Left-side bike lanes are conventional bike lanes placed on the left side of one-way streets or two-way median divided streets.
Left-side bike lanes offer advantages along streets with heavy delivery or transit use, frequent parking turnover on the right side, or other potential conflicts that could be associated with right-side bicycle lanes. The reduced frequency of right-side door openings lowers dooring risk.
Click on the images below to view 3D concepts of a left-side bicycle lane. The configuration shown is based on a Minneapolis, MN example.
Treatment details can be accessed below under design guidance.
Left-Side Bike Lane Benefits
- Avoids potential right-side bike lane conflicts on streets.
- Improves bicyclist visibility by motorists by having the bike lane on the driver’s side.
- Provides consistent facility configuration in locations where right-side travel lanes are subject to rush hour parking restrictions and other flexible uses.
- Minimizes door zone conflicts next to parking because of fewer door openings on the passenger side of vehicles.
- Fewer bus and truck conflicts as most bus stops and loading zones are on the right side of the street.
- On one-way streets or median divided streets with frequent bus stops or truck loading zones on the right side of the street.
- On streets with high parking turnover.
- On streets with rush hour parking restrictions.
- On streets with high volumes of right turn movements by motor vehicles.
- On streets with a significant number of left-turning bicyclists.
- On streets where traffic enters into an add lane on the right-hand side, as from a freeway off-ramp.
- For favorable alignment to connect to a path, two-way cycle track, or other bicycle facility.
Guidance for conventional bike lanes will also apply.
||Design guidance for conventional bike lanes applies to this treatment.
||Left side bike lanes shall only be placed on the left side of one-way streets or two-way median divided streets.
||Colored pavement may be used along the facility to draw attention to the unique function of the lane, or within conflict areas for increased visibility of bicyclists.
- Like all bicycle lanes, left-side bike lanes should be maintained to be free of potholes, broken glass, and other debris.
- If trenching is to be done in the bicycle lane, the entire lane should be trenched so that there is not an uneven surface or longitudinal joints.
- Please see guidance for conventional bike lanes.
Treatment Adoption and Professional Consensus
Left-side bike lanes are used in the following US cities:
- Berkeley, CA
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Eugene, OR
- Madison, WI
- Minneapolis, MN
- Naples, FL
- New York City, NY
- Portland, OR
- Sacramento, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Washington, DC