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City considers rumble strips on Marine Drive

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 26th, 2012 at 9:14 am

Ready to rumble?
(Photo: Missouri DOT)

As part of their ongoing High Crash Corridors program, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is considering installing rumble strips on NE Marine Drive.

PBOT bicycle projects staffer Jeff Smith is currently looking for feedback on the plan. Since Marine Drive is a very popular route for weekend riders and racers training for competition, Smith has emailed the idea to local riding groups like the Portland Wheelmen Touring Club and the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association.

PBOT is focusing on Marine Drive (between I-5 and NE 185th) for a safety analysis and improvements because it has a "substantially higher" fatality rate that the citywide norm (17 out of 1000 crashes is fatal, compared to 3 out of 1000 citywide). Adding to the safety issues on the street are high speeds and a lot of truck traffic. According to PBOT data, between NE 33rd and 185th, an average of 82% of all motor vehicles exceed the speed limit (with about 11% exceeding the posted speed by 10 MPH or more).

PBOT statistics show that between 2001 and 2010, there were 398 total reported collisions on Marine Drive and 12 of those involved a fatality. Seven of the collisions involved a person on a bicycle. Below is a chart from PBOT:

One of PBOT's main concerns is the prevalence of "lane departure" crashes, which is a traffic safety term for when a car leaves the roadway and hits something (like a traffic pole or another vehicle). On NE Marine, those type of crashes are three times higher than the citywide average.

(Source: FHWA)

To combat these departures, PBOT is considering adding rumble strips, which are a series of depressions/bumps made into the pavement on the shoulder to provide people with an audible and tactile warning that they're about to drive off the road. This issue impacts bicycling because rumble strips can cause major headaches if installed without bicycle riders in mind.

Here's a snip from an email PBOT's Jeff Smith sent to OBRA:

"Obviously, there are some very real potential safety benefits for cyclists from using rumble strips — but they also create some very real concerns."

PBOT is a very bike-sensitive agency, so if they install rumble strips, I'm sure they'll do it in a way that has the least amount of negative impacts. The fact that they're reaching out to bike groups at this early stage bodes very well.

According to Smith, PBOT would adhere to Federal Highway Administration guidelines, which call for four feet of width between the rumble strips and the edge of the roadway and 12-foot gaps every 40 to 60 feet.

Smith says the rumble strips on Marine Dr. would "conform closely to the League of American Bicyclists' recommendations" as laid out in this League blog post.

If you have feedback about the use of rumble strips on Marine Drive, PBOT would love to hear it. Please consider leaving a comment below and/or emailing Jeff Smith at directly jeff.smith [at] portlandoregon.gov.

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Comments
  • peejay June 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

    So, the effective usable width of the bike lane is now four feet?

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    • are June 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      it's not a bike lane, it's a shoulder

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  • Dave Anderson June 26, 2012 at 9:24 am

    As a frequent rider of Marine Drive east of 205, I would say this could only work if the city regularly sweeps the shoulders to keep them clean. The shoulders seem fairly wide, but they're often filled with gravel, metal debris, glass and roadkill. If I have to move around to avoid that, I don't want one of the consequences to be hitting a rumble strip.

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    • Dave Thomson Thomson June 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      That is EXACTLY the problem with rumble strips.

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  • Jonathan Gordon June 26, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I ride on Marine Drive occasionally as there's some great cycling routes out by Troutdale. If they are going to move forward with this, I hope they consider the following:

    1. I'd prefer edge line rumble strips over shoulder rumble strips, as they appear to leave more of the shoulder free for cycling.

    2. It'd be great if they included extra funds in their budget for increased shoulder sweeping. These sorts of facilities make it harder for people on bikes to leave the shoulder if there is debris.

    Thanks PBOT.

