take the lane, too, since traffic is supposed to be merging.
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Continue along one of the first (the first?) bike lanes in Baltimore heading South on University Parkway, and you’ll meet a hole large enough to throw a motorcycle (?) right in the bike lane at University Parkway and Keswick road.  This is past that stone wall on the left, when most cars and buses are riding half-way into the bike lane already, and there’s construction equipment parked in the parking lane.  Stopping and/or taking the busy lane might be necessary.

The bus pads have been finished for over a week, and no one’s come to fix these holes, some of which are big enough to be hazards for autos.  The one at Roland and University makes the bus slow down!  And this is a very heavy bike traffic route (for our city), so BE CAREFUL!

Also, right as you pass 40th Street on University Parkway, there is a linear crack where the bus pad and street meet that’s been there for years, and at least one NBBB person almost ate it on there one day a few months ago.  This is the part of University approaching the bridge, between the two sets of bike lanes, when you really have to just take the lane no matter how bad the traffic is.  I have personally almost gotten flattened by a Volvo there when the Sharrows were new two years ago and before I just decided that manners were less important than not getting flattend and started just claiming the lane when I need to.

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