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Old 03-03-11, 09:55 PM   #1
Wuz
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Signs: Railroad Xing?

Hey all,
I'm putting together a proposal and looking for proper signage for rail-road crossings and bicycles.
I remember seeing some place, a great design featuring a skewed rail-road track and a sweeping bicycle on track to make a perpendicular crossing.
I can not find this sign now and do not know what state it was from.

Does anyone else have other suggestions on a sign proposal for these hazards?
The only other sanctioned sign I can find is the trolley track warning sign.


Thanks.
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Old 03-03-11, 10:00 PM   #2
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Seems like railroad crossings already have lots of signs to me.
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Old 03-03-11, 10:28 PM   #3
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Yeah well I have a skewed intersection with no signs and 3 friends who were sent to the hospital.
Because the tracks are considered "inactive", there is no impetus to put up crossing signs.
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Old 03-03-11, 11:13 PM   #4
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Not to sound too much like an ass, but... were the tracks invisible?
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Old 03-03-11, 11:15 PM   #5
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Here are the federal standards:

http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009/part8.pdf

http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009/part9.pdf
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Old 03-03-11, 11:30 PM   #6
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I saw the sign you refer to in Davis, CA. There used to be one or two of these non-perpendicular rail crossings on second street for spurs to old warehouses. Both the signs and the tracks seem to be gone now, at least according to google maps. Good luck finding a current rendition.
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Old 03-03-11, 11:54 PM   #7
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Yeah well I have a skewed intersection with no signs and 3 friends who were sent to the hospital.
Because the tracks are considered "inactive", there is no impetus to put up crossing signs.
Why does death have to always be, the reason something gets done, but not until someone dies first.

The railroad crossing a couple blocks from my house, always use to make me pensive when crossing it. For years, there was no warning signal and, there had been large gaps on either side of each rail, without being remotely close to the asphalt. Signal lights and gates were finally put up several years ago. A month or so ago, the rail company(CSX) repaired the tracks(not because of me). The gaps between the tracks, and the asphalt is now gone.
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Old 03-04-11, 07:54 AM   #8
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Wuz, if the track is inactive and not being used, then sometime or another, the RR will have to handle the issue; until then, it's pretty much on you to do as every cyclist MUST do on EVERY ride -- "watch for obstacles in your path."

A sign won't make that obstacle go away, and the last time I looked, RR tracks aren't exactly stealthy.

Heck, I thought the enhanced awareness that comes with riding a bike was one of the PERKS of riding......
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Old 03-04-11, 10:42 PM   #9
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I know exactly what happened on 2 occasions..
First, the tracks are off a highway exit ramp and even though the speed limit there is 25mph, cars routinely travel highway speeds.
The tracks are as far from a perpendicular crossing as you can get, so cyclists would signal, take the lane, then cross at as close to a right angle as possible.
While doing this, cars would try to pass as soon as riders make the right swerve to cross the tracks swinging left and then they got rammed from behind while crossing the tracks.

That is why I was trying to find the signage that indicated the swinging cyclist rather that warning cyclist of tracks.
This looks home made, but if more of the intent of my search:
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Old 03-04-11, 10:53 PM   #10
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I'm looking for the street sign version of this:

(copied from the Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver's Manual)
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Old 03-05-11, 12:02 AM   #11
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Because the tracks are considered "inactive", there is no impetus to put up crossing signs.
If they're inactive, could they just be filled with dirt? That way, it doesn't matter which way you go through them.

Might have to put more dirt occasionally, but it's easy to clean out if needed. (If they're inactive forever, cement.)
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Old 03-05-11, 12:09 AM   #12
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There is/was one like this in Portland that also featured an alligator with mouth wide open and poised to gobble up the cyclist. Gators should be mandatory.

I agree that an unmarked grade crossing could be quite the surprise at night even with halfway decent headlights. Signage would help.
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Old 03-05-11, 12:25 AM   #13
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There is/was one like this in Portland that also featured an alligator with mouth wide open and poised to gobble up the cyclist. Gators should be mandatory.

I agree that an unmarked grade crossing could be quite the surprise at night even with halfway decent headlights. Signage would help.
This was in downtown Portland, on the MAX turnaround (SW 11th, I think). It's gone now- de-graffitied.

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Old 03-05-11, 01:19 AM   #14
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If they're inactive, could they just be filled with dirt? That way, it doesn't matter which way you go through them.

Might have to put more dirt occasionally, but it's easy to clean out if needed. (If they're inactive forever, cement.)
"inactive" is different than "defunct". "inactive" means they are no longer regularly used for travel, but as there is a rail yard nearby, they use the tracks for car jockeying sometimes. Stupid as the one track ends in a chain-link fence on the far side of the road.
So 1) filling w/ dirt is not a possibility 2) This does nothing to solve dangerous motorists.

Thanks though.
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Old 03-05-11, 01:40 AM   #15
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Why don't I just link to StreetView?

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&...79.45,,0,11.79

As you can see is the South Bound Lane is a very obtuse angle to cross and you end up in the left side of the lane. 300 feet farther south is the other part of the curve.

Again, this is about warning motorists of cyclists crossing the tracks in a safe way... not about saying there are tracks there.
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Old 03-05-11, 01:49 AM   #16
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I personally would approach the situation by utilizing the massive paved shoulder areas on either side of the road, this of course assumes knowing about the layout beforehand. You can actually take tracks at 20/160 just by lifting your front wheel over and unweighting rear wheel over them.

If you'd like to take the lane to cross the tracks, one must always be careful when going from shoulder riding to taking the lane (or from rightmost portion of lane to center of lane). Timing is everything.

In the car-centric world I'd imagine a "Cyclists must stop and dismount to cross tracks" sign would be more useful and probable than a "Bicycles in travel lane" sign, which many motorists would either not notice or ignore.

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Old 03-05-11, 01:56 AM   #17
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In Portland there are a couple of embedded rail crossings where bike lanes are painted with a zig-zag that puts them perpendicular to the rails, maybe a couple of those utilizing the existing wide paved shoulders could be implemented.

Just one more option...
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Old 03-05-11, 02:02 AM   #18
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Google maps data is too old to show the current configuration of the one near Rose Quarter, but here's the more involved one in Kenton. Bike lane enters from the east and onto cement bike lane, goes through a crazy 5mph left-right chicane to get over the tracks.

I always take the lane on this one. I tried the chicane once. Did not like it. A much mellower chicane could be put in place in the spot you show, though.

http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&...,0.001635&z=20

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Old 03-05-11, 03:19 AM   #19
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Thank You Street Films!!!
Found a nice little video on the Burke-Gilman Greenway in Seattle.
In the piece there was the sign I was looking for. Here is a capture.


Can't embed the video, but here is the link to the full page:
http://www.streetfilms.org/how-to-pr...-on-your-bike/

Thanks to everyone!!!
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Old 03-05-11, 03:35 AM   #20
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I'd say the sharrows do more than the signage in that case, as far as motorist awareness is concerned. That is an alternative to the bike lane chicane utilizing the shoulder idea. I'd propose both to the city council or county gov't and see what they like.

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Old 03-05-11, 08:25 AM   #21
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I'd say the sharrows do more than the signage in that case, as far as motorist awareness is concerned. That is an alternative to the bike lane chicane utilizing the shoulder idea. I'd propose both to the city council or county gov't and see what they like.
Want to know another lol.... The first rail crossing is in the township where I live.... The second is in the city.
= Jurisdictional hell.
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Old 03-05-11, 08:39 AM   #22
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This one from the fed standard looks appropriate, no?
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Old 03-05-11, 10:11 AM   #23
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OK, I'm not looking to flame, I just have a bit of an issue with the already-bloated levels of gov't diverting more money (TAKEN from us) to remedy a non-issue. Nobody bunny-hops? (Sure, some aren't physically capable, and 'bents are a tad tough to hop...BTW, anybody ever see a vid of someone DOING IT?)

I guess, after dealing with it with the younger generations (my kids and the younger adults born between me and them) for so long, I'm a little tired of the 'sit back and say "fix this for me" ' point of view.
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Old 03-05-11, 03:26 PM   #24
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Nobody bunny-hops? (Sure, some aren't physically capable, and 'bents are a tad tough to hop...
If everybody can't do it, if people who aren't familiar with the area don't even know they need to do it until it's too late ... it's not a solution.

A sign is cheap insurance -- not 100% effective, but it should prevent a few crashes, and often these crashes are very serious.
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Old 03-05-11, 05:43 PM   #25
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OK -- once again, not trying to flame, but I don't make in a week what it costs to make and install a sign.

And, I stand by my first statement -- RR tracks are not stealthy; IOW, you'd have to be about riding blind to miss them.
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