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  • Pat June 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Perhaps I am a wimp of a cyclist - but I have driven on Marine Drive many times, biked it several times, and witnessed first hand some scary moments, so when I moved to a location that would have enabled me to use it for a daily commute by bike, I opted to use Sandy blvd instead - the cars are slower and the wind was usually nil. I highly recommend it as the alternative. I know, too, that there is a plan to improve bike travel on NE Sandy (repaving and 'real' bike lanes). I think something does need to be done to make Marine drive a safer route for all. It is the more scenic option and part of the 40 mile loop - it is the first choice for the recreational cyclist - who may not be aware of the safety issues.

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  • DK June 26, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I like the idea, provided it's done with a thoughtful eye toward the shared-use nature of the road in question (please don't make the rumble strips in the area of the shoulder, consequently shrinking its usable area for cyclists).

    I agree with comments above that the city could do wonders to improve cycling by sweeping the shoulders on Marine Drive far more frequently than their current schedule. This goes for many of the "bike routes" in N. Portland's Industrial areas.

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  • S June 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I assume that the "fatalities" mentioned here are vehicle-on-bike collisions? For some reason, it seems vague as worded in this article...though since we are talking about shoulder breaches (and the need for rumble strips), I assume we are. It would certainly gel with my first (and last) biking foray onto Marine Drive.

    Regardless of the specific safety issues discussed here, I'm surprised that Marine Drive is considered at present to be a viable bikeway of any kind whatsoever. From what this article says, its "bike lane" is actually just a shoulder...even though the Bike There! map represents it as the former. That makes sense to me...the one time I got stuck on that road (having followed the map's recommendations, which are usually accurate), the "lane" was choked with blackberry brambles and other obstructions, but it was nearly impossible to get out in the road for fear of being plowed down by a semi going at top speed (if not beyond).

    It was one of those unexpected biking experiences, where you find yourself suddenly in great danger, with few options for extricating yourself from the scenario as your life flashes before your eyes. These events happen often enough when a cyclist takes the wrong turn and ends up somewhere dangerous--it's egregious that this should happen to someone following a map of "safe" biking routes.

    Or am I missing something here? Is there a way of riding Marine Drive without getting killed that I wasn't able to figure out? (Of course I am not discussing the MD Path that goes along the river...although getting on it from Rockwood is also quite an odyssey...but that's a different post/rant!)

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    • Jonathan Gordon June 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

      "Is there a way of riding Marine Drive without getting killed that I wasn't able to figure out?"

      I suppose it's all relative. I find Marine Drive a heck of a lot more pleasant to ride on than Hwy 30 between NW Portland and Sauvie Island. The shoulder seems wider, smoother, and less littered. Neither are destinations in and of themselves, but both provide access to some really great riding. I don't recall ever encountering blackberry brambles encroaching the roadway, but I've only started road riding the past couple of years.

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      • Tony June 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

        I am guessing the section spoken of with the blackberries is the part West of 33rd where marine becomes narrower and curvy. It is a not so fun connection if you're taking Marine out to Kelly Point.

        I doubt that's where the rumble strips are going, but I would love to see some better facilities on that stretch.

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        • Dan June 26, 2012 at 11:02 am

          that's the only section of marine drive that I've ever seen blackberries intruding on the bike lane (westbound/north side of the road, about midway between 33rd and I-5). When they're mowed back, it's fine, but most of the time that section feels tight. There seems to be more freight traffic during the week, very little on the weekend.

          the south side of the road (eastbound) could use some work in this section too - it's really just a shoulder here, not a proper bike lane, and broken up with a lot of gravel. I wouldn't take a timid cyclist on this stretch, what with all the traffic.

          That said, marine drive is one of the more low-stress roads I ride, and a great way to get to all the fun routes on the east side. I'm not sure that the rumble strips would really help matters all that much - for cyclists, it might just be one more thing to look out for...

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          • S June 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

            It wasn't all bramble...I'm not a plant expert, but there was lots of overgrowth of various weeds including blackberry (which always stands out in my mind since one cannot simply brush through them without getting grabbed by thorns). This and an excess of debris (broken glass, etc.). This was precisely around 33rd--I was headed down to Jantzen Beach from Central Eastside. As for being able to dodge in/out of the lane? Out of the question: too many speeding trucks. Shudder...

