Sylvania-Metamora Trail -- Progress!

Work is underway to fill in the six-tenths of a mile of missing segments along 2.25 miles of the path that runs along Sylvania-Metamora Road between Kilburn and Centennial Roads. The side-path will make it easier for families to bike and walk to Pacesetter, Centennial Terrace and the quarry. Many thanks to the residents that wrote letters in support of the project and Lucas County engineer Ronald Myers for his perseverance.


Sylvania-Metamora Trail Construction

Bicycles May Use Full Lane Signage - Monclova Road Project

UPDATED: Click for update below

Occasionally, a Facebook post can be a call to action for others reading the post and that was the impetus for this project. A cyclist posted this video from his on-bike camera to TAB's Facebook group:

The cyclist is driving west on Monclova Road where two lanes merge into one just before the railroad crossing (you'll find a satellite view at the end of the video). Share the Road signs generally promote "sharing" the road but in this area, the lane is less than 14' and the added hazard of the angled railroad tracks should mandate full use of the lane. Railroad tracks at a non-perpendicular angle, especially when wet, can easily bring a cyclist down. If your watch the point in the video when the cyclist crosses the track, the car passes within the travel lane and another car is oncoming. Morning dew on the rail may be the tipping point of a terrible crash. Cyclists should consider taking the full lane in this section of Monclova Road, taking extra caution when crossing the tracks, especially in the rain.

We Are Traffic contacted the Lucas County Engineers office to make them aware of the Facebook video post, and discuss plans to make Monclova Road more bicycle friendly.  While you will find bike lanes further west on Monclova, bike lanes in this section were to be developed as part of a Fallen Timbers TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) Agreement dated August 1, 2006. The agreement was made during a time of expected commercial expansion in the Fallen Timbers area. To date, there are no concrete plans for this development to trigger the bike lane construction. With the growth of cyclists using this corridor and greater awareness of safety issues in this area on Monclova Road, Lucas County will re-evaluate this section of Monclova Road for a public improvement project.

Roadway projects can take a long time to bring to fruition. As we work to promote better facilities in this area, We Are Traffic suggested a change from the "Share the Road" signs to "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" signs in this area on Monclova Road. BMUFL signs are regulatory and need jurisdictional approval, in this case the Lucas County Commissioners. CLICK HERE to read the signed resolution, authorizing the placement of the BMUFL signage on September 27, 2016.  The new signs were placed in early October of 2016.

Cyclists should each consider all available information, along with their experience, when deciding the proper position to ride in the roadway. The BMUFL signage will help remind cyclist of their right to use the full lane, and to educate motorists about the law.

UPDATE: After publishing this article, I received the following comments from Julian Avery, the cyclist in the video:

"I have not had any issues with this area (since the signs were installed). I now feel comfortable taking the entire lane since their is a friendly reminder to motorists that I have that legal right. The majority of my run-ins with drivers are due to them not being aware of the laws. They often yell to get on a sidewalk or get on the side. With signs communicating my right to use the entire lane, I'm much more confident that these types of situations will not be as frequent and allow other cyclist to feel comfortable using the full lane when warranted."

This is why BMUFL signs are more effective than Share the Road signs, they are easier to understand and better educate motorists and cyclists alike. If you know of an area that BMUFL signs would improve safety, please get in touch with us.

Court Street Connects - April 22, 2017

We Are Traffic and TMACOG joined forces at Court Street Connects in Bowling Green this past Saturday to educate and solicit input for the TMACOG Bicycle User Map under development.  The event was held in conjunction with Earth Day activities and included an experimental "Cycle-Track" that was temporarily painted on Court Street.  The counter-flow bike lane will remain in place for two weeks while students at BGSU gathers usage data.  If you have a chance, visit Bowling Green and ride the two-way bike lane on Court Street.  You can find more information about the project by clicking here.

3-ft Stickers have arrived!

The 3-ft "It's the Law" stickers have arrived! Help educate motorists by placing a 3-ft sticker in the back window of your 2nd vehicle...your car! 

For those in the greater Toledo area, you can find them at your local bike shop today:

Cycle Werks Bowling Green
Cycle Werks Whitehouse
Mountain Man Sports
Spoke Life Cycles Sylvania
Spoke Life Cycles Perrysburg
Reggie's Bike Shop
Wersell's Bike & Ski

They will also be available at these locations after April 10:

Elite Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Elmore Cycle & Fitness

Fremont Cycle & Fitness
Toledo Bikes!

 

The 3-ft sticker project is part of our motorist education campaign and funded in part by the Tom Santoro Memorial Fund.

 

TMACOG Bicycle User Map - Need User Input

TMACOGTMACOG is developing a bicycle user map for Lucas and Wood Counties and the southern three townships of Monroe County, Michigan. Our goal is to develop a map that will help people plan routes for travel by bicycle. The resulting map will help riders - from novices to very experienced cyclists - choose routes that are aligned with their level of skill. A version of the map will be printed in a travel-friendly size and it will be available online too.

 

Whether you ride every day, or just occasionally, whether your ride to work or school, or for exercise, or fun, we want to hear from you! Help us understand your experiences riding on roadways in the TMACOG region. To provide your comments click this LINK. Begin by selecting “Proceed as Guest” and then follow the prompts to map as many routes as you like!

If you’d prefer to provide your routes and comments on a paper map instead, just drop into any area bicycle shop to get a paper copy. Or call 419.241.9155, ext 119, or email connell@tmacog.org to request a copy. Comment period ends May 31.

