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This chart provides guidance in choosing a bikeway design that can create an All Ages & Abilities bicycling environment, based on a street’s basic design and motor vehicle traffic conditions such as vehicle speed and volume. This chart should be applied as part of a flexible, results-oriented design process on each street, alongside robust analysis of local bicycling conditions as discussed in the remainder of this document.
Users of this guidance should recognize that, in some cases, a bicycle facility may fall short of the All Ages & Abilities criteria but still substantively reduce traffic stress. Jurisdictions should not use an inability to meet the All Ages & Abilities criteria as reason to avoid implementing a bikeway, and should not prohibit the construction of facilities that do not meet the criteria.
* While posted or 85th percentile motor vehicle speed are commonly used design speed targets, 95th percentile speed captures high-end speeding, which causes greater stress to bicyclists and more frequent passing events. Setting target speed based on this threshold results in a higher level of bicycling comfort for the full range of riders.
† Setting 25 mph as a motor vehicle speed threshold for providing protected bikeways is consistent with many cities’ traffic safety and Vision Zero policies. However, some cities use a 30 mph posted speed as a threshold for protected bikeways, consistent with providing Level of Traffic Stress level 2 (LTS 2) that can effectively reduce stress and accommodate more types of riders.
‡ Operational factors that lead to bikeway conflicts are reasons to provide protected bike lanes regardless of motor vehicle speed and volume.
Adapted from the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, published by Island Press.