Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DSA Tries Out a New Linear Paver for the Farmington Canal Greenway

DSA is hoping to use the linear pavers depicted in the video above for the final stretch of the Farmington Canal Greenway that it is currently designing.  Test subject Kai Sakamoto demonstrates that the paver can provide a comfortable riding surface for a standard wide-tire bike.

Although this choice of material is a big improvement over the steel grating that was originally considered for the riding surface, there is still a question of whether the grooves between the pavers might make cycling with thin racing bike tires difficult.

Cyclists, let us know what you think.

Note: those wishing to try out the paver for themselves should visit Kroon Hall at 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT


  1. The grooves would appear to be a problem for anyone using inline skates (e.g. Rollerblades).

  2. Why something other than the asphalt used on the rest of the trail? There's a reason that roads and the rest of the trail uses asphalt. Cost may be a factor (I genuinely don't know), but it's also a perfectly good riding surface.

  3. Please do not do this. This is a bad idea and will limit the trail use. A large number of people on the trail are on thin-tired road bikes. There are also q number of skaters. The will not be able to use this part of the trail. Why do that? Asphalt please!

  4. While it may be good for wide tires, I think this definitely poses a problem for thin tires, which accounts for a lot of bikers out there. I think the pavers also make it difficult to ride a faster speed than what's demonstrated in the video.

  5. Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for all of your responses and you can rest assured that we will not give the final word on this material without testing out on some other wheeled vehicles/devices including thin-tired bicycles and inline skates.

    We will post videos on our blog in the next few weeks of our tests. Also, if anyone would like to take initiative and try out some of their own bikes/skates on this material, you can visit Yale's Kroon Hall (where the above video was made) and post a link to your analysis here. The address of Kroon is:

    195 Prospect Street
    New Haven, CT 06511-8499

    We have a number of reasons for choosing the pavers over asphalt including:
    1) It respects the historic nature of the site and enables us to create a bike-able surface without damaging the original canal walls or the railroad tracks that are still in this portion of the trail.
    2) It does not absorb as much sunlight and retains more water, which will create a much cooler environment in the park surrounding the trail during the summer.
    3) It's more eco-friendly in that it is permeable and does not interfere with groundwater absorption.
    4) It is more eco-friendly in that it is not an oil byproduct such as asphalt.
    5) The pavers do not need to be replaced as frequently as asphalt.
    6) There is an arguable aesthetic value to the pavers over the asphalt, especially considering that asphalt will begin developing cracks and potholes after a few years.

    Stay tuned for more on this issue...