Join or Renew

 

Public Comment Regarding: Falmouth Rt 26/100 Bike/Ped Accommodations

By December 29, 2015Our Position

Summary Statement

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is a statewide organization working to make Maine better for bicycling and walking. We support the creation of well-designed bicycle and pedestrian facilities, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, multi-use paths, and bike lanes, wherever possible. Most bike riders and walkers prefer using facilities that provide some measure of separation from cars for safety, comfort and convenience. The Town of  Falmouth’s proposed changes to Rt. 26/100 will somewhat improve conditions for bicycle riders and pedestrians by providing 5 ft shoulders and sidewalks in much of the project area. However, the treatment of intersections in the current draft of the plan puts a “shared use shoulder” to the right of a combined through/right turn lane and will encourage bicyclists to assume a lane position that may expose them to conflicts with turning traffic. The shoulders as designed are NOT bicycle facilities, but may be incorrectly construed as such.

General Design Discussion

1. Rt 26-100 is currently a moderately significant bicycle route due its being crossed by two routes that are rated as moderate and high use by bicycles.

  • Rt. 26/100 from Presumpscott River to Libby Bridge BAADT is generally 1-25 (low use), excepting segment from the exit at West Falmouth Crossing to Leighton Rd, where BAADT is 25-50 (moderate use). This segment’s higher use may be linked to off road trail use in the immediate vicinity.
  • Leighton Road BAADT on both sides of Rt. 26 intersection is estimated at 25-50 (moderate).
  • Mountain/Falmouth Road BAADT on both sides of Rt. 26 intersection is estimated at 50-100 (high use)*NOTE: *All BAADT (Bicycle Average Annual Daily Traffic) range estimates are based on PACTS Strava Data analysis. Ranges of “low” (1-25 riders), “moderate” (25-50 riders) and “high” (50-100) were developed by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine using PACTS data. http://www.pactsplan.org/long-range-transportation-planning/mapping-data/strava-data/ To see the Strava map, visit http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=504725bb706047a1b4e59e6e7c316854&extent=- 70.5398,43.5115,-70.0327,43.7351

2. The placement of large shoulder “lanes” (which in earlier versions of the plans were stenciled as bikelanes) to the right of combined thru/right turn lanes at the major intersections with Leighton and Mountain/Falmouth Road raises concerns about motorists “right hooking” bicyclists at these locations. The proposed shoulder markings at these intersections will encourage bicycle riders to assume lane positions to the right of cars that might be turning right, putting bicyclists squarely into a conflict area. Alternative designs might include:

  • A dedicated right turn lane, with a bike lane to the left of it
  • An advisory bike lane with/without green conflict paint running in the center of the combined right/thru lane.
  • Terminating the shoulder stripe 50-200 feet prior to the intersection and using SLMs centered in the combined lane.

Project Comments

RTE 26/100 NORTHBOUND LANE (south to north)

Entrance from Rt. 26/100 into W. Falmouth Crossing

  • Wide shoulder appears to narrow dramatically, creates mixing area for northbound bike/auto traffic. Minimum 4 feet shoulder width is recommended at this location; 5 ft is preferred. 5 is indicated in “typical road cross section” document. If these shoulders are planned for designation as bikelanes, dashed advisory bikelanes should be painted across driveway openings, with green conflict zone paint considered.
Entrances/exit from Rt. 26/100 into Mercy Primary Care

  • Sidewalk appears to encroach on shoulder/bikelane space. Minimum 4 feet shoulder width is recommended at this location; 5 ft is preferred. 5 ft. is indicated in “typical road cross section” document.
Rt 26/100 Intersection with Leighton Road

  • “Bike lane” shoulders placed to right of a combined thru/right turn lanes. This design increases the likelihood of right hook crashes. Consider ending shoulder line prior to intersection and placing SLM in center of lane to provide safe lane placement guidance for non-turning bicycle riders.

Rt 26/100 Leighton Rd to Libby Bridge Segment

  • Assuming “typical road cross section” of 5 ft shoulder with 11 ft. travel lanes; this is a satisfactory bicycle accommodation.

Rt 26/100 Intersection with Mountain/Falmouth Road

  • “Bike lane” shoulders placed to right of a combined thru/right turn lanes. This design increases the likelihood of right hook crashes. Consider ending shoulder line prior to intersection and placing SLM in center of lane to provide safe lane placement guidance for non-turning bicycle riders.
  • Shoulder paint stripe is also continued along the radii of the turns onto Falmouth and Mountain Roads, creating a potentially confusing area for non-turning bicycles. Consider terminating shoulder stripes prior to intersection.

RTE 26/100 SOUTHBOUND LANE (south to north)

Rt 26/100 Off/on ramps to I-95 at W. Falmouth Crossing

  • Minimum 4 feet shoulder width is recommended at this location; 5 ft is preferred. 5 is indicated in “typical road cross section” document. If these shoulders are planned for designation as bikelanes, dashed advisory bikelanes should be painted across driveway openings, with green conflict zone paint considered.
Rt 26/100 Intersection with Leighton Road

  • “Bike lane” shoulders placed to right of a combined thru/right turn lanes. This design increases the likelihood of right hook crashes. Consider ending shoulder line prior to intersection and placing SLM in center of lane to provide safe lane placement guidance for non-turning bicycle riders.
  • Turn from Leighton onto 26/100 south bound has shoulder paint stripe continued along the radii of the lane creating a potentially confusing area for non-turning bicycles on Leighton. Consider terminating shoulder stripe prior to intersection.

Rt 26/100 Leighton Rd to Libby Bridge Segment

  • Assuming “typical road cross section” of 5 ft shoulder with 11 ft. travel lanes; this is a satisfactory bicycle accommodation.

