Motorcyclist Safety: Open letter to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration & Department of Transportation (subtitled) “Worst decision EVER!”

Posted: June 1, 2016 in Motorcycle advocacy, Motorcycle Rides, motorcycle safety, motorcycle touring
Tags: , , , , , , ,

First thing—–   I looked at your website and if there is a link for a motorcycle rider to report unsafe conditions it sure does not stand out.  If you really support motorcycle safety, add a link for us to quickly alert you to conditions that affect us.

NOW my problem —— This past Memorial Day (2016) I was out for a nice morning ride on one of the favorite roads of motorcyclist in the area (MD, WV, VA), Harpers Ferry Road. Always a classic, always a go to road to enjoy the ride, the view and road.  NOT SO MUCH NOW!

A very large (10+ miles) of this formally nice, paved road is now covered in GRAVEL. Small, pea sized gravel.  While there may be a study somewhere about how putting TONS OF GRAVEL on a paved road will improve conditions it DOES NOT IMPROVE SAFTY FOR MOTORCYCLIST.

Every turn I had to concentrate on my approach to ensure I was in the wheel path with the least amount of gravel.  Every oncoming car I had to worry about taking a face full of gravel.  Every time I came to a stop I had to slow well ahead and make sure my feet were firmly placed.  Harpers Ferry road is (was) supposed to be a great relaxing ride through the Maryland countryside.  Instead it became a gruesome exercise on how to torture the safety of motorcyclist.  I can only imagine how terrible this road will become in the rain!

Leaving this to nature to resolve will result in no resolution.  There is simply too much gravel splayed across this paved surface.  The turns, of which there is a lot, will never be completely safe for motorcyclist without mechanical intervention.  The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration must get this road cleaned up before someone is killed!!!  I typed that properly … BEFORE SOMEONE IS KILLED!

While I am at it—- The round-about at the intersection of Route 15 and 464 is now unsafe to motorcycles as well.  Not nearly as bad Harpers Ferry road but just as unsafe. One of your road crews used tar to seal road cracks, motorcyclist call these “tar snakes”.  Tar snakes are mostly just a pain in the backside type of road repair as they are easily ridden over.  Not so in a round-about, the slow speed, coupled with the higher lean angle, combined with cross traffic and cars to the left and right this is another area where road conditions will result in an accident.  At this particular intersection, the VERY high traffic volume will result in a gruesome accident.

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