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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-05-138
Date: July 2006
Shared-Use Path Level of Service Calculator
A User's Guide
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5. INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE SHARED-USE PATH LOS CALCULATOR
The Shared-Use Path LOS Calculator is provided in the form of a spreadsheet. Programmed with the complete LOS model, it provides a one-page, user-friendly interface (worksheet) that allows the user to analyze up to five data sets. The calculator requires only four inputs to generate an LOS grade–trail width, presence of a centerline, trail user volume, and mode split for up to five user types (adult bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, in-line skaters, and child bicyclists).
The calculator is programmed in a Microsoft Excel ®™ spreadsheet file (filename: SUPLOS_Calculator_FHWA_2004) that can be acquired by downloading the file from the website of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) supported Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (www.bicyclinginfo.org or www.walkinginfo.org), or by ordering it on CD-ROM from the Information Center.
The calculator provides five data entry rows in which LOS can be tested on as many as five different trails or trail segments. Analysis scenarios can include different trails or diverse segments of the same trail. For details about the lengths of trail to which LOS calculations can be applied, see the box below.
Trail Length and LOS Calculations
Because the SUPLOS model is a link analysis tool, any single LOS score applies only to a trail segment having consistent width, striping, volume, and mode split characteristics throughout. A test segment must be at least 0.40 km (0.25 mi), but can be a number of kilometers (miles) long if the same input values are valid over the entire segment and there are no trail flow interruptions (stop signs, signals, or at-grade crossings) within the segment. The presence of flow interruptions, points of access (that significantly diminish or increase the volume, or change the mode split), or changes in trail width or surface will necessitate segmenting the trail for the purposes of LOS evaluation, and each segment will need its own unique set of input data.
The Shared-Use Path LOS Calculator should be opened in Excel. Enable Macros should be selected in the first dialogue box. If not already selected, the Trail_LOS_Calculator tab at the bottom of the window should be selected. This will open the calculator worksheet.
The calculator provides five data entry rows in which LOS can be tested on as many as five different trails or trail segments at one time. The first row of the calculator includes example data for a typical trail, based on the average volumes and mode splits found on the 15 trails included in this study.Entering Data
Before beginning the data entry process, review the previous chapter and the discussion about data requirements. Based on that discussion, assemble the data necessary to conduct your analysis.
Once all of the numeric inputs are entered, columns 11 and 12 will automatically calculate the LOS score and provide an LOS grade.Interpreting Results
In the upper right-hand corner of the spreadsheet, a scale is provided that correlates the score with the appropriate grade. In general, grades A–C represent acceptable levels of service, whereas D–F are degraded levels of service. See chapter 3 for a full discussion on interpreting LOS grades.Copying and Printing Results
The calculator worksheet provides five data entry rows to test LOS on as many as five different trails or trail segments at one time. Once five scenarios have been entered, the whole sheet may be copied or converted to a word processing or spreadsheet file to create a permanent record of these cases and results. Once the information has been pasted into a new file, revision of model calculations will not be possible in that new document.
Using the regular print commands, the results may be printed directly from Excel or by printing the file to which copies have been saved.
By copying and saving the results to another file, the calculator can be used multiple times without losing the results of previous scenarios.Returning to the Default Mode Split
For convenience, the calculator worksheet has been designed with a separate one-click button to reset the default mode split for each row.
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Topics: research, safety, operations, human factors, pedestrian & bicycle safety
Keywords: research, safety, path, trail, bicycle, shared-use, LOS, width, pedestrian, in-line skater
TRT Terms: Pedestrian facilities design--United States, Pedestrian areas--United States--Planning, Cycling paths--United States--Planning, Traffic surveys--United States, Calculators, Level of service, Pedestrians