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      • oskarbaanks June 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        You know, now that you mention them, I do remember b.b.brambles out there at one time. I remember thinking it was kinda weird. But that was a longtime ago,

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    • Chris I June 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

      I believe most of the deaths have been single vehicle crashes. Typically, it's some drunk a-hole on the way home from the bar that sends his car over the edge. Occasionally there will be a head-on or a t-bone accident due to the lack of traffic signals and speed-limit enforcement.

      They really need to have a few traffic signals on marine drive, and other measures to bring down the speed. Cars use it as a freeway bypass, and tend to travel at roughly freeway speeds. It is a very uncomfortable bike route when you are not on a MUP.

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      • oskarbaanks June 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

        I say more speed patrols,and controls along with allowing vehicles to stop again and watch air traffic. I do not know why they forbid it, but it seems to me if traffic was slower, and people could use the wide turn out's to enjoy some scenery, Marine Drive would be far more pleasurable.

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  • Mike June 26, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I use Marine drive all the time for training rides. Great views. Between the bike path segments and the "bike shoulder" segments, all is good, and I've never felt uncomfortable, despite the higher vehicle speeds.

    However, as others have pointed out above, this awesomeness is all based on my ability to artfully dodge the road debris littering the shoulder segments. I can see many more ways in which the installation of rumble strips will dramatically decrease safety for cyclists, even as it increases safety for motorists.

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  • J-R June 26, 2012 at 10:25 am

    It sounds like a good place for enhanced enforcement. Citations for speeding, reckless driving, DUII would help.

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  • GlowBoy June 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

    "I assume that the "fatalities" mentioned here are vehicle-on-bike collisions?" - S

    Yes. In my 15 years in Portland I seem to recall more than one or two cyclist deaths on Marine Drive.

    "the "lane" was choked with blackberry brambles and other obstructions, but it was nearly impossible to get out in the road for fear of being plowed down by a semi going at top speed (if not beyond)."

    Admittedly I haven't been on Marine Drive in a couple years, but I've ridden it a number of times in the past and don't recall the problems you describe. Maybe it's just one section that is that way? What I recall is a wide "shoulder" (which may or may not be marked as a bike lane) that offers plenty of room for cyclists ... if only motorists would stay off it.

    For the record, I am ALL FOR rumble strips separating the shoulder from the general traffic lane. Really, what bike/rider combination can't handle crossing a rumble strip when entering or leaving the bike lane? This would be a big win, although I would like to see the city make sure to sweep it a couple times a year.

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    • Alan 1.0 June 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

      GlowBoy
      "I assume that the "fatalities" mentioned here are vehicle-on-bike collisions?" - S
      Yes. In my 15 years in Portland I seem to recall more than one or two cyclist deaths on Marine Drive.

      Mmm...the metric is "fatal crashes per 1000 total crashes," and I'm pretty sure that PBOT is measuring all reported vehicle crashes, motorized or not, including single vehicle. Bike crashes without hospitalization are not reported (according to what I've read here), so those wouldn't count, but solo motor vehicle crashes would.

      It's a bit of an odd measure, as a road which was normally safe but had one freak fatal crash would rate worse than a road with many minor crashes and a few fatalities. I suspect PBOT weights their evaluation with an eye toward total crashes and total fatalities, and vehicle miles.

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  • Jack June 26, 2012 at 10:32 am

    "an average of 82% of all motor vehicles exceed the speed limit"

    Sounds like a great location for the city to rack up revenue via traffic citations.

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    • El Biciclero June 26, 2012 at 11:23 am

      All they need is 3% more and up goes the speed limit...

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  • Spiffy June 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

    they could install speed bumps... they'll slow people down and also keep them awake enough to not swerve onto the shoulder... two birds and whatnot...

