Newsletter - 2011 Archive

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Rumble Strips - Minister's Perspective
from Tom Clements

You hate them, I hate them, we all hate them. Tom Clements has serious enough concerns to have engaged the minister of transportation. A recent response to Tom from Minister Lekstrom gives us a glimpse into the official thinking on rumble strips at the moment. Tom posted this on the club forum earlier today.

H198805 – Cycling and Rumble Strips

Dear Tom:

Thank you for your follow-up e-mail of September 19, 2011, regarding rumble strips and cyclist safety.

I recognize you have ongoing concerns about the impact of rumble strips on cyclist safety. Accommodating motorists and cyclists to ensure the safety of both can present challenges, and I assure you the ministry works hard to strike the best balance possible. The current rumble strip pattern of a gap every 15 metres was developed to provide cyclists with the opportunity to manoeuvre across the edge line while also ensuring that if a standard-sized passenger vehicle leaves the roadway, it would have at least one tire cross over the rumble strip. While I understand you feel these gaps are too small to accommodate cyclists, widening the gaps could allow vehicles to cross the edge line without passing over the rumble strip, thereby negating the effect
of this important safety treatment and posing a risk to all road users, including cyclists.

In order to allow maximum clearance for cyclists, rumble strips are typically only installed on roadways where there is at least 1.5 metres of shoulder width. Given British Columbia’s diverse terrain, it can be challenging to gain extra shoulder width in some areas, and that is why, as
mentioned in my previous letter of September 19, we are working towards improving and widening shoulders wherever possible to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for all cyclists.

If you have any further questions or comments regarding safety specifications pertaining to cycling infrastructure, please don’t hesitate to contact the ministry’s Senior Highway Safety Engineer, Joy Sengupta. He is available by telephone at 250 356-5292 or by e-mail at and would be pleased to assist you.

Thank you again for taking the time to write.


Blair Lekstrom

Copy to: Joy Sengupta, Senior Traffic Safety Engineer
Engineering Branch

Alan Callander, Manager
Transportation Policy


October 28, 2011