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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: What best fits your view of Chokers?
All Chokers should be opposed by cyclists 20 51.28%
Chokers are OK on low traffic roads but not on major bike routes 4 10.26%
I can take or leave Chokers 4 10.26%
Any form of traffic calming is good 5 12.82%
I like Chokers because the force cyclists to be apart of the traffic flow 6 15.38%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-01-09, 08:50 AM   #1
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Choker vs Speed Table

As congestion increases motorists look for alternative routes which often are our cycling routes. But in order for these routes to be a viable shortcut for motorists there is a need to exceed the speed limit which causes issues and concerns.

In order to address these concerns community's have been installing chokers which has alarmed a local cycling community as most feel that chokers make roads less bike friendly, additionally chokers are one of the lest effective measure to reduce motorists speed.

Effectiveness: http://www.trafficcalming.org/effectiveness.html

Speed tables (long flat raised surface) on the other hand are effective at keeping speed near the desired limit without any significant discomfort to law abiding motorists or cyclists.


So I am curious how you feel.

[Edit: The last line of the poll s/b I like Chokers because they force cyclists to be apart of the traffic flow
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Old 03-01-09, 08:53 AM   #2
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They don't slow the fast drivers down, only the cautious ones.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:09 AM   #3
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wouldn't speed tables, especially ones made of rubber, be damaged by plows in the winter?
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Old 03-01-09, 09:24 AM   #4
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wouldn't speed tables, especially ones made of rubber, be damaged by plows in the winter?
There are ways of dealing with this but I can't speak that informatively on this as we don't get much snow locally.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:53 AM   #5
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"I like Chokers because they force cyclists to be a part of the traffic flow."
Italics mine because I assume this is the intended meaning. It doesn't make sense that chokers would force cyclists apart from other traffic. Unless the cyclist is expected to ride on the sidewalk.

Chokers integrate bicycle and motorized traffic. On a route commonly used by bicycles, chokers and bikes in combination would (do) reduce the speed of motorized traffic. Most motorists understand this and may choose to not use that route as a result, as they desire.

I have no experience with speed tables. But it looks like there should be a stencil of a bicycle right in the middle of the one pictured in the OP.

Quote:
Speed tables (long flat raised surface) on the other hand are effective at keeping speed near the desired limit without any significant discomfort to law abiding motorists or cyclists.
For law abiding, competent motorists and cyclists; chokers should likewise cause no significant discomfort.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:53 AM   #6
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Speed tables are really annoying to residents in the area because of noise, with cars slowing for the speed tables then gunning their engines in between. Also, some cars and trucks, and trailers, will alwys rattle or clunk as they go over the humps. A friend lives on a street with speed tables and it's awful. In a couple of other cases the residents rallied to get them removed.

Chokers, OTOH, seem to encourage a more gradual slowing and accelerating. I'm not endorsing those either, but pointing out the problems with speed tables and speed humps.

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Old 03-01-09, 10:12 AM   #7
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I wish I could edit the poll, still trying to wake up I guess. So yes it should be A PART not apart.

And please do not confuse speed tables with speed humps, humps are noisy, speed tables are relatively quite quiet. (Edit: I'm having a day.)
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Old 03-01-09, 10:52 AM   #8
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I have thought of this. One road on my commuting route is used for a shortcut. The residents were unlucky enough that they built a wide street through their neighborhood. If traffic was driven back onto the main drag where it belongs, I wouldn't have any problem with chokers. I dislike them in general. Not sure about speed tables, I'd have to ride on one.

I did find out that bike lanes don't work to slow traffic, in fact they probably speed things up. Our town took out on-street parking and put in bike lanes. The road has very few houses, it has big fraternity buildings. The speed limit is 25, most traffic goes 35-50. They have warning bumps for the stop sign to make noise.
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Old 03-01-09, 11:23 AM   #9
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The most effective traffic calming I've ever seen is periodic enforcement of the speed limit. There is a road near my parents' house that goes from 40mph down to 30mph as it enters a residential area. Everyone goes under 35mph because every so often there'll be a cop car parked in a driveway hidden by on-street parking ready to ticket anyone above the 5mph tolerance.

