Cycle track

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A cycle path in Amsterdam. The Dutch are well-known for having an extensive network of cycle tracks (fietspad).
A cycle track in London. The UK has not implemented cycle tracks in a similar manner to the Netherlands.

A cycle track, separated bike lane[1] or protected bike lane (sometimes historically[2] referred to as a sidepath) is an exclusive bikeway that has elements of a separated path and on-road bike lane. A cycle track is located within or next to the roadway, but is made distinct from both the sidewalk and general purpose roadway by vertical barriers or elevation differences.[3][4]

In urban planning, cycle tracks are designed to encourage bicycling in an effort to relieve automobile congestion and reduce pollution, reduce bicycling fatalities and injuries by eliminating the need for cars and bicycles to jockey for the same road space, and to reduce overall confusion and tension for all users of the road.

Cycle tracks may be one-way or two-way, and may be at road level, at sidewalk level, or at an intermediate level. They all have in common some separation from motor traffic with bollards, car parking, barriers or boulevards.[3] Barriers may include curbs, concrete berms, posts, planting/median strips, walls, trenches, or fences. They are often accompanied by a curb extension or other features at intersections to simplify crossing.

In the UK, cycle track is a roadway constructed specifically for use by cyclists, but not by any other vehicles. In Ireland cycle track also covers cycle lanes marked on the carriageway but only if accompanied by a specific sign. In the UK, a cycle track may be alongside a roadway (or carriageway) for all vehicles or it may be on its own alignment. The term does not include cycle lanes or other facilities within an all-vehicle carriageway.[5]

Impact[edit]

Levels of bicycle traffic[edit]

A cycle track in Vancouver. Cities which have built cycle tracks have reported increases in levels of cycling.

In the United States, an academic analysis of eight cycle tracks found that they had increased bike traffic on the street by 75 percent within one year of installation.[6] Rider surveys indicated that 10 percent of riders after installation would have chosen a different mode for that trip without the cycle track, and 25 percent said they were biking more in general since the installation of the cycle track.[7] However, scientific research indicates that different groups of cyclists show varying preferences of which aspects of cycling infrastructure are most relevant when choosing a specific cycling route over another; thus these different preferences need to be accounted for in order to maximize utilization of new cycling infrastructure.[8]

A 2015 study of a street in Toronto, Canada where cycle tracks replaced a painted cycle lane involved a survey of cyclists. Results reported 38% would use other travel modes than cycling before the redevelopment (most of whom would take transit). An improvement to safety was the most commonly cited reason.[9]

Safety[edit]

Recent studies generally affirm that segregated cycle tracks have a better safety record between intersections than cycling on major roads in traffic.[10] The increase in cycling caused by cycle tracks may lead to a "safety in numbers" effect though some contributors caution against this hypothesis.[11][12] Older studies tended to come to negative conclusions about mid-block cycle track safety.[13][14][15][16]

The implications for road safety of cycle tracks at intersections is disputed. Studies generally show an increase in collisions at junctions, especially where cyclists are travelling in the direction opposite to the flow of traffic (e.g. on two-way cycle tracks). Protected intersection designs generally improve safety records over non-protected junction types.[17][18][19]

Specifications[edit]

Netherlands[edit]

The Dutch guidance for cycle traffic specifies that one-way cycle paths should be a minimum width of 2 metres.[20]

United Kingdom[edit]

The LTN 1/20 guidance covers cycle infrastructure design in England and Northern Ireland. LTN 1/20 states that one-way cycle tracks should be a minimum of 1.5-2.5 metres depending on the number of cyclists. Two-way cycle tracks should be a minimum of 2-4 m, depending on the number of cyclists.[21]

