For some reason, I did not take many pictures today. I’m not sure why; nothing really caught my eye other than a very patriotic elk in Elkton, MD.
I am following US 40 through Maryland. It is a large and busy highway, but it has a nice, wide shoulder. On a side note, US 40 goes west across the United States. It is the same highway that I grew up near for most of the time I lived in Kansas. US 40 has been designated by the Maryland Department of Transportation as a bicycle route. It runs right up to the Hatem Bridge. The Hatem Bridge is a toll bridge that crosses the Susquehanna River. The bicycle route continues on the other side of the bridge. Bicycles are not allowed to cross the bridge. This is what happens when people who do not ride design cycling infrastructure.
I figured since the bike route goes up to either side of the bridge, there must be a way to get a bicycle across. The next bridge is several miles up river, with no bike route to it. There was a small office next to the bridge, so I figured I would ask. There was a line of people trying to renew their EZ Passes. After waiting for a while, I explained my problem to the clerk. She told me that bicycles would be allowed to cross the bridge starting July 1. That is great for locals and future tourists, but it does absolutely no good for me. She directed me to a room with Maryland Transportation Authority police officer inside.
I rang the bell and waited for the police office. I explained my situation again and asked if there is a way to get a bicycle across the bridge. Again, he told me that bicycles would be allowed to cross the bridge starting in July. Again, thank you for that absolutely useless information. The officer called a cab to take me and my bike across the bridge. Fortunately, the cab was a station wagon and we were able to get my bicycle in the back without having to take the gear off. I don’t think this was the first time the cab company has taken a cyclist across the bridge. The driver told me she has seen at least one cyclist get pulled over while trying to cross the bridge. I suppose the cost of a short taxi ride is better than a ticket. I should have taken a photo of the bridge. It would be good for a laugh at the end of the ride.
The rest of the ride was uneventful. I was pushing myself to get to downtown Baltimore before quiting today. Then I realized, I don’t need to be in Washington for a couple of more days, so there is really no rush.
2 thoughts on “You shall not pass (June 14)”
I went to their website and saved the screenshot for you. What’s funny is that the new E-Z Pass Toll Rates are effective July 1, 2015 – not 2016. I wonder if that is the same for being open to bicyclists!
Call it Catch-22 Bridge. You showed great patience in this silly situation — and it worked.