New rumble strips rules put the squeeze on cyclists

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently published guidance on the use of rumble strips, which, unfortunately, represents a major step backward for people who bicycle.

Rumble strips are safety devices used on edge lines or shoulders of roads to alert motorists that they have left the travel lane. When installed properly, rumble strips reduce run-off-the-road crashes. The problem is that it’s virtually impossible for a bicycle to ride on a rumble strip.

Active Trans will be contacting Illinois Department of Transportation to express our concerns and will continue to work with our national partners—the Alliance for Biking and Walking as well as the League of American Bicyclists—to get this guidance changed.

We will keep you informed and let you know if there is an action opportunity to help make this change.

The new guidelines allow for the use of rumble strips when less than four feet of clear space to the right of the strip is available for bicyclists. Old FHWA guidance supported a minimum of four feet (five if the edge is a guardrail). Active Trans agrees with the old guidance.