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February 2015

Lisbon Street Comments

By | Our Position
John Rodrigue
Project Manager
Department of Transportation, Highway Program 98 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330
Dear Mr. Roderigue,
On behalf of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine we are pleased to offer comments on the planned 2015 Highway Preservation Paving Project along Route 196, Lisbon Street, in Lewiston. This project, WIN #020309.00, should serve as a model for the Department’s implementation of its newly adopted Complete Streets Policy, signed June 2014.
In general, we applaud the inclusion of a 5’ buffered bike lane in this project.
That being said, we would like to offer the following ideas as possible changes to the proposed cross section that we feel would enhance the safety and utility of the proposed bicycle facility.

  1. We recommend you consider locating the bicycle lane on the LEFT side of Lisbon Street. This would put the bicycle rider on the passenger side of the car, reducing the likelihood of dooring incidents. Note that this is an option provided for in the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, which states, “a bike lane. . . may be placed on the left if . . .a left-side bike lane decreases conflicts. . . caused by heavy bus traffic, heavy right turn movements, deliveries, or on-street parking.” (See AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 2012, Fourth Edition, Section 4.6.3.)
  2. We recommend that lane line widths should follow MUTCD specifications for at least a “normal” line (i.e. 4-6”); we recommend at least a 6” line on the traffic lane side and 4” on the curb side.
  3. We recommend that buffer cross hatching lines should be 6” wide and cross the entire two foot buffer, and that each line should be no more than 3’ apart to make it clear to drivers that they should not park in this area.
  4. We recommend you consider using IR signal sensing technology to ensure that bicycles trigger the traffic signals.
  5. At the intersection with Main St, we recommend you include SLMs centered in both the right and left turn lanes to provide lane position guidance to bicyclists making turning movements in either direction.
  6. We recommend you consider using dashed 4” guidance lines to create an advisory bike lane 5’ wide through the intersection for cyclists turning left onto Main and heading west into Auburn to provide more clear lane positioning expectations for cyclists and motorists.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments. Sincerely,

Nancy Grant, Executive Director
James C. Tassé, Assistant Director
Abby King, Advocacy Coordinator