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Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 17:05:09 -0500
From: League of American Bicyclists <[log in to unmask]>
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Subject: ACTION ALERT -- RUMBLE STRIPS
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ACTION ALERT


BICYCLING ON AMERICA'S ROADS IS FACING AN INCREASING DANGER!

THE LEAGUE NEEDS YOUR HELP TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS TO THE ROAD



THE PROBLEM

Rumble strips are increasingly being installed on roads around the
country, including  rural roads and bicycle routes frequently used by
cyclists.  Rumble strips are gouges ground into the shoulders of roads,
of various widths and depths, designed to arouse sleepy drivers.

While these strips may reduce the frequency of run-off-the-road
accidents for motorists, they are an increasing safety hazard for
cyclists and are depriving cyclists of roads and shoulders they need and
want to ride on.  Shoulders with rumble strips are often unridable,
forcing cyclists out into traffic, and the strips frequently appear with
no warning to the cyclist coming downhill or around a bend.  A number of
cyclists have already been injured, some seriously, and an increasing
number of roads frequented by cyclists are becoming dangerous or
unpleasant to ride on.

Within the past few years, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has
started aggressively pushing states to install rumble strips on their
roads.  The type and design -- how deep, how much of the shoulder to
take up, which roads to install them on -- is left up to each state.
Some states? designs and applications create less of a danger for
cyclists than others.

While we recognize that rumble strips can be an important safety device
for motorists, it is also important to develop a design standard for
strips that do not injure or kill cyclists. In addition, rumble strips
should be installed only in places where they are needed -- and not in
places where there is little or no run-off-the-road crash problem.

Although there has been research done on the effect of rumble strips on
motorists, there has been very little research on the impact on
cyclists.  We believe that the FHWA should stop promoting the
installation of rumble strips on roads that cyclists use until further
research has been done, and until a design standard that is good for
both motorists and cyclists has been developed.





WHAT YOU CAN DO

The League of American Bicyclists has been actively working on this
problem, meeting with the head of the FHWA and Congressional leaders,
and working with FHWA staff to encourage further research and a safer
design standard for cyclists.  But we need your help and backing to
strengthen our efforts.

Please write a letter (not e-mail) TODAY to the Federal Highway
Administrator, with a copy to Congressman James L. Oberstar, ranking
member of the Transportation Committee, who is assisting the League with
our efforts.

Your letter can be brief, but personal letters are more effective than
form letters.  If possible, include reasons you are concerned, your
background in cycling, and any problems you have encountered with rumble
strips.  Be sure to include your address so that you get a reply.

Please urge the FHWA to:

1. Conduct research on a design standard for rumble strips that is
bicycle-friendly
2. Limit installation to interstates until a bicycle-friendly design is
developed

Send a copy of your letter to the League, and we will make sure that it
is circulated to other key people at FHWA and in Congress.  If possible,
send copies to your own Senators and member of Congress.

Addresses are as follows:

Kenneth R. Wykle
Administrator, FHWA
400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20590

Congressman James L. Oberstar
2366 Rayburn
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

League of American Bicyclists
1612 K St. NW #401
Washington, DC 20006

Thank you for your help and support.  We will keep you informed about
the progress of the campaign, and the results of our efforts.  We know
that when you enjoy smooth, rumble-strip-free shoulders and great
bicycle rides, you will be happy you took a few minutes to write these
letters!

PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ALONG TO YOUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES