Cyclists get a design guernsey in US cities

A design guide to improve cycling infrastructure has been produced by the top US city transport authorities.

The Urban Bikeway Design Guide was done by the National Association of City Transportation Officials for its Cities for Cycling program that began in December 2009.

New York City Transportation Commissioner and NACTO President Janette Sadik-Khan said they wanted traffic and transport planners and engineers in cities across America to adopt the standards.

Ms Sadik-Khan launched the guide at the NACTO National Bike Summit in Washington DC.

“NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide gives American planners and designers the tools they need to make cycling accessible to more people,” Ms Sadik-Khan said.

“These guidelines represent the state of the art and should be adopted as the new standards around the country.

“The Guide offers substantive guidance for cities and towns in the U.S., where existing guidance has failed to move forward as quickly as international experience and growth in cycling would warrant.”

The impetus behind the Guide came from Portland, Oregon, engineer Rob Burchfield and planner Mia Birk, who were frustrated that the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Guide to the Development of Bicycle Facilities — both considered the bible for traffic engineers – had not kept pace with the growth in cycling as transport and the innovative bikeway treatments being successfully used in Europe and some US cities.

Tired of waiting for official adoption of the new concepts into those influential guide books, they decided to make their own.

“We are hoping to add bike boulevards during the next phase,” Ms Birk said.

The focus of the guide is on-street facilities, including cycle tracks, which provide protection for cyclists in high-traffic environments.

The website gives clean, easy-to-read information on the design categories of bike lanes, cycle tracks, intersections, signals and signs and marking of paths.

See the Urban Bikeway Design Guide at http://nacto.org/cities-for-cycling/design-guide/cycle-tracks/

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