We remain hopeful that in 2012, DelDOT will consider opening or dashing edge/taper lines where bicyclists are to merge with lane traffic.
Above: Behind the solid white line is a marked bike lane for the length of Glasgow Ave (Bus. 896) between Route 40 and 896 at the junction of Porter Road. According to design manuals, it suggests bicyclists should ride off the road and into the grass.
* A SOLID line usually indicates that crossing the line is discouraged. [MUTCD Section 3A.01] Edgelines are SOLID lines [MUTCD Section 3B.06], and a lane line is a SOLID WHITE line in portions of a road where lane changing across the line is discouraged. [MUTCD Section 3B.04]
Therefore, riding down any shouldered road – especially those designated as bike routes or outfitted with bike lanes – and constantly crossing solid white lines is not what’s expected of a vehicle by Delaware code, which bicycles are defined as. That said, a top priority for this kind of facility is correctly striping it, especially where the bike lane or shoulder meets a right turn-only lane or bypass. We are advocating that this be included in all new bike lane installations going forward (posted, May 2011).
Above: Oddly enough, and in spite of DelDOT’s current stance, the north end of the same facility does indeed provide equal level of service, and offers a clear merge for bicyclists as the bike lane ends due to ROW width restrictions.
Bike Delaware has been receiving lots of comments on this topic. Poignant among them:
“Having a go forward arrow for bikers pointing to a solid line that denotes it should not be crossed is disconcerting. Certainly the road marking designers can come up with something more appropriate. The marking as it stands is likely to give the impression to drivers that the bikers should not be continuing through (on the what was formerly a bike lane) and should not be in the turn lane or do not have right of way to enter or use the turn lane. The markings seem to defy physics, let alone good public policy.” – G.J.
A classic example of “striping into the curb” (or grass edge in this case). A complete history on the topic of shared right turn-only lanes can be found HERE.