Thanks to Bob Kurylko at Stantec for sending this along...

From: Institute of Transportation Engineers [mailto:info@ite.ccsend.com] On Behalf Of Institute of Transportation Engineers
Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2011 3:40 PM
Subject: Pedestrian and Bicycle Council Winter Newsletter

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Pedestrian and Bicycle Council

WinterE-Newsletter

Winter2011

In This Issue

Editors' Note

Pedestrian and Bicycle System Planning In Bellingham, WA

Chicago's "New" Bike Program

Exclusive Pedestrian Signal Phasing

Taking a Step Towards Safer, Healthier Kids with "Safe Routes to School"

Public Acceptance of Buffered Bikeways

Application for 2012 Pedestrian and Bicycle Council Award

ITE 2012 Meetings

ITE Announcements

Message from the Chair

Hello, ITE Pedestrian and Bicycle Council members!

This newsletter features a unique collaboration with the Transportation Planning Council. Nearly a year ago I spoke with Dan Kueper, their newsletter editor, about cross-pollinating newsletter articles between our Councils. As a result, this newsletter includes 5 articles contributed by Transportation Planning Council members on bicycle and pedestrian topics. In exchange, the Transportation Planning Council's winter newsletter features a "best of" selection from recent issues of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Council newsletter. One of the primary goals of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Council is to provide timely information on non-motorized transportation topics to ITE membership as a whole, and collaborations like this are a great way to make that happen. Dan, thanks for the idea!

There will be three primary opportunities for the Pedestrian and Bicycle Council to meet face-to-face in 2012. I always enjoy seeing the familiar faces of our Council members and hope to meet a number of new folks as well. Please plan to attend if you can!

  • We will conduct a business meeting at the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. This meeting will be held Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in the Marriott's Thomas Paine Room.
  • The first session of our new technical workshop series, Public Health Benefits of Active Transportation, will take place at the ITE Technical Conference in Pasadena, CA. That session is scheduled for Monday, March 5, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
  • We will continue our workshops at the ITE Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, which will be held August 12-15. More details will be available in the spring.

2012 also marks the return of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Council awards program. Dave Duszak of our office is leading this effort. Please see the call for awards later in this newsletter. I know many of you are doing truly groundbreaking work in the bicycle and pedestrian fields, and you should be recognized for that. Applications must be submitted by March 1. Enter early and often!

As we begin the New Year, there are many reasons to be thankful for being in our profession. Transportation safety continues to improve in the United States. Bicycling and walking are still on the table (as of this writing) to be included in federal transportation reauthorization. And each of us, whether we're in the public or private sector, has the opportunity to help make communities more livable and sustainable every day. Our role in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Council is to give you the tools you need to do just that, and I would appreciate any feedback on what we can do to help you succeed.

Have a joyous and prosperous 2012!

Jeff Riegner
Chair, Pedestrian and Bicycle Council
Whitman, Requardt & Associates
302.571.9001
jriegner@wrallp.com

Editors' Note

This quarter we are changing it up a little by including articles written by members of the Transportation Planning Council(TPC). We asked TPC members to submit pedestrian and bicycle focused topics. In return the TPC has selected a collection of articles from past PBC newsletters to share with TPC members. Read the TPC Newsletter here.

Below is a collection of interesting articles about many innovations occurring throughout the US on increasing mode share for bicyclists and pedestrians, through new design treatments and policy initiatives. Enjoy reading these articles over some, hopefully, well deserved time away from work this winter.

Cheers,
Matthew Brill

Pedestrian and Bicycle System Planning In Bellingham, WA

Submitted by Chris Comeau, AICP, Transportation Planner, City of Bellingham Public Works Engineering

Bellingham, Washingtontransportation planners are creating a mode-specific Pedestrian Master Plan and in Spring 2012 will begin working on a Bicycle Master Plan. Bellingham is a progressive small city (2011 population = 81,070) located along the far northwestern inland coast of Washington State, 85 miles north of Seattle and 45 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As the primary center for employment, shopping, entertainment, education, government, and medical services, Bellingham plays an important role in the development of the entire Whatcom County region.

