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SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES EXHIBIT V-63 (Continued) Strategy Attributes for Increasing Rider and Bicycle Conspicuity (T) Attribute Description Organizational and Institutional Attributes Training and Other None identified. Personnel Needs Legislative Needs None identified. Other Key Attributes National The National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety includes goals, strategies, and Strategies short- and long-term actions that can be taken to reduce injury and mortality associated with bicycle-related incidents. Efforts to change the cycling environment have five key goals (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/bicycle_safety/): · Motorists will share the road · Bicyclists will ride safely · Bicyclists will wear helmets · The legal system will support safe bicycling · Roads and paths will safely accommodate bicyclists Objective G--Reduce Effects of Hazards Strategy G1: Fix or Remove Surface Irregularities (T) General Description Surface quality directly impacts the safety of bicyclists. Two surface conditions that are singled out for attention are (a) railroad crossings and (b) drainage grates and utility covers. At-grade railroad crossings can cause serious problems for bicyclists. On diagonal railroad crossings, the gap next to and on the inside of the rail (called the flangeway) can catch the front wheel of a bicycle resulting in a sudden fall for the bicyclist. This problem is most serious when the track crosses at an angle less than 45 degrees to the direction of travel. The more shallow the angle, the greater likelihood of a problem for the bicyclist. Wet weather makes the situation worse, making the tracks even more slippery than normal (Williams et al., 1998). The vertical offset between the rail and the pavement surface can also jar bicyclists, causing control problems. Drainage grates and utility covers can also cause serious problems for bicyclists in several ways. Raised or sunken grates and covers can stop or divert the front wheel of a bicycle, potentially causing a crash. Similarly, old-style drainage grates with parallel bars can trap the front wheel of a bicycle, potentially causing a crash (Williams et al., 1998). The goal of this strategy is to fix or remove particular surface conditions that may be hazardous for bicyclists. There are two primary solutions for addressing problems V-101
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SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES associated with diagonal railroad crossings: (1) provide a way for bicyclists to approach the crossing at a wider angle, and (2) fill the flangeway with rubberized material. The first approach can be best accomplished by flaring out the bicycle facility. Exhibit V-64 illustrates two ways that bicyclists can cross railroad tracks at a better angle without swerving into the motor vehicle travel lanes. One solution is to provide a flare near the crossing, and the other solution requires providing a short separated path near the crossing. Alternatively, rather than changing the approach angle to the crossing, installing a flangeway fill works only on EXHIBIT V-64 Bicycle Crossing at Right Angle (Clarke and Tracy, 1995) V-102
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SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES very slow speed rail lines (Exhibit V-65). Since a EXHIBIT V-65 train's wheels must compress the material, the train Flangeway Filler Strip Applied to the Inside Flangeway (Williams et al., 1998) must be moving slowly, if not, the fill will cause a train to derail. All surface gaps at railroad crossings should meet the most current requirements of the U.S. Access Board. There are several solutions for problems associated with drainage grates and utility covers. For grates and utility covers that are sunken below the roadway surface, these should be brought to the proper grade. Ideally, during reconstruction of a facility, grates and utility covers can be relocated to positions outside of the common paths of bicyclists. Finally, old-style drainage grates (i.e., with parallel bars) can be replaced with bicycle safe grates that are hydraulically efficient. Consideration should also be given to installing curb face inlets which could move the inlet out of the roadway entirely. Other surface irregularities, in addition to those addressed above, that may cause problems for bicyclists should also be remedied. EXHIBIT V-66 Strategy Attributes for Fixing or Removing Surface Irregularities (T) Attribute Description Technical Attributes Targets Surface defects that may cause bicyclists to crash. In most cases, this strategy focuses on bicycle-only crashes, or bicycle/motor vehicle crashes where the most harmful event is the result of a surface defect rather than a movement/maneuver made by a motorist. Expected The expected safety effectiveness of this strategy is difficult to assess. No studies have Effectiveness been conducted to evaluate its impact on the frequency and/or severity of bicycle crashes. This may be in part because bicycle crashes caused by surface defects rarely involve a motor vehicle, and thus they often do not get reported to the police. Consequently, accident databases may not include these bicycle-only crashes, or if they do, it is likely only a small percentage of the crashes. However, this