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Best placement of rumble strips?

Old 02-12-18, 06:55 PM
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Best placement of rumble strips?

Around my area, there are not a lot of roads with rumble strips because it's a small town. One of the roads with rumbles is U.S. Hwy 27, which is a divided four-lane. The shoulders are about three feet wide. The rumbles start about 10-12 inches off the white line. The rumbles themselves are about 12-14 inches wide and are in sections about 15 feet long, with about a two foot space between each set of rumbles. So that give riders about 12 inches between the right edge of the rumbles and the edge of the pavement. Of course, that 12 inch space is usually covered in debris, so I ride, when possible, out in the lane of traffic, just to the left of the white line. I move over to the shoulder when there is a bit of traffic coming up behind me. Sometimes I ride between the white line and the start of the rumbles.

I was riding a couple of years ago on FL Hwy 2, headed west towards the AL line and the rumble strips were made into the white line, giving cyclists the entire shoulder, which in this case, was about 2.5 to 3 feet. That design to me makes sense. If the rumbles are like they are in my area, a car is well off the road before the rumbles warn drivers that they are over the line. I like the Hwy 2 design better. What about you?
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Old 02-12-18, 07:04 PM
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The best rumble strips are none.

They don't serve any useful purpose.


-Tim-
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Old 02-12-18, 07:10 PM
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What I've noticed is that semi drivers use the rumble strips as an analog navigation system while texting.
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Old 02-12-18, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C
What I've noticed is that semi drivers use the rumble strips as an analog navigation system while texting.
I am not questioning the truth here,only saddened that is an actual practice.
I have seen a city employee texting while driving a five ton truck but never one of the big boys.
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Old 02-12-18, 07:30 PM
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I pass a few rumble strips on my rides up to Portland.

Around Salem, they have the rumble bumps in the white paint, and it seems best to me. Gets it out of the way for both cars and cyclists. No need to cross the white line before hitting them.

When I hit HWY 99 near Newberg, they have those rumbles a foot or two wide cut into the shoulders. I suppose I'm getting tired by that point in my ride, but it is just wicked to be descending at 30 MPH and hit one.

One thing... I feel that the it is DANGEROUS for bikes to hit those rumbles at high speeds. One loses most of one's control of the bike.

Last edited by CliffordK; 02-12-18 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 02-12-18, 07:32 PM
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Do you live out by Chiefland? I love the bike lane on Manatee Road. It sounds like the location you are talking about.
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Old 02-12-18, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr
I am not questioning the truth here,only saddened that is an actual practice.
I have seen a city employee texting while driving a five ton truck but never one of the big boys.
I've seen it several times: It's visible if the driver is resting their arms on the top of the steering wheel and holding the phone. During the night, you can see the glow. I don't actually do a lot of freeway driving, but when I do, it's on routes that are dominated by truck traffic.
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Old 02-12-18, 08:17 PM
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Fortunately, 27 has no rumble strips in the sections I ride. I can't think of any roads with rumbles on the shoulder around here. Higher volume roads are having rumble depressions put in on the fog line and center stripe when they're repaved. I have no problem with those. Rumble strips actually on the shoulder would leave me looking for another road.
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Old 02-12-18, 09:46 PM
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I think that one the white line is best.
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Old 02-13-18, 07:53 AM
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Around me, they have some areas where they run successive intermittent rumble strips that run the full width of the lane approaching a stop sign at a problem intersection. They were kind enough to also run them all the way through the shoulder. So, if there is no oncoming traffic, we often ride right on the center stripe to avoid them. Not ideal at all.
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Old 02-13-18, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
The best rumble strips are none.

They don't serve any useful purpose.
They make a difference in snow-covered conditions when the lane markings aren't visible.
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Old 02-13-18, 09:20 AM
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Musical rumble strip

Just left of or on the white line is my preference for rumble strips. But without attracting drivers onto 'em like this:

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Old 02-13-18, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C
What I've noticed is that semi drivers use the rumble strips as an analog navigation system while texting.
As a truck driver for 10 years I can say I don't really see that many semi drivers texting. Most are too old school for that. Talking on a phone yes which is still illegal without handsfree setup. Like a $2000 fine if caught doing either and your company will fire you for that ticket because we have to report any violations to then. But drivers in cars you have plenty to worry about. Interstates, highways, in town and even thru construction sites I seen drivers in cars texting away. Very few in a truck.

Last edited by hillyman; 02-13-18 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 02-13-18, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
The best rumble strips are none.

They don't serve any useful purpose.