Planning under Washington's Growth Management Act, Bellingham has adopted an internally consistent Comprehensive Plan with a transportation element containing multimodal transportation goals and policies designed to support alternative forms of transportation and compact mixed use urban infill development prescribed by the land use element. Multimodal goals and policies in the transportation element also support public transit, which is not a city service. City transportation planners work hand-in-hand with the regional transit agency, Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA), to incorporate high-frequency (15-minute headway) transit service routes into citywide planning efforts for mixed-use urban villages and transit-oriented development.

Long-term mode shift goals adopted in the transportation element serve as targets for continuously working to reduce the percentage of total trips made by single-occupant vehicles while increasing the percentage of total trips made by pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders.

In support of the multimodal transportation element and the long-term mode shift goals, when completed in mid-2012, the PMP will identify a citywide "pedestrian network" integrating on-street sidewalks with Bellingham's extensive off-street Greenways multiuse trail system. A community survey was conducted in 2011, which elicited 830 responses from neighborhood residents resulting in a long list of pedestrian improvement requests and concerns. The PMP will identify pedestrian network deficiencies, include a prioritized list of capital improvements to correct pedestrian network deficiencies over time, and identify options for funding. In addition, the PMP will update the city's standards for crosswalks, sidewalk widths, and create a menu of appropriate pedestrian crossing treatments based on land use and transportation contexts.

In similar fashion, city transportation planners will seek community input for the BMP to clarify the citywide bicycle system, deficiencies in the bicycle network, and a prioritized list of capital improvements to correct bicycle network deficiencies over time, and identify options for funding. In 2011, Bellingham currently has 62.5 miles of marked bicycle lanes on arterial streets, 60 additional miles of planned bicycle lanes, and plans for 1.2 miles of "bicycle boulevards." The BMP will update the city's standards for bicycle lanes, will include new bicycle facilities and treatments, such as "bicycle boulevards" on residential streets, "sharrow" markings on limited arterial streets, and way-finding symbols on citywide bicycle routes, as well as a menu of appropriate bicycle facilities and treatments based on land use and transportation contexts.

It is fully anticipated that the needs and deficiencies identified in both the PMP and the BMP will have costs far in excess of Bellingham's ability to fund capital improvements. Fortunately, in 2010, Bellingham voters approved a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) funded by a two-tenths of one-percent sales tax collected within the City limits of Bellingham with funding directed specifically to non-motorized pedestrian and bicycle capital improvements, as well as supplemental transit service in Bellingham provided by WTA through a contract with the city. The TBD revenue will be collected for a 10-year period (2011-2020) and will greatly assist Bellingham to complete the citywide pedestrian and bicycle networks identified in the PMP and BMPs, will support WTA's efforts to provide a robust urban transit system, and will help to achieve and sustain the City's long-term transportation mode-shift goals.

The Bellingham PMP, BMP, and TBD will also be integrated into two important regulatory programs that Bellingham has created to implement the multimodal transportation approach and Urban Village infill land use strategy in the Bellingham Comprehensive Plan. In 2008, Bellingham transportation planners and transportation consulting firm TranspoGroup, Inc. developed and adopted a new Multimodal Transportation Concurrency Program that includes level of service (LOS) measurements for pedestrian, bicycle, multiuse trails, and public transit in addition to the traditional auto-centric volume to capacity (v/c) ratio LOS standards used by most jurisdictions. Bellingham's Multimodal Transportation Concurrency Program won the 2009 APA/PAW Award for Transportation Planning in Washington State.

In 2010, Bellingham developed and adopted economic incentives called Urban Village Vehicle Trip/Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) Reductions to lower the cost of development in areas promoted as the most appropriate for growth based on the availability of multimodal transportation facilities and transit service. The vehicle trip reductions are based on a blend of methodology from ITE's Trip Generation manual and accepted trip generation research and are only available for use in select Urban Village mixed use areas that are well-served with pedestrian, bicycle, and transit service.

Chicago's "New" Bike Program

Submitted by James M. Considine, AICP, PTP, Chief Planner, T.Y. Lin International; with assistance from David Gleason, Staff Engineer

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office on May 17, 2011. Prior to taking office, the Mayor's transition team developed a plan that included adding 100 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of his term in 2015. This is a major undertaking for a city that already has an exemplary bicycle system.