Cycling by Design covers cycle infrastructure design in Scotland. It specifies a width of minimum width varying from 1.5 to 2.5 metres for one-way tracks and between 2 and 4 metres for two-way tracks. Shared pedestrian tracks should only be used if there are less than 300 cycles per hour at the peak hour and it should be 4 metres (2.5 metres at minimum).[22]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide - Publications - Bicycle and Pedestrian Program - Environment - FHWA".
  2. ^ "Historian uncovers the forgotten U.S. protected bike lane boom of 1905". 2014-02-18.
  3. ^ a b "Cycle Tracks - National Association of City Transportation Officials". 2011-12-14.
  4. ^ "The Green Lane Project's style guide". Archived from the original on 2015-10-25. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  5. ^ "Department for Transport - GOV.UK".
  6. ^ "Lessons from the Green Lanes: Evaluating Protected Bike Lanes in the U.S. - Transportation Research and Education Center".
  7. ^ "Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide - Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide - Publications - Bicycle and Pedestrian Program - Environment - FHWA".
  8. ^ Susanne Grüner; Mark Vollrath (2021). "Reaching Your Destination on Time - Route Choice Decisions of Different Commuter Cyclist Types.". Advances in Human Aspects of Transportation. AHFE 2021. 270: 162–169. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-80012-3_20. ISBN 978-3-030-80011-6.
  9. ^ Mitra, Raktim; Ziemba, Raymond A.; Hess, Paul M. (2017-04-21). "Mode substitution effect of urban cycle tracks: Case study of a downtown street in Toronto, Canada". International Journal of Sustainable Transportation. 11 (4): 248–256. doi:10.1080/15568318.2016.1249443. ISSN 1556-8318.
  10. ^ Reynolds, Conor CO; Harris, M Anne; Teschke, Kay; Cripton, Peter A; Winters, Meghan (2009-10-21). "The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling injuries and crashes: a review of the literature". Environmental Health. 8 (1). doi:10.1186/1476-069x-8-47. ISSN 1476-069X.
  11. ^ Pucher, John (Fall 2001). "Cycling Safety on Bikeways vs. Roads" (PDF). Transportation Quarterly: Ideas in Motion. pp. 9–11. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  12. ^ ""Safety in Numbers" re-examined: Can we make valid or practical inferences from available evidence?". Accident Analysis & Prevention. 43 (1): 235–240. 2011-01-01. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2010.08.015. ISSN 0001-4575.
  13. ^ Berlin Police Department study, 1987, in English translation and in the original German, with commentaries (accessed 8 July 2007)
  14. ^ Franklin, John (1999). "Two decades of the Redway cycle paths of Milton Keynes". Traffic Engineering & Control. Hemming (July/August 1999).
  15. ^ Franklin, John (2001). "Cycling in the wrong direction". Traffic Engineering & Control. Hemming (May 2001).
  16. ^ Franklin, John (2002). Achieving Cycle-Friendly Infrastructure. Cycle-Friendly Infrastructure Conference. University of Nottingham.
  17. ^ Reynolds, Conor CO; Harris, M Anne; Teschke, Kay; Cripton, Peter A; Winters, Meghan (2009-10-21). "The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling injuries and crashes: a review of the literature". Environmental Health. 8 (1). doi:10.1186/1476-069x-8-47. ISSN 1476-069X.
  18. ^ Reynolds, Conor CO; Harris, M Anne; Teschke, Kay; Cripton, Peter A; Winters, Meghan (2009-10-21). "The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling injuries and crashes: a review of the literature". Environmental Health. 8 (1). doi:10.1186/1476-069x-8-47. ISSN 1476-069X.
  19. ^ Zangenehpour, Sohail; Strauss, Jillian; Miranda-Moreno, Luis F.; Saunier, Nicolas (2016-01-01). "Are signalized intersections with cycle tracks safer? A case–control study based on automated surrogate safety analysis using video data". Accident Analysis & Prevention. 86: 161–172. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2015.10.025. ISSN 0001-4575.
  20. ^ Dutch, Bicycle (2011-06-29). "How wide is a Dutch cycle path?". BICYCLE DUTCH. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  21. ^ Cycle Infrastructure Design (PDF) (Report). Department of Transport (UK). July 2020.
  22. ^ Cycling by Design (PDF) (Report). Transport Scotland. September 2021.