signs and diagrams for construction zones

Note: I’ve added MUTCD R9-10 ‘sidewalk closed – use other side’ below. This is definitely not my preferred sign, as it provides no information about the shortest or safest detour. Nevertheless, it is legal.

Coming up, some suggested solutions for construction zone accommodation for walkers and bicyclists, but first, the relevant signs and markings. These are MUTCD (Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices) compliant signs, which are always what should be used, not the hand-made and/or non-compliant signs that are sometimes used.

MUTCD M4-9b sign: pedestrian detour
M4-9b
MUTCD R9-9 sign: sidewalk closed
R9-9
MUTCD R9-11a sign: sidewalk closed, cross here
R9-11a
MUTCD R9-11a sign: sidewalk closed ahead, cross here
R9-11a
MUTCD R9-10 sign: sidewalk closed, use other side
R9-10

The no pedestrians sign, MUTCD R9-3a, is intended for permanent closures of crosswalks, not temporary closures of sidewalks, and so should not be used for construction zones.

MUTCD R9-3a sign: no pedestrian crossing

In the MUTCD, 154 pages are dedicated to Temporary Traffic Control Devices, almost all of which treat roadways as though walkers and bicyclists did not exist, but there are four pages and two diagrams which do show accommodation. For those unfamiliar with the MUTCD, the word shall means there is no choice, it must be done. So every construction zone that does not follow these is a violation of the law. The most important text is below, and the two diagrams follow.

“Standard:

  1. When crosswalks or other pedestrian facilities are closed or relocated, temporary facilities shall be detectable and shall include accessibility features consistent with the features present in the existing pedestrian facility.

Standard:

  1. When crosswalks or other pedestrian facilities are closed or relocated, temporary facilities shall be detectable and shall include accessibility features consistent with the features present in the existing pedestrian facility.
  2. Curb parking shall be prohibited for at least 50 feet in advance of the midblock crosswalk.”
MUTCD Figure 6H-29: sidewalk detour or diversion
MUTCD 6H-29: crosswalk closures and pedestrian detours

update on I

"bicycles must turn right" sign, I Street between 6th and 5th
“bicycles must turn right” sign, I Street between 6th and 5th

I wrote previously about the The I Street Mess. A small change has taken place here, with a new sign that says “Bicycles Must Turn Right” on the bike lane midway between 6th and 5th. Basically, this is a warning to bicyclists who missed the “Thru Bikes Merge Left” sign at the beginning of the block that they are truly screwed. By this point, bicyclist will have a very hard time merging across four lanes of high speed traffic to reach the left side bike lane that takes one to Old Sacramento or 3rd Street. At a minimum, the warnings need to occur earlier, in the block between 7th and 6th. Better yet would be slowing the traffic on I Street so that a bicyclist could actually maneuver through the traffic lanes. Best would be an alternate route for bicyclists who don’t wish to ride vehicularly, that avoids the I Street Mess completely.