Chicago has one of the most significant bicycle infrastructure systems in the country along with a good reputation. The city was awarded a "silver" designation in the 2011 League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Community Rankings. The bicycle infrastructure in Chicago includes:

  • 123 miles of on-street bike lanes
  • 33 miles of marked shared lanes
  • 36 miles of paved, off street paths (including the famous Lake Shore Path)
  • 12,265 on-street bike parking racks

To put the Mayor's objective in perspective, Chicago began to build the bicycle network in 1995. Sixteen years later, the on-street bicycle network is 156 miles in total. The Mayor wants an additional 100 miles, a 64 percent increase in the network in only 4 years. Not only does this represent a major expansion of the system, but it also calls for protected bicycle lanes, which are a significant upgrade from bike lanes and marked shared lanes.


Protected bicycle lanes are a colloquial term used in Chicago. Elsewhere in the country, protected bicycle lanes are known as cycle tracks. According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NATCO), "cycle tracks have different elements - they provide space that is intended to be exclusively or primarily separated from motor vehicle travel lanes, parking lanes, and sidewalks." Protected bike lanes are separated from car traffic by cones, curbs, off-street parking or other impediments.


The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is off and running with the system expansion. Three cycle track projects have been installed by the end of 2011:

  • Kinzie Street from Milwaukee to Wells (0.5 miles)
  • Jackson Boulevard between Western and Ogden (0.8 miles)
  • 18th Street between Canal and Clark (0.4 miles)

Yes, this is a small number in relation to the overall objective, but it represents a major achievement given the bureaucratic hurdles involved within any large city organization. The momentum has begun and will accelerate.

Bicycle modal share has increased as a result of the network. From 2000 to 2009, the percentage of Chicagoans commuting by bike increased from about 0.5 percent to 1.1 percent. System expansion will increase accessibility to the network. In addition, the protected bicycle lanes will encourage others, who would not normally ride on the street, to bicycle.


A proposed bike share program will require a network for users who would not normally be bicycling. The city has issued a Request for Proposal to install and operate a shared-public bike system that will provide access for bicycles for short-distance trips as an alternative to public transportation or private vehicles. It will begin in 2012 with 3,000 bicycles and 300 rental stations. These users will need a safe and expanded system.


Major challenges face the city of Chicago with the system expansion including where to put the cycle tracks, how to build them and how to handle a reduction in roadway capacity while still accommodating motorized traffic. Adding to the system will become increasingly more complex as the network is expanded. CDOT has initiated Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, which will identify 150 - 250 miles of streets to establish new types of on-street bikeways or enhance existing bikeways that will make the network more convenient, safe and continuous. Priority will be given to locations for bikeways that provide greater protection for bicyclists, including cycle tracks.



How to build these will be a work in progress. The NATCO Urban Bikeway Design Guide is the cutting edge document on designing innovative bicycle facilities such as cycle tracks. The document provides guidance beyond what is addressed in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official's Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities. Still, CDOT will be confronted with design issues that are not covered in those documents. In addition, the State of Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has jurisdiction over many of the streets in Chicago. IDOT has roadway and bicycle standards that have to be adhered to and the standards often do not address cycle tracks. IDOT has adopted a Complete Street policy, however, its current standards do not address cycle tracks and other innovative designs.


Intersection design is about to get a lot more complicated with cycle tracks. Multimodal level of service (LOS) will help with the analysis. Traditionally, LOS analysis has been used to design intersections, but this addresses only motor vehicles. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program's Multimodal Level of Service Analysis for Urban Streets now gives us a tool to determine the tradeoff between quality of service for bicycles, pedestrians, transit, and motor vehicles. New pavement striping methods and traffic signals that address bicycle movements will also have to be addressed.

Finally, roadway capacity is an issue. The Chicago roadway network is fixed. There is little or no room for expansion. Adding protected bicycle lanes will reduce vehicle travel lane width. There is a tradeoff between loss of capacity for vehicles and increased comfort and safety for bicycles. The issue of reduced travel lane width versus adding a bicycle lane or cycle track is a complicated roadway capacity and safety issue that will not be resolved quickly or easily.


The next three and a half years will likely be an opportunity for unprecedented growth and turbulence for the Chicago bicycle network. Chicago is embarking an effort that will change how city streets are used. However, the potential is great to create a more livable and healthy environment.

Exclusive Pedestrian Signal Phasing

Submitted by Craig S. Neustaedter, P.E. with Allyn Rifkin, P.E., and Sam Morrissey, P.E.

