A proposal to add rumble strips on a 10-mile stretch of Hwy 1 from Davenport to Santa Cruz has cyclists up in arms, and I can’t blame them.
Rumble strips make cycling hazardous. They reduce your options when maneuvering around road debris and parked cars. This stretch of highway has plenty of parked cars whose drivers use nearby beaches.
Rumble strips have been gouged into the middle of Hwy 9 between Saratoga and Skyline Boulevard. These strips haven’t changed driving habits all that much, from my experience. Because they’re in the middle of the road, they don’t affect cyclists.
There’s one stretch of Hwy 108 east of Sonora that has a long rumble strip. On the steep descent to Sonora on many a Sierra ride I’ve cursed these strips up and down. They’re positioned in a such a way that if you ride to the left you’re in traffic, but if you ride to the right you’re in a ton of debris and glass. At 40 mph there is little room for error.
I’m also wondering just what kind of rumble strips are proposed. There are quite a few different arrangements, some worse than others for cyclists.
On stretches of Hwy 1 with 5-foot shoulders and no parking, rumble strips might not be so bad. That’s not always the case on this stretch of road as it passes beaches and state parks with parked cars.
Caltrans generally does a good job maintaining our roads and making them safe. I hope they listen and take cyclists’ needs into consideration. Hwy 1 is one of the best places for cycling in all of California. Let’s not ruin it.