RIC - Guidance for Bicycle Facility Selection and Design

Status:  Active
Project Start Date:  04/10/2019

Summary:

Sharing the road, being multi-modal, is not new. Almost a century ago horse driven carriages were begrudgingly yielding to Henry Ford's Model A and the debate over use began. Since the second Industrial Revolution, transportation planners and designers have typically been focused on motorists and decreasing trip times. However, since the passing of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 with its inclusion of design concepts such as Context Sensitive Solutions and Complete Street Design, local agencies have adapted their designs to include multiple road users, such as bicyclists, pedestrians, freight, and recreational/seasonal users. This change has been moderately easier for larger agencies that have dedicated personnel specializing in bicycle (and pedestrian) coordination. Thru a recent statewide, facilitated brainstorming session, one of the highest priority issues for which cities and counties requested assistance was understanding best management practices for designing bicycle related facilities. In addition, MnDOT's Bikeways Facility Design Manual (2007) is not consistent with other design resources (e.g. MnDOT State Aid Rules, AASHTO Design Manual, NATCTO Guidelines), MnDOT is in the process of updating the manual to better reflect current practices. Anticipating this update, local agencies would like assistance in understanding these changes and how the various design manuals should be used. Minnesota is recognized as a leader in bike friendliness; however, local agencies struggle to know how to best accommodate additional users, specifically bicyclists, within their transportation system. This research implementation task will focus on providing local agencies answers to their questions and provide some clarity as to which design manual is most appropriate for a given situation.

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