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Cities for Cycling

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When it comes to bike networks, cities—and the staff who power them—are key sites of innovation, from the first protected bikeways in North America to work with bike share and shared micromobility, low-traffic streets, protected intersections, and planning for equity.

The Cities for Cycling network gathers the planners, engineers, and practitioners working to make biking better in their cities and in the wider transportation field. Through practice-informed publications and design guidance, peer network events like design charrettes, and technical conversation on our members-only listservs, NACTO creates a forum for city staff to engage with one another and rapidly raise the state of practice for bikeway design in North America.

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We’re Updating the Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Over a decade ago, cities banded together to develop a first-of-its-kind document: bikeway design guidance developed by cities, for cities. Released in 2011, the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide sparked a design revolution in cities nationwide, where city ingenuity and values were elevated in service of safe and vibrant streets and transportation networks. In the decade since the Guide was first published, redesigned city streets, for many decades an afterthought, are now widely seen as key to stemming North America’s safety, equity, and climate crises.

Over 2022 and 2023, NACTO has been releasing the next chapters of bike design guidance for cities, by cities, in the form of working papers that cover the most critical gaps in vetted guidance, including best practices for data collection, network design, equitable network design, and scaling success to better meet the challenges of our time. This work will eventually feed into an even larger resource: the first new edition of the Urban Bikeway Design Guide since 2014.

Below, check out the working papers we’ve published to date.

Read Making Bikes Count

Read Breaking the Cycle

Read Shared Micromobility


Read Moving Together

Read Designing for Small Things With Wheels

Read Complete Connections


Read Material Success

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Design Guidance

NACTO’s bike design guides offer national-level guidance focused on the unique needs of urban areas, outlining city-approved engineering techniques to build safe, comfortable urban streets for the bicyclists that use them.

Read the Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Read Designing for All Ages & Abilities

Read Don’t Give Up at the Intersection










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Cities for Cycling Events

Since NACTO started running the Cities for Cycling network in 2010 while developing the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, we have tailored spaces for peers to regularly meet to discuss experiences and lessons learned from their work, assist with the development of design guidance, and participate in highly-tailored programming opportunities. These have included in-person and virtual trainings, roundtables, and roadshows across North America, where we brought cutting-edge treatments from the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide to:

Atlanta (2014)
Charlotte, North Carolina (2014)
Portland (2014)
Champaign (2015)
Denver (2015)
Portland (2015)
Atlanta (2016)
Bloomington-Normal (2016)
Chicago (2016)
Georgia (2016)
Albany (2017)
Anchorage (2017)
Aurora (2017)
Chicago (2017)
St. Louis (2019)

Chicago (2011)
Atlanta (2012)
Austin (2013)
Indianapolis (2013)
Memphis (2013)
Oakland (2014)
Boston (2016)
Nashville (2016)
New Haven (2017)
San José (2017)
San José (2017)
St. Louis (2017)
Columbus (2018)
San José (2019)
Virtual (2020)

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Additional Resources

Endorsement Campaign

66 cities, counties, and states have endorsed the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. This unified endorsement enabled federal and state governments to recognize these best practices, and ultimately make it easier to build safe, active, and livable streets. Read about the campaign.

Bikeway Accelerators

NACTO’s City Accelerator program helps cities rapidly implement high-quality transit or bike corridors, from design to build out. The program was started in 2014 as a way to provide in-depth, on-the-ground support to member cities implementing new street design projects that may depart from existing practice.

Whether a red bus lane or protected bike lane, undertaking new projects requires changing business as usual. Under Accelerators, NACTO cities develop the new partnerships and pathways needed to implement these projects, bringing together the rich peer network to help cities move projects from idea to implementation through lasting programmatic change. Learn how NACTO cities accelerate high-quality bikeway implementation.