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February 23, 2012
Richard W. Lee, P.E.
Acting Director, Office of Design
NYS Department of Transportation
Albany, NY 12232
Dear Mr. Lee,
We are in receipt of your letter dated January 27, 2012 by which the Department solicits input from the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) regarding a draft shoulder rumble strip policy. We welcome the opportunity to illustrate some of the policy’s negative impacts upon bicycling. NYBC is New York’s statewide bicycle advocacy organization, representing bicyclists of all abilities and types. Members of our staff and board have significant experience in transportation design, planning and administration. Our recommendations, therefore, are deeply informed by input from hundreds of bicyclists as well as a strong base of technical knowledge.
NYBC understands and appreciates the potential of rumble strips to protect motorists from drift off the road crashes. We recognize that the benefit to cost ratio provided by rumble strips on given roadways varies significantly according to a number of factors, including road geometry, speed and traffic volume. We support targeted installation of rumble strips on roads that would benefit the most from their use. Indiscriminate, wholesale installation of rumble strips, however, would provide significantly reduced return-on-investment and result in a serious reduction in safety, comfort and mobility for bicyclists.
Attached is a December 2009 NYBC report which 1) describes the effects of rumble strips upon bicyclists and 2) compares the Department’s 2009 draft policy against policies in other states and guiding documents. The Report made many recommendations for changes to that policy. It is disappointing, therefore, to observe that the current draft policy does not appear to incorporate the recommendations provided by the bicycling community in 2009. We urge the Department to seriously consider the report’s recommendations, re-stated below, in the continued formation of a rumble strip policy.
NYBC Recommends the following text and/or concepts be included in a revised rumble strip (or SHARDS) policy;
see the balance of the letter and the December 2009 New York Bicycle Coalition Report at

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