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Thread: Rumble strips

  1. #1
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Rumble strips

    Who here:

    1. Has seen them

    2. Has crashed as a result of them

    3. Wants to do something about them


    Christopher

  2. #2
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    UK strips have a clear area near the gutter so cyclists can avoid them. Sometimes.

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    ride more, study less lt1aggie's Avatar
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    are you talking about the intentional 'ruts' to the right of the roads to alert a driver when they are moving off course? if so...yes, there are a few roads around here that have them. they are easily avoided because the shoulder is wide enough. yes, my friend has crashed when accidently riding over them. i know more people that haven't crashed riding over them than have crashed. no, i would not like to see anything done about it.

    -chad

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    They should be on the edge of the road so sleepy drivers are woken up before they get onto the shoulder.

  5. #5
    ride more, study less lt1aggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP
    They should be on the edge of the road so sleepy drivers are woken up before they get onto the shoulder.
    i think it serves a good purpose, and it's a nice barrier between me and traffic.
    -chad

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    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    FYI - A 2001 national alert (FHWA Rumble Strip Action Alert!!):

    http://bicyclecolo.org/site/page.cfm?PageID=172

    This has been a hot topic in Colorado since 1999, and the bicycling community was effective in having the strips redesigned to be better suited to bicycling.


    http://bicyclecolo.org/site/page.cfm?PageID=431



    The Colorado Department of Transportation has tabulated the prevalence of shoulder rumble strips on Colorado highways. Colorado has about 16,000 miles of highway (not including Interstates.) Currently CDOT has rumble stripped around 1,800 of those miles (11.2 %.) Interstate highways have rumble strips installed on 1,400 of 1,900 miles (73.7%) and CDOT plans to finish installation on all non-urban Interstates in the next few years.

    In 1999 Bicycle Colorado worked with CDOT to develop a rumble strip design standard which accommodates the needs of cyclists.* Now rumble strips may only be installed on shoulders with six feet minimum width. This allows at least four feet of shoulder for cyclists. They are also intermittent breaks in the stripping so that cyclists may safely change from the traffic lane or shoulder as needed.* The cuts are no deeper than 3/8 of an inch, five inches wide and eighteen inches across. This design maximizes sound and vibration in motor vehicles while minimizing dangers for cyclists.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 11-16-04 at 10:32 AM.
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    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Occsionally while approaing a stop sign on a ruaral road, there are runble strips across the entire lane of traffic to warn drivers of a stop sign. Those that rode "Crusin' in the Country" in Claxton, GA last weekend had to deal with these.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    They put a nice set of 'em down in a very high traffic bike path here, specifically to slow cyclists down, after they overlayed a new pedestrian path on the bike route and the peds started complaining about the fast moving cyclists...I take another route now to avoid them, and have been lobbying the low IQ genius that installed them to rethink his plan. If not, I'll have to start thinking about doing some 'midnight maintenance' on them...

  9. #9
    ride more, study less lt1aggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    If not, I'll have to start thinking about doing some 'midnight maintenance' on them...
    i like that...heh
    -chad

  10. #10
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Denver's response is spot-on, i.e., these things must be designed and installed in a bicycle-friendly fashion. For those of you who applaud barriers of this sort between bike lanes and the main travel lanes, what happens when you need to leave the bike lane to make a left turn, to avoid being right-hooked at an intersection, or to avoid an obstruction, such as a disabled car, in the bike lane?
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    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    Denver's response is spot-on, i.e., these things must be designed and installed in a bicycle-friendly fashion. For those of you who applaud barriers of this sort between bike lanes and the main travel lanes, what happens when you need to leave the bike lane to make a left turn, to avoid being right-hooked at an intersection, or to avoid an obstruction, such as a disabled car, in the bike lane?
    I was descending a hill with rumble strips at a moderate rate of speed (about 30 mph). The shoulder had a significant amount of debris, including large bolts, car parts, etc. I was overtaken by a bicyclist who wanted me to pull further to the right, so he could pass, which I would not do because of the debris.

    The bicyclist overtaking me would not slow down, and, instead chose to cross the rumble strip to pass me in the auto lane. He very nearly totally wiped out because of the design of the rumble strip.

    This was an organized ride (Ride the Rockies) where we were required to stay on the shoulder if possible, and this was before the rumble strips were redesigned for bicyclists.

    It was a pretty scary moment, and, yes, the overtaking bicyclist was at fault, but it would have made no difference who was at fault, if he had wiped out.

    Those RS can be dangerous things.
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  12. #12
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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    The League of American Bicyclists is working on the problem of rumble strips.

    http://www.bikeleague.org/educenter/rumblestip.htm

    Also go to www.bikeleague.org and enter "rumble strip" in their site search engine. Thre is a lot of information there.

    In my county rumble strips are cut the breadth of the lane from center line to the end of the shoulder. It forces a cyclist into the left lane (and oncoming traffic) to avoid them.

    Road shoulders also have rumble strips. Sometimes there is enough room for a bicycle to ride the shoulder and avoid the strips, sometimes not.

    Since the Illinois Supreme Court made a bone-headed decision in the case of Boub v. Wayne, there are strong disincentives for local authorities to make any accomodation for bicyclists on the roads in Illinois. I'm not hopeful about Illinois doing anything about rumble strips.