strategy is expected to reduce the frequency of bicycle crashes because it reduces the likelihood of the front wheel being suddenly trapped or diverted, which may result in a sudden fall by the bicyclist. Keys to Success Keys to successfully treating irregular surface conditions at railroad crossings are to identify all diagonal crossings of bicycle facilities and prioritize the degree of the hazard. The need for a treatment is based upon the angle of the crossing, the width of the flangeway opening, and the amount of bicycle traffic that uses (or potentially uses) the crossing. The second type of treatment (i.e., installing a flangeway filler material) can only be used on low speed rail lines. The key to successfully treating irregular surface conditions caused by drainage grates and/or utility coverings is to identify the hazards and develop a program to replace/address the problem locations. If all of the problem locations cannot be V-103
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SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES EXHIBIT V-66 (Continued) Strategy Attributes for Fixing or Removing Surface Irregularities (T) Attribute Description Technical Attributes addressed at one time, then a schedule should be developed to fix or remove the problem locations over a period of several years. Bicyclists can be utilized to identify surface irregularities by developing a postcard program (or similar programs) where bicyclists can mail in postcards to the highway agency to report problem locations. These types of programs can be established through communications between the highway agency and local bicycle clubs or bicycle shops. Old-style drainage grates should be replaced with bicycle-safe, hydraulically efficient models. Exhibit V-67 illustrates vane and honeycomb grate designs. FHWA has conducted extensive research to develop bicycle safe, hydraulically efficient drainage grates (Chang, 1980; Burgi, 1978a; Burgi, 1978b; Burgi and Gober, 1977; Pugh, 1980a; Pugh, 1980b; and Woo and Jones, 1974). EXHIBIT V-67 Bicycle Safe Grate Designs (Williams et al., 1998) Finally, drainage grates and covers can be relocated out of common bicycle paths whenever routine field work is scheduled for the facility. Potential Difficulties Train derailment if filler material is installed within the flangeway of high speed rail lines. Appropriate Measures A key process measure is the number of locations that were addressed where known and Data surface defects existed (i.e., were reported). This number can be compared to the number of locations with reported surface defects that were not addressed. Frequency and severity data are key for determining safety effectiveness. This data may be difficult to obtain because bicycle crashes caused by surface irregularities and defects are often not reported to the police. It may be necessary to collect frequency and severity data from hospital (i.e., emergency department) records. Associated Needs If a railroad crossing is particularly hazardous but no treatment is possible in the near term, installation of warning signs may be necessary. Exhibit V-68 illustrates a typical skewed highway-rail grade crossing sign which could be used to warn both bicyclists and motorists. Exhibit V-68 also shows a sign with which several communities have experimented, illustrating a flared approach for bicyclists (Williams et al., 1998). Once again, if an agency plans to install a sign that is not an accepted traffic control device in the MUTCD, the agency should follow the provisions outlined in Section 1A.10 of the MUTCD for design, application, and placement of traffic control devices that are not adopted in the most recent edition of the MUTCD. V-104
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SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES EXHIBIT V-66 (Continued) Strategy Attributes for Fixing or Removing Surface Irregularities (T) Attribute Description Technical Attributes EXHIBIT V-68 Examples of Warning Signs for Use at Diagonal Railroad Crossings (Williams et al., 1998) FROM MUTCD EXPERIMENTAL Many railroad crossings take a continual beating from both motor vehicle traffic and train traffic. As a result, these crossings become rough and uneven. Frequent maintenance is essential to minimize problems for bicyclists. However, the best solution is to replace a defective crossing with either a non-slippery concrete crossing or one of the rubberized installations. Exhibit V-69 shows a railroad crossing treated with rubberized material to improve bicycle safety (Clarke and Tracy, 1995). EXHIBIT V-69 Rubberized Railroad Crossing to Improve Bicycle Safety(Clarke and Tracy, 1995) V-105
