Conventional & Buffered Bicycle Lanes
Conventional and buffered bike lanes on urban streets delineate space for bicyclists but provide no physical separation between people bicycling and driving. With on-street parking, they also place the bicycle between parked vehicles and moving motor vehicles. Since bicyclists must enter the motor vehicle lane to avoid conflict with turning vehicles, parking maneuvers, double parking or curbside loading, or open doors, it is important for passing events to be minimized.
What to do:
Set target speeds at or below 25 mph. Speeds of 20 – 25 mph improve comfort and allow drivers to more easily react when bicyclists need to move into the motor vehicle lane. Use strategies such as lower progression speed and shorter signal cycle lengths to reduce the incentive for drivers to speed, and reduce top-end speeding incidents.
Discourage motor vehicle through-movement to reduce volumes. Lower motor vehicle volumes reduce the number of passing events. Depending upon the presence and intensity of other operational stressors, an All Ages & Abilities condition may be reached below approximately 3,000 – 6,000 vehicles per day, or approximately 300 to 400 vehicles per hour.
Reduce curbside conflicts, especially freight, loading, and bus pull-outs (see page <?>). Carefully manage loading activity and parking demand. On one-way streets with transit activity, move the bike lane or buffered bike lane to the left side of the street to alleviate intersection and curbside conflicts. On streets with heavy curbside use but low motor vehicle volume, consider moving truck traffic or curbside loading to other streets.
Address intersection conflicts through motor vehicle turn prohibitions, access management, and signal phasing strategies. Due to the likelihood of both left- and right-turning conflicts from bi-directional motor vehicle traffic, use the same motor vehicle volume threshold on two-way streets as on one-way streets.
Increase buffer distance where traffic characteristics adjacent to the bike lane decrease comfort, including large vehicles or curbside parking. Where adjacent sources of stress are present, a buffered bike lane can improve comfort by increasing shy distance between bikes and motor vehicles. Where multiple motor vehicle lanes, moderate truck and large vehicle volumes, or frequent transit indicate that most bicyclists will need more separation to be comfortable.