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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Default legal basis of "Use Ped Signal" signs in Alexandria? public outreach?

    I keep seeing new traffic control signs around town with a bike symbol and the words USE PED SIGNAL. This is MUTCD sign R9-5 which "may be used where the crossing of a street by bicyclists is controlled by pedestrian signal indications" per MUTCD chapter 9B. I assume these are all over DC since the DC council actually passed legislation providing this right across the District (right?).

    While I've seen hints that Virginia DOT recognizes R9-5 (like this doc on bicycle traffic controls), I've searched a bit on and but I don't see clear authorization for using these signs. I think something like Virginia 46.2-925, "Pedestrian control signals" might mention this, but it does not. What authority empowers Alexandria to allow people on bikes to avail themselves of Leading Pedestrian Intervals? Yes, the City charter grants the City right "To regulate the operation of motor and other vehicles and exercise control over traffic in the streets of the city" but only "provided that ordinances or administrative regulations adopted by virtue of this subsection shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code of Virginia." but does that even apply if the City hasn't adopted formal, written regulations but merely installed signs?

    I dislike the MUTCD guidance here: "If used, the R9-5, R10-4, R10-24, or R10-26 signs should be installed near the edge of the sidewalk in the vicinity of where bicyclists will be crossing the street." Alexandria has been installing the signs on the near side of the intersection. Motor vehicle operators are only accustomed to looking there if they are turning right and looking for guidance like whether right turns are allowed on red lights. Maybe I'm overly cynical but I forsee plenty of honking and cursing if I actually use an LPI when I see an R9-5 sign. I'm reluctant to avail myself of the privilege these signs seem to grant me -- not just because I don't want to be honked at, but also because I know every 10th time I do so, some war-on-cars type will misunderstand and start some hateful rant on Nextdoor about Those Scofflaw Cyclists Running Red Lights. :-/ Is the City going to undertake any kind of education/communication/awareness campaign? I don't even see these signs mentioned on , which touts other, similar changes made in recent years.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Hi Peter, I start riding on LPI for years and no one ever honked at me for that. I have not heard of any issues on Nextdoor related to this.

    Try it out and see what you think!

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