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Bicycle Facility Evaluation

Posted by Content Coordinator on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012


Introduction And Background

In recent years, Washington, D.C. has emerged as one of the foremost cities for bicycling in the United States. Bicycling in the District has grown considerably as the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has actively pursued construction of bicycle facilities on its roadways. One reason for this success is DDOT’s willingness to try new and innovative bicycle treatments, particularly in high-visibility locations with engineering challenges.

Innovative bicycle facilities were installed at three locations in Northwest D.C. and were designed to provide increased safety, comfort, and convenience for cyclists. Facilities include dedicated road space, signal control, and signs and pavement markings. The treatments at the three locations (Figure 1) consist of:

New Hampshire Avenue NW/U Street NW/16th Street NW intersection treatments: bicycle boxes, bicycle signals, and contra-flow bicycle lanes were installed at this six-leg intersection to facilitate cyclist travel on New Hampshire Avenue.
Pennsylvania Avenue NW center median bicycle lanes (3rd Street to 15th Street): buffered bicycle lanes were installed in the center median of Pennsylvania Avenue, with flexible bollards placed near intersections.
15th Street NW two-way cycle track (E Street to V Street): a two-way cycle track was installed between the sidewalk and parked vehicles on 15th Street.

After these treatments were installed, DDOT sought to understand how well they work for cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians in terms of safety, level of service (LOS), behavior, and attitude. This report provides a comprehensive multimodal evaluation of these facilities for the purposes of (1) identifying recommended modifications to the constructed installations, and (2) providing guidance for the design and operation of future bicycle facilities within the District.

In general, the following areas were evaluated for conditions before and after the installation of the bicycle facilities:

Facility Use: analysis of bicyclist and motor vehicle volumes.
Efficient operations: analysis of the level of service experienced by bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers.
Convenience: analysis of the corridor travel times experienced by bicycles and motor vehicles.
Comfort: analysis of user intercept and surrounding neighborhood surveys concerning attitudes towards the new facilities.
Safety: analysis of bicyclist, pedestrian, and driver compliance with traffic laws; interactions between modes; and crash history before and after facility installation.

The analysis employed a wide range of methods to understand the impact of these facilities on cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians. Tables 1 to 3 summarize the methods used and the data collected for each facility.

Read full report (PDF) here: Bicycle Facility Evaluation

About the District Department of Transportation
“DDOT is committed to achieving an exceptional quality of life in the nation’s capital through more sustainable travel practices, safer streets and outstanding access to goods and services. Central to this vision is improving energy efficiency and modern mobility by providing next generation alternatives to single occupancy driving in the city.”

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