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The Motorcycle Views Forum is a gathering place for motorcyclists riding all brands of motorcycles. Our knowledgeable and experienced members are always ready to assist newcomers to learn more about motorcycles. This forum is part of the Motorcycle Views Web site run by Walter Kern.
I am a 25 year member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). ITE is an international membership association of transportation professionals who work to improve mobility and safety for all transportation system users and help build smart and livable communities. Through its products and services, ITE promotes professional development and career advancement for its members, supports and encourages education, identifies necessary research, develops technical resources including standards and recommended practices, develops public awareness programs, and serves as a conduit for the exchange of professional information.
Founded in 1930, ITE is a community of transportation professionals including, transportation engineers, transportation planners, consultants, educators, technologists, and researchers. Through meetings, seminars, publications, and a network of nearly 16,000 members working in more than 75 countries, ITE is the source for expertise, knowledge, and ideas.
That said, I have been asked to head up a committee to prepare an Informational Report on Motorcycle Safety. This could progress into guidelines and/or standards being produced for the use of traffic/transportation engineers and planners in their work guiding or instructing them in motorcycle related issues. My particular expertise is the design, maintenance and timing of traffic signals and street lighting. But I ride a motorcycle (BMW K1600GTL) and have taken long, multi-day trips. These trips have given me some insight into what is being done across the US regarding all vehicles but especially motorcycles. I have the following topics and questions for which you might have answers or suggestions:
What would “motorcycle friendly” streets and highways look like?
I will be looking for recent statistics for collisions involving serious and/or fatalities for motorcyclists and how this compares to other vehicle collisions. I will also be looking into variations between states and rules for each state:
If you have any comments or suggestions for any of this or other thoughts, please reply to this thread or my email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Your first email will be blocked but I will unblock it.
Thank you for any help you can provide. I will give credit to this forum for anything received.
Welcome to the forum! We don't have as much traffic as we did in early days, but everyone here is a motorcycle enthusiast.
I'm going to need to take a while to gather my thoughts before I try to answer any of your questions. That said, I have nothing to do lately except think ( and veg out watching the boob tube ) so it might do me good to have to think about riding and apply my experiences to your survey. I will post again when I have something worthwhile to offer.
Thank you. I'm looking forward to your comments.
Thanks for sticking around, Scott. A few new folks, so the place should hold up.
I'm afraid I have let this go unanswered for longer than I had planned. I will try to express my thoughts coherently, but sometimes my dyslexia leads to wildly inaccurate spellings.
What would "motorcycle friendly" roads look like? They would be properly paved without pot- holes or major irregularities. They should have a clear field of vision at every intersection in all directions. Intersections should be limited and preferable include merge lanes for incoming traffic. Roundabouts seem to be all the rage in road development recently, and I think they are a good thing for a rider since they reduce the probability of being rear-ended or broad-sided by automobiles. Motorcycle friendly roads should not be uniformly straight - curves and elevation changes that most car drivers will not care about make a road fun to ride. This is not a safety issue, it is a fun-factor necessary for a road to be "motorcycle friendly".
From a purely safety-oriented point of view, if a road is safe for an automobile it should be safe for a motorcyclist if the cyclist is competent. There are very few single-vehicle motorcycle accidents that do not include alcohol, excessive speed or bad weather. Most motorcycle crashes that I am aware of were caused either by a rider getting in over his head ( such as my broken leg in 2001 ) or by collisions with other vehicles. I remember too well learning that one good friend was killed on his bike purely due to the negligence of an automobile driver who turned before he could clearly see oncoming traffic. I remember learning that a promising young man was killed at an intersection where the stop sign was obscured by vegetation so he did not stop.
Visibility is the biggest key to being safe from other drivers on the road in my opinion. That means reflective clothing, or extra lights, or whatever else we may do to stand out from the clutter that most drivers ignore. But most of all it means training every automobile driver to be more observant and less careless behind the wheel. Driver education seems ( at least in my area ) to be minimal. Serious driver training that is mandatory for all new drivers is an issue I could get behind, and I generally despise the notion of government mandates of any type.
In summary, the best roads for motorcycling are well-maintained roads with good visibility at all intersections. My idea of a really "motorcycle friendly" road is a stretch of good, clean, well-paved tarmac with lots of curves ( including a few that might just scare you now and then ) with minimal traffic and no ticket-writing police officers. Preferably that stretch has a good rest stop at one or both ends with gasoline, bathrooms, cold beverages and hot food - not necessarily in that order.
Now I want to make a trip to Deal's Gap again <BWSEG!!>