Bicycle Compatibility Index

A Level of Service Concept


Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)


Determining how existing traffic operations and geometric conditions impact a bicyclist's decision to use or not use a specific roadway is the first step in determining the bicycle compatibility of the roadway. This research effort was undertaken to develop a methodology for deriving a bicycle compatibility index (BCI) that could be used by practitioners to evaluate the capability of specific roadways to accommodate both motorists and bicyclists. The BCI methodology was developed for urban and suburban roadway segments (i.e., midblock locations that are exclusive of major intersections) and incorporated those variables which bicyclists typically use to assess the "bicycle friendliness" of a roadway (e.g., curb lane width, traffic volume, and vehicle speeds). The developed tool will allow practitioners to evaluate existing facilities in order to determine what improvements may be required as well as to determine the geometric and operational requirements for new facilities.

Also discussed in this report is the application of the developed methodology used for rating midblock segments to intersections and an assessment of the validity of such an approach for rating the bicycle compatibility of intersections.

In addition to this final report, there is a companion report titled The Bicycle Compatibility Index: A Level of Service Concept, Implementation Manual (FHWA-RD-98-095) that contains applied examples of the BCI methodology.

Also available is the Bicycle Compatibility Excel Workbook, in both English and Metric units.

Filed in: Engineering, Plans and Policies, Crashes and Safety

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