Category Archives: Engineering/Facilities

Proposed Bikeway in Long Beach – Letter to CTCDC

September 21, 2009

Devinder Singh, Secretary
California Traffic Control Devices Committee – MS36
P.O. Box 942874, Sacramento, CA-94274-0001

Subject: Item 09-21 on 9/24/09 CTCDC agenda
Request by the City of Long Beach for Permission to Experiment with Separated/Protected Bikeway on the Left Side of Two-Way Streets (Rte 9-112E)

by email to (address deleted)

Dear Mr. Singh:

The California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO) has reviewed the subject Request to Experiment (RTE) and notes that it fails to acknowledge previous trials in California of separated bikeways, particularly in the City of Davis and the City of Palo Alto, both of which were abandoned in favor of the standard bikeways now defined in the California Streets and Highways Code, the Caltrans Highway Design Manual, and the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. In light of this previous negative experience with separated bikeways and the potential problems of traffic safety, traffic operations, and the status of bicyclists as legitimate highway users, CABO hereby requests that CTCDC reject the subject RTE or, if the CTCDC feels that the RTE may still have merit, refer it to the California Bicycle Advisory Committee for a recommendation on action by the CTCDC. The reasons for this request are detailed below. Continue reading

Gore Separated Bike Lanes

A while back we gave a presentation to the California Bicycle Advisory Committee showing our concerns with gore separated bike lanes. An example of a gore separated bike lane is the photo of Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point posted below.

The gist of the presentation was this:

  • The California MUTCD prohibits raised barriers or raised pavement markers between travel lanes and bike lanes. This is to avoid trapping cyclists when they need to leave the bike lane to make left turns, to pass another cyclist, to avoid debris, or to avoid conflicts with turning traffic.
  • It is illegal to cross a gore striped area two feet or wider. Therefore, the gore area has the same effect as a physical barrier between the travel lanes and bike lanes.
  • It is CABO’s position that gore separated bike lanes violate the intent of the provision prohibiting barriers between travel lanes and bike lanes. However, for clarity, CABO requested that the appropriate wording be added to specifically prohibit gore separated bike lanes.

Bike/Bike Collision on Dana Point Path

Below are photos that were sent to us from a bike/bike crash on the sidepath adjacent to Coast Highway in Dana Point. At this time we have no idea how the riders involved are doing. We envisioned the possibility of a high speed bike/bike crash during our presentation to the city Traffic Subcommittee two years ago, the video clip from our presentation is at this link:

Dana Point Bike Lane Sign

As posted here:

On that blog, the city Public Works director explained:

“Here’s the explanation. The sign belongs to the new median construction contractor who was warning vehicles of the median construction and lane narrowing further up ahead. Coincidentally, the City was also installing new bike lanes on PCH. The bike lane striping subcontractor striped the bike lanes at night and then moved the other contractor’s sign to the location you see it. (Not smart.) The City inspector then noticed the sign and had it moved.”

Actually, that’s quite a reasonable explanation. But then he continues:

“The good news is that the majority of PCH is now striped in Dana Point. The striping was done in concert with the California Association of Bicycling Organizations who reviewed the plans.”

To which CABO replied:

“Thanks to the Public Works director for being on top of the situation – and thanks to him for giving CABO a chance to review the plans, even though we agreed to disagree on some of the plans.”

CABO did indeed review the plans – but we weren’t in agreement with the city. Before they did the striping there was already a wide shoulder which was just fine. Now they’ve got a narrower bike lane by the gutter, which is going to fill up with debris in no time, and gore striping to the left which is technically illegal for cyclists to use or cross. A net loss for cyclists in this writer’s opinion. At least the city agreed to move the bike lane away from the edge of the road at intersections, in order to minimize turning/crossing conflicts.

State Route 241: The Case for Bicyclist Access

In recent years in Orange County, new travel corridors have been provided in the form of toll roads through locations where no other paved roads previously existed. These provide shortcuts for motorists, but currently bicyclists must take the long way around to get from Point “A” to Point “B” in many cases.

State Route 241 in Orange County, California, provides the only direct access between the new Portola Springs community in Irvine and the residential/commercial areas of Foothill Ranch. The direct route via SR241 is 1.6 miles and is prohibited to bicyclists, while the shortest legal alternate route for bicyclists is 8.4 miles. This four minute video, created by League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor, Brian DeSousa, makes the case for allowing bicyclist access to this section of SR241.

The video is also available directly on YouTube here: – for those who can’t access YouTube, the video is the second from the top in the following page: