By Frank Warnock
Bike Delaware News
January 3, 2011
After an exhaustive input and review process, Bike Delaware has officially submitted their position statement “Bike Lanes at Intersections with Right Turn-Only Lanes” to DelDOT for review and consideration in Delaware’s Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). It is no secret that this provision, requiring little more than a striping alteration, increases safety and comfort levels for both bicyclists and motorists. It allows for correct positioning at both intersections and side streets, and increases the likelihood riders will obey the law. It reduces the threat of “right hooking”, cited as a serious safety threat in a recent survey. It also provides legal and defensible space, since bicyclists are routinely forced to use right turn-only lanes as shoulders. The question now is, will DelDOT adopt this design guidance – or a similar remedy – in the spirit of Complete Streets and/or Routine Accommodation? Several other states, including neighboring MD (below), already have.
Chapter 1 of DelDOT’s current Road Design Manual makes the case for flexibility, and “sound engineering judgment” as long as documentation is thorough. Clearly, DelDOT engineers are given the green light to call on a host of different manuals and resources when unique circumstances call for it. Indeed, there are a few examples already where engineers went “outside the box”, successfully sharing of the shoulder as both a bike and right turn lane. Read more…