CENTRAL DAKOTA CYCLISTS RUMBLE STRIP STATEMENT
We appreciate NDDOT’s efforts to make our highways safer by applying rumble strips on all state highways. In fact, we would like to further enhance their policy so that ALL users of North Dakota highways benefit while possibly saving dollars for North Dakota taxpayers.
We seek to have the NDDOT adopt American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines that recommend rumble strips not be placed on roadways where shoulders are used by bicyclists unless there is four feet from the rumble strip to the outside edge of the paved shoulder. In lieu of strictly following the AASHTO guidelines, we would propose the following modifications and accommodations:
Ø Do not apply side rumble strips within commuting distances of major North Dakota cities. These roads tend to have enough traffic volume and trips are of such short distance that lane departure crashes are minimal. Also, these routes tend to have a greater number of non-motorized users for which rumble strips may actually increase the risk of casualties.
Ø Place “Share the Road” signage on all roadways that have rumble strips where at least a three foot shoulder does not exist. This would be particularly important in roadways within commuting distance of major cities and highways designated on the Adventure Cycling Association’s Bicycle Route network.
Ø Place thinner and shallower rumble strips with a break every 60 feet on roadways that have a shoulder width less than four feet.
Ø Do not chip seal shoulders where rumble strips are placed. A non chip sealed shoulder may entice cyclists to ride to the right of the rumble strips and out of the main traffic lane.
Ø Do not apply side rumble strips on long downhill stretches where bicycle speeds can be significant.
In addition to the proposed roadway accommodations:
Ø We ask for the support of NDDOT in obtaining legislation for a three foot passing zone of any pedestrian user of North Dakota roadways.
Ø We ask for the support of NDDOT in placing Public Service Announcements statewide promoting safe bicycling habits and awareness of cyclist’s rights to the roadway.
By modifying the current rumble strip policy with the above proposals we feel that the safety of ALL roadway users will be greatly enhanced without affecting motor vehicle accident rates. Additionally, it would enable the state to market itself as friendly to ALL potential tourists without negatively impacting transportation budgets.