A key contributor to NYS DOT’s unwillingness to design 5-foot bike lanes into the resurfacing plan for East Avenue is that their highway design guide requires a minimum lane width of 11 feet for two-way center turn lanes.
But with a road width of only 40 feet, the East Avenue project needs all three lanes in the “road diet” – both travel lanes and the center turn lane – to be 10 feet wide.
NYS DOT’s initial plan for the project contemplated three 11-foot lanes, but given that the road has less than 2% truck traffic, they were willing to make the travel lanes 10 feet wide to make room for 4.5-foot shoulders. As for narrowing the center turn lane by another foot, they treat the idea with a combination of skepticism and disdain. Their preference for 11-foot lanes is so strong that Kevin Bush, Regional Director for NYS DOT, characterized the revised plan of record as “almost a pilot project.”
Given NYS DOT’s disposition toward narrower two-way center turn lanes, you may be forgiven for thinking that they are somehow risky or speculative. What Mr. Bush has failed to mention during the course of this discussion, however, is that Monroe County’s design guide does allow for 10-foot center turn lanes. In fact, here we provide a list of nine (9) county-funded roads with 10-foot center turn lanes. Click on each link for a Google Maps location of the intersection – click on the PDF link to see the County design drawing for the roadway in question.