Recommended Bicycle Lane Widths for Various Roadway Characteristics (NCHRP, 2014)

This report presents recommendations for bicycle lane widths for various roadway and traffic characteristics, including traffic volume, vehicle mix (i.e., percent trucks), lane width and/or total roadway width, and presence/absence of on-street parking. It examines narrow and wide un-protected bike lanes as well as lanes protected with barriers. The lateral positioning of both bicyclists and motorists was measured and used as surrogates to evaluate the safety effects of the allocation of roadway width between parking lanes, bike lanes, buffered spaces, and motor vehicle travel lanes.
The report provides guidance on the safety of each lane option for bicyclists. The conclusions are most applicable to urban and suburban roadways with level grade and a posted speed limit up to 35. This report will provide valuable guidance for traffic and design engineers in areas where bicycle lanes are being considered and implemented.
Download the full report.