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Thread: legal basis of "Use Ped Signal" signs in Alexandria? public outreach?

  1. #11
    lordofthemark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterw_diy View Post
    It'd also be nice if the MUTCD clarified whether this sign only means bicyclists may start early, in the LPI phase, or if it's also true that they must obey the Don't Walk ped signal, which tends to appear earlier than the motor vehicle red signal. On its face it seems to say that bicyclists at such intersections must obey all ped signals -- Walk and Don't Walk because the "indications", plural, "control" the bicyclists. I expect that's not what was intended, that somebody in FHWA edited too agressively (or wrote too lazily). Certainly I think it seems potentially dangerous for a lane-taking bicyclists to come to a stop when Don't Walk lights up, as any motor vehicle operators behind them likley won't be paying any attention to the ped signals, and the roadway signal will be at least yellow, if not actually still green, when Don't Walk appears. On its face, R9-5 seems to pit cyclists' obligations to follow pedestrian controls against their obligation not to impede motor vehicle traffic. So, yeah, probably it's just poor writing.

    Also I think giving cyclists something like an LPI is at best a little silly. Between motorists being distracted by their phones and cyclists having better peripheral vision and, especially in the case of e-bikes, acceleration, there seems little reason for the people on bikes to start first -- we usually cross the intersection first anyway. Add in Virginia's new change-lanes-to-pass law (and two abreast law!) and it also seems like a setup for some dangeous and/or annoying leapfrog moves as the motorists try to pass the cyclists who just shoaled them (excercising their rights under § 46.2-841) as soon as the motorists get a green light. I know DC has had universal LPI rights for people on bikes for a few years, but does it also allow two bikes abreast? And require motorists to change lanes to pass even a single bicyclist? Allowing cyclists to shoal you at the red and then get a jump on you during the LPI wouldn't be as significant an imposition on motorists if the motorists just had to hug the left side of the lane to overtake the single-file cyclists. In Virginia starting July 1, theoretically, my kid & I can ride two abreast and set the pace any time or place where the motorists can't easily change lanes to pass -- like on the sections of Commonwealth with big medians and heavily-uitlized on-street car parking. LPI + R9-5 just makes it easier for us to legally do things that effectively disrupt traffic.

    In DC I find myself proceeding on LPI when I'm in a bike lane (eg Eye Street SE/SW) or where I'm turning shortly (eg at SB on 7th SW at Maine, just before turning onto the Wharf cycle track). If I'm just taking the lane, I proceed on LPI IF I am first at the intersection (so not shoaling). If I am not, I wait my turn behind cars, regretting the "wasted" LPI. To shoal one must filter which I rarely do. If I'm taking the lane, I (with a few exceptions) take the center of the lane, and expect cars to pass in the other lane. The shoaling problem is created, afaict,by riding to the right hand side of a normal width lane, something I avoid.


    The main benefit of proceeding on LPI is to avoid getting right hooked if in a bike lane. Otherwise it's to avoid potential conflict with left turning traffic and generally to proceed faster and to get away from following traffic.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 05-22-2021 at 09:35 AM.

  2. #12
    baiskeli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett L. View Post
    Is Alexandria a jurisdiction where cyclists on the sidewalks are considered pedestrians but on the roadway considered vehicles? .
    That's state law. It applies to all jurisdictions, except where it has specifically added signs forbidding bikes on a specific sidewalk.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterw_diy View Post
    I don't even see these signs mentioned on https://www.alexandriava.gov/VisionZero , which touts other, similar changes made in recent years.
    Here it is.

    January 15, 2019
    New Leading Pedestrian Intervals Installed as Part of Vision Zero Initiative

    In order to increase traffic safety, City of Alexandria staff recently installed 17 new Leading Pedestrian Intervals in high crash intersections or corridors as part of the implementation of the City’s Vision Zero Initiative to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2028.

    https://www.alexandriava.gov/tes/inf...aspx?id=107668

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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    Here it is.

    January 15, 2019
    New Leading Pedestrian Intervals Installed as Part of Vision Zero Initiative
    ...
    https://www.alexandriava.gov/tes/inf...aspx?id=107668
    I could be mistaken, but I think that only regards the adjustments to the timing of the roadway and pedestrial signals. I'm pretty sure the R9-5 "[bike] USE PED SIGNAL" signs only appeared this year, which explains why that old news release only talks about improving "safety for people walking and driving".

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    The latest MUTCD edition(which the OP cited) is from 2009 with revisions from 2012, so it's 9 Years old at least. I don't know if LPI existed back then, or at least the push for road cyclists to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    The latest MUTCD edition(which the OP cited) is from 2009 with revisions from 2012, so it's 9 Years old at least. I don't know if LPI existed back then, or at least the push for road cyclists to use it.
    Well, FWIW the City webpage baiskeli cited in 2019 said of general pedestrian LPI that "Localities across the country and around the world (including Alexandria) have been implementing this solution for decades".

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