Robert Bast endorsed 2017-12-16 08:08:01 -0500Side striping has certain consequences and values.
The downside is that the side stripe costs five/ten cents a foot, and has to be reapplied to be effective over time at the same rate as a center stripe.
The upside is that it establishes a lane for vehicles, which most drivers will try to drive within. All of the below is influenced by this.
-If the lane is narrower, drivers slow down to stay within the lines. That is good, especially in a congested or shared road situation.
-Side stripes provide a reference line at night, particularly valuable for older drivers. Safer.
-If the side stripe is further from the edge of pavement, it helps maintain the rigidity of the pavement, as there is more shoulder and roadbed buttressing the lateral forces created by vehicles. Your road stays intact longer in this scenario, so the strategy can be budget friendly. Saves money.
-Slower traffic and more uniform pavement at the shoulder encourages parallel uses, such as cycling. On town roads, it can increase use by runners and pedestrians. Safer.
When serving on the Selectboard in Hinesburg, I proposed our program for doing this on town roads, which the Board supported. We striped (land still do) at 9 ft on town roads, leaving 3 ft on the shoulder. The first road to try this was the Charlotte Rd. It made the road far more friendly to multiple use, and the town got much positive feedback. It is done now whenever a road is repaved.
The DOT, I understand, has been considering these things, as they are always looking at evolving strategies for better safety and economies in road usage. I think I heard that the side stripes on Rt 116 were quietly brought in a foot, or at least it was being considered.
This turns out to be good public policy, not just for cyclists. I endorse this concept.
We, the undersigned, users of Route 2 (West Main Street) in Richmond call on the Town, County and State authorities to implement improvements to make that heavily used section of road safer for all users. The present state of the road creates serious hazards for pedestrians and bicycle users and discourages or prevents them from using it. Immediately (prior to the eventual Route 2 rebuild) we request that the shoulder be re-striped, increasing the shoulder width by 1 foot on each side and reducing lane width from 12 to 11 ft., bringing the widths to the VTRANS standard for state highway lanes - we're simply asking them to comply with their own standard. This low cost, sensible improvement will work better for everyone. In particular, people want improved access to the currently jam-packed Park & Ride to facilitate carpooling and use of the Link Bus, as well as for access to residences and businesses.Endorse