ASCE HPT UPDATE JUNE 2000
From: Mac Elliott
2530 San Elijo Ave. Cardiff, CA 92007
tel(and fax on request) 760)-944-7324
NEW ASCE HPT Website. http://www.ascehpt.homestead.com
June 10, 2000
TO: All Members and Friends of American Society of Civil Engineers Human Powered Transportation Committee (HPT Com).
1a. Per Joe Bared 202-493-3314, FHWA should have its new Roundabout Informational Guide up on website at http://www.tfhrc.gov (click on "Safety"), by the time this Update is released. Scheduling printed copies by Aug 1, which can be ordered by faxing 301-577-1431.
1b. Experience with ongoing capacity problems at new Clearwater Beach (Fla) Gateway Roundabout, (see Item 2f, Feb 2000 HPT Update). highlights difficulty of achieving slower (safer for bikes & peds) motor vehicle speeds in entrance and exit legs containing ped and bike crossings, at these High-Volume roundabouts. The need to increase capacity has led to proposals for widening all lanes and flaring the entrance and exit geometry, which will increase traffic speeds. HPT Com continuing to monitor developments.
2. Shoulder Rumble Strips: (See Feb 2000 and previous HPT Updates for info).
2a. Bob McQuiston, 614-280-6848, has taken FHWA shoulder rumble strip lead. Succeeds Jim Growney.
2b. CalTrans bike-tested 11 different rumble configurations May 5. CalTrans Report due end of June. Probably to be posted on www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops. Contact Troy Bucko at Troy_Bucko@dot.ca.gov. Mac Elliott also test rode the CalTrans rumbles. His Report is available on HPT Website (see Update heading). Excerpts from Elliott's Report follow, listed in order of decreasing bikeability, from most to least bikeable. (Note: These are Elliott's evaluations only). .
a) 4" wide thermoplastic "Rainline strip. Transverse grooves at 1" o.c. Very rideable. Takes no shoulder space away from bikes. Possibly slippery when wet.
b) Same "Rainline" strip as a) except 1/4" high bevelled bumps added at 24" o.c. Rideable. Shallow bumps no loss-of-control problem. Possibly slippery when wet.
c) Continous chipseal. Only problem for bikes is extra rolling resistance.
d) Rolled-in tractor-tread grooves at 9" o.c. Groove width 2" at top. A harsh ride. No loss of control for short distances. Would have same quality control problems as all rolled-ins. Would be improved by reducing groove width to 1 1/4" max.
e) Single row of "Bot Dots". Raised, circular, approx 4" diam, dome shaped. Takes very little shoulder space away from bikes. Some loss of control problems when hit.
f) Ground-in divots at 13" o.c., 1/4" deep by 4" wide in direction of travel. Light jolting of bike. Uncomfortable.
g) Raised ladder-shaped bumps, 1/2" high x 4" wide bevelled crossbars at 36" o.c. Harsh, Jolting.
h) Double row of "Bot Dots", Very hazardous when hit. Hard to cross.
i) Ground-in divots at 13" o.c. 3/8", 1/2", 5/8" deep by 7 1/4" to 8 1/4" wide in direction of travel. All 3 depths gave harsh, jolting rides.
In general, everything except double row of Bot Dots could be crossed diagonally at speed safely. Just a momentary jolt. Problems came when forced to remain in strips more than a second or two. Rolled-in and Ground-in strips would be easier to cross if narrowed to 12" or less transverse to direction of travel, per Arizona widths.
3. "Making Walking & Cycling Safer. Lessons from Europe". Article by Pucher & Dijkstra of Rutgers Univ, (732-932-3822 ext 722). Scheduled for publication in Transp Qtrly, Vol 54, No. 3, summer 2000. Compares cycling safety in U.S. with Netherlands & Germany. Worth reading. Elliott has 33 pg Preprint available for short loans. Some points follow:
a. US Ped Fatals. 10 times higher per km. 10 to 20 times higher per trip.
b. US Bike Fatals 4 times higher per km. 10 to 15 times higher per trip.
c. Netherlands % of all trips. 17 % walk. 27 % bike 44 % total.
d. Germany % of all trips. 22 % walk. 12 % bike 34 % total
e. Age 75 & above. Netherlands trips: 24% walk, 24% bike, 48% total
f. Age 75 & above. Germany trips 48% walk, 7% bike. 55% total
g. All fatals declined somewhat over past 10 yrs. However, fatals decline in Germany occurred during boom in bike use, while decline in US was accompanied by sharp reduction in child cycling. Adult U.S. fatals are up. Perceived bike danger causing US parents to discourage children from biking at all. A disturbing trend for future.
h. Netherlands & Germany use 6 prong approach: Better facilities, Urban design oriented to people not cars, Traffic calming, Restriction on motor vehicle use in cities,, RIGOROUS traffic education both of motorists and non motorists, and STRICT enforcement. (See following for the last 2).
i. By 10 yrs old, all Dutch & German children have had extensive education in safe walking & biking. No drivers license till 18 yrs. Then thorough driver training & testing in avoiding collisions with bikes & peds, (anticipating & reacting).
j. Motorist is almost always found at least partly at fault in collisions with bikes & peds. When accident involves child or elderly, motorist usually found entirely at fault. Severe punishment. Also cyclists riding wrong direction or without lights are ticketed.
k. While European distances are shorter, 49% of US 1995 trips were still less than 3 miles, 40 % less than 2 miles, & 28 % less than 1 mile. Opportunity still here.
4. Human Powered 2 & 3 Wheeled Scooters.
May 19, 2000 Wall Street Journal article, "Truly Alternative Transportation", shows scooters with waist high handles which fold into base. Cross between skateboard and the 2 wheeled scooters Elliott used in the 30's. Cheap, light & compact, they solve parking problem. Article very positive on potential. Reported safer than skates and requiring less skill than skateboard. Hot sellers, one manufacturer has sold over a million in Japan, Germany & U.S. 2 wheel models are biggest sellers. 2 wheels spread apart in front and one wheel in back work better on cobblestone streets. Businessmen are significant buyers. Article does not cover isues of rider safety, hazards to others in mixed traffic, functioning in mixed sidewalk traffic, speed (time saved over walking), effects of different surfaces, debris, etc. Any info would be appreciated by Elliott. Are scooters an HPT element we need to consider?
5. Pro Bike-Pro Walk Conference set for Sept 5-8 in Philadelphia. Info from Nat'l Center for Biking & Walking at <firstname.lastname@example.org> .
6. Notable quote. Illustrating benefits of bikes for engineers. A veteran fighter pilot, rocket engineer and bicycle commuter, citing a long and frustrating.Cape Kennedy session run by official with ego problem. "It took me two 30 mile bike rides to get over that meeting. One bike ride wouldn't do it!"
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