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47.36.022  <<  47.36.025 >>   47.36.030

RCW 47.36.025

Vehicle-activated traffic control signals — Detection of motorcycles and bicycles.

(1) For the purposes of this section:

     (a) "Arterial" means a public road or highway that is designated or qualifies as a principal or minor arterial under a state or local law, ordinance, regulation, or plan.

     (b) "Bicycle" means a human-powered vehicle with metallic wheels at least sixteen inches in diameter or with metallic braking strips and metallic components, not necessarily including the frame or fork, which may be lawfully ridden on a public road or highway.

     (c) "Bicycle route" means a route (i) that is designated as a route for bicycle use in a state or local law, ordinance, rule, or plan, or (ii) that provides bicycle access to urban areas that are not reasonably and conveniently accessible through other bicycle routes. The level of existing or projected use by bicyclists is a factor to consider in determining whether a bicycle route provides access that is not reasonably and conveniently available from other bicycle routes. An intersection that provides necessary linkages in a bicycle route or between routes is considered a part of the bicycle route or routes.

     (d) "Design complete" means that all major design work for a new vehicle-activated traffic control signal has been completed and that the funding necessary for complete construction of the vehicle-activated traffic control signal has been firmly secured.

     (e) "Existing vehicle-activated traffic control signal" means a vehicle-activated traffic control signal that is in use or design complete on or before July 26, 2009.

     (f)(i) "Motorcycle" means a motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, on which the driver:

     (A) Rides on a seat or saddle and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a handle bar; or

     (B) Rides on a seat in a partially or completely enclosed seating area that is equipped with safety belts and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a steering wheel.

     (ii) "Motorcycle" excludes a farm tractor, a power wheelchair, an electric personal assistive mobility device, a motorized foot scooter, an electric-assisted bicycle, and a moped.

     (g) "Restricted right turn lane" means a right turn only lane where a right turn is not allowed after stopping but only upon a green signal.

     (h) "Routinely and reliably detect motorcycles and bicycles" means that the detection equipment at a vehicle-activated traffic control signal is capable of detecting and will reliably detect a motorcycle or bicycle (i) when the motorcycle or bicycle is present immediately before a stop line or crosswalk in the center of a lane at an intersection or road entrance to such an intersection, or (ii) when the motorcycle or bicycle is present at marked detection areas.

     (i) "Vehicle-activated traffic control signal" means a traffic control signal on a public road or highway that detects the presence of a vehicle as a means to change a signal phase.

     (2) During routine maintenance or monitoring activities, but subject to the availability of funds:

     (a) All existing vehicle-activated traffic control signals that do not currently routinely and reliably detect motorcycles and bicycles must be adjusted to do so to the extent that the existing equipment is capable consistent with safe traffic control. Priority must be given to existing vehicle-activated traffic control signals for which complaints relating to motorcycle or bicycle detection have been received and existing vehicle-activated traffic control signals that are otherwise identified as a detection problem for motorcyclists or bicyclists, or both. Jurisdictions operating existing vehicle-activated traffic control signals shall establish and publicize a procedure for filing these complaints in writing or by e-mail, and maintain a record of these complaints and responses; and

     (b) Where motorcycle and bicycle detection is limited to certain areas other than immediately before the stop line or crosswalk in the center of a lane at an existing vehicle-activated traffic control signal, those detection areas must be clearly marked on the pavement at left turn lanes, through lanes, and limited right turn lanes. These detection areas must also be marked to allow a bicyclist to leave a bicycle lane to enter a detection area, if necessary, to cross an intersection. Pavement markings must be consistent with the standards described in the state of Washington's "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways" obtainable from the department of transportation.

     (3)(a) If at least a substantial portion of detection equipment at an existing vehicle-activated traffic control signal on an arterial or bicycle route is scheduled to be replaced or upgraded, the replaced or upgraded detection equipment must routinely and reliably detect motorcycles and bicycles. For purposes of this subsection (3)(a), "substantial portion" means that the proposed replacement or upgrade will cost more than twenty percent of the cost of full replacement or upgraded detection equipment that would routinely and reliably detect motorcycles and bicycles.

     (b) If at least a substantial portion of detection equipment at an existing vehicle-activated traffic control signal on a public road or highway that is not an arterial or bicycle route is scheduled to be replaced or upgraded, the replaced or upgraded detection equipment must routinely and reliably detect motorcycles and bicycles. For purposes of this subsection (3)(b), "substantial portion" means that the proposed replacement or upgrade will cost more than fifty percent of the cost of full replacement or upgraded detection equipment that would routinely and reliably detect motorcycles and bicycles.

     (4) All vehicle-activated traffic control signals that are design complete and put in operation after July 26, 2009, must be designed and operated, when in use, to routinely and reliably detect motorcycles and bicycles, including the detection of bicycles in bicycle lanes that cross an intersection.

[2009 c 275 § 10.]