Teresa Gerringer Vice Mayor City of Lafayette CA May 20, 2021

We conducted a video survey to provide you a perspective that you wouldn’t already have unless you ride your bicycle through the Lafayette roundabout on a regular basis. The Video Survey observed cyclists and motorists as they traveled in the Eastbound Direction on Olympic Blvd (graphic below).  Multiple stationary and bicycle cameras were used to conduct the survey from April 14th to May 14, 2021, and I include links to some of these videos below. This letter primarily focuses on eastbound bicycle and vehicle travel. There are of course multiple issues with westbound and southbound bicycle and vehicle travel.  We will be conducting video surveys on those areas in the near future and welcome your input.

Official Bike Lane: Red Line       Unofficial Bike Lane: Yellow Line     Path of Motorists: Black Line

Findings from Video Survey:

  • Most Cyclists” rode in the Official Bike Lane” on the approach and exit of the roundabout, as show in red above
  • Most Cyclists “Did Not Take the Full Lane” as they entered the Roundabout and rode in “Unofficial Bike Lane”, as shown in yellow above
  • Most Cyclists “Drifted Slightly Left” as they approached the crosswalk and just before entering the roundabout, shown in a yellow line above
  • Most Drivers “Drifted Far Right” toward cyclists as they approached entry angle
  • Many Cyclists and Drivers Traveled “Side by Side” very close to one another as they approached the “Entry Angle” and the potential “Collision Point”
  • Many Drivers ignored the “3ft Rule” from the beginning of the Unofficial Bike Lane to the Roundabout “Entry Angle”
  • Many Cyclists were on the “Passenger Side of Vehicles” from the beginning of the Unofficial Bike Lane to the Roundabout Entry Angle and therefore “Blocked from the Line of Sight” of Approaching Vehicles
  • Video of Cyclists Riding Thru the Dangerous Lafayette Roundabout – Eastbound Direction
  • Some Motorists were Impatient and Aggressive towards cyclists and other motorists as they entered the Roundabout
  • Video of Impatient Motorists Entering the Dangerous Lafayette Roundabout – Eastbound Direction
  • Many Cyclists and Drivers were compelled because of the Lack of a Official Bike Lane to travel together and Merge together into the Roundabout
  • Most Cyclists “Did Not Take the Lane” as they rode thru the Roundabout
  • Most Cyclists “Rode Below the Sharrow” as they rode thru the Roundabout, Not in the Center of the Lane, creating a “Slingshot Effect” at the exit
  • Apparently, many Cyclists Did Not see the sign; Bicycles May Use Full Lane
  • Some Pelotons seemed to view the Roundabout asa Intersection, glancing left – looking straight and misjudging the speed of the approaching vehicle

Many Motorists were Confused how to enter, exit and drive in the Roundabout

Categories of Drivers:

  • Cautious Motorists drove slowly, unsure and seemly confused who had the Right of Way in the roundabout
  • Confident Motorists drove in a steady manner and seemed to understand how to drive in the roundabout
  • Impatient Motorists seemed to be in a hurry often merging in front of cyclists as they entered the roundabout, and sometimes using the right turn slip lane to go straight into the roundabout, bypassing traffic on the approach lane

Categories of Cyclists:

  • Cautious Cyclists rode slowly thru the roundabout, often not taking the full lane
  • Confident Cyclists rode in a steady manner, often not taking the full lane
  • Super Confident Cyclists rode in a steady manner often taking the full lane
  • Impatient Cyclists rode swiftly thru the roundabout, often not taking the full lane

All drivers exiting Eastbound on Olympic Blvd. (May 13, 2021 from 10am to 10:30am)

  • 96% (159) of the Drivers did Not Signal when exiting the Roundabout
  • 4% (7) of the Drivers did Signal when exiting the Roundabout

Conclusions:

  • The Lafayette Roundabout is counter-intuitive for many drivers and cyclists
  • Many Motorists look left, accelerate into the Roundabout and not only fail to see the approaching cyclist on their left, but often misjudge the bikes’ speed (10mph)
  • Cars are going far too fast through the roundabout
  • Many Motorists are choosing a Straight Line/Fast Path to the Eastbound exit
  • Often Motorists drove straight over the inner Roundabout (photo below)
  • Many Motorists are accelerating into the Roundabout instead of slowing down
  • Many motorist are Not Yielding to approaching Cyclists in the Roundabout
  • The Entry Angle (photo below), or the angle by which vehicles enter the roundabout, should be as close to 90 degrees as possible – any angle less than 20 degrees is too fast to enforce 15mph
  • Often many vehicles are lined up and it’s unsafe for cyclists to take the full lane and therefore they are compelled to use the “Unofficial Bike Lane”
  • The Official Bike Lane ends forcing cyclists to continue straight and creates a narrow, Unofficial and Dangerous Bike Lane
  • The current design of the Roundabout seems to facilitate situations where Near-Miss Bike vs Vehicle and Actual Collisions are more likely to occur

Please let me know when you are available to meet at the Roundabout to discuss the results of the video survey.  We are still waiting to hear from staff concerning the immediate safety improvements we discussed with them on May 4, 2021.  We look forward to working with the City of Lafayette to improve the safety for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians as they travel through the Roundabout.

Sincerely, Alan Kalin                                          COL, USA (Ret.) President Mount Diablo Cyclists Chairman Bike Danville

CC: Dave Campbell, Advocacy Director, Bike East Bay, Mike Moran, Public Works Director, City of Lafayette, Siavash Shojaat, Traffic Engineer, City of Lafayette