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  • Alan 1.0 June 26, 2012 at 11:34 am

    LAB's first Best Practices item says, "Not installing rumble strips on designated bicycle routes and other roads where bicycling is expected." Isn't Marine Drive a designated bike route? Will the rumble strips only be on segments which don't have an adjacent MUP?

    Also, 12 foot gaps every 60 feet seems very sparse. Seems like the other way around, maybe 10 feet of rumble strip and 30 feet of smooth surface, would still give errant drivers the buzz they need while leaving much better access to bikes passing or avoiding hazards on the shoulder.

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  • BURR June 26, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Most of the shoulder on Marine Drive is about 4 feet wide, but there are places where it narrows to less than 2 feet due to private property and other obstructions, particularly in the westbound direction.

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  • fredlf June 26, 2012 at 11:39 am

    "an average of 82% of all motor vehicles exceed the speed limit"

    When is the automotive community going to take responsibility and stop being scofflaws? They should get no more funding until they clean up their act.

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    • peejay June 26, 2012 at 11:41 am

      Exactly!

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 26, 2012 at 11:45 am

      yep. I think it's clear that, in order to avoid any more tragedy, we should ban automobiles from using Marine Drive. It's just too dangerous, and none of us wants to live with the knowledge that we could have done something to prevent another person from being killed.

      Surely the City doesn't want that sort of liability on their hands, do they?

      ;-)

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    • Chris I June 26, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      I honestly think that 99% of motorists don't think of speeding as an illegal activity. And rolling through a stop sign is only illegal if someone else is doing it.

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      • DoubleB June 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm

        And bikes have never rolled through a stop sign? That's about as hypocritical as it gets from this community.

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        • Jonathan Gordon June 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

          My outrage to people on bikes rolling stop signs is proportional to the number of deaths said rolling has caused.

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        • GlowBoy June 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm

          DoubleB
          And bikes have never rolled through a stop sign? That's about as hypocritical as it gets from this community.
          Recommended 0

          4000 pound car rolling stop sign 200 pound bike/rider rolling stop sign.

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          • GlowBoy June 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

            Let me try that again. Darned HTML tags.

            4000 pound car rolling stop sign 200 pound bike/rider rolling stop sign.

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            • GlowBoy June 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

              Once more (sorry):

              4000 pound car rolling stop sign != 200 pound bike/rider rolling stop sign.

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        • Champs June 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm

          Nobody stops if they don't have to. I don't begrudge anybody for that, so long as they look.

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        • El Biciclero June 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

          DoubleB: You're missing the point. Chris I is pointing out the fact that a lot of drivers who like to point out the illegality of cyclists rolling stop signs are in fact blind to their own illegal actions of speeding and rolling the very same stop signs. Everybody's a hypocrite. Wait, no they're not--Chris I is only being a hypocrite if he/she him/herself routinely runs stop signs and speeds. You can't call somebody a hypocrite for pointing to bad behavior unless that very same person (not some other person who you imagine to be in the same "group") makes a habit of practicing the same or similar behavior.

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          • Chris I June 27, 2012 at 7:52 am

            I still speed when I'm driving on the freeway (5 over), but never on surface streets where there could be vulnerable users. And if I get a ticket for speeding, I won't complain, because I understand that I am breaking the law. The vast majority of drivers do not accept that they were breaking the law.

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            • The Oblio June 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

              So, Breaking the Law is OK as long as you KNOW you're doing it ?
              YAK !

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              • El Biciclero June 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm

                Never said it was OK; point was that there is no right to complain if you get a ticket for knowingly speeding. The key is that breaking the law is more of a technicality when the risk posed to others is minimal, but could actually be considered morally wrong when done in a way that poses a danger to other people.

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        • Pete June 27, 2012 at 11:18 am

          My bike has never rolled through a stop sign - at least not while I'm driving it. Don't you dare call me a hypocrite without searching several years of previous posts here on this matter.

          And Chris while we're on the subject of socially acceptable legal transgressions, I'd add signaling turns and lane changes to the list of things actually required by law (by both drivers and cyclists, the latter only when not interfering with safe operation of the bike).