Exclusive Pedestrian Signal Phasing (EPSP) assigns a phase of an intersection signal cycle exclusively for pedestrians. At the standard phased intersections, pedestrians and turning vehicles are given right of way at the same time. Pursuant to traffic regulations, pedestrians are able to claim the right of way before turning vehicles, thereby making the vehicles wait to complete turns.

One feature that is usually included as part of the EPSP is called the "Scramble" or "Barnes Dance."* This is the inclusion of diagonal, corner-to-corner pedestrian crossing of the intersection during the exclusive pedestrian signal phase.

There are numerous intersections in jurisdictions throughout the United States where EPSP is being deployed. Traffic engineering staff from these jurisdictions were contacted to obtain information about their experience with EPSP.

(*Barnes Dance named after Henry Barnes, traffic engineer for the city of Denver who implemented this pedestrian crossing method in the 1940s.)

EPSP Signalized Intersection with Scramble Feature, Gaslamp District, San Diego, California

Santa Monica
In late 2010, the city of Santa Monica tested EPSP at the intersection of 2nd Street at Santa Monica Blvd. The intersection is located in Downtown Santa Monica, within one block of two major pedestrian activity centers, including the 3rd Street Downtown Pedestrian Mall and the municipal public beach. The test project did not meet the desired objectives of reducing vehicle delays and improving the flow of pedestrians and vehicles at this intersection. The primary problem was attributed to pedestrians being unfamiliar with the EPSP phasing and difficulty in educating pedestrians on the appropriate times for crossing.

City of Pasadena
The city of Pasadena currently uses EPSP at the intersection of S. DeLacey Ave. at W. Colorado Blvd. The EPSP includes the Scramble feature. According to staff, the city does not have an adopted policy or guideline concerning deployment of EPSP.

The city decided to implement EPSP at this intersection because it has high pedestrian volumes. The EPSP has been implemented to eliminate the conflicts between the high pedestrian volumes and high turning vehicle volumes at this intersection. These conflicts were creating significant vehicular delay at the intersection, especially for the northbound and southbound approaches.

City of Glendale
The city of Glendale implemented an EPSP signal timing approach with Scramble features at the intersection of Brand Blvd at Harvard Street. This timing strategy was opposed by a group of merchants in the pre-existing shopping center, north east of the new development. The City of Glendale working with the merchants installed the EPSP treatment and is observing its implications to overall vehicular delay.

City of Los Angeles/Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LA DOT)
LA DOT has implemented EPSP at several intersections throughout the city of Los Angeles. All of the intersections include the Scramble feature. As a policy, LA DOT requires that a traffic analysis be performed for any intersection where EPSP is being considered to verify that this phasing would improve intersection operations by reducing average vehicle delay. Operational improvements must be quantifiable for both peak and off-peak hours. LA DOT staff report that typically intersections considered as candidates for EPSP currently are two phase signals and have high pedestrian volumes conflicting with turning vehicles.

All Pedestrian Phase Study - Denver, Colorado
Recently, a study has been completed for the City and County of Denver, Colorado that provides a thorough analysis of EPSP at two-phase signalized intersections. The January 2010 study was performed to respond to negative feedback that the agency was receiving concerning EPSP that has been implemented at several signalized intersections in downtown Denver. The complaints concerned excessive vehicle delay at these intersections.

The study has endeavored to identify at what point the number of vehicles delayed by pedestrians indicates that separating the pedestrian and conflicting vehicular movements will result in minimized vehicular delay. Through statistical analysis the study has developed the following formula (Formula based on hourly pedestrian and vehicle volumes):

X = (V2ped * Vvehicle)1/3

X: Conflicting Volumes (weighted).
Vped: pedestrian volume.
Vvehicle: number of turning vehicles conflicting with pedestrian volume.

The study indicates that when X exceeds 150 at a signalized two-phase intersection, it may be advantageous to implement EPSP.

The results from the Denver study re-enforce the premise for implementing EPSP by the cities of Pasadena and Los Angeles. This type of signal phasing is primarily effective at reducing vehicle delay at intersections where a large volume of turning vehicles is conflicting with a large volume of pedestrians. The Denver study quantifies at what point EPSP becomes an effective means for reducing vehicular congestion.