Some of the roads I commute to work on connect several neighborhoods to more major roads. As such, they are often used as bypasses for the major roads. The speed limit on some is only 25mph yet traffic mostly moves above 40mph. Several stop signs, speed bumps, and even a choke point are present but they do nothing to significantly slow down traffic. I've seen one police car with a radar gun on those roads in the 5.5 years I've been using them. Oddly enough, I've had a few of the locals flip out at me on my bike for going 20mph on those roads (the usual slow cyclist sentiment).
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Old 03-01-09, 11:32 AM   #10
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Chokers and cutouts, like traffic circles, are insanity.
As someone who spent a lot of time and money in PA fighting irresponsible
development, I found "Traffic Calming" such as this, is used primarily to sell
huge developments to people where the increase in traffic of that area is a concern
to the citizens going to be assaulted with it. "Consultants"(?) have found this stuff
very easy to sell at zoning meetings, etc.
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Old 03-01-09, 12:42 PM   #11
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What about Chokers that 'float' out in the street, but leave the bike lanes undisturbed? (bike lane undercuts the choker)
Seen at least one like this, looks pretty good to me.


WTF is a speed table and how is that supposed to work?


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Old 03-01-09, 12:45 PM   #12
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Simply posting a sign reading "Speed limit enforced by concealed camera" (and actually having a concealed camera every now and again) would do wonders.

This might be held a violation of due process in some states, however.
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Old 03-01-09, 03:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
What about Chokers that 'float' out in the street, but leave the bike lanes undisturbed? (bike lane undercuts the choker)
Seen at least one like this, looks pretty good to me.
You mean an island between the traffic lane and the curb?

It will tend to cause a "surprise appearance" of a cyclist for cross traffic and they will fill up with debris. (More expensive for the municipality to keep clear too.)

Dallas has a number of streets with speed humps, and they work well for cyclists. A surprise problem with them is that warning signs get swiped by nearby college students. Apparently it is quite the status symbol to have "speed humps ahead" posted above your bed.

Wouldn't municipalities be exposing themselves to liability for causing a hazardous nuisance with chokers?
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Old 03-01-09, 05:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
What about Chokers that 'float' out in the street, but leave the bike lanes undisturbed? (bike lane undercuts the choker)
Seen at least one like this, looks pretty good to me.
We have one of these on my street. It does collect debris, but is usually passable when there is no snow or ice.

I'm all for speed humps. Doofi drivers who haven't learned to drive the speed limit gas/brake like crazy - leaving cyclists free rein to smoke them. This way the aggressive are punished by spending more money on gas, plus the occasional lost oilpan.

However a few motorists have determined that if you just drive the limit, you can drive over the humps and save gas at the same time. At least they're not speeding
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Old 03-01-09, 07:42 PM   #15
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Measures such as this are a real pain for everyone...

As a cyclist, I've seen this stuff implemented in Oxford, UK and here in the USA. Regarding "Chokers" there is nothing worse than an unpredictable roadway edge that squeezes bikes and car together. I've even seen designs that force opposite directions to meet head-on.

As for speed humps... I see good, bad and ugly. Some are unrideable on a bike - I once crashed as a result of a bump, cycling well below the speed limit... and they punish the users of small cars more than those in large, less efficient vehicles. If the speed limit on a road is, say 30mph then why put speed humps that invariably slow traffic beneath that limit at intervals? Change the limit and do something sensible about enforcement if cars are travelling too fast.

OK, that's my 2p

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Old 03-01-09, 08:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
WTF is a speed table and how is that supposed to work?
This may be of interest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_table
But basically at designed speed a car "rests" on top before hitting the descent, faster and the car goes up and comes down hard missing the intermediate rest area. I witnessed a Jeep thinking he did not have to slow down for a speed table (doing ~35mph for a 25mph sped table) and he lost some stuff out of the open back area.


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Old 03-01-09, 09:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
The most effective traffic calming I've ever seen is periodic enforcement of the speed limit. ...
The problem in California, and perhaps several other states, is that the fastest 1/6 of all motorists determine the enforceable speed limits.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:17 PM   #18
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I haven't decided whether to vote #1 or #2, but in general I think I'm leaning away from supporting them. This is the first I've heard of them so I don't want to make a snap decision.

I don't know how far apart they are from each other, but it seems to me that there are basically two ways for cyclists to handle them. Their distance may determine whether the first or second is chosen by more cyclists.

First, unless they are very close together, most cyclists will probably try to stick to the right between the chokers, so they will have to merge back out into traffic to get through them, which there might not be good opportunity to do if a line of cars is passing at the time. A car might intentionally try to beat them to the choker, or just unintentionally underestimate the cyclist's speed.

Or, unless they are very far apart, the more educated and assertive cyclist may decide to just ride a straight line between chokers such that they don't have to change their lateral position when they get there, but motorists may not understand this reasoning and get annoyed that the cyclist is so far out into the lane between chokers.

