Motorcycles safely cross rumble strips in Ohio, Texas

the Bikers Against Local Diabetes (BALD) Motorcycle Run
the Bikers Against Local Diabetes (BALD) Motorcycle Run

An informal test was conducted last summer to see if motorcycles could safely cross an array of portable rumble strips. The test strip, set up by Plastic Safety Systems, was a 35-mph two-lane road in Mentor, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, during the Bikers Against Local Diabetes (BALD) Motorcycle Run. 

In the test, riders successfully crossed the array; no one lost control of their vehicle.

A few weeks ago, another test was conducted with motorcycles in conjunction with the Republic of Texas (ROT) Biker Rally, an annual event held in Austin. 

According to the ROT Rally Facebook page: “The four-day event attracts 40,000 attendees to the Travis County Exposition Center for free camping and 400 acres filled with two-wheel attractions, vendors, live music, celebrities . . . ”

On June 14, portable rumble strips were set on Decker Lane, near the Expo Center. The posted speed limit is 55 mph. The array consisted of three 11-ft-long rumble strips that traversed an entire travel lane. Each strip was made of three RoadQuake 2 modular sections, which are 45 in. long.

This strip replicated an array configuration as seen on Texas DOT Traffic Control Plan WZ (RS)-12.) TxDOT mandates the use of temporary portable rumble strips for one-way flagging operations, and lane closures on conventional highways, in speed limits of 70 mph or less.

About 75-100 motorcyclists from the ROT Rally drove over the Decker Lane rumble strips without incident. Riders maintained control of their motorcycles; no one avoided the array, though many riders did slow down to cross it.

Staff spoke to about 10 of the riders at a nearby gas station after they had crossed the Decker Lane array. After explaining the purpose of the test, the riders were asked about their experience crossing the section.

One rider said he had no problem crossing over the rumble strips. He added that his bike is designed for bumps on the road. Another said the test section actually surprised him. He had not seen the advance warning signs (TxDOT mandates “Rumble Strips Ahead” signs when using rumble strip arrays).

To protect riders, and refocus their attention, RoadQuake 2 arrays in work zones sounded like a very good idea to the riders that were interviewed.

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