U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
|This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-05-114
Date: July 2006
Lesson 15: Bicycle Lanes
- Width standards.
- Retrofitting lanes on existing streets.
- Design at intersections and interchanges.
- Pavement marking and signing.
- Other design considerations.
- Practices to avoid.
- No curb and gutter: 1.2 meters (m) (4 feet (ft)) min.
|– If parking, then 1.5 m (5 ft) min.|
- With curb and gutter: 1.5 m (5 ft) min.
|– 0.9 m (3 ft) min. ridable surface, not including gutter pan.|
- Parking permitted but not striped:
|– 3.3 m (11 ft) total with no curb.|
|– 3.5 m (12 ft) total with curb.|
Retrofitting Bike Lanes
- Reduce travel lane widths.
- Reduce number of travel lanes.
- Remove, narrow, or reconfigure parking.
- Other design options.
Bike Lanes at Intersections
- Encourage crossing/merging in advance of intersection.
- Use of broken lane stripe at bus stops and intersections.
- Many possible configurations.
- Avoid dual right–turn lanes if possible.
Bike Lanes at Interchanges
- Cross high–speed ramps in areas of good visibility.
- Cross ramps at right angle.
- Consider grade separation.
- Edgeline lane markings.
- Bike lane symbols.
- Traffic signal detector placement.
- Use of MUTCD.
- Consistency in shape, legend, color.
- Regulatory signs.
- Warning signs.
- Route guide signs.
Colored Bike Lanes
- Common in Europe.
- Delineate the preferred paths through complex intersections or across high–speed ramps.
- Tested in Portland, OR, with mixed results.
Contraflow Bike Lanes
- Prevent circuitous travel on one–way streets.
- High bike demand.
- Warning signs at intersecting alleys and streets.
|(This picture shows a bicyclist not wearing a helmet. FHWA strongly recommends that all bicyclists wear helmets.)|
Practices to Avoid
- Two–way bike lanes.
- Continuous right–turn lanes.
- There are many ways to design for bicycle lanes on vehicular roadways.
- Use of specific design elements create safe and efficient bicycle lanes.
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