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Old 01-01-09, 02:58 PM   #1
mattotoole
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Bicycle signage survey for MUTCD

Fellow Cyclists,

Please complete this survey on bicycle signage for roads and trails:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=_2bdmAJQR4_2f7OrJANA0wbg2Q_3d_3d

It's a little long -- they say 12 minutes. But your honest input is needed to help choose the best signage for the the Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), the national standard for traffic signs and road markings.

Please complete this survey ASAP, as the results must be tallied by Wednesday, Jan. 7.

I've also posted a link to the survey at the Virginia Bicycling Federation website:

http://www.vabike.org/bike-signage-survey/

Your participation is requested by Jeff Miller, President and CEO of the Thunderhead Alliance for Biking and Walking; and Donald Meeker of Meeker & Associates, representing the Society for Environmental Graphic Design.
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Old 01-01-09, 05:19 PM   #2
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NOTE: This survey is for Americans only. Survey intro does not say that, but only US states are given as valid locations (and I won't assume everyone knows the MUTCD is an American thing).
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Old 01-01-09, 05:27 PM   #3
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The survey does not even get into the "shared lane marking" which is one of the big deals in this latest proposed MUTCD change. At least it does get into the "may use full lane" signage.
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Old 01-01-09, 05:45 PM   #4
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Well, it took me 50 minutes. But they had lots of places for me to comment. It could easily be done in 15 minutes.

While the signs were for the most part for bicycle facilities, I would urge VC folks to add their input. Take it and you will see what I mean. (It is near the end.)

I won't say more because they want to know your first impression, and I don't want to harm their study. I found some of it confusing because "route", "trail", "lane", and "path" all have distinctions for me not generally held by the public at large.
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Old 01-02-09, 10:42 PM   #5
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That was painful! I'm sort of glad they are looking into things like that but still.
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Old 01-05-09, 04:35 AM   #6
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I wonder how many comments they got about the guy riding wrong way in the foreground of one of the signs...
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Old 01-05-09, 09:33 AM   #7
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i didn't like the racer dude with the helmet; wrong message for bike signage. the 'bike' symbol without rider is less ambiguous IMO. The racer dude iconography was redolent of universal sign language seen at olympic venues in the 1980's.

I think the survey's intent was to gauge the effectiveness of sign iconography rather than looking for input on road accomodation design, as suggested above by some of the militant vc contingent.
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Old 01-05-09, 09:52 AM   #8
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Funny, I thought the icon dude was a casual rider and generally gave the signage more of a personal touch (careful, people out and about.) I am beginning to suspect that we are all militant on some point.
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Old 01-05-09, 10:31 AM   #9
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I wonder how many comments they got about the guy riding wrong way in the foreground of one of the signs...
I know I commented every time that dude was presented...

Overall the whole thing seemed a bit superfluous... as if the icon on the sign or the color overall mean a hill of beans.

I do like that "cyclist may take whole lane" was at least in the consideration... But are they going to put that sign on every road?
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Old 01-05-09, 10:41 AM   #10
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I took the survey - and in many cases didn't like the lack of ability to comment on it, but it did get me thinking about something: Both as a result of the speed at which I travel and my physical position when driving a car or driving a bicycle, I find that my field of view is different for each of the vehicles. When riding a bike, I tend to be looking mostly at the area directly in front of me, at the pavement, and glance further up the road. When driving a car my attention is centered further up the road and at a higher level. Common road signs are set at a height to make them visible to motorists, which tends to make them higher than optimal for a cyclist. Is anybody aware of any studies that have been done to determine the optimal height for sinage directed at a cyclist? We seem to have made the assumption that we can use the same guidelines as we use for motorists....
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Old 01-05-09, 11:05 AM   #11
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When driving a car my attention is centered further up the road and at a higher level. Common road signs are set at a height to make them visible to motorists, which tends to make them higher than optimal for a cyclist. Is anybody aware of any studies that have been done to determine the optimal height for sinage directed at a cyclist? We seem to have made the assumption that we can use the same guidelines as we use for motorists....
Hear, hear! +1,000. IMHO bicycle wayfaring signs especially need to be better placed for cyclists viewing.
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Old 01-05-09, 01:44 PM   #12
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I wonder how many comments they got about the guy riding wrong way in the foreground of one of the signs...
I would do the same thing.
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Old 01-05-09, 02:18 PM   #13
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I wonder how many comments they got about the guy riding wrong way in the foreground of one of the signs...
I would do the same thing.
I wouldn't, because I'm too chicken to place myself in such a dangerous situation. Maybe if I were younger with better reflexes, no family to support, a taste for scofflaw behavior, and a need for adrenaline. But I don't fit that demographic any more.

Too bad they included that photo in their survey. It's a distraction from their purpose of gathering reactions to the signs themselves.
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Old 01-05-09, 02:46 PM   #14
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i didn't like the racer dude with the helmet; wrong message for bike signage. the 'bike' symbol without rider is less ambiguous IMO.
Same here, didn't like the pro-helmet undertone.
But more especially didn't like how the symbol was stylized to resemble a handicapped wheelchair access sign.
On some level seemed to imply bikes don't belong and its a special 'accommodation' to be on the road.
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Old 01-05-09, 04:55 PM   #15
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Funny, I thought the icon dude was a casual rider and generally gave the signage more of a personal touch
I thought twiki finally found work. http://www.jeffbots.com/twiki.html
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Old 01-05-09, 05:13 PM   #16
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I thought twiki finally found work. http://www.jeffbots.com/twiki.html
Well I'll be, that's the model to be sure. Gosh, I was really wrong on that one.
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Old 01-05-09, 09:48 PM   #17
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Without commenting on the specific graphic used, I'm strongly in favor of a graphical language that includes a human on the bike.
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Old 01-06-09, 03:38 PM   #18
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I thought the icon was a skier with two beach balls.
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Old 01-06-09, 05:29 PM   #19
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To my eye, the basic thrust here is "eye candy" and non-uniformity / inventing new standards.

1. Eye candy -- the cyclist graphic is perhaps cute, but the flat-handlebar bike with cranks and pedals has been a standard MUTCD sign for a long, long time. How long would it take for motorists to catch on that the new graphic meant the same thing as the old one?
2. Non-uniformity: MUTCD has specific rules about which sign colors go with what signage purposes, and blue as a background color is supposed to be reserved for "motorist services" or something like that. I'd say stick with green instead of blue, promotes (subtly) the message that bikes have same rights to road that cars do.
3. These folks are about a year or more out of synch with proposed revisions to MUTCD -- issued early in 2008 for 6 months of comments, now being reviewed, for a re-issue / update in 2009. Unless some of these were sent in as comments, I wouldn't expect to see any of these suggested signs used anywhere that MUTCD reigns.

JRA's avatar would be better than the suggested cross-pollination of the Olympics's cyclist with a motorcycle helmet ...
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Old 01-06-09, 05:36 PM   #20
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JRA's avatar would be better than the suggested cross-pollination of the Olympics's cyclist with a motorcycle helmet ...
+1 A person sitting with two beach balls is better then a person skiing with two beach balls.
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Old 01-06-09, 06:11 PM   #21
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I wouldn't, because I'm too chicken to place myself in such a dangerous situation. Maybe if I were younger with better reflexes, no family to support, a taste for scofflaw behavior, and a need for adrenaline. But I don't fit that demographic any more.

Too bad they included that photo in their survey. It's a distraction from their purpose of gathering reactions to the signs themselves.
Lets see a shoulder that is two feet or a shoulder which is six Guessing.
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