FHWA to study safety and design of cycle tracks

At the March AASHTO meeting, U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood urged the attendees to update their guidance for bicycle facilities such as cycle tracks, also known as protected or separated bike lanes. Last week FHWA issued a task order proposal request to study the safety of cycle tracks and issue recommendations on their design and implementation.

SSTI seeks input on bike-ped performance measures

Many states and MPOs may have criteria for evaluating bicycle-pedestrian proposals for funding, but those criteria often don’t take into account system-level benefits and costs. And compared with highway measures, metrics for tracking ongoing performance are scarce. Pedestrian and bicycle traffic counts are being done in some cases, but these do not equal performance measures.

At a crossroads: Complete streets and functional classification

As the demand for more complete, multimodal streets increases, so does the push to alter the functional classification system to allow for greater local flexibility in roadway design. The functional classification system often restricts communities seeking flexibility in roadway design and can effectively hobble transit planners attempting to advance livability initiatives.

Public health researchers: Bike guide leaves out facilities favored by many

A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health concentrates on the lack of updated bicycle facilities standards in the the most widely used guides. The article’s authors focused specifically on their perception that cycle tracks—bike facilities separated from motorized traffic by a curb, parked cars, or other physical or painted buffer to discourage intrusion by motor vehicles—would increase bicycle transportation by older users, women, and children.

Public supports system preservation, why not politicians?

More evidence that the public strongly supports system preservation comes from a survey performed for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. When asked to rank the importance of a variety of potential priorities for WisDOT, preservation came out on top by a wide margin with 47.3 percent of respondents citing it as “extremely important.” A year earlier, a survey for Washington DOT found a similar result in that state.

Increasing bicycle mode share leads to growing need for bicycle-specific traffic signals

As the popularity of transportation bicycling continues to grow, traffic engineers, planners, and lawmakers are recognizing the need to incorporate bicycle-specific infrastructure into intersection designs. Bicycle-specific signals are being used in 16 U.S. cities, and the signals are being included in traffic control manuals. NACTO has excellent guidance for how and where to install these signals.

MassDOT seeks to triple transit, bike and walk share

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation last week announced a goal of tripling the share of trips in the state taken by transit, bike, and walking by 2030. Strategies to achieve the growth in non-single-occupant-vehicle modes are still being considered. If MassDOT can show progress toward its ambitious goals, it could provide best practices for peer agencies pursuing related policy ends.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities: Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes (TRB, 2012)

This report is an update to a series from TRB examining how travelers respond to different types of transportation infrastructure, facilities, and policies. This chapter examines pedestrian and bicyclist behavior and travel demand outcomes in a relatively broad sense. It focuses on the travel behavior and public health implications of facilities such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and on-transit accommodation of bicycles, street-crossing treatments, bicycle parking, and showers. Discussion of the implications of pedestrian and bicycle “friendly” neighborhoods, policies, programs, and promotion is also incorporated.