I Rt 26/100 ntersection with Mountain/Falmouth Road

  • “Bike lane” shoulders placed to right of a combined thru/right turn lanes. This design increases the likelihood of right hook crashes. Consider ending shoulder line prior to intersection and placing SLM in center of lane to provide safe lane placement guidance for non-turning bicycle riders.
  • Shoulder paint stripe is also continued along the radii of the turns onto Falmouth and Mountain Roads, creating a potentially confusing area for non-turning bicycles. Consider terminating shoulder stripes prior to intersection.

LEIGHTON ROAD WESTBOUND (west to east)

Leighton Road is a “moderately-used” bicycle route, with BAADT estimated at 25-50 riders daily.* The “typical section” of Leighton Rd. with sidewalk has 11 ft travel lanes and a 2 ft shoulder. Consider 10 ft travel lanes with 3 ft shoulder—or consider not striping as per MaineDOT LCP Policy guidelines; consider SLMs . 4-5 ft shoulder preferred.
Leighton Road Intersection with Rt. 26/100

  • “Bike lane” shoulders placed to right of a combined thru/right turn lanes. This design increases the likelihood of right hook crashes. Consider ending shoulder line prior to intersection and placing SLM in center of lane to provide safe lane placement guidance for non-turning bicycle riders.

LEIGHTON ROAD EASTBOUND (west to east)

Leighton Road is a “moderately-used” bicycle route, with BAADT estimated at 25-50 riders daily.* The “typical section” of Leighton Rd. with sidewalk has 11 ft travel lanes and a 2 ft shoulder. Consider 10 ft travel lanes with 3 ft shoulder—or consider not striping as per MaineDOT LCP Policy guidelines; consider SLMs . 4-5 ft shoulder preferred.
Leighton Road Intersection with Rt. 26/100

  • “Bike lane” shoulders placed to right of a combined thru/right turn lanes. This design increases the likelihood of right hook crashes. Consider ending shoulder line prior to intersection and placing SLM in center of lane to provide safe lane placement guidance for non-turning bicycle riders.
  • Shoulder paint stripe is also continued along the radii of the turn onto Rt 26/100, creating a potentially confusing area for non-turning bicycles. Consider terminating shoulder stripes prior to intersection.

MOUNTAIN ROAD WESTBOUND LANE (west to east)

Overall

  • Mountain Road is a “highly-used” bicycle route, with BAADT estimated at 50-100 riders daily. * The “typical section” of Mountain Rd. is not illustrated; we assumein examination of the plans that a cross section with sidewalk has 11 ft travel lanes and a 2 ft shoulder. Consider at least 10 ft travel lanes with 3 ft shoulder— or consider not striping as per MaineDOT LCP Policy guidelines; consider SLMs . 4-5 ft shoulder preferred.

Mountain Road Intersection with Rt. 26/100

  • Shoulder paint stripe is also continued along the radii of the turns onto Rt 26/100, creating a potentially confusing area for non-turning bicycles. Consider terminating shoulder stripes prior to intersection.

MOUNTAIN ROAD EASTBOUND LANE (west to east)

Overall

  • Mountain Road is a “highly-used” bicycle route, with BAADT estimated at 50-100 riders daily.* The “typical section” of Mountain Rd. is not illustrated; we assume in examination of the plans that a cross section with sidewalk has 11 ft travel lanes and a 2 ft shoulder. Consider at least 10 ft travel lanes with 3 ft shoulder— or consider not striping as per MaineDOT LCP Policy guidelines; consider SLMs . 4-5 ft shoulder preferred.

Mountain Road Intersection with Rt. 26/100

  • Shoulder paint stripe is continued along the radii of the turns onto Rt 26/100, creating a potentially confusing area for non-turning bicycles. Consider terminating shoulder stripes prior to intersection.

FALMOUTH ROAD WESTBOUND LANE (west to east)

Overall

  • Falmouth Road is a “highly-used” bicycle route, with BAADT estimated at 50-100 riders daily. The “typical section” of Falmouth Rd. assumes a cross section with sidewalk has 11 ft travel lanes and a 5 ft shoulder. This is a satisfactory bicycle accommodation.
  • Shoulder paint stripe is also continued along the radii of the turns onto Rt 26/100, creating a potentially confusing area for non-turning bicycles. Consider terminating shoulder stripes prior to intersection.

FALMOUTH ROAD EASTBOUND LANE (west to east)

Overall

  • Falmouth Road is a “highly-used” bicycle route, with BAADT estimated at 50-100 riders daily. The “typical section” of Falmouth Rd. assumes a cross section with sidewalk has 11 ft travel lanes and a 5 ft shoulder.
  • Shoulder paint stripe is also continued along the radii of the turns onto Rt 26/100, creating a potentially confusing area for non-turning bicycles. Consider terminating shoulder stripes prior to intersection.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments. We are happy to offer additional comments as needed.
Jim Tasse
Assistant Director
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
Reference Files: http://www.falmouthme.org/sites/falmouthme/files/uploads/portland_line_to_leighton_road.pdf http://www.falmouthme.org/sites/falmouthme/files/uploads/leighton_road_to_libby_bridge.pdf http://www.falmouthme.org/sites/falmouthme/files/uploads/leighton_road.pdf http://www.falmouthme.org/sites/falmouthme/files/uploads/falmouth_road.pdf http://www.falmouthme.org/sites/falmouthme/files/uploads/typical_sections.pdf
*All BAADT (Bicycle Average Annual Daily Traffic) range estimates are based on PACTS Strava Data analysis. Ranges of “low” (1- 25 riders), “moderate” (25-50 riders) and “high” (50-100) were developed by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine using PACTS data. To see the Strava map, visit http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=504725bb706047a1b4e59e6e7c316854&extent=- 70.5398,43.5115,-70.0327,43.7351