Misleading sign on Ramsey Canyon Road has been corrected

[be sure to see update, below]
To: Cochise County Highway Department

Misleading sign

When riding Ramsey Canyon Road from Hwy 92 to the Nature Conservancy there is a sign 350 feet before the multi-use path from Stafford Ln to the multi-use path on the South side of Ramsey Canyon Road leading to the parking lot at Brown Canyon Ranch.

When riding my bike up to the Nature Conservancy, many motor vehicle drivers will point to the multi-use path, indicating that I need to use the multi-use path. I have, also, talked to several residents whose only access to their homes is from Ramsey Canyon Road. They tell me this sign means that cyclist “must” use the multi-use path. I inform them about ARS 28-812 “Applicability of traffic laws to bicycle riders.” Furthermore, I know of no Arizona or County statute which makes this sign enforceable regarding a cyclist “must” use the multi-use path.

This sign is commonly misinterpreted and leads to irritation between cyclist and motor vehicle drivers.

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists have suggested the following recommendations. Reword the sign to include “MAY” that is, “MAY USE MULTI-USE PATH.” Or replace this sign with a sign specified by the MUTCD 9B.18 “Bicycle Warning and Combined Bicycle/Pedestrian Signs (W11-1 and W11-15).

We believe the justification for this change is that users of the path should be expected in the road crossing. Thus, the current sign should be replaced with W11-15 and W11-15P signs and keep the “350 feet” W16-2P sign.

Here’s what MUTCD says about that sign:

W11-15 sign

Section 9B.18 Bicycle Warning and Combined Bicycle/Pedestrian Signs (W11-1 and W11-15)


01 The Bicycle Warning (W11-1) sign (see Figure 9B-3) alerts the road user to unexpected entries into the roadway by bicyclists, and other crossing activities that might cause conflicts. These conflicts might be relatively confined or might occur randomly over a segment of roadway.


02 The combined Bicycle/Pedestrian (W11-15) sign (see Figure 9B-3) may be used where both bicyclists and pedestrians might be crossing the roadway, such as at an intersection with a shared-use path. A TRAIL X-ING (W11-15P) supplemental plaque (see Figure 9B-3) may be mounted below the W11-15 sign.

03 A supplemental plaque with the legend AHEAD or XX FEET may be used with the Bicycle Warning or combined Bicycle/Pedestrian sign.


04 If used in advance of a specific crossing point, the Bicycle Warning or combined Bicycle/Pedestrian sign should be placed at a distance in advance of the crossing location that conforms with the guidance given in Table 2C-4.


05 Bicycle Warning and combined Bicycle/Pedestrian signs, when used at the location of the crossing, shall be supplemented with a diagonal downward pointing arrow (W16-7P) plaque (see Figure 9B-3) to show the location of the crossing.


06 A fluorescent yellow-green background color with a black legend and border may be used for Bicycle Warning and combined Bicycle/Pedestrian signs and supplemental plaques.


07 When the fluorescent yellow-green background color is used, a systematic approach featuring one background color within a zone or area should be used. The mixing of standard yellow and fluorescent yellow-green backgrounds within a zone or area should be avoided.

Thank you for taking our concerns under consideration.

Thomas Armstrong
League of American Bicyclist
League Cycling Instructor #3337
International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)
Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Board Member


UPDATE December 2018:

The old sign (left) was replaced with a standard “Trail X-ing” warning sign (right) around December 2018. The old sign could be misconstrued to imply bicyclists aren’t permitted on the roadway; as this is not the case, the warning sign is more appropriate. Thank you Cochise County Highway Department!
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