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SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES EXHIBIT V-66 (Continued) Strategy Attributes for Fixing or Removing Surface Irregularities (T) Attribute Description Technical Attributes Where it is not practical to eliminate a drainage grate or other surface defect that may cause problems for bicyclists, pavement markings may be used to delineate the area (Exhibit V-70). To the extent possible, utilities should not be located in common or desired bicycle paths. Although not a long term solution, steel bars may be welded perpendicular to old-style parallel bars so bicycle wheels do not become trapped (AASHTO, 1999). EXHIBIT V-70 Pavement Marking for Obstructions (USDOT, 2003) Organizational and Institutional Attributes Organizational, Agencies may need to go through procedures to adopt standard warning signs for Institutional, and hazardous bicycle/railroad crossings that cannot be immediately treated. Policy Issues Issues Affecting In most cases, this strategy can be implemented in a short timeframe (i.e., 3 to 6 months). Implementation Time A separated bicycle path designed and constructed to cross a railroad track at close to a 90 degree angle will take longer to implement. If acquisition of right of way is required, this treatment could take even longer. Many of these problem locations can be prioritized and scheduled for treatment over a period of years during routine maintenance of a facility. Costs Involved Depending upon the problem identified and the type of treatment, the resources necessary for particular railroad crossings may vary from a few warning signs to full concrete or rubberized crossings. A few warning signs can be installed for approximately $200. The latter treatment (i.e., full concrete crossing) could easily cost $100,000, depending upon the roadway width and other geometric and traffic considerations (Williams et al., 1998). Costs are minimal for replacing old-style drainage grates with bicycle safe grates. Costs include the grate itself and installation costs. If grates and covers are moved, it is desirable to relocate them during regularly scheduled maintenance to minimize costs. V-106
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SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES EXHIBIT V-66 (Continued) Strategy Attributes for Fixing or Removing Surface Irregularities (T) Attribute Description Organizational and Institutional Attributes Training and Other None identified. Personnel Needs Legislative Needs None identified. Other Key Attributes None identified. Strategy G2: Provide Routine Maintenance of Bicycle Facilities (T) General Description Maintenance programs and activities are critical for successful bicycle facilities (Williams et al., 1998). Bicycles and bicyclists tend to be particularly sensitive to maintenance problems (i.e., loss of control type crashes). Most bicycles lack suspension systems and so potholes that motorists would hardly notice can cause serious problems for bicyclists. In addition, since bicyclists often ride near the right edge of the road, they use areas that are generally less well maintained than the main travel lanes. On higher speed facilities, motor vehicle traffic tends to sweep debris to the right, where most bicyclists travel. In addition, ridges such as those found where a new asphalt overlay does not quite cover the older roadway surface can catch a wheel and cause a bicyclist to fall. Not everyone recognizes shoulders as bicycle facilities, but shoulders should be maintained on a regular basis to allow extra room for bicyclists to ride along the side of the traveled way or to maneuver outside of the traveled way when necessary. The overall goal of this strategy is to modify the current maintenance program and procedures of highway agencies to satisfy maintenance requirements of bicycle facilities. The following are some of bicyclists' most common maintenance concerns and some common solutions: · Surface problems: For potholes and other surface irregularities, patch to a high standard, paying particular attention to problems near common bicycle travel paths. · Debris (sand, gravel, glass, auto parts, etc.): Sweep close to the right edge. If necessary, use vacuum trucks to remove material, particularly if the debris accumulates adjacent to curbs. Special attention should be paid to locations such as underpasses where changes in lighting conditions can make it difficult for bicyclists to see surface hazards. For debris or surface irregularities on curves or at intersections, special attention should be paid to areas between typical turning paths and through motor vehicle traffic. These areas often fill with debris and are in typical bicyclist trajectories. Areas where debris wash across paved surfaces should receive special attention. For example, eliminating the source of the problem by providing better drainage may ultimately be a more cost effective treatment than increased sweeping. V-107
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SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES · Chip seal gravel: Chip sealing of roadways often leaves deep piles of gravel just to the right of the typical paths of motor vehicles. To reduce the impact on bicyclists, remove excess gravel as soon as possible and suggest alternative routes as detours. · Ridges and cracks: These should be filled or ground down as needed to reduce the chance of a bicyclist catching a front tire. Particular attention should be paid to ridges/ cracks that run parallel to the direction of travel (e.g., edgedrops and driveway lips). During overlay projects, care should be taken to minimize the edgedrops that could occur at the edge of the pavement. Ruts in the pavement, particularly on intersection approaches, should be ground down to provide a smoother surface through the intersection. · Roadway bicycle signs: Bicycle signs should be maintained in the same fashion as other roadway signs, paying particular attention to bike route signs at decision points, warning signs at special hazard locations, and regulatory signs on popular bike-lane