In Maryland, cyclists are still required to use the shoulder if one is present and there are many roads where cyclists would choose to do so even without the law, so it can create a conflict when rumble strips are added to the shoulder that don't allow space for cyclists. To address this, the Maryland State Highway Administration is working on a Guideline for The Application of Rumble Strips. Currently they have draft, interim version. You can send comments on the guideline to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Rumble Strips are raised or grooved patterns on the roadway or shoulder that provide audible and vibratory warnings to drivers that their vehicles are leaving the driving lane or are approaching an unusual or unexpected traffic or road condition.]
LAB is working this issue at a national level, and on their blog note an incident this week where an experienced Virginia cyclist, riding in Georgia, reportedly moved into the path of a truck to avoid rumble strips on the shoulder shown in the photo.
Section three includes considerations for cyclists
3. Roadways Where Bicycles are Permitted
Along expressways where bicycles are expressly permitted to travel and along other highways where shoulder rumble strips are desirable, the accommodation of bicyclists must be considered. The following apply to these highways:
· Where the paved outside shoulder is five feet or greater in width, rumble strips are to be installed in accordance with the typicals shown in Section IV.A. of this document.
· Where the outside shoulder is less than five feet in width:- The installation of rumble strips is to be coordinated with the Bicycle Coordinator within the Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering, who will provide the needed coordination with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
- Consideration should be given to the need for and benefit of installing minimum width rumble strips (lateral length), minimum depth rumble strips, and/or placed closer to the edge of the roadway.
- Consideration should be given to the need for and benefit of installing rumble stripes.
· Roadway corridors with segments that have deficient shoulder widths should not preclude the use of shoulder rumble strips for the entire corridor. Deficient shoulders are defined as shoulders where the lateral distance from the outside edge of the rumble strip to the outside edge of the shoulder is less than 4 feet or to the face of traffic barrier is less than 5 feet. In these segments rumble strips should not be installed for the length that the deficient shoulder exists. In determining the minimum clear width, consideration should be given to decreasing the width of the rumble strips and/or placing them closer to the roadway edge, and the use of rumble stripes.
· Shoulder widths should be based on actual field measurements and not on reliance of widths shown on plans, as-builts, or inventories.
· No gaps for bicyclists are to be provided along highways where the posted speed limit is 55 mph or greater.
· Although safety is maximized by continuous rumble strips, for highways where the posted speed limit is less than 55 mph, gaps for bicyclists shall be installed.
· Gaps should be installed with a 60-foot pattern (12-foot gap following a 48-foot length of rumble strips). This pattern can be adjusted to accommodate specific milling equipment or for other sound reasons; however, the gap should not be less than 8 feet nor greater than 12 feet and gaps should not be spaced less than 36 feet or more than 60 feet apart.