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Sharing the Road on Raymond Avenue: Part 3

This truck driver gave us as much room as he possibly could, given the cramped conditions on Raymond Avenue:

Raymond Ave - 2015-07-17 - Truck Clearance 1

Raymond Ave – 2015-07-17 – Truck Clearance 1

Notice the street lamp in view directly above the cab? Keep that in mind.

In order to give us that much clearance, he had to put the left wheels up on the median:

Raymond Ave - 2015-07-17 - Truck Clearance 2

Raymond Ave – 2015-07-17 – Truck Clearance 2

That’s exactly what the NYSDOT engineer who designed Raymond Avenue explained to me drivers should do. Driving on the median is the intent of the Raymond Avenue layout.

FWIW, the “brick paver” median surface is actually stamped asphalt (or some thermoplastic material) painted brick red. It has marginal durability; the same material in the rotary islands began disintegrating after a few months, has accumulated many non-textured patches, and was obviously not intended to support routine travel.

After that truck passed, the FedEx driver also gave us plenty of clearance, also with left wheels on the median:

Raymond Ave - 2015-07-17 - Truck Clearance 3

Raymond Ave – 2015-07-17 – Truck Clearance 3

Notice the minimal clearance between that lamp post and the protruding driver-side mirror? You’re supposed to drive on the median to avoid cyclists, while simultaneously not colliding with a zero-clearance black lamp post.

Those lamp posts replaced the original bollards bracketing the crosswalk (just ahead of Mary in the first picture). Those bollards stood directly in the pseudo-brick area on both sides of the travel lane, with zero clearance from the inclined curb and roughly in line with those truck headlights: anyone driving up on the median at the crossing to avoid a cyclist would mow down a nonreflective black bollard.

And, indeed, mowed down they were.

A few years ago, NYSDOT removed the bollards from the “pedestrian refuges” (that’s their term for the crosswalk median area) and repositioned the remainder in the center of the median, presumably to protect them from drivers.

Share the road, that we do…

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  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2015-08-04 - 12:28

    Hmm, the term “dark alley design review” comes to mind. That beats the bone-headed stuff I’ve seen locally.

  2. #2 by david on 2015-08-04 - 22:38

    Uh, no, what he is supposed to do is wait behind you rather than trying to pass another vehicle on a one-lane road!!! Fscking morons (road designers, cagers, the whole lot of them)…

    • #3 by Ed on 2015-08-05 - 07:24

      You’d think that, but … “Share the Road” means passing in one lane.

      Raymond used to be two lanes in each direction, with traffic signals at intersections, but the new design was intended to lower speeds, improve throughput, reduce collisions, and enable calm traffic flow. Pedestrian safety and bicycle traffic were, at best, secondary considerations.

      We could ride down the middle of the right lane, avoid the door strike zone, not block overtaking traffic, and generally proceed at good speed.

      According to the NYSDOT engineer, the new design wasn’t intended to handle more than one bike at a time: on that basis, he did great work.