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  • Bikesalot June 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    "Really, what bike/rider combination can't handle crossing a rumble strip when entering or leaving the bike lane?"

    On last year's trans-America velomobile tour from Portland, one of the velos had a nasty rollover crash on the Interstate, not all that far to the east. Seems there is a spot where the shoulder vanishes at a narrow bridge at the bottom of a decent descent (sound familiar?). Velos move FAST, especially downhill.

    Unfortunately there was a deeply cut rumble strip with no exit space provided. Unfortunately rumble strips are not as common in Europe, home of most of the riders on that tour. Also unfortunately, the trikes on which most velos are based easily loose directional control when the rear wheel looses contact with the pavement, as when bouncing along a severe rumble strip. Add this all together and the unfamiliar hazard nearly ruined one expensive machine and its rider.

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  • dachines June 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    No rumble strips. They are horrible. While the idea that they somehow might help protect cyclists from errant motor vehicle drivers is quaint, it is also wishful thinking. I know of no positives that rumble strips offer to cyclists.

    On the other hand an 82% non-compliance with the speed limit is just SCREAMING for enforcement. So, if they want to add rumble strips, add them to the entire length and width of the primary vehicle lanes. ;)

    Seriously though, 82% non-compliance indicates a need to heavily enforce the speed limit and to implement measures to slow the traffic. Perhaps some of the most dangerous spots on Marine drive for all users are where roads like 122nd T into Marine Drive. If we want to slow traffic and make Marine Drive safer then add signals at those T intersections. There are enough of those T intersections on Marine drive that signalizing them would definitely slow down traffic, and reduce the number of accidents that those intersections currently cause.

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    • El Biciclero June 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      "...an 82% non-compliance with the speed limit is just SCREAMING for enforcement."

      For most Ds Of T, isn't that the cue to actually raise the speed limit? If 85% of drivers (we only need 3% more) travel at a given speed that is above the posted speed, isn't the posted speed deemed to be artificially low?

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      • Tony June 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        The same standard should be applied to indicate the need for a cyclist-only yield at intersections with <15% compliance!

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        • Chris I June 27, 2012 at 7:58 am

          Enforcement decisions should be based on a history of injury and death for the given area. Why do we enforce traffic laws? I was under the impression that it was to make people safe.

          Using this criteria, speed and DUI enforcement on Marine Drive would be completely justified. Stop sign stings in Ladd's Addition would not.

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      • dachines June 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm

        A bad paradigm is a bad paradigm..."just because everyone else is doin' it....blah, blah, blah".

        The stated goal is to improve safety. Lowering speed limits is a proven method of improving safety. So despite this purported 85% threshold of non-compliance supposedly being a metric to increase the speed limit, doing so would be directly counter to PBOT's stated goal.

        As a nearly daily user of Marine Drive I would be happy to see a reduction of speeds.

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  • El Biciclero June 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Of the 398 reported collisions, how many had a primary cause of "lane departure"? How many of the 12 fatalities involved the death of a bicycle rider AND were due strictly to "lane departure" (recognizing that if a cyclist is in a bike lane or shoulder, ALL collisions with them involve a lane departure). It seems this is yet another example of the degradation of a bike route in the name of safety. The assumption being that cyclists would far and away prefer to have a substandard--even dangerous--surface or operating area if it is perceived as "safer".

    Why don't we put rumble strips on the left side of the fog line so drivers have an even earlier warning that they are about to depart from their lane? Wouldn't that be more helpful? Wouldn't it cause drivers to be more careful, perhaps slow down? Aren't there ever lane departures to the left? Shouldn't we line both inside edges of the lane with rumble strips? It is interesting that a problem caused by errant drivers is "solved" by degrading the part of the roadway only non-drivers should ever use. If drivers are causing a problem, any solution that creates new inconvenience and a requirement for added vigilance should create that increased burden for drivers.

