Letters to the Editor

Rumble strips not welcome for bikers | Letter to the Editor

I was glad to get home tonight to read that rumble strips are a major topic in The Beachcomber. (“County suspends rumble strip project,” April 25.) I was surprised by them when I “ran into them” last week on the narrow shoulder south of Cedarhurst.

They do not make it safer for me to ride and they are not welcome. I’d invite a county engineer to ride with me some morning and prove that shoulder rumble strips save cyclists’ lives.

Let me give two examples. Two joggers, running abreast, meet me just north of the Ober Park park & ride. My only option now is to move fully out in to the traffic lane, not to the edge in order to get past them. Drivers are notorious for speeding up to head up the hill at that very spot. Second, the residences just north of the curve at 140th have their mailboxes at the very edge of the pavement and the shoulder is narrow. Again, to avoid one obstacle you put yourself in greater danger. Riding on the strips is a great way to lose control.

Those shoulder rumble strips protect me from nothing. If a car is on them, it’s too late; I am dead. This isn’t a tourist or recreation issue, it is my primary mode of commuting. If you want to protect me, don’t force me into traffic.

The Beachcomber should call for them to be filled, not excuse an unsafe hazard created by the county as too costly to repair. They’re unsafe and inappropriate for that application. The county should fix them, not hold a public meeting after the fact to explain why they will do it anyway.

 

— Brad Shinn

 

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