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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fort Collins Bicycle Advisory Committee Seeks Citizen Input on Share the Road Signs

The Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), a subcommittee of the City’s Transportation Board, seeks input from the community on the use of "Share the Road" signs in Fort Collins. The committee is reviewing current signs and the possibility of recommending the placement of additional signs and, possibly, the removal of some existing signs.
Your input into this process is invited by way of this announcement.
Please send comments to BAC@FCGov.com with the subject header: Share the Road.
Please note that any decision regarding the placlement or use of "Share the Road Signs" resides solely with the City's Traffic Engineer.  The role of the BAC is simply to advise City Staff, the Transportation Board and, through that Board, City Council.  The criteria that the City Traffic Engineer will apply in his decisions for placing Share the Road signs include the guidelines presented below.  Please keep these criteria in mind as you consider your own personal suggestions.


1) We are using the 2009 Draft Manual on Uniform Traffic Code Devices (MUTCD) as our guide in formulating our recommendations. If you would like to consult the MUTCD you may do so here: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/html_index.htm. Section 9, found here is most germane to this project. But the basic rules are as presented below.
2) "Share the Road" signs are considered "warning signs." To quote from the MUTCD "Warning signs call attention to unexpected conditions on or adjacent to a highway, street, or private roads open to public travel and to situations that might not be readily apparent to road users. Warning signs alert road users to conditions that might call for a reduction of speed or an action in the interest of safety and efficient traffic operations."
3) "The use of warning signs should be kept to a minimum as the unnecessary use of warning signs tends to breed disrespect for all signs."
4) "In situations where there is a need to warn drivers to watch for other slower forms of transportation traveling along the highway, such as bicycles, golf carts, horse-drawn vehicles, or farm machinery, a SHARE THE ROAD (W16-1P) plaque (see Figure 2C-12) may be used." (MUTCD Section 2C.60 SHARE THE ROAD Plaque (W16-1P)
5) The Bicycles May Use Full Lane (R4-11) sign (see Figure 9B-2) may be used on roadways where no bicycle lanes or adjacent shoulders usable by bicyclists are present and where travel lanes are too narrow for bicyclists and motor vehicles to operate side by side.
Fort Collins currently has Share the Road Signs on a variety of streets. A map of those signs is available from the City's Bike Coordinator.  Write to him at DAKemp@fcgov.com
An example of an appropriate location for signs would be College Avenue in Old Town where conditions described in number 4 prevail.
Other locations include Laurel Street and Horsetooth Road where they each cross College Avenue. Signs were put up there because bike lanes disappear near College and create a situation where motorists encounter "unexpected conditions" (number 2) that include "slower forms of transportation" (number 4) when bicycles take the full lane.
Streets where Share the Road signs may not be appropriate include Prospect Street east and west of College or Shields Street north of Laurel. In these areas Share the Road signs may inappropriately suggest to cyclists that these are bike-friendly roads when they may not be.
The BAC will consider any and all of your suggestions as they prepare a comprehensive recommendation, so please don’t hold back!
We look forward to hearing from you. Again, please send your comments to BAC@FCGov.com by July 20, 2010.  Include "Share the Road" in the subject line of your message.
If you have questions about this please contact Dave "DK" Kemp, the City Bike Coordinator: DaKemp@FCGov.com.
Please note, also, that the Bicycle Advisory Committee always welcomes public input on any topic of concern to or about cyclists.  Feel free to send comments at any time to BAC@FCGov.com.

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