Friday, August 7, 2009

Rumble Strips

Here is a copy of an email received from one of our members, Don Brown, regarding rumble strips on the highway. It's something I haven't encountered myself, but it's worth being aware and keeping in mind when we advocate for cycle routes.
"I would just like to share with you a couple of near death experiences I had the other day riding down the Malahat to Victoria.
While coasting at a speed of 40+ km/hr down the Malahat I found the shoulder I was riding on was becoming narrow. It was made worse by the rumble strips along the shoulder. As I rounded a corner I came upon some debris on the shoulder. Normally I would have dodged the material by either moving momentarily onto the road after checking my rear view mirror or dodging it on a wider shoulder. On the narrow shoulder I had no where to go. The rumble strips I have found to be very dangerous for me to ride on with my recumbent bike and the alternative was the ditch which would have resulted in serious injury. I had no choice but to hit the debris and try to stay upright. I barely managed to keep my balance and avoid serious injury or worse. This happened to me twice in one ride - the debris included rocks and loose gravel and the other was pieces of tire and broken glass.
As the Ministry continues to add rumble strips, know that it adds a risk for bicycle riders and at the very least, it would be adviseable to have wider shoulders where the rumble strips are used."

1 comment:

  1. Don Brown has received this from MOT regarding the rumble strips;

    Hi Don,

    We put a shoulder rumble strip (SRS) policy in place in 2000. I have placed a link to the information below. This is the policy that would have been followed the last time the Malahat was paved about 7-8 years ago. Ideally the minimum width you should have encountered would have been 1.2 m (1.5m less the 0.3m for the SRS). Where the shoulder was less, we should have left it (SRS) out.

    Our policy was updated in 2004, after the Malahat was last paved. The more recent policy allows for gaps in the patterns so it is easier to “escape” from the shoulder. A welcome change.

    I look forward to checking the width of the shoulders on that portion of the highway. Don