Highway Safety Manual Comments on EPSP
The Highway Safety Manual provides tools to conduct quantitative safety analysis of a broad range of traffic safety improvements. The Highway Safety Manual states the following concerning EPSP:

At urban signalized intersections with marked crosswalks and pedestrian volumes of at least 1,200 people per day, this treatment appears to reduce pedestrian crashes when compared with concurrent timing or traffic signals with no pedestrian signals. However, the magnitude of the crash effect is not certain at this time (Highway Safety Manual, First Edition, Volume 3, Pages 14-51).

Suggested Guidelines for Consideration of EPSP at Signalized Intersections*

(*Based on draft guidelines by RTPG/ TEP consultant team for city of Santa Monica Downtown Pedestrian Study, Sam Morrissey, City Traffic Engineer, Project Manager)

The following guidelines are recommended when considering implementing EPSP. These guidelines are currently being considered for adoption by the city of Santa Monica, as part of the downtown pedestrian circulation study that is currently in progress:

1) EPSP should be considered for signalized intersections where there are significant conflicts between pedestrians and turning vehicles.

2) The figure shown below may be used to establish threshold criteria for consideration of EPSP. This graph is based on the formula from the Denver study.

3) EPSP should improve conditions for the majority of daily traffic entering the intersection. To verify this, the threshold criteria should be confirmed for at least the five highest peak hours of traffic flow at the intersection. Typically, the five highest peak hours will include at least 50 percent of the daily traffic entering an intersection.

4) If the threshold criteria are met for the five highest peak hours then:

a) An operational analysis should be performed to verify that EPSP will reduce average vehicular delay.

b) The analysis should consider the impact on delay due to the Scramble feature. Due to this feature, additional green time must be assigned to the exclusive pedestrian phase because additional time is required to diagonally cross the intersection. Section 4E.06 on Pedestrian Intervals and Signal Phases of the new MUTCD mandates new standards having the net effect of increasing pedestrian time in the signal cycle. This may be excessive if the Scramble feature is provided.

c) Analysis should be performed to determine how EPSP might be implemented without disruption of signal coordination with adjacent traffic signals in the downtown area.

5) If EPSP is implemented, a comprehensive education program and enhanced police enforcement should be considered for at least a 30-day period to promote compliance with the new signal phasing.

Taking a Step Towards Safer, Healthier Kids with "Safe Routes to School"

Submitted by Todd A. Peterson, P.E., PTOE


The national "Safe Routes to School" (SRTS) program was established through the original SAFETEA-LU legislation to support the creation of safe environments for students (K-12) to walk or ride their bikes to school. This is accomplished through improvements to the roadway and pedestrian networks around schools to enhance safety and accessibility for students within school "walksheds," and education to encourage walking and biking as a healthy alternative to being driven to and from school.


SRTS projects can also address improvements to on-site traffic circulation where conflicts between school bus loading zones and parent pick-up/drop-off traffic creates inefficient traffic patterns and dangerous conditions for students on foot. Such improvements can also alleviate the daily recurring congestion in communities surrounding schools with suboptimal on-site traffic circulation. Coordination with school staff, students and parents, and the surrounding community in development of improvements and program goals is crucial to a successful SRTS implementation.
SRTS projects are multidisciplinary by nature, and draw on the diverse expertise of practitioners in the fields of transportation planning, traffic engineering, road design, and public involvement. Typical aspects of a SRTS project include:

  • Sidewalk improvements including wide sidewalks, buffers between sidewalks and traffic lanes, accessible curb ramps and enhanced-visibility crossings.
  • Traffic calming measures to encourage adherence to speed limits at pedestrian crossings, provide buffer space or pedestrian storage or otherwise mitigate the exposure of pedestrians to vehicular traffic.
  • Well-marked and dedicated bicycle routes.
  • Signage for school zones per Part 7 of the MUTCD (2009 edition).
  • Coordination with school staff to understand existing student arrival/departure patterns and to develop effective protocols for bus loading, releasing students from entrances to bus or parent loading zones, and walker/bikers to maintain student security and safety while providing efficient on-site traffic flow.
  • Education for students to promote safe pedestrian and bicyclists behaviors.

