New signage, improved markings for campus bicycle safety

The Forsyth pedestrian and cycling path will get new signage this spring. The new markings, applied directly on the path, will improve legibility and safety, said Andrew Heaslet, alternative transportation coordinator.

“This is a shared space, and you never know when someone else is going to be in that shared space,” Heaslet said. “So we need all members of the community to be alert. The new markings will clearly indicate the pedestrian and bicycle sides of the path.”

Cyclists will encounter rumble strips as they approach intersections and driveways. Cyclist and pedestrian symbols also will be painted on the path at intersections. In addition to encouraging pedestrians and cyclists to stick to their side of the path, the graphics also will remind drivers to take care when crossing.

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“The intersection markings have been designed to increase drivers’ awareness of people using the path,” Heaslet said.

Drivers leaving the university will now see “elephant feet” — white dashes — reminding them that cyclists may be on the path. Drivers must stop at the white stop bar before they cross the path. If the path is clear, they can pull forward, but they may need to stop again at the curb edge to look for vehicles on Forsyth Boulevard. Heaslet said this two-tiered stop will greatly improve safety.

The new markings are necessary, Heaslet said, because the current signage, posted high on poles, is not in most cyclists’ line of vision.

“Most people are staring ahead and down,” Heaslet said. “People weren’t seeing our current signage.”

Bike boxes also will be introduced at Wallace Drive. Popular in many cities with a large cycling population, bike boxes improve visibility and reduce collisions. Cyclists are instructed to stop in the box, which will be painted green, while waiting for the Wallace Drive light to turn green. If, however, a vehicle is already idling behind the bike box, cyclists should not leapfrog the car to get to the bike box.

“In that case, bikes should line up behind the car,” Heaslet said. “The bike box really is about providing cyclists space. And it discourages cars from turning right on red.”