Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Shared Right Turn-Only Lane Update

DelDOT is behind schedule on this long awaited project

According to DelDOT Traffic, the shared right turn-only lane experimental markings were installed last November. They are now waiting for warmer temps and more bicyclists before deploying cameras in May and June 2014 to collect "after" data.

For a complete description of this project, and what it means for bicycle safety, check out "Bike lanes at intersections with right turn-only lanes" from Nov. 2010. A crude schematic of this facility, a share of the existing right turn when lane width does not permit a standard bike lane, is pictured right.

It will be up to Earl Rusty Lee, a known critic of bicyclists, to give a timeline on how long it will take to crunch the data and develop meaningful suggestions for either 1) solid recommendations, or 2) additional test sites to gather more data.

Unfortunately, it is not likely we will see this safety improvement included with 2014 pave & rehab (road resurfacing) projects. If approved, it will be available in DelDOT's toolbox, but still up to advocates to push for regular implementation.

For a complete history of this project, going back to 2010, visit our Shared RTOL Archive.

Several examples of shared right turn-only lanes already exist in Delaware. This example on Airport Road in New Castle would be complete by simply adding a bike lane symbol or sharrow at the onset of the dashed edge line.

Old Baltimore Pike has had shared right turn-only lanes for over 10 years, yet crash rates are commensurate with other roads of equal or greater VMT (vehicle throughput).

2 comments:

  1. I've seen this application used in much of Washington State where I'm at now. The problem out here is that studded snowtires are legal and they grind the markings away within a year making them just about useless.

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  2. As you know, most winters we won't have that problem here, although this past winter, the roads got beat up pretty badly. In any case, I can't wait until the retrofits become a tool in the toolbox. It will make it feasible to improve far more roads under pave and rehab.

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