SRTS programs may be managed at the state level down to local programs managed by individual school districts. States receive funding for SRTS through application to the Federal Highway Administration, with allocation based on student enrollment. A Safe Routes to School Coordinator in each state administers the distribution of federal funds to local jurisdictions, though local SRTS programs may also pursue funding through municipal operating budgets, contributions from corporate or non-profit foundations, or through grass roots fundraising activities.


More information on this topic can be obtained from the National Center for Safe Routes to School (www.saferoutesinfo.org/), or from state and local SRTS coordinators. ITE is also in the process of developing a series of briefing sheets pertaining to different aspects of Safe Routes to School which are scheduled for publication in spring 2012.

Public Acceptance of Buffered Bikeways

Submitted by Carl Springer & Ray Delahanty, DKS Associates


In the fall of 2009 the City of Portland, Oregon installed a seven block cycle track and a 10-13 block couplet of buffered bike lanes in downtown Portland, removing a motor vehicle lane on each route by restriping the roadway. Intercept surveys of cyclists, motorist, and pedestrians were obtained. In addition, before and after video was reviewed to provide empirical evidence to contrast the survey. Portland State University (PSU) evaluated the facilities after they had been in place for approximately one year. A major objective was to test facilities that were thought to bring higher levels of comfort to bicycle riders through increased separation from motor vehicle traffic (link to full report).


SW Broadway Cycle Track


Description: The cycle track on SW Broadway-a major one-way southbound street connecting the downtown core and areas to the south, including access ramps to a major freeway-is 1,800 feet long and consists of a seven-foot bike lane separated from motor vehicle traffic by a row of parked cars and a painted three-foot buffer. The facility's location - next to the PSU campus with no through streets-results in limited conflicts with right-turning motor vehicles and a high level of pedestrian activity.


Cycle Track



Findings: Most cyclists (71 percent) indicated that they felt the route was safer and easier with the cycle track-of female respondents, 94 percent felt the cycle track improved their safety. Motorists generally expressed support for the cycle track, and motor vehicle delay remained low after removing one travel lane (we found an average delay per vehicle of two to seven seconds after the cycle track was installed). Nearly 78 percent of motorists indicated that they liked the fact that bikes and cars were now more separated.


Challenges: Surveys and video analysis revealed that the issue of bicycle-pedestrian conflicts is a problem at the intersections adjacent to the PSU campus. This is compounded by both pedestrian and cyclist lack of compliance with traffic control devices. Of 113 cyclists observed arriving on a red signal indication, 44 percent violated the red signal either by continuing through the intersection without stopping or by stopping and continuing prior to the signal changing to green (this is roughly the same as the behavior before with a bike lane). This may be in part because there is no (motorist) cross traffic for most of the cycle track, and signals heads are somewhat difficult to see from the cycle track. Interestingly, only 63 percent of cyclist survey respondents indicated that they thought they were required to stop with traffic on SW Broadway. Finally, placing a cycle track adjacent to the curb made curb access for buses and lift-vans more difficult.

Recommendations: The report provides an array of solutions to address the challenges identified should the city make the cycle track a permanent facility:

  • Cyclist-pedestrian interactions need to be better managed using some combination of bicycle-specific traffic signals, signage directing cyclists to watch for pedestrians and to "wait here on red."
  • Alternatively, a pedestrian island could be placed on the street side of the cycle track.
  • To address the issue of ADA curb access, the construction of a raised concrete curb (replacing the pedestrian buffer) on the street side of the cycle track is presented. The raised curb would further separate motor vehicle traffic from the cycle track and prevent parking in the cycle track.

Stark and Oak Buffered Bike Lanes


Description: The buffered bike lanes on SW Stark (3,400 feet) and SW Oak (2,862 feet)-a low-volume couplet of one-way downtown streets with ADTs less than 5,000 vehicles per day-consist of six-foot bike lanes with a two-foot painted buffer on either side. The bike lanes were installed by removing a motor vehicle lane. Not all intersections have right-turns (one-way grid in downtown Portland). Of 12 intersections where motor vehicles may make a right turn across the buffered bike lanes, three locations have a right turn lane to the right of the buffered bike lanes, three have a shared bike lane and turn lane, and six have no specified right turn lane for motor vehicles.


