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  1. #1
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Recommendations for facility design guidelines

    Our local Bike/Ped Advisory Committee (BPAC) has an excellent opportunity to educate our Department of Public Works on bicycle infrastructure. A bike network was started here in the late 90's, but put aside until just recently, when the DPW asked some of us to help them pick the effort back up again. Much of the personnel has changed in the interrim, including most of us from the BPAC, as well as the city Transportation Engineer. At the last meeting, we were discussing design standards, and the city asked us on the BPAC to make a recommendation to them as to which guidelines document we think is the best. Coincidently(?), we at the BPAC had just identified this at our last meeting as a way that we could help the city!

    I would like to ask your help in identifying possible standards to look at. I know there's a ton out there, so your recommendation will help us make sure that we have not missed any important ones to review, but also help us get a head start in evaluation. Since we are the U.S., I think it makes sense to limit our list to North American documents. Here's what's on our list so far:

    • AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities
    • Bike Lane Design Guide (Chicago)
    • City of Portland (OR) Bicycle Master Plan
    • USAF Landscape Design Guide
    • FHWA Bicycle Compatibility Index Implementation Manual
    • FHWA "Selecting Roadway Design Treatments to Accommodate Bicycles"
    • Minnesota Bicycle Transportation Planning and Design Guidelines
    • Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
    • Guidelines for Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities in Texas
    • New Jersey Planning and Design Guidelines
    • Hamilton ON Design Guideline for Bikeways
    • Street Design Guidelines for Healthy Neighborhoods
    • UNC HSRC Bicycle Compatibility Index

    Specific questions, if that helps you formulate thoughts:

    1. Can you recommend any good ones you've found that are not on our list? (I'm sure there's plenty in California that I don't have here.) If you have an online link, that would be GREAT!
    2. Do any on or off the list really stand out for you?
    3. We are also interested in exploring the sharrow concept. I'm not aware of any of these discussing sharrows, although I haven't read them all. Do you know of any guidelines, on or off the above list, that include sharrows?

    Thanks for any input you have!
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  2. #2
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Wouldn't the engineers already have access to design documents and wouldn't they be seeking your advice on things like where do bicycles need to go?

    For example, if we were to design a public transportation system you'd want easy access to the places people want to go. Where do cyclists want to go? And why don't they already use bicycles to get there? Is it simply a matter of getting out the design documents, or do better routes need to be created (like do you need a bridge to connect two neighborhoods that are divided by a creek that makes people drive a mile to get around)? That sort of thing.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    I, am of course, partial to Oregon and Portland plans, though I haven't seen the documents, I can see the effects on the ground. San Francisco has played around with sharrows, so you could probably contact someone there to find out about that. If your group has the funding for the plane trip, you should meet face to face with people from Portland and have them walk you through their city planning and show you around. I'm sure that people from our local group, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (www.bta4bikes.org), as well as the PDOT people, would be thrilled to talk with your group. It would also give your group a chance to see how these plans look when they are implemented.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  4. #4
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    i'm suprised to see some many municipalities and states have facility design guidelines. I think Seattle is playing catch-up.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  5. #5
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Wouldn't the engineers already have access to design documents and wouldn't they be seeking your advice on things like where do bicycles need to go?

    For example, if we were to design a public transportation system you'd want easy access to the places people want to go. Where do cyclists want to go? And why don't they already use bicycles to get there? Is it simply a matter of getting out the design documents, or do better routes need to be created (like do you need a bridge to connect two neighborhoods that are divided by a creek that makes people drive a mile to get around)? That sort of thing.
    Well, there's planning, which is what you are talking about in your second paragraph, then there's actual "how-to" guidelines: Minimum widths, how to decide what facilities are appropriate for what situations, and so on. It's the "how-to" we're mainly interested in letting them know about. They've certainly heard of AASHTO and so on, but they don't seem to have any actual experience doing it, or familiarity with specific guideline documents, hence their question to us. (Yes, we're way behind California here.)

    This is the continuation of a project that was started almost 10 years ago. A good bit of the planning and laying out of routes was done at that time, and we are largely building on that. Although certainly we are also trying to revisit those assumptions and see what has changed since then.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  6. #6
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    I, am of course, partial to Oregon and Portland plans, though I haven't seen the documents, I can see the effects on the ground. San Francisco has played around with sharrows, so you could probably contact someone there to find out about that. If your group has the funding for the plane trip, you should meet face to face with people from Portland and have them walk you through their city planning and show you around. I'm sure that people from our local group, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (www.bta4bikes.org), as well as the PDOT people, would be thrilled to talk with your group. It would also give your group a chance to see how these plans look when they are implemented.
    Following up with people who've "been there done that" can also help you avoid pitfalls of things that look good on paper, but don't pan out in reality. Also, they can tip you about things that aren't included in the written plans that only someone with experience can tell you. Ask, "If you could do it over, what would you do differently?"
    No worries

  7. #7
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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