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Research Reports

Bicycle Facilities and Use

Description: Interest is increasing in realizing the transportation potential of the bicycle for purposes other than recreation. At the same time, information is lacking about the relationship between facilities and use. This project addressed this lack of information in four tasks. The first task synthesized the elements required to create a cycling-friendly environment, which is characterized by five elements: coherence, directness, safety, attractiveness, and comfort. Cyclist classification schemes were investigated, along with several important operational characteristics of the bicycle and rider that affect facility design. The second task developed a comprehensive list of bicycle facilities, including 23 major categories with 55 subdivisions. Third, methods for measuring bicycle use were investigated, along with the results from various surveys and counts. The fourth task was the creation of a framework for selecting facilities improvements with the goal of identifying the geographical areas most likely to benefit from such improvements. The framework is a two-step process that looks first at demographic and land-use issues and then focuses on facility and access deficiencies. A case study demonstrated the change in use that resulted from filling a "missing link" in a regional trail near Seattle. A set of appendices to the report provide extensive information on facilities, sample survey forms, and detailed results obtained from 3,000 users of the Burke-Gilman Trail/Sammamish River Trail system in Seattle and King County.

  • Date Published: May, 1995
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 370.1
  • Last Modified: May 31, 2007
  • Author: William E. Moritz.
  • Originator: Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
  • # of Pages: 75 p., 3,455 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Access, Bicycle commuting, Bicycle facilities, Bicycle travel, Bicycles, Bikeways, Case studies, Data collection, Deficiencies, Demographics, Design, Improvements, Land use, Needs assessment, Surveys, Traffic counts.
  • Keywords: Bicycle facilities, bicycle use, bicycle survey techniques, Burke-Gilman Trail, King County, Sammamish River Trail, Seattle.
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This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008