    If you don't know about the Boub case, a cyclist was injured in 1988 when he rode onto a bridge that was under construction, but unmarked, as it was safe for cars to cross. In reaction to this decision, local authorities removed bike route signage in some counties, and throughout the state any appearance of accomodation of bicyclists on the roads has been scrupulously avoided.

    The League of Illinois Bicyclists has cataloged some of the effects of the Boub case here: http://www.bikelib.org/boubcase/disincentivelist03.htm
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  13. #13
    ride more, study less lt1aggie's Avatar
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    there are some here in college station that are smaller in width. i have ridden over those (not intentionally, but none the less) on my road bike without hands and did not come close to wiping out. the only strips i have come across are mostly on highways and roads that do not have many intersections. the rs stop well before the intersections, giving ample time/room to make an appropriate left turn, avoid a car, etc. as far as major road debris (such as huge objects that would likely cause an accident if run over), i have always had enough room to move around in the shoulder or avoid it somehow. one time, i had to move into the grass, but it was much better than hitting the object. to the cyclist that made a stupid move in trying to overtake you...he needs to learn how to operate his brakes. i will always gladly slow down than risk injury to myself/my bike.
    -chad

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    Too many hobbies! steve-d's Avatar
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    It is the centerline rumble strips presenting the greatest problem on roads w/o a bike lane. I've found the motorist would prefer to cut it very close to the rider rather than "endure" the awful noise of crossing the center line. They should be limited to the road side.

    Steve

  15. #15
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    In Vermont they put them on Rt.4 and spaced them poorly for
    bicyclists, but in all fairness, that section of Vermont I might
    have been one of about three commuters in that area. There
    were great, wide shoulders but the strips either forced you
    too close to fast moving traffic or into the flat zone. In Vt.
    during the thaw or mud season, the flat zone is basically
    unridable due to all the nails, screws and other flat provoking
    stuff that find its way into the cinder dumps which collects on
    the right edge of the shoulder.

  16. #16
    Senior Member blankgen's Avatar
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    We have rumble strips in one of our bike lanes, leaving four inches of rideable space inside the bike lane

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    there is talk of centerlane strips that would not effect bicycle travel as much, but could be as effective. on a 20 foot road, these would be placed approximately 5 ft center of a 10 foot wide lane, in both directions, where side strips have been present. nj is working on a bill for this.

    i have not crashed due to hitting side road warning strips, but have come close. the "added" security is cancelled by all the junk that ends up in the inner space (where we ride). i have had several flats from steelbelted debree, glass, etc. the addition of sand, trees/branches, and other trash that is not cleaned up is an issue too.

    here in NJ, they do not install these side warning strips at intersections or other intrances. through NJDOT and SJTPO (south jersey transportation planning organization) meetings the terminology for rumble strips are the ones that go vertically across the road. here, the are usually 3 or 4 sets of slightly raised areas about 6-10 per "strip", usually before a stop sign.

    the side parallel warning strips i think OP is referring to, are actually here in nj about 2 inch cuts that are 8 inches wide, and 3/4 inch deep, separated from each by about another 2 inches of road. these are dug out by a maching usually after repaving and are continual except intrance area.

    we have been trying to work with the state to even just clean debree that stays behind these side strips. it gets pushed to a "county", "township", or level of "priority" issue and remains unresolved.

    i like kevlar lined tires for this reason!
    Last edited by tomg; 10-25-08 at 11:00 AM. Reason: correction

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    Hitting them on a Fixie can be a heart rate elevating
    even that can last for a mile or two afterwards

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    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    On a regular ride I do in the Canaveral National Seashore, there are several rumble strips made up of parallel rows of road reflectors spaced closely across the lane. There is no space to the right to avoid them, so I have to go around to the left into the oncoming lane. The area is lightly travelled, but it still is annoying to have to cross into the left lane to avoid them. They are almost impossible to cross safely, and are a tire blowout hazard. While the beach road is a great ride, absolutely no thought went into making it bike-friendly.

  20. #20
    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
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    Texas is starting to use some that are poured out of thermoplastic & are part of the fog line marking. Imagine a thermoplastic paint line with regular lumps in it & you will have the idea. Not too bad to ride over and it does not collect debris like cut in rumble strips do. Plus, they are relatively easy to remove and do not take up any shoulder space.
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    IMHO, the argument is these "save lives". Undoubtedly a few. Nevertheless, it's a pay out to asphalt companies and road pavers to insure the appropriate contributions to the right party are made. Everyone has an interest in continuing (and expanding) the program.

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    Rumble Strips are a great invention for commercial drivers.
    Bad idea for bicycle riders.
    Hit my first rumble strip on a bike, going down a bridge at 32.5 mph.
    Stayed in it for about 5 seconds. Somehow the bike held together.
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    I and my "boys" have had the displeasure of riding over those damn things. I've never crashed, though, and there's usually enough room around the strips to ride to the side of them.

  24. #24
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    If not, I'll have to start thinking about doing some 'midnight maintenance' on them...
    I publicly do not support such actions. I do know someone who did this once though. Worked very well. No one got in trouble and the "damage" was never removed that I am aware of.

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    Senior Member Sledbikes's Avatar
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    stop using skinny tires
    riding and pimpin again

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