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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Subject: INFORMATION: Supplementary Design Guidance for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects

// Original signed by //
Cynthia J. Burbank
Program Manager, Planning and Environment

RC Directors of Field Services
Division Administrators

Date: August 30, 2000

Reply to: HEPH-30

On February 28 of this year, Administrator Kenneth Wykle issued the Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guidance as required by TEA-21. Since that time, two particular issues have arisen that require additional clarification.

The first item is one of the three exceptions for providing bicycle and pedestrian facilities in urban areas shown on page 12 of the original document. Specifically, the exclusion reads "the cost of establishing bikeways or walkways would be excessively disproportionate to the need or probable use. Excessively disproportionate is defined as exceeding 20 percent of the cost of the larger transportation project." This 20 percent figure should be used in an advisory rather than an absolute sense.

The second issue as stated on page 13 of the Design Guidance is that "In rural areas, paved shoulders should be included in all new construction and reconstruction projects on roadways used by more than 1,000 vehicles per day, as in States such as Wisconsin." The particular vehicle volume used to justify the provision of paved shoulders may vary from State to State. Nevertheless, paved shoulders provide clear safety and operational benefits for both motorized and nonmotorized users.

As with any guidance, flexibility and judgement will have to be used in its application to particular projects. Nevertheless, Mr. Wykle's memorandum states that our nation's transportation system must be balanced, accessible, and safe for all Americans, and that Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) must take a leadership role in working with States, localities, and our other partners to make this happen. The clarification of these two items in no way diminishes FHWA's leadership role in providing facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians through the Federal-aid process.

Updated: 5/7/2012
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