Route 260 Safety Concerns
by Will Haines, Clarkson Cyclist
Follow on Twitter @FixRoute260
Route 260 was repaved in the Spring of 2019, and when they repainted the road, it was painted “lopsided,” not centered on the pavement itself. The northbound shoulder is now significantly wider than the southbound shoulder, the side that Carrie Ray was cycling on. Both sides are now narrow for a 55 mph road that experiences moderate to heavy traffic daily; and the southbound side is, in my opinion, extremely narrow. So narrow, that the southbound shoulder is not really a shoulder at all.
In the opinion of someone who has logged thousands of cycling miles in Clarkson, it's very unsafe for cyclists. It's a high speed, heavy traffic road, with narrow shoulders.
This is a view of Route 260 northbound, just north of Deertrack Lane. The shoulder here measures three feet in width.
Northbound shoulder on Route 260.
Three foot shoulder width.
Southbound shoulder on Route 260.
Twenty-two inch shoulder width.
By comparison, just on the other side of the road, the southbound shoulder, measures 22 inches in width (less than 2 feet). This is too narrow for a 55 mph road with heavy traffic.
Google Street View photos, taken in 2012 and 2018, show the southbound shoulder much wider back then, BEFORE the repainting. And BOTH shoulders, before the repave and repaint, were wider.
Today, at the location where Carrie Ray was killed by a driver "who didn't see her," the shoulder measures just 22 inches wide. A standard adult bicycle has 19 inch width handlebars.
Compare the image below, to the image above. And yes, just across the street, the width of the shoulder is a foot wider.
Given the narrowness of the shoulder, the high amount of traffic, and the proximity to residential property, I think the 55 mph speed limit on Route 260, from Ridge Road to Route 18, should be reduced. Other North-South roads that run from Route 104 to Route 18 have lower speed limits, and wider shoulders (see below).
Furthermore, a repainting of Route 260 should seriously be considered. I recommend painting the route with adequate shoulder widths, similar to Route 19 (Lake Road). And if more pavement is needed to create adequate shoulder space, it should be added to this five mile stretch of road.
Similar North-South roads in the area, between Ridge Road and Route 18, and their speed limits:
Manitou Road has a 40 mph speed limit from Ridge Road to Route 18.
Lake Road (Route 19) has a 40 mph speed limit from Ridge Road to Route 18. Lake Road, seen here, also has a shoulder that is 5 and a half feet wide. On both sides of the road. This is achieved while having reasonable lane widths.
Route 259 has a 45 mph speed limit from Ridge Road to Peck Road, then changes to 40 mph to Route 18.
Clarkson Parma TL Road has a 45 mph speed limit from Ireland Road north.
Lake Road (Route 19) has a 40 mph speed limit and a five and a half foot shoulder width. Lake Road has 11 feet of total shoulder space, compared to less than 5 feet on Route 260. The lane widths of Route 19 are reasonable for the posted 40 mph speed limit.