Shared-Use Path Level of Service Calculator
A User's Guide
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Research and Development
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
U.S. Department of Transportation
6300 Georgetown Pike
Federal Highway Administration
McLean, Virginia 22101-2296
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
Shared-use paths are paved, off-road facilities designed for travel by a variety of nonmotorized users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, skaters, runners, and others. Shared-use path planners and designers face a serious challenge in determining how wide paths should be and whether the various modes of travel should be separated from each other. Currently, very little substantive guidance is available to aid in those decisions.
This document describes how to use a new method to analyze the quality of service provided by shared-use paths of various widths that accommodate various travel mode splits. Given a count or an estimate of the overall path user volume in the design hour, the new method described here can provide the level of service (LOS) for path widths ranging from 2.4 to 6.1 meters (8.0 to 20.0 feet). The document describes in detail the input data needed to begin using the method, provides step-by-step instructions, and provides example applications of the new method. This document also describes how to use a spreadsheet calculation tool called SUPLOS that was also developed as part of the same effort and that is being circulated by the Federal Highway Administration.
The information in this document should be of interest to planners, engineers, park and recreation professionals, and others involved in the planning, design, operation, and/or maintenance of shared-use paths. In addition, this document will be of interest to researchers investigating how to analyze multiple modes of travelers in a finite space with minimal traffic control.
Michael F. Trentacoste
Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development
This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.
U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.
Quality Assurance Statement
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.
TECHNICAL REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE
|1. Report No.
|2. Government Accession No.
||3. Recipient's Catalog No.
|4. Title and Subtitle
Shared-Use Path Level of Service Calculator–A User's Guide
|5. Report Date
|6. Performing Organization Code
R.S. Patten, R.J. Schneider, J.L. Toole, J.E. Hummer and N.M. Rouphail
|8. Performing Organization Report No.
|9. Performing Organization Name and Address
North Carolina State University
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
Raleigh, NC 27695-7908
|10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
|11. Contract or Grant No.
|12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Safety Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101
|13. Type of Report and Period Covered
|September 2000 – May 2005
|14. Sponsoring Agency Code
|15. Supplementary Notes:
Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR): Ann Do, HRDS-06
Shared-use paths are becoming increasingly busy in many places in the United States. Path designers and operators need guidance on how wide to make new or
rebuilt paths and whether to separate the different types of users. The current guidance is not very specific, has not been calibrated to conditions in the
United States, and does not accommodate the range of modes found on a typical U.S. path. The purpose of this project was to develop a level of service (LOS)
estimation method for shared-use paths that overcomes these limitations. The research included the development of the theory of traffic flow on a path, an
extensive effort to collect data on path operations, and a survey during which path users expressed their degree of satisfaction with the paths shown on a
series of videos.
Based on the theory developed and the data collected, the researchers developed an LOS estimation method for bicyclists that requires minimal input and
produces a simple and useful result. The method requires only four inputs from the user: One-way user volume in the design hour, mode split percentages, trail
width, and presence or absence of a centerline. Factors involved in the estimation of an LOS for a path include the number of times a typical bicyclist meets or
passes another path user and the number of those passes that are delayed. The method considers five types of path users when calculating adult bicyclists' LOS,
including other adult bicyclists, child bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, and in-line skaters.
This report provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the LOS procedure and spreadsheet calculation tool, which can be downloaded from the
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center Web site at www.tfhrc.org. Other products of the effort include FHWA-HRT-05-137 Evaluation of Safety, Design, and
Operation of Shared-Use Paths: Final Report, which documents the research and the spreadsheet calculation tool and is the basis of FHWA-HRT-05-139
Evaluation of Safety, Design, and Operation of Shared-Use Paths TechBrief.
|17. Key Words
Path, trail, bicycle, shared-use, LOS, width, pedestrian, in-line skater
|18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161, telephone (703)
|19. Security Classif. (of this report)
|20. Security Classif. (of this page)
|21. No. of Pages
|From DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)
||Reproduction of form and completed page is authorized
SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Equation. Basic SUPLOS model
Figure 2. Screen capture. Existing conditions LOS analysis
Figure 3. Screen capture. LOS for selected design widths
Figure 4. Screen capture. LOS for 10–year projected volumes and selected design widths
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Variations in trail user volume
Table 2. Variations in trail user mix (mode split)
Table 3. Data profile for the average trail
Table 4. Average speed by mode
Table 5. SUPLOS scale
Table 6. Interpreting SUPLOS grades
Table 7. Study trail level of service grades and characteristics
Table 8. Correlation of trail widths and operational lanes
Table 9. Selected cross sections
Table 10. Volume and mode split estimates to test in the calculator
Table 11. Factors used in the shared–use path LOS model
Table 12. Shared–use path level of service look–up table, typical mode split
Table 13. Shared–use path level of service look–up table, high bicycle mode split
Table 14. Shared–use path level of service look–up table, high pedestrian mode split
Table 15. Shared–use path service volume look–up table, typical mode split
Table 16. Shared–use path service volume look–up table, high bicycle mode split
Table 17. Shared–use path service volume look–up table, high pedestrian mode split
SHARED USE PATH LEVEL OF SERVICE CALCULATOR
Trail LOS Calculator
Delayed Passings Input Output 1
Delayed Passings Input Output 2
Delayed Passings Input Output 3
Delayed Passings Input Output 4
Delayed Passings Input Output 5
User Perception Input Output
Active Inline Skater
Active Child Bicyclist
Meetings Inline Skater
Meetings Child Bicyclist
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