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  • resopmok June 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    A rumble strip won't prevent unsafe driving habits, such as speeding, which are the real cause of the accident rate. I thought rumble strips were originally for those falling asleep at the wheel in danger of driving off a highway, which has a much wider shoulder than marine drive. I would imagine the only position that would serve any purpose would be just right of the solid white, making the shoulder essentially unrideable. If it's placed at the far edge of the road, by the time it's crossed, whatever accident it should've prevented will already have happened. It's necessary to be able to cross between the shoulder and lane while riding for any number of reasons, and a rumble strip would simply prevent that.

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  • Suburban June 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    It it gets a rumble strip treatment, I'll have to take the lane. If a car driver can't keep their car between two painted lines, maybe they should also have the right to end-o. Wear yer helmets!

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  • Doug Smart June 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    While this would make motorcyclists squawk, why not cut rumble strips about a foot wide down the center of the motor vehicle lanes? If you're tracking well, no problem. You drift across the lane, you get rumbled. No impact on the shoulder and bicycles. Put gaps in the strips at/near intersections where bikes might cross. Done properly, this might even facilitate surface drainage.

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    • Opus the Poet June 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      Expanding on that, put the rumble strips to the right of the left-hand tire track so that a deviation of a few inches causes violent vibrations in the steering wheel and the driver's side suspension. That way they don't have to worry about making the rumble strips bike safe, they can make them as rough as they like.

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      • John Lascurettes June 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm

        Unfortunately, that would just encourage drivers to crowd or cross the fog line even more. As someone who watches drivers on SW Oak and Stark every day from my office building, I observe cars that drive down the center of the street, not the center of the lane. This means their right wheels are in the buffer zone of the buffered bike lane (and we wonder why the lines keep wearing out). So cars are giving parked cars more birth than they're giving bicycles in the lane. Putting the rumble strip near the left-center of the lane, while clever, would have the same unfortunate side effect.

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        • John Lascurettes June 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm

          Sorry, you're right. I read your idea again. To the right of the left-wheel track. Okay, that's ingenious. That would specifically discourage both lane drift and favoring the right side of the lane.

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  • Sunny June 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Rear car to bike collisions are a single percentage rarity(about 3%). I ride a 6 mile stretch of 99w(limit 55 mph, most drive way over that) with rumble stripes and w - i - d - e shoulders, and the rumble stripes give an extra peace of mind from distracted drivers who can't hold their lane. Like the buffered bike lanes recently installed on Tualatin-Sherwood road, this is another development that keeps drivers away from bicycle space. I feel safer, if only in my head.

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    • Chris I June 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

      I think you are correct. I have seen countless people stray onto the shoulder on roads without these grooves, so it wouldn't surprise me if that would be the number one cause of a car-bike collision. The rumble strips would prevent at least some of these incidents.

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  • Trent June 27, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I like the idea of the rumble strips. It might make you think twice before riding side by side. It's never enjoyable having a semi come head on into the my lane who's trying not to hit a pack of cyclists. Is it to much to ask of the cycling community to ride single file on marine drive?

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    • El Biciclero June 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Is it too much to ask of truck drivers that they wait for a safe place/time to pass? Is it too much to ask of all drivers that they stay in their lane? Is it too much to ask of drivers that they go the speed limit? Is it too much to ask of drivers that they watch the road instead of their phones? Is any of that too much to ask?

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      • Trent June 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

        Wow, I didn't expect such an angry response to my question. Youve really promoted the stereotype of the Portland bike nazi. All I'm suggesting is that drivers and cyclists both need to make adjustments in their behavior to provide for safe communiting for all people. I noticed that you didn't answer my question it I'll try to answer yours. 1, truck drivers are hauling upwards of 60,000 pounds and aren't the most agile vehicles on the road. When you decide to ride up on your buddy and push towards the white line, the trucker can't just swerve to miss you. After all, he's only got about a foot and a half on each side of the trailer. It takes hundreds of feet to safely navigate the obstacle. All the while the trucker is now in the oncoming lane. 2, people in vehicles are pretty damn careless with speed and their attention to the road. The are eating,talking onthe phone, calming their children, putting on makeup etc... Do yourself a favor and minimize/manage the risk that you put yourself in. All I'm asking is avoid riding side by side on dangerous narrow roads such as MD. As a firefighter/ medic I see what goes on before the white bikes go up. You ever pick up an arm? Their heavy! Safe travels.

