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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-05-138
Date: July 2006

Shared-Use Path Level of Service Calculator

A User's Guide

PDF Version (1298 KB)

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  1. Cordell, K., principal author, Outdoor Recreation for the 21st. Century: A Report to the Nation: The National Survey on Recreation and the Environment , Venture Publishing, State College, PA, 2003.

  2. Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC, 1999.

  3. Rouphail, N., J. Hummer, J. Milazzo II, and P. Allen, Capacity Analysis of Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities: Recommended Procedures for the "Bicycles " Chapter of the Highway Capacity Manual, FHWA-RD-98-108, Federal Highway Administration, McLean, VA, 2000, available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/pedbike/98108/index.cfm.

  4. Botma, H., and H. Papendrecht, "Traffic Operations of Bicycle Traffic," Transportation Research Record 1320, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, pp. 65–72, 1991.

  5. Harkey, D., D. Reinfurt, M. Knuiman, J. Stewart, and A. Sorton, The Bicycle Compatibility Index: A Level of Service Concept, Final Report , FHWA-RD-98-072, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, 1998.

  6. Landis, B.W., V.R. Vattikuti, and M.T. Brannick, "Real-Time Human Perceptions: Toward a Bicycle Level of Service," Transportation Research Record 1578, Transportation Research Board, 1997.

  7. Evaluation of Safety, Design, and Operation of Shared-Use Paths–Final Report, FHWA-HRT-05-137, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, 2006.

  8. Highway Capacity Manual, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, 2000.

[1] Throughout this document, the terms shared-use path, path, pathway, and trail will be used interchangeably. They should be understood to mean a hard-surface treadway that is open to a variety of nonmotorized users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, and skaters, and serves both transportation and recreational purposes.

[2] Walking, bicycling, running or jogging, and day hiking rank 1st, 9th, 11th, and 12th, respectively, out of 35 outdoor recreation activities surveyed. Outdoor Recreation in American Life: National Assessment of Demand and Supply Trends, Ken Cordell, Sagamore Publishing, 1999.

[3] Five of the 15 study trails were not represented in the video clips used for the user perception survey: the W&OD, Grant's, Capital Crescent, Pinellas, and White Creek trails.

[4] Weather and technical problems prevented a full set of 60 three-minute clips from being created for four of the study trails. See tables 1–4 for the number of valid data collection trials that were completed for each study trail.

[5] Due to adverse weather conditions, very few data collection trials could be executed on the W&OD and Capital Crescent trails in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

[6] The Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (AASHTO, 1999) established 2.4 m (8.0 ft) as the minimum recommended width for shared use paths. The widest trail included in this study was the 6.1 m (20.0-ft) Lakefront Trail in Chicago, IL; the model is not designed to address widths outside these minimum and maximum boundaries.

[7] However, because the model does not address the unique characteristics of equestrians, cross-country skiers, snowmobiles, or motorized all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trail users, counts of these users should not be included in any of the five categories or in the user volume totals.

[8] Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, AASHTO, 1999, p. 35.

[9] ibid, p. 36.



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