Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines

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1 Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines, New Hampshire Prepared for: Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Prepared By: ORW Landscape Architects and Planners

2 Introduction September, 2008 These guidelines have been developed to set forth with clarity the preferred accommodation of bike facilities into the street system in Hanover. These guidelines build upon standards developed by AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) and the MUTCD (Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices 2003 Part 9 Traffic Controls for Bicycle Facilities), and offer additional design guidance and clarification regarding bicycle facility design that is tailored to the street context in Hanover. In preparing these guidelines we have looked to the best practices of communities that are on the leading edge in accommodating biking in their communities, and owe a debt to communities that have innovated and developed bike facility designs that improve riding in urban areas including: Cambridge, Massachusetts; Burlington, Vermont; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, and Berkeley, California. Finally, these guidelines should be considered a starting point to be further augmented and refined as additional planning for improved bicycling in Hanover is undertaken. Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines 2

3 1. Bike Lanes on Streets with No On-Street Parking Description Bike lanes provide dedicated space for bicyclists along the roadway. Striped and signed bicycle lanes make drivers aware that bicycles are welcome and an expected part of the traffic mix that they must navigate. Bike lanes are one-way facilities that carry bicycle traffic in the same direction as adjacent motor vehicle traffic. In general, bike lanes are preferred where possible in the Town s core street system. Variables to be considered in determining the appropriate bike accommodation include right-of-way width, parking, and traffic conditions (i.e., in-town versus, higher speed arteries). Guidelines: Bike Lanes on Streets without On- Street Parking Bike stencil and directional arrow at intersections Bike Travel Travel Bike 30 to 34 Bike lanes should be a minimum of 5 feet in width (measured from curb to inside edge of the stripe) adjacent to a curb. Lanes less than 5 feet may be acceptable for short segments of roadway where physical constraints exist. Bike lanes on roadways with no curb and gutter may be less than 5 feet in width, but not less than 4 feet in width. Bike lanes up to 6 feet in width may be desirable under certain conditions such as locations with high traffic and truck volumes or uphill grades. Bike lanes wider than 6 feet in width are not recommended, as they read as traffic lanes and cause confusion. Bike lanes less than 4 feet in width are not acceptable. Bike stencil and directional arrows should be painted approximately every 200 feet and particularly near intersections. Bike lanes should be open ended at intersections and not tapered or closed. Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines 3

4 2. Bike Lanes on Streets with On-Street Parallel Parking Description Bike lanes adjacent to parked cars are a special consideration due to potential conflicts between parked cars and bicyclists. Guidelines: Bike Lanes on Streets with On-Street Parallel Parking Bike lanes should be no less than 5 feet in width. Parking bays adjacent to a bike lane should be 7 to 8 feet in width. Diagonal striping along the car door side of the bike lane to create a visual buffer adjacent to parked cars is recommended to provide an extra measure of caution for drivers and bicyclists. Bike stencil and directional arrows should be painted approximately every 200 feet and particularly near intersections Travel 2 5 Bike 8 P Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines 4

5 3. Shared Lane Arrow Marking or Sharrow Description 4 The shared lane arrow or sharrow is used where right of way constraints do not permit full bike lanes particularly where there are parallel parked cars. The sharrow helps to align bicyclists to a safe path out of the car door zone within a shared right of way and provides additional visual cues to drivers to expect bicyclists along the route. The sharrow is also recommended on shared use roadways without on-street parking along bike routes to provide additional visual cues to drivers to share the road with bicyclists. The sharrow is intended to be used for in town bicycling conditions where speeds are typically low (under 40 mph) and rights of way are constrained. Research conducted on the Sharrow in 2004 found that the bike and chevron marking on pavement reduced wrong way and sidewalk riding and improved motorist and cyclist positions. 3 Guidelines: Sharrow Adjacent to parked cars, the center line of the sharrow should be placed 11 feet from the curb (for a typical 7 foot parking bay), or 4 from the edge of the parking bay to allow bicyclists to steer clear of the car door impact zone (See Appendix Sharrow Marking Placement ). On streets without on-street parking, the center line of the sharrow should be placed 3 feet from the curb. Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines 5

6 4. Bulbouts or Curb Extensions Description Bulbouts or curb extensions on streets with parking hold benefits for pedestrians in increasing pedestrian visibility and calming traffic. They can, however, be problemmatic for bicycles as cyclists are squeezed going through the intersections with bulbouts. Transitions from areas with wide curb lanes and/or bike lanes to areas with bulbouts are of greatest concern. The following design considerations are intended to help increase visibility of bulbouts and provide transitions for bicyclists. Guidelines: Bulbouts Bulbouts should not extend beyond the parking lane to ensure bike lanes and shared bike lanes have a clear path for safely passing by a bulbout. Where possible, a wider travel lane adjacent to bulbouts (12 to 14 feet) should be provided to allow bicyclists room to pass through an intersection with motor vehicles. Where there is a transition from a bike lane or wide curb lane to an area with mixed traffic, parking and bulbouts (e.g., South Main Street, Lyme Road), consideration should be given to signage and pavement marking to warn motorists and bicyclists of the road narrowing and to help ease bicyclists into traffic. Light colored or visible paving treatment, ( i.e., concrete) rather than dark paving (i.e., bituminous asphalt) is recommended for bulbouts to increse visibility. Bollards with reflectors are recommended to be placed at bulbouts to help increase visibility at night. Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines 6

7 References American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, Part 9, Traffic Control for Bicycle Facilities 2003 edition. California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, Part 9, Traffic Control for Bicycle Facilities (as amended for use in California), 2003 edition. Nabti, Jumana M.. Innovative Bicycle Treatments: an Informational Report of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), May Transportation Research Board, Guidance for implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Volume 18: A Guide for Reducing Collisions Involving Bicycles, NCHRP Report 500, San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic, San Francisco s Shared Lane Pavement Markings: Improving Bicycle Safety, February San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic, City of San Francisco Bicycle Plan Update: Supplemental Design Guidelines, September City of Portland (Oregon) Office of Transportation, Bicycle Master Plan, July City of Cambridge Massachusetts, Community Development Department, Bicycle Programs, cambridgema.gov/cdd/et/bike/index.html. City of Burlington, Vermont, Draft Street Design Guidelines, Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines 7

8 Appendix Shared Roadway Bicycle Marking, (from California MUTCD) Sharrow Marking Placement (from SF Shared Lane Marking Study, 2004) Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines 8

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