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Merrimon Widening Comment

David: I try to avoid Merrimon Ave because I feel it is not safe for cyclist

From: david copley
Date: Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 10:34 PM
Subject: Project U-5781 and U-5782
To: kbereis@hntb.com

I live in Montford and cycle to businesses on Merrimon Ave. I try to avoid Merrimon Ave because I feel it is not safe for cyclist. Car speeds are going to dramatically increase because the design speed chosen will allow a driver to feel safe at speeds higher than 40 mph. During the public meeting NCDOT confirmed that a 40 mph design speed was used. The plans that I saw at the public meeting on January 8th do not meet federal and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)  guidelines and standards pertaining to active transportation infrastructure

    • The proposed 2ft shared bicycle lane on a road with a 40mph design speed does not conform to AASHTO standards.
    • AASHTO’s Bicycle Facilities Guide (4th Edition) states, “The minimum operating width of 4 ft (1.2 m), sufficient to accommodate forward movement by most bicyclists, is greater than the physical width momentarily occupied by a rider because of natural side-to-side movement that varies with speed, wind, and bicyclist proficiency. Additional operating width may be needed in some situations, such as on steep grades, and the figure does not include shy distances from parallel objects such as railings, tunnel walls, curbs, or parked cars. In some situations where speed differentials between bicyclists and other road users are relatively small, bicyclists may accept smaller shy distances. However this should not be used to justify designs that are narrower than recommended minimums. The operating height of 8.3 ft (2.5 m) can accommodate an adult bicyclist standing upright on the pedals (AASHTO Bicycle Facilities Guide, 4th Edition, Section 3-2).
Please reconsider your plan. I would like to see traffic calming modifications put in place, not changes to increase speed.
 
Thanks,
David Copley