I don't see either response as a good option for the cyclist. So, definitely #2, and maybe #1.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
Wouldn't municipalities be exposing themselves to liability for causing a hazardous nuisance with chokers?
Chokers are part of FHWA accepted traffic calming road treatments http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/...dewalks209.htm
But interestingly enough not part of the MUTCD
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However, there are currently no plans to address humps, chokers, and other common traffic calming measures as part of the rewrite. Until the MUTCD is updated to include traffic calming measures, engineering judgment must prevail.
http://www.ite.org/traffic/tcsop/Chapter4c.pdf
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Old 03-01-09, 09:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JohnBrooking View Post
I haven't decided whether to vote #1 or #2, but in general I think I'm leaning away from supporting them. This is the first I've heard of them so I don't want to make a snap decision.

I don't know how far apart they are from each other, but it seems to me that there are basically two ways for cyclists to handle them. Their distance may determine whether the first or second is chosen by more cyclists.

First, unless they are very close together, most cyclists will probably try to stick to the right between the chokers, so they will have to merge back out into traffic to get through them, which there might not be good opportunity to do if a line of cars is passing at the time. A car might intentionally try to beat them to the choker, or just unintentionally underestimate the cyclist's speed.

Or, unless they are very far apart, the more educated and assertive cyclist may decide to just ride a straight line between chokers such that they don't have to change their lateral position when they get there, but motorists may not understand this reasoning and get annoyed that the cyclist is so far out into the lane between chokers.

I don't see either response as a good option for the cyclist. So, definitely #2, and maybe #1.
The idea of supporting a design that either encourages cyclists or gives drivers the expectation that cyclists must play jack-in-the-box with traffic I find hard to stand behind.

As far as frequency of placement some cases it's just one you have to deal with in others the spacing is just far enough apart that drivers get really annoyed if you don't pull over and if you do you generally have to slow or stop for the next one in order to safely merge back into traffic (not enough space for a motorist to completely pass a cyclists.)
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Old 03-01-09, 09:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
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The problem in California, and perhaps several other states, is that the fastest 1/6 of all motorists determine the enforceable speed limits.
I highly doubt this is the case for all roads including neighborhood roads. Either way, while the speed limit is set at a certain point, it can be enforced at that point. The speed limit isn't ever changing based on increasingly higher speeds of traffic.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:59 PM   #22
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I don't know how to vote -

I suspect chokers work effectively only on the most traffic-calmed streets (European woonerfs or Tempo zones), or NA bike boulevards, or are part of what helps make streets that way.

Streets with EXTREME chokers work to calm traffic, IE no thru traffic at choke points.

Residential center planters, the mini traffic circle kind, affect traffic calming but seem to add to bike/car conflicts when both approach simultaneously.

chokers that incorporate bus stops as part of the cutouts can work allright for bike traffic along bike laned streets, but chokers lose effectiveness on any street approaching a neighborhood connector or arterial route- unless municipalities are looking to genuinely reduce traffic speeds and volumes....not dress up a high ADT roadway.

I'm all for speed tables versus chokers. Why not both?

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Old 03-01-09, 11:46 PM   #23
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Speed humps are annoying.
Chokers here don't look anything like that, so I don't want them.


This is a choker notice the middle median?

They also have what you have pictured above but there is a bike cut out for a bike lane/shoulder like my picture.


So yes I am opposed.
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Old 03-02-09, 12:39 AM   #24
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Speed humps are annoying.
Chokers here don't look anything like that, so I don't want them.


This is a choker notice the middle median?

They also have what you have pictured above but there is a bike cut out for a bike lane/shoulder like my picture.


So yes I am opposed.
That thing is absurd. A bike laned road, that has a speed table for the bike lane, no speed table for the traffic lane, forces bikes to move right, forces motorist to swerve right and into the bike lane; and does nothing to actually slow motorist down.
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Old 03-02-09, 07:41 AM   #25
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There are speed tables in part of my neighborhood that have cutouts that I can ride through but cars cannot. Another type of speed table is made of asphalt and easy to post over on my bike.

They work so well in slowing down traffic that several neighborhoods request them.

It's no accident that many subdivisions have lots of curvy roads and cul-de-sacs. It slows down traffic.

Narrowing the streets, either with new curbs or with giant concrete planter boxes, has changed a couple of would-be shortcuts for cars into near impassable roads.

Real and fake tv cameras also help. Real cops with radar guns do, too.

Dropping the speed limit helps.

In some neighborhoods, closing a street in the middle or at one end, turning the road into a dead-end, has solved the problem of being a speedy shortcut for motorists.
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