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bike lane design guide

facility selection guide

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FULL GUIDE (342 kb)
PART 1 (74 kb)
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PART 2 (278 kb)
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Bicycle Facility Selection Guide

What's the best way to accommodate bicyclists?

Transportation professionals and advocates don't always agree on the answer to this common question. Is a bike lane better than a path or a wider lane with no stripe? There is no simple answer and a lot depends on the unique circumstances of a particular roadway in a particular community. But, by reviewing more than 20 bicycle facility selection guides from the US and other countries, consultant Michael King's latest report for the PBIC suggests that there are indeed some common ranges or parameters within which different bicycle facility types seem to work best.

The heavily illustrated guide compares the thresholds of traffic volume and speed at which agencies recommend providing different bicycle facility types. On low-volume slow-speed roadways, no special facilities are warranted for bicyclists. On high-speed, high-volume roadways, a completely separate path for bicyclists might be desirable. Almost everything in between requires engineering judgment and this report helps guide the engineer or designer to some of the factors to consider.

But the job doesn't end there. Having determined the type of facility that might be the most appropriate, the engineer or planner must then use the best available planning tools and designinformation to make sure the bike lane or trail can indeed fit in the space available, handle all the intersections adequately etc. For that, you can turn to the PBIC's planning, and design and engineering pages.


Maintained by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center with funding from
the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.