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!

UPDATE: June 19, 2018 -- Construction to start in 2018 with completion early 2019! Source: The Blade
UPDATE: October 23, 2017 -- Lucas County was conditionally awarded funding for the construction of Phase 1 of the U/P Trail Extension. The project is expected to be completed within 2018.

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 using their feedback form; or send an email to bike.report@dot.state.oh.us or call (614) 387-0722.  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-...

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