Building Complete and Connected Networks

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All Ages and Abilities Crossing of a Major Arterial from Atlanta Regional Commission Bike to Ride.

Creating a Low Stress Bicycle Network

We like to think that all people could potentially become bicyclists. A bicycle network will attract a large portion of the population if it is designed to reduce stress associated with potential motor vehicle conflicts and if it connects people bicycling with where they want to go.

A continuous low-stress network is essential for bicyclists of all ages and abilities to travel easily throughout the network.

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All Ages and Abilities Crossing of a Major Arterial from Atlanta Regional Commission Bike to Ride.

Cycling has yet to be recognized as a mainstream commuter transportation option for everyday use, especially among more hesitant groups such as children, women, and the elderly. Our logic is that if we make bike networks safe and comfortable, then more people will use it, and more people will become physically active. However, in order to make it comfortable, the design needs to achieve a high level of comfort.

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All Ages and Abilities Crossing of a Major Arterial from Atlanta Regional Commission Bike to Ride.

Selecting the most appropriate bikeway facility type for a given roadway can be challenging, due to the range of factors that influence bicycle users’ comfort and safety. Once the Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress (LTS)for an existing facility is identified and a city, county, or region has determined which type(s) of bicyclists it would like to encourage to use the facilities, we can identify what type of bikeway will meet their needs.

Having a range of bikeway types from which to choose allows another opportunity to think about local context, available funding, and larger goals for the area.

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All Ages and Abilities Crossing of a Major Arterial from Atlanta Regional Commission Bike to Ride.

Separated Bikeways

Bikeways are considered low stress if they involve very little traffic interaction by nature of the roadway’s vehicle speeds and volumes (e.g., a shared, low-traffic neighborhood street) or if greater degrees of physical separation are placed between the bikeway and traffic lane on roadways with higher traffic volumes and speeds (e.g., a separated bikeway or cycle track on a major street).

On roadways with high speeds and/or high volumes, there needs to be physical separation between people biking and motor vehicles.

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All Ages and Abilities Crossing of a Major Arterial from Atlanta Regional Commission Bike to Ride.

Calm Streets and Neighborhood Bikeways

By focusing on prioritizing local streets and on separation along busier streets, a bikeway network can be more inviting and increase bicycle use and safety.

Calm bike-priority streets are a critical part of complete bike networks.

Neighborhood bikeways are streets with low motorized traffic volumes and speeds, designated and designed to give bicycle travel priority. Neighborhood bikeways use signs, pavement markings, and speed and volume management measures to discourage through trips by motor vehicles and create safe, convenient bicycle crossings of busy arterial streets.

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All Ages and Abilities Crossing of a Major Arterial from Atlanta Regional Commission Bike to Ride.

Comfortable Intersections

The vast majority of crashes involving bicycles occur at intersections along collector and arterial streets.

A bicycle route is only as safe and comfortable as its least comfortable intersection.

Several techniques can improve the safety and operations of bicyclists at intersections. Traffic control devices such as signage, roadway markings and signals, or geometric design features can reduce ambiguity for all roadway users and draw attention to the presence of bicyclists.

Go to the profile of Alta Planning + Design
All Ages and Abilities Crossing of a Major Arterial from Atlanta Regional Commission Bike to Ride.
Go to the profile of Alta Planning + Design
All Ages and Abilities Crossing of a Major Arterial from Atlanta Regional Commission Bike to Ride.

Comfortable for All Ages and Abilities

Bike routes that promote bicycling as an everyday option are comfortable for people of all ages and abilities and not just for experienced bicyclists. Is your vision to get more people interested in bicycling? Build for safety and comfort.

Go to the profile of Alta Planning + Design
All Ages and Abilities Crossing of a Major Arterial from Atlanta Regional Commission Bike to Ride.

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