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Bicycle Boulevard Planning & Design Guidebook

Overview of this report

This report is intended to serve as a planning and conceptual design guide for planners, engineers, citizens, advocates, and decision makers who are considering bicycle boulevards in their community. Data for this guide was developed from literature review, case study interviews, and input from a panel of professional experts.

Section two of this guide contains information on bicycle boulevard planning, including considerations for route selection, public involvement, and funding. Section three provides information on design elements commonly used on bicycle boulevards including descriptions, design and implementation recommendations, images, and cost range estimates as available. Section four discusses marketing, maintenance, and safety considerations for bicycle boulevards. Finally, Section five presents individual case studies of bicycle boulevards from across the United States. Additional resources, including a bicycle boulevard audit, can be found in the appendices.

What are Bicycle Boulevards?

Bicycle boulevards take the shared roadway bike facility to a new level, creating an attractive, convenient, and comfortable cycling environment that is welcoming to cyclists of all ages and skill levels.

In essence, bicycle boulevards are low-volume and low-speed streets that have been optimized for bicycle travel through treatments such as traffic calming and traffic reduction, signage and pavement markings, and intersection crossing treatments. These treatments allow through movements for cyclists while discouraging similar through trips by nonlocal motorized traffic. Motor vehicle access to properties along the route is maintained.

Traffic engineers, planners, and bicycle activists often frame the development of their bikeway network around three types of bicycle facilities:

  • Bicycle Path – a paved bicycle path physically separated from motor vehicle traffic (generally outside the road’s right of way). It is often shared with pedestrians and other non-motorized users, and occasionally equestrians.
  • Bicycle Lane – one-way on-street lanes that are signed and marked to designate the space occupied by cyclists on the roadway.
  • Shared Roadway – A bike facility in which cyclists share the roadway with motor vehicles, cycling in a paved shoulder or a wide outside curb lane. It may or may not be signed as a preferred bicycle route.

Download the Bicycle Boulevard Guidebook

Related on the IBPI website: Resident Perceptions of Bicycle Boulevards: A SE Salmon Street Case Study