Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bikeways for the rest of us

Short nerd break:

Today the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) released the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, providing state-of-the-art guidance for anyone who wants to create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists. This is good news!

Here's why this is a big deal:
Until now, the primary references for roadway and bikeway design have been the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide to Bikeway Facilities, and the MUTCD (Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices). Historically, these publications were weighted in favor of motor-vehicle modes and less-densely populated/developed areas, as opposed to walking, biking, or transit use in urban areas. In addition, it has been procedurally challenging to update these publications with innovative or even proven designs.
In contrast, the new NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide illustrates design treatments developed by cities around the world for multi-modal urban transportation, all of which are in use nationally and/or internationally, and many of which have approval pending for inclusion in the MUTCD (FHWA approval status information is available here).
Finally, the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide is an online resource, free and readily available, and a living document, so updates can occur on a much shorter timeframe.
So, yeah, this is a BIG DEAL! Rock out for bikes.

6 comments:

darren said...

First post/comment I've seen that didn't indict the MUTCD process, seems to reflect an understanding of it, and instead opens the door for this being a supplement. If everyone took the same tone (i'm looking at you, BikePortland), and changed their approach, it would be alot easier to advocate to work collaboratively to fulfill the requirements of process while encouraging innovation. Thanks for the well-crafted nerd break, David!

Joseph E said...

Right now many cities feel they can't try "cycletracks" or protected bike lanes (separated from the street by parking or curbs), because they are not in the official highway manual.

I hope this will help make protected, high-quality bike lanes (with bike signals at busy intersections) a reality.

Here in Long Beach, we are installing a pair of protected bike lanes Downtown, which was approved as a "demonstration" project. I should take some pictures and write about it, when construction is done at the end of the month.

Ed W said...

When will we see some genuine, peer-reviewed studies on the efficacy of bike lanes, cycle tracks, what-have-you, rather than subjective, 'feel good' stories used to justify their existence?

Niklas said...

Ed W., seeing as you posted on a blog I assume you're relatively proficient at using the internet. About 10s of effort led me to this article. I'm sure you could find more considering the success of bike lanes and cycle tracks around the world. http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2011/02/02/ip.2010.028696.full

Niklas said...

The link did not fully post. I'll try again.
http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2011/02/02/
ip.2010.028696.full.pdf

Joseph E said...

Cyclelicious has a great post with details about the new design manual. It includes contraflow bike lanes, protected bike lanes, bike boxes, and descriptions of how to deal with freeway onramps.
http://www.cyclelicio.us/2011/bikeway-design-guide/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Cyclelicious+%28Cyclelicious%29