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So I read the whole linked document, and didn't find anything to corroborate Richard Moeur's contentions about bike lane widths or average speeds. The lane width one is really interesting, because what you see all the time is communities trying to shoehorn bike lanes in where there just isn't space for them. You see a lot of that in DC.

The speed limit thing sounds like an attempt to provide a scientific-sounding justification for a 15 mph limit on MUP's. The 85th percentile speed is a recognized standard for setting motor vehicle speeds. But it makes no sense on a couple of fronts. First, only on rare occasions do cyclists limit their speed from safety concerns. Usually level of effort is the limiting factor. Second, the 85th percentile has to be applied to a specific section of a specific road -- it can't just be applied to a blanket category of roads.

I do see a number of good changes in the MUTCD. They seem to have settled on a design for bike lanes with right turn only lanes -- outside. They've settled the issue of bike lanes at rotaries -- never (take that Thomas Circle).

Some bad points: they continue to refuse to accept that sharrows are used to get cyclists and motorists to share the lane, not to get cyclists out of the lane. Also, the discussion of right-of-way when roads cross trails neglects to mention that deference has to be given to state law; some states (including DC, VA, MD) and the uniform vehicle code always give right-of-way to pedestrians and cyclists in a crosswalk, unless a light signal is present. (I assume that's what Moeur meant by "static signals.")

Oops, last comment was mine, forgot to sign it. So I'll throw in another for free.

Clearly, the recent "improvements" on the Capital Crescent Trail violate the MUTCD. These standards are legally binding upon state governments, and I have heard of cases where cyclists have successfully sued states to force them to follow the MUTCD. What I don't know is whether the standards are legally binding on all state agencies, or just the DOT. I think a big part of the problem with the CCT is that the signs were put up by recreation officials with no traffic expertise.

As usual, these draft Arlington BAC meeting notes have not been corrected or adopted. I attended this meeting, and I don't even understand much of the content Typically, such notes contain so many inaccuracies that it's not worth bothering to suggest corrections, especially when the suggested corrections never get incorporated.

As one example, the reported bikeway design guidelines are supposed to be hard minimums, not recommended installations.

Yeah, I don't go to the meetings, and if I wait for the final notes it's all way out of date. I should put that in the header though.

12' combined width for a bike lane + adjacent street parking is not enough! (unless nobody ever parks there)

Jack is right. There is an awful lot of wishful thinking that goes on with road planners when it comes to bike facilities and the amount of space they require. The MUTCD enables this kind of wishful thinking by giving a stamp of approval to designs that are just not workable.

For an even more egregious example, look at section of the manual on how to stripe when an obstruction blocks the bike lane. The depth of the ridiculousness of this is truly staggering. Is there a standard striping for when a road is obstructed? No, they just don't build roads that way. Yet somehow it is felt that it's OK to build bike lanes with obstructions, cyclists will just deal somehow.

As cycling advocates we have to be constantly vigilant for this kind of nonsense and be prepared to fight it. I firmly believe that substandard facilities are worse then no facilities at all, and when the amount of pavement available allows for only substandard facilities, no facility should be built. Unfortunately, the advocacy groups in the region take the tack that any facility, no matter how ill-advised, is a victory. So we get things like the Thomas Circle bike lanes, celebrated by WABA as an accomplishment, even though they directly contravene even the the watered down standards of the MUTCD.

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