Buffered Bike Lanes


Findings: Surveys show that cyclists agree that the streets are safer (89 percent) and easier (91 percent), while cyclist counts showed increases on both streets. Average control delay per motor vehicle was LOS A or B at most peak times, with the exception of 5-5:30 p.m. when delays reach 22-35 seconds per vehicle (LOS C- approaching D). Surveys show that motorists feel the buffered bike lanes have made driving on SW Stark and SW Oak more challenging. Still, nearly two thirds of motorists indicated that they like the additional separation between cars and bicycles provided by the buffered bike lanes.


Challenges: Both cyclists and motorists expressed confusion over when motor vehicles should be in the buffered bike lane (e.g., when parking, turning, etc). About 10 percent of motor vehicles drove in the bike lanes. Further, motorist actions when turning right are inconsistent - over a third of right-turning motorists moved into the buffered bike lane to make the turn, while just over half turned from the left motor vehicle lane.


Recommendations: The report provides several potential solutions to clarify turning movements and when motor vehicles may move into or through the buffered bike lanes:

  • On intersections where there is currently no designated turn lane for right turning motorists, one alternative would be to add a right-turn lane by removing curb parking, shifting the bike lane, dropping the buffer, and adding a dotted line and green conflict marking such that cars could cross the buffered bike lane to enter the right-turn lane (as done at the intersections with right-turn lanes). This would provide motorists with a consistent manner in which to make right turns on the couplet and would also have some benefits to motorists since it would remove right-turning vehicles delayed by pedestrians from limiting through vehicles.
  • Since this evaluation, PDOT has added additional cross-hatching to the buffer to further delineate the bike lane, which should help improve the operations. Additional marking and signage could be considered such as overhead lane control signage on signal mast arms, lane control signs on the pole mounts at curbs, the addition of more bicycle stencils in the buffered bike lane, and possibly lane control arrows in the motor vehicle lane for cars at the beginning and midpoint of each block.

Application for 2012 Pedestrian and Bicycle Council Award

The ITE Pedestrian and Bicycle Council Best Project Award is bestowed on a project that applied innovative design solutions or study techniques related to non-motorized transportation. Projects that best benefit the profession and the public are encouraged to be submitted for consideration. Submissions that effectively communicate a problem statement, clearly outline methods used, highlight results, advance feasible and reliable solutions, and demonstrate the benefits to the public will be given the highest consideration.

Eligibility:

  • For a project to be considered eligible for the award, it must have been fully completed during 2011. Completion may include publishing a study or report, finalizing design documents, or completing construction.
  • A Pedestrian and Bicycle Council member should have had a significant role in conducting the project.

Process

  • Applications are due no later than March 1.
  • A review committee will review and score each application received and will submit the winning application to ITE headquarters no later than May 1.
  • ITE staff will notify all participants no later than June 1.
  • Winners will receive a plaque and be recognized at the ITE Annual Meeting and in the ITE Journal.

Submittal Procedure

  • Please submit a cover letter and an electronic copy of the written product (report, plan, etc.) in pdf format.
  • Cover letters should describe how the project fulfilled each of the following five evaluation criteria.
    1. Originality
    2. Quality
    3. Significance
    4. Comprehensiveness
    5. Transferability to other places or agencies

Please send your submission electronically no later than 5:00 p.m. on March 1, 2012 to:


David A. Duszak, P.E., PTOE
Chair, PBC Awards Committee
c/o Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP
Three Mill Road, Suite 309
Wilmington, Delaware 19806

Questions can be directed to Dave at dduszak@wrallp.com.

ITE 2012Meetings

tc12

ITE 2012 Technical Conference and Exhibit


March 4-7, 2012


Pasadena Convention Center
Pasadena, California, USA



AM12

ITE 2012 Annual Meeting and Exhibit


August 12-15, 2012


Westin Peachtree Plaza
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

ITE Announcements

Proposed Roundabouts Policy--Available for Member Comment

At its October meeting the International Board of Direction approved a proposed roundabout policy for member comment. Comments may be posted to the ITE Community or submitted to Aliyah Horton at ahorton@ite.org by December 27.


2012 ITE Award Submissions

Each year, ITE sponsors an awards program to honor outstanding achievement in transportation engineering and distinguished service to ITE. The awards bestow international recognition upon the recipients and increase the public's awareness of the role and responsibilities of the transportation professional. Deadlines for many of the awards are March 1 or April 1, 2012. For information, visit

www.ite.org/awards.

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