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        • El Biciclero June 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

          Who says I'm angry? I don't think my reply sounded any more angry than your comment. I'll overlook the fact that you jump straight to comparing me to Hitler. I'm just pointing out questions that most people never think to ask because we have a mentality in this country that the small and more vulnerable had better look out for themselves, because the big and powerful aren't going to take--or be held to--any degree of responsibility for their own actions. Sure, there's a lack of education on all sides, but the "educational" focus seems to be on those who would be harmed by others' carelessness rather than on those who would be careless. You astutely point this out when you say,

          "people in vehicles are pretty damn careless with speed and their attention to the road. The are eating,talking onthe phone, calming their children, putting on makeup etc... Do yourself a favor and minimize/manage the risk that you put yourself in."

          Your answer to my questions then, sounds like, "yes, it is too much to ask that drivers behave safely." It sounds as though you assume that "drivers will be drivers" and anybody that might be hurt by one should do themselves a favor and essentially get out of the way. What if we assumed instead that a careless driver would actually suffer some real consequences for injuring or killing someone? What if the assumption was "do yourself a favor and drive more carefully--it isn't worth the jail time and permanent license revocation to drive like a maniac". Am I putting myself at risk when I ride to work, or are careless drivers putting me at risk? Yet where is the focus when we think about who needs to be more careful? The stereotypical American response says, "we need to educate pedestrians and cyclists; they should be more careful (if they know what's good for them)."

          If anything in your comment would have made me angry, it is the callous nature of your expressed sentiment that putting something in the normal bike travel area that could cause cyclists to actually crash would be a good way to "make [them] think twice before riding side by side." This kind of comment exemplifies the disdain and utter disregard shown toward anyone who might ride a bike instead of driving a car. I'll make an equivalent statement from the reverse perspective: "I like the idea of putting concrete bollards along the fog line, it might make drivers think twice before letting their attention lapse."

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  • jonathan June 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

    i think its a good idea to have it to keep drivers up i ride a bike and i stay away from the streets and i drove over the ones near saltys and i was like wow that scared me driving on it to test it , but yes the other reason is bikes on it i know its a great road to be on and have races,the best way to not have many bikes getting hit if they ride on the bath path thats away from the cars so using that 40 mile loop, yes some roads will not have it but they should add that metal guard rail along the road to keep cars safe from hitting bike's on that path and ending up in the river,i know bikes like to ride where the cars are but i think they use the other path, one guy on a bike moved in the street and had to move.

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  • The Oblio June 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

    An Outdated, TWO laned, No Berm, Set on a Dike, roadway, that allows Heavy Trucking, Cars ..AND.. Bike traffic. A roadway that sees children on training wheels, Baby tows, and all manner of unskilled riders ..ALL oblivious of the dangers. And we're talking about making this "Safer" with Rumble Strips ? Oh My !

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  • Albert June 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I was knocked over (and knocked unconscious with a cracked helmet) by another cyclist on last year's STP ride due partly to a rumble strip. This was on the busy highway south of the Day 1 lunch stop. He apparently was passing cyclists in the car lane then abruptly jumped back into the shoulder through the gap in the rumble strip, hitting the side of my rear wheel.

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    • Pete June 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Hate to say it, but this sounds less the fault of the rumble strip than his inability to properly handle his bicycle in a group. Hope you recovered quickly.

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  • A.K. June 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I don't think the rumble strips will help with safety of cyclists at all.

    Rather than being taken out from behind by surprise, you'll simply hear the loud distinctive BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR of wheels over the strip a split second before you're hit.

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