• Maryland Revised Rumble Strip Guidelines – Thank You SHA

    by  • January 19, 2011 • Traffic Control • 1 Comment

    Bike Delaware, our constituent organizations, and bicyclists all over Delaware thank Tom Hicks above, left), P.E. Director of SHA’s Office of Traffic and Safety, for revising Maryland State Highway Administration’s rumblestrip placement guidelines. Kudos as well to Michael Jacksonabove, right), MD’s Department of Transportation’s Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access, for answering the call and shuttling this request along.

    Bike Delaware first met with MDOT’s District Office on January 22nd 2009, out on Route 273 to investigate first hand what went wrong. Others working in MD bike/ped safety themselves brought bicycles along, to verify that this application pictured left)did not meet bicycle-friendly guidelines. Today, we can proudly say the manuals have been revised. We are relieved to know that the rumblestrips applied along Route 273 in Cecil County, which prompted our concern as well as those of local racing teams and recreational clubs, will not be repeated on MD roads and highways where bicycling is permitted.

    We commend SHA for recognizing this design as problematic in that it created conflicts between drivers and cyclists. Switching to the guidelines accepted as bicycle-friendly according to the AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Bicycle Facilities will encourage bicyclists to ride in the correct position on the shoulder and facilitate cooperation between all user groups. Further, it will allow bicyclists to ride behind the rumble strips instead of at the white line, as well as move safely into the lane when cars are turning in front of them or to avoid debris.

    This will make cyclists safer and lower the stress level of all road users.

    (pictured left:  Frank Warnock, Maria Wilburn, Stephanie Yanovitz , and Mary Davidson join MDOT District Officials on Jan. 22, 2009, at the Highs on Route 273. Jeff Butcher was also present)

    View the letter to Mr Hicks in pdf HERE.
    See the revised guidelines, including our letter in pdf HERE.
    Timeline for this issue on Bike Delaware News HERE.

    One Response to Maryland Revised Rumble Strip Guidelines – Thank You SHA

    1. johnbare
      February 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      I appreciate the hard work by all BikeDE participants in convincing MDDOT to follow AASHTO guidelines for rumblestrips. Many of these rumblestrips are nasty, forcing most road users into uncomfortable compromises. However, I take issue with the statement in the posting that "Switching to the guidelines accepted as bicycle-friendly according to the AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Bicycle Facilities will encourage bicyclists to ride in the correct position on the shoulder and facilitate cooperation between all user groups." While bicyclicts may, at their discretion, ride on the shoulder, this posting suggests that riding on the shoulder is the "correct" location to ride. As Effective Cycling guru, John Forester, points out, "Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles." Furthermore, riding on the shoulder is never mentioned in the current LAB bicycling eduction courses, e.g. Trafic 101. It is legal and correct to ride on the shoulder or in the roadway. Riding in each location imposes different practical and legal responsibilities on all users. However, to suggest that the "correct" location is the shoulder does a disservice to cyclists.

      –John Bare, LCI #1023

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