California at long last has adopted its revised Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices ( CA MUTCD). The latest 2012 iteration has some welcomed new tools that will further expand our transportation engineer’s toolbox to implement bikeway facilities in the City of Los Angeles. We’ll detail just a few of those new changes below the fold.
The new 2012 CA MUTCD is available for download here. Everything involving bicycles can be found in Part 9 of the manual. Part 9 is broken up into 4 sections – 9A (general overview), 9B (signage), 9C (markings), and 9D (signals).
Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign
This latest iteration of the CA MUTCD will allow LADOT to utilize new bicycle signage including the Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign. LADOT intends to use this sign (in traffic engineering lingo – sign R4-11) on streets that have Shared Lane Markings (SLM or Sharrows). According to the 2012 CA MUTCD, the Bicycles May Use Full Lane Sign:
… may be used in locations where it is important to inform road users that bicyclists might occupy the travel lane.
The addition of this sign to Los Angeles roadways with SLMs will further increase the visibility of potential bicyclists along those corridors. The benefits are two fold; bicyclists and motorists will be reminded that bikes can use the full travel lane, and SLMs will help guide bicyclists to their proper position on the roadway.
Shared Lane Marking with no on-street parking
Also new for 2012, Shared Lane Markings (SLMs) or Sharrows can now be placed without on-street parking. Formerly, the design standard required SLMs to be installed in conjunction with on-street parking and placed at a minimum of 11 feet from the curb. Per the recommendation of our Sharrows Study, we determined that 12 feet from the curb would be the most practical for Sharrow placement in the City of Los Angeles. If you would like to find out more about Sharrows, visit our Sharrows tab.
Sharrows are now allowed without on-street parking. You can find information on Shared Lane Markings in Section 9C.07 in the 2012 CA MUTCD:
If used on a street without on-street parking that has an outside travel lane that is less than 14 feet wide, the centers of the Shared Lane Markings should be at least 4 feet from the face of the curb, or from the edge of the pavement where there is no curb.
Bicycle Wayfinding Signage
Wayfinding signage is classified as a bicycle guide sign. According to the CA MUTCD, they can be placed along designated bike routes (including bicycle friendly streets – BFS) and are useful for providing bicyclists with direction, destination, and distance information. You can find the whole nitty gritty on guide signs in section 9B.20 in the 2012 CA MUTCD.
LADOT plans on prioritizing wayfinding signage implementation along Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) facilities in the five year implementation plan and along other appropriate facilities like the L.A. River Bike Path and the Orange Line bike path. We will soon be conducting neighborhood outreach to garner input from local communities to determine appropriate destinations for display. Find out more about wayfinding signage by visiting our post here.