Bicycle boulevards are streets with low motorized traffic volumes and speeds, designated and designed to give bicycle travel priority. Bicycle Boulevards use signs, pavement markings, and speed and volume management measures to discourage through trips by motor vehicles and create safe, convenient bicycle crossings of busy arterial streets.
Many local streets with low existing speeds and volumes offer the basic components of a safe bicycling environment. These streets can be enhanced using a range of design treatments, tailored to existing conditions and desired outcomes, to create bicycle boulevards. Design treatments are grouped into measures that provide the following benefits.
- Route Planning: Direct access to destinations
- Signs and Pavement Markings: Easy to find and to follow
- Speed Management: Slow motor vehicle speeds
- Volume Management: Low or reduced motor vehicle volumes
- Minor Street Crossings: Minimal bicyclist delay
- Major Street Crossings: Safe and convenient crossings
- Offset Crossings: Clear and safe navigation
- Green Infrastructure: Enhancing environments
Many of the treatments presented in this section not only benefit people on bicycles, but also help create and maintain “quiet” streets that benefit residents and improve safety for all road users.
Naming and Branding
Many cities around the United States have chosen to brand their bicycle boulevards using different names.
- Neighborhood greenways
- Bicycle priority streets
- Quiet streets
- Neighborhood connectors
- Neighborhood byways
- Bicycle friendly streets/corridors
- Bicycle/neighborhood parkways
- Bike/walk streets
- Local bicycle streets
Many factors should be taken into consideration when branding a bicycle boulevard. These include existing bikeway definitions used by the state or city, citizen ideas and input, and specific features and activities expected to take place along the route (jogging, green infrastructure, etc.).