-Tim-
They let drivers know to pay closer attention to posting that selfie they just took to Instagram.
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Old 02-13-18, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
They make a difference in snow-covered conditions when the lane markings aren't visible.
Fair enough, but I live in Georgia.
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Old 02-13-18, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Fair enough, but I live in Georgia.
Even here in NH they are more of an annoyance than anything else.
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Old 02-13-18, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
The best rumble strips are none.

They don't serve any useful purpose.


-Tim-
I've perked up a few times late at night while driving when I hit a rumble strip. I like them much more than speed bumps. Maybe we aren't envisioning the same thing or are using wrong terminology for them.

As for the OP's question, in my state they don't seem to have a set way to do them. Unless it's just that some highways had them installed before they decided on standard. I agree that with regards to roads where cyclists and other non-vehicular traffic might be on the shoulder it seems putting them on the line will give the driver a brief chance to become alert, see and avoid a potential accident.

As for shoulders being filled with trash and debris, yeah that's common here in rural parts. Even the ones that have a dedicated bike lane are debris laden, so that forces me to be in the motor traffic lanes. I'm sure it drives motorist that aren't cyclist nuts, as they don't know why I'm not in the bike lane.
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Old 02-13-18, 10:53 AM
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Got a DOT job as a consultant on where to place them, Ideally?
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Old 02-13-18, 12:32 PM
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I have encountered the problem and worse when touring out west. For example, on U.S. 287 north of Ennis, MT there is a long stretch where the placement basically renders what little shoulder there is useless in most places. Adventure Cycling Association has been involved with advocating for better placement.
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Old 02-13-18, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by hillyman
As a truck driver for 10 years I can say I don't really see that many semi drivers texting. Most are too old school for that. Talking on a phone yes which is still illegal without handsfree setup. Like a $2000 fine if caught doing either and your company will fire you for that ticket because we have to report any violations to then. But drivers in cars you have plenty to worry about. Interstates, highways, in town and even thru construction sites I seen drivers in cars texting away. Very few in a truck.
I've definitely seen more texting in cars than in trucks.
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Old 02-13-18, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C
What I've noticed is that semi drivers use the rumble strips as an analog navigation system while texting.
As a retired truck driver, I can tell you that ANY truck driver caught texting (or even using their phone with out a hands free device) while operating said truck WILL get a several thousand dollar fine. (Last I heard, the fine was over $5,000 for first offence.) In some jurisdictions, they can get the ticket even if they are merely sitting behind the wheel while the truck is parked.
The driver is also fired on the spot when given a ticket.
Upon conviction (first offence) his or her CDL is revoked for several years.
They also get a permanent black mark on their Federal Safety Record, which increases the cost of the insurance for any truck they may drive in the future, whether or not if they are the owner of the truck. Which, in short, means they have a difficult time getting another driving job, if/when they ever get their Commercial Drivers License reinstated.

The ONLY drivers I have seen in the last 25 plus years who were texting while driving are those in cars and non-commercial vans or pickup trucks.
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Old 02-13-18, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishBrewer
Around me, they have some areas where they run successive intermittent rumble strips that run the full width of the lane approaching a stop sign at a problem intersection. They were kind enough to also run them all the way through the shoulder. So, if there is no oncoming traffic, we often ride right on the center stripe to avoid them. Not ideal at all.
We have one of those. It must have been a problem intersection or something. And, like you, I've started pulling left as traffic allows. Hitting the rumble strips at stop sign speed isn't bad, but just not pleasant.
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Old 02-13-18, 02:04 PM
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As far as shoulder-wide rumbles...

If it is a road that is useful for cyclists (hard to avoid riding on it), then perhaps there would be a way to get the state to come back and fix the mess they made, hopefully widening the shoulders in the process.

It would be an expensive remedy, but in some places, blocking the use of shoulders is dangerous for cyclists, and perhaps even dangerous for drivers avoiding cyclists.

There was a post a while ago about a Canadian cycle tourist, I think, that got killed riding on one of those roads with shoulder-wide rumbles.
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Old 02-14-18, 12:53 PM
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Shoulders on roads that I'm familiar with always tend to be full of small gravel and debris I just don't want to ride on. Local governments likely don't have the funds to clean them often enough for a cyclist to use, IMO.

I still favor the concept of adopting a wider outside lane. The regular motor vehicle traffic will keep the lane reasonably clear of debris by doing what they do now.....knock it over to the shoulder. The extra width will make is slightly safer by giving extra room to pass cyclist, though I still feel that when possible motor vehicles should change lanes.
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Old 02-14-18, 02:50 PM
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All I can say is the rumble strips probably saved my life.
A near accident taught me not to drive while overly tired.
As far as placement was concerned I am pretty sure
They were after the white line and barely gave me time to react.
I would like them on the white strip. It gives you more time to
react and has one space serving two functions.
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