Bicycle-Tolerable Shoulder Rumble Strips

To address the problem of run-off-the-road (ROR) crashes, many agencies are currently using milled shoulder rumble strips (MSRS) to alert motorists who are drifting to the right or to the left, out of the travel lane. This type of rumble strip consists of a continuous pattern ground into the asphalt or concrete. As a motor vehicle’s tires pass over the rumble strips, auditory and tactile warnings are received by the drifting motorist. Since the use of MSRS is being extended to non-freeway facilities on a limited basis, there are legitimate bicyclist concerns that need to be addressed. These concerns revolve around both the design of the rumble strips and their applications, i.e., the location of the rumble strip on the shoulder and the roads selected. Bicyclists who have ridden over MSRS complain that the sensation is extremely uncomfortable, even painful, and that MSRS may cause loss of control of the bicycle. To address these problems, Work Order 25: Bicycle-Tolerable Shoulder Rumble Strips was initiated to develop several rumble strip configurations that can alert inattentive/drowsy motorists and be safely and comfortably traversed by bicyclists. The primary objective was to develop new rumble strip configurations that decrease the level of vibration experienced by the bicyclist when traversing the rumble strips. At the same time, an adequate amount of stimuli, both auditory and tactile, must be maintained to alert an inattentive or drowsy motorist. To achieve this objective, the research team developed, installed, and assessed selected rumble strip designs at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute (PTI) test track. This report is the final product of this project and summarizes the research conducted to develop and evaluate potential “bicycle-tolerable” rumble strips. It consists of seven sections. Following the introduction, section 2 contains a summary of the literature related to the shoulder rumble strips. Section 3 presents the research methodology. Section 4 discusses the evaluation of the existing rumble strip design. Section 5 outlines the development of a simulation model used to develop and select new rumble strip configurations to be installed at PTI’s test track for further evaluation. Section 6 presents the experimental plan to evaluate the selected new configurations installed at PTI’s test track. Section 7 summarizes the data analysis, and section 8 presents the conclusions and recommendations.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Pennsylvania State University, University Park

    Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, Transportation Research Building
    University Park, PA  United States  16802

    Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

    1118 State Street
    Harrisburg, PA  United States  17120

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center

    Pennsylvania State University
    201 Transportation Research Building
    University Park, PA  United States  16802-4710
  • Authors:
    • Elefteriadou, Lily
    • El-Gindy, M
    • Torbic, D
    • Garvey, P
    • Homan, A
    • Jiang, Z
    • Pecheux, B
    • Tallon, R
  • Publication Date: 2000-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 127p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046060
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: PTI 2K15
  • Contract Numbers: Agreement 359704, WO 25
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2007 10:12AM