streets. · Pavement markings for bicycles: Bicycle lane striping should be renewed at the same time that other stripes are painted. The same goes for bicycle lane pavement markings. Some markings may experience more wear and tear than others and deserve special attention. · Snow removal: Bicycle facilities should be cleared of snow and ice during the maintenance of the roadway facilities. Care should be taken not to clear snow and ice from roadway facilities and deposit them onto bicycle facilities. EXHIBIT V-71 Strategy Attributes for Providing Routine Maintenance of Bicycle Facilities (T) Attribute Description Technical Attributes Targets Problem locations where surface conditions, pavement markings, and signs can be remedied through maintenance programs or activities. Expected The expected safety effectiveness of this strategy is difficult to assess. No studies have Effectiveness been conducted to evaluate the impact of maintenance programs and activities on the frequency and/or severity of bicycle crashes. This may be in part because bicycle crashes that may be remedied by maintenance programs and activities rarely involve a motor vehicle, and thus they often do not get reported to the police. Consequently, accident databases may not include these bicycle-only crashes, or if they do, it is likely only a small percentage of the crashes. However, this strategy is expected to reduce the frequency of bicycle crashes because maintenance program and activities can address concerns that are often reported to highway agencies by bicyclists. Keys to Success One key to success is encouraging bicyclists to report maintenance problems and other hazards. This can be accomplished by developing a "bicycle spot improvement form" and distributing copies throughout the bicycling community. It is critical that reported problems are addressed in a timely manner (Williams et al., 1998). Another key is to design and build new roadways and bicycle facilities in such a way as to reduce the potential for accumulation of debris. This can be accomplished by using edge treatments, shoulder surfaces, and access controls that reduce the potential for accumulation of debris, and by using materials and construction techniques that increase the longevity of pavement surfaces. In general, engineers should consult bicycle experts and groups during the design process. V-108
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SECTION V--DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES EXHIBIT V-71 (Continued) Strategy Attributes for Providing Routine Maintenance of Bicycle Facilities (T) Attribute Description Technical Attributes It is also key to include maintenance costs and clearly define maintenance procedures in all bicycle facility projects. It is critical to include reasonable maintenance costs in project budgets, and it is important to establish clear maintenance responsibilities in advance of construction. Finally, riding the bicycle network from the saddle of a bicycle can help uncover previously unknown problems. Potential Difficulties If a spot improvement program is developed, but the reported concerns are not acted upon in a timely manner, the bicycle community will become frustrated with the program and eventually no longer report concerns. Appropriate Measures It will be important to review maintenance logs to assess how often maintenance and Data activities are performed on bicycle facilities. It will also be important to keep track of the numbers and kinds of problems reported by bicyclists and how the concerns were addressed. Frequency and severity data are key for determining safety effectiveness. These data may be difficult to obtain because bicycle crashes remedied by maintenance programs and activities are often not reported to the police. It may be necessary to collect frequency and severity data from hospital (i.e., emergency department) records. Associated Needs For the most part, bicycle-related maintenance activities involve the work an agency already performs. In some instances, though, additional equipment may be necessary. Organizational and Institutional Attributes Organizational, Agencies should develop modified versions of maintenance policies and practices where Institutional, and warranted. In some cases, it may be necessary to develop new maintenance policies. Policy Issues Issues Affecting This strategy can be implemented with regular maintenance programs scheduled Implementation Time throughout the year. If the maintenance programs and activities are implemented as intended, the total mileage of bicycle facilities that need to be maintained will impact the implementation time. Costs Involved In most cases, the costs involved are related to work that the agency already performs, so additional costs should be minimal. A percentage of the maintenance budget should be allocated for user-requested spot improvements. Training and Other Bicycle-related maintenance activities should be taught in highway agency courses Personnel Needs covering highway maintenance. Similarly, bicycle-related maintenance issues should also be taught in highway design courses so as to minimize future maintenance needs (e.g., utility coverings). Legislative Needs Tort liability concerns may arise if bicyclists report maintenance-related problems, but a highway agency neglects to address the problem in a timely manner. Other Key Attributes None identified. V-109