To celebrate National Bike Month, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently launched its new Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide.
A separated bike lane, which is also called a cycle track of a protected bike lane, dedicates a portion of the roadway to bicyclists. This will physically separate the bicyclists from the traffic flow of motor vehicles, which will offer greater protection to the bicyclists. The improved safety throughout U.S. communities will enhance the comfort, safety, and network connection of the infrastructure allocated to bicycles. These lanes will meet the needs of bicyclists of all abilities and ages.
The FHWA’s guide provides an outline for design options and planning considerations. It offers case studies that emphasize the best practices and lessons from bike lines throughout the nation. The plan also includes information about one- and two-way facilities, various separation options, and mid-block design considerations, such as transit stops, driveways, loading zones and accessibility. There is also information about intersection design, such as signage, operations, signalization and on-road markings.
The plan builds on the current policies and design flexibility to offer bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. The guide will be crucial to the Department of Transportation’s continuing Safer People, Safe Streets initiative.