Fitting in Protected Bike Lanes
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While bicycling is growing in the U.S., only 1% of all trips are made by bike. Surveys reveal that up to 60% of the U.S. population is interested in biking as a legitimate mode of transportation, but they are concerned about their safety. Thus, in order to make significant impact, cities must go beyond the bare minimum and invest in a complete bicycle network that prioritizes bike safety. In terms of infrastructure, this means going beyond conventional bike lanes that separate bikes from cars with a mere stripe on the road. Instead, bikes have to be physically protected from vehicles with the use of Protected Bike Lane (PBL) facilities. Because there are numerous PBL types with unique characteristics, and because the employment of PBLs is still new within the U.S., there is a lack of consensus on specific design standards and a lack of guidance on choosing the appropriate PBL type. Additionally, as most PBL installations will be retrofit projects, the existing street conditions (dimensions, traffic configurations, street trees) have to be considered. Thus, the objective of this project is to create a transferable tool that matches particular existing street conditions with the most suitable Protected Bike Lane type. To demonstrate its efficacy, flexibility and transferability, the tool is applied to three case study streets in Eugene, OR. It is hoped that this tool can contribute to the planning process by aiding in the Protected Bike Lane selection process.