Sunday, January 18, 2015

First bicycle-friendly rumble strips spotted south of the C&D Canal


Just as Maryland's State Highway Administration worked with Delaware advocates on safer rumble strip design guidance, DelDOT also came through recently, as promised. 1st State BIKES advocates, as well as bicyclists from the Sussex Cyclists bicycle club were the first to discover the original design, which destroyed miles of usable shoulders. They were even placed in a few bike lanes. Once alerted, DelDOT dispatched crews to repair the damage in areas where the rumble strip reduced the shoulder to less than 4' wide.

We sincerely thank the officials from both states who immediately acknowledged the problem, and acted quickly to revise the manuals and guidelines to include a much safer design. A huge tip of the helmet to Michael Jackson (MD DOT), Anthony Aglio (DelDOT Planning), Mark Luszcz (DelDOT Traffic), and several others who worked with 1st State Bikes advocates to make it all happen!

Above/below: The new design, while not perfect, is a huge improvement. These rumble strips are shallower, narrower, and offset about 6" from the edge line. They also have regular breaks, allowing bicyclists to escape without hitting them. Even so, crossing this rumble strip is not nearly has dangerous or bone jarring as the original design.

The offset is clearly visible here. Despite our sincere gratitude for this design in the spirit of compromise, we will continue to advocate that rumble strips be placed at the white line, or as part of it, leaving maximum space for bicyclists to avoid debris and other hazards that sometimes appear in the shoulders or bike lanes.

This is the design that was first implemented by Maryland's SHA, and then DelDOT. These were an absolute terror for bicyclists, being deep and wide and sitting exactly where bicyclists need to ride to avoid shoulder debris.

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