Brad Miller, engineer for the Town of Apple Valley, has advised the town council to reject the use of rumble strips alongside existing bike lanes to aid in the protection of cyclists.

This rejection comes after a suggestion to the town council that rumble strips might help stop the slaughter of cyclists along Apple Valley Road while riding in what should be an ample bike lane.

Mr. Miller’s advice to the Town Council is free of any alternatives that might improve the situation.

Here is his report:



To: Honorable Mayor and Town Council

Date: April 9, 2013

From: Brad Miller, Town Engineer

Item No: _________


T.M. Approval:_____________________

Budgeted Item: Yes No N/A


Receive and File.


Staff recommends that until an official application standard is developed and approved by the California Department of Transportation, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, for the use of rumble strips in the vicinity of Class 2 Bike Lanes, we should decline the use of rumble strips on local roads in Apple Valley.


During Public Comment at last Council meeting Mr. Greg Raven requested that the Town consider the application of rumble strips in conjunction with the existing Class 2 Bike Lanes in Apple Valley. Mr. Raven submitted a Study pertaining to rumble strip design. The Analysis Study that he provided Town Council is a report prepared by the Arizona Department of Transportation,(ADOT), researching the optimum length of gaps that could be provided in continuous shoulder rumble strips to allow bicyclists traveling on the roadway or roadway shoulder to cross through a rumble strip application area without having to pass over the rumble strip undulations. The rumble strips considered in the study are described to be on rural Arizona highways, and the rumble strip application was intended to help prevent inattentive motorists from leaving the roadway. Similar strip applications exist on rural highways here in California, including SR-18 near Pear Blossom. The rumble strip study roadways do not have Bike Lane facilities, or the typical lane stripes and markings required for a Class 2 Bike Lane. The study assumes a “Share the Road” condition exists on the subject roadway, and the rumble strip identifies the edge of the vehicle travel way.

The study was initiated after complaints were received by Arizona DOT from Arizona bicyclists regarding the installation of rumble strips. Rumble strips can have a severe affect on bicycle handling and control. The study investigated the possible use of gaps in rumble strip applications, to allow a bicyclist to transition between the vehicle travel lane and the roadway shoulder.

Research of the California Department of Transportation Traffic Manual, the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, (MUTCD), and the Federal Highway Administration website for existing application guidelines pertaining to the use of rumble strips in conjunction with Class 2 Bike Lane applications found no results. All rumble strip application guidelines found are for shoulder applications on rural highways, and there are actually cautions in some MUTCD manuals not to use rumble strips in anticipated pedestrian and bicycle use areas.

As with any traffic control device, uniform and consistent application is essential for achieving maximum benefit for facility users.


Council Meeting Date: 04/09/2013