University Parks Trail Extension - Progress!

This is the current view from western end of the University Parks Trails at King Road. Metroparks of Toledo is wasting no time to prepare for the new extension of the U/P Trail that will take you ~1/2 mile further west to Silica Road. This is part of a larger initiative to continue the trail westward and ultimately connect to a system of on/off road facilities between parks.

Check out this MAP
Read more about the project on The Blade   
For an overview of connectivity, check out this MAP

We'll post an update when we learn more about the status of the grant that will pay for paving and the target completion date.

Malfunctioning Traffic Signals

Another important law that was updated via HB 154 relates to malfunctioning traffic signals.  Cyclists...how many time have you not been detected as traffic at a traffic light intersection?  This part of the new law is for you!  You may have seen news reports like "Drivers in Ohio may soon be able to legally run red lights" and others that mislabeled it as the "Red Light Law" verses the "Malfunctioning Signal Law".  We already had a law in ORC 4511.132 that provide guidance on what to do if the traffic light was malfunctioning.  Here is the existing ORC with the new portion added in green:

(A) The driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley who approaches an intersection where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals shall do all of the following, if the signal facing the driver exhibits no colored lights or colored lighted arrows , exhibits a combination of such lights or arrows that fails to clearly indicate the assignment of right-of-way, or the signals are otherwise malfunctioning, including the failure of a vehicle detector to detect the vehicle:

Note the term "vehicle" was used so as to include bicycles, horse-drawn carriage and...cars.  All the other conditions in ORC 4511.132 existed before the new law, including the due care for safely passing through the malfunctioning signal.  The publicity of the dreaded "Red Light Law" caused lawmakers to include a provision to change to say "bicycles" verses "vehicles".  Wow!  The good news is that the original intent remains, to support bicyclists who are not detected at traffic signals.

When you encounter a signal that is not recognizing you as traffic, use the following guidelines:

  1. Look for grooves or marks in the roadway that form a circle, this may be the inductive loop that is meant to sense the metal in your "vehicle". Place you bike directly on top of one of the lines that run in your direction of travel.  This may help the signal detect you.
  2. Look for camera at the intersection that may be used for detection, it will be directly across the street, usually connected to the light that you are waiting to change.  If may need to motion with you arm but generally, these systems are better than the inductive loop.
  3. According to ODOT, traffic signals usually cycle within 2-3 minutes depending on time-of-day. If you've waited ~4 minutes, you can feel fairly certain that it will never pick you up to change the signal.
  4. Now you should treat the intersection just like you have a stop sign with cross traffic that does not stop.  Look for a break in traffic, both to the left and right and when clear, proceed through the intersection with caution.

In reality, we encounter this same intersection on a regular basis, on a side street with stop sign, waiting for cross traffic to clear in order to proceed. This change in the law only recognizes that traffic signals may not register bicycles due to their low metal composition, allow us to proceed through a malfunctioning signal legally.

Cyclists should note that if you encounter a traffic signal that does not detect you, report the intersection with details to ODOT.  They will try to correct or refer your inquiry to the jurisdiction that owns the signal (may be city or township).  They successfully corrected a signal on my commute!

"Real News References"
http://kfor.com/2017/01/25/drivers-in-ohio-may-soon-be-able-to-legally-r...
http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local/what-you-need-know-about-ohio-...
http://nbc24.com/news/nation-world/new-law-allows-drivers-to-go-through-...

3-Feet Safe Passing Distance Becomes Law on March 21, 2017

After many years of hard work by the Ohio Bicycle Federation, and the support of the bicycle community across the state, the 3-foot law will go into effect on March 21, 2017.  Here is the important part of ORC 4511.27:

The operator of a vehicle or trackless trolley overtaking another vehicle or trackless trolley proceeding in the same direction shall, except as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, signal to the vehicle or trackless trolley to be overtaken, shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle or trackless trolley. When a motor vehicle or trackless trolley overtakes and passes a bicycle, three feet or greater is considered a safe passing distance.

Motorist are encouraged to change lanes to pass cyclists, providing ample clearance when passing. Cyclist are permitted to use the full travel lane for their safety when certain conditions exist, see ORC 4511.55 "Operating bicycles and motorcycles on roadway".

Special thanks to joint-sponsors Representative Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Representative Michael Henne (R-Clayton) for their tremendous efforts to move HB 154 through the House and Senate for passage and ultimate approval by Governor John Kasich, who signed the bill into law on December 19, 2016.  We would be remiss without mentioning the hard work by OBF Chair Chuck Smith, who worked in front and behind the scenes at the statehouse in Columbus for many years to make this a reality!  Lastly, thanks to the Ohio cycling community that worked together in support of this bill! 

Help spread the word about the new law!  Let us know if you would like one of the oval 3-foot stickers for the back of your other vehicle (car).  Coming Soon!

Toledo Blade: "Bicyclists get more room on road today 3 foot buffer zone law taking effect"

City of Bowling Green - Educating Cyclists and Motorists

It was very exciting to see "Bicycles May Use Full Lane...It's State Law" on the electronic sign in front of the Bowling Green Public Works building.  Educating the public about the cyclists rights and responsibilities is a team effort in Bowling Green.  The City's engineer, Jason Sisco, has been instrumental in aiding the staff in learning about bicycle related issues, including Complete Streets.  Please help us in thanking Brian Craft (Public Works Director), Bowling Green Police Department, Fire Chief Tom Sanderson, and especially Jason Sisco for getting the word out!

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