Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes years. Years of guts, courage, accrued knowledge, tuned cadence, tact, and learned foresight.
A story usually starts at the beginning, but that’s not the case with this one. I started as the Executive Director of PCC in August 2012, so that the former ED, Rachael Bronson, could pursue a Master’s degree in transportation engineering, with a bike focus. We hope she eventually chooses to return to get an engineering job building more bike lanes here in our State.
The rumble strips were applied and misapplied, but in both cases the result was the motorist came out way ahead of the cyclist in safe street design. At one point after many, many of those rumble strips had already been applied, SCDOT reached out to us beyond what the EDM required and asked what we thought about rumble plans for a long list of routes not part of the state bike tour network (the 6 routes). We responded back with answers, and they altered some plans. Complicating this were inconsistencies between what various contractors understood to be the actual meaning of the EDM. SCDOT knows this, and it’s up to them to fix it. In sum, what happened in communications between SCDOT and its contractors is a mystery. We have recent assurances they are going to fix this problem.
Misapplied rumble strips are creating an unsafe condition for bicyclists, and PCC wants to help SCDOT with EDM 53 to assist them in their primary responsibilities for maintaining safe roads for all users,
In addition to the statewide Bicycle Touring Guide (6 routes), additional bike route maps should be utilized to filter routes from the rumble strip list.
- Statewide Geodatabase of all municipal/county/MPO/COG Bike Master Plans (by ALTA Planning: currently fulfilling SCDOT contracted work)
- East Coast Greenway map
- Top recreational bike route maps from established Cycling Organizations,
- The rumble strip team should talk with contractors, before letting projects, to ensure rumble strip applications are standardized,
- When a bicycle route is the same as a route that motorists are known to have high run-off-the-road fatality rates, these are potential compromise rumble strips design standards that should be negotiated with stakeholders for use instead of traditional rumble strips designed solely for cars:
- 3/8” rumble strip depth
- rumbling stripE’s (rumble under the stripe)
- a 4”-6” milled in rumble stripe (pending further study on efficacy by SCDOT)
- When applying rumble strips near potential bike obstructions, utilize skip pattern to the fullest extent,
- If rumble strips must be applied on a road with no shoulder, it’s best to utilize the narrowest possible width, and as close to the edge line as possible,
- Reference the 2012 AASHTO Guide to the Development of Bike Facilities, chapter on rumble strip integration,
- As a statement of principal, rumble strips should be applied only on roads SCDOT sees in their long term investment plan, including:
- Numbered system highways
- Principal arterials
Our next step is to return to SCDOT and work with their feedback. Stay tuned. As time permits, we’ll publish more renditions of our other projects slated for work this year: Safe Streets Save Lives campaign on bicycle safety education, MAP-21 state transportation funding prioritization, SCDOT Street Design Manual, recreational bike route map collection, LCI classes, and driver education.