641.1 Bicycle Facilities

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Typical Section Bicycle Path (D-49)

641.1.1 Introduction

The design and installation of bicycle facilities is at the sole discretion of the director or the district engineer acting as the director’s designee. The decision to provide or not provide bicycle facilities on any project will be documented. Many times bicycle traffic can be accommodated on the proposed improvement simply through the use of a paved shoulder. However, bicycle facilities will be located off MoDOT right of way whenever possible. State law permits bicycles to operate on all state highways, except travel lanes of the interstate or where specifically prohibited. Where special bicycle accommodation is not provided, bicyclists will use the travel lane. Therefore, probable use of the travel lane by bicyclists will be considered in determining appropriate construction details such as drain grates and expansion joints.

641.1.2 Types of Facilities

Bike on Paved Shoulder
Bike Lane
Shared Use Path

Numerous strategies are available to provide bicycle facilities along state roadways. These include the roadway, the roadway shoulder, bicycle lanes, wide shared lanes and shared use paths. Typical roadway sections are available for use. A gutter section along the roadway is not considered a part of a bicycle facility. The AASHTO publication Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilitiesand the FHWA publication Selecting Roadway Design Treatments to Accommodate Bicycles (FHWA-RD-92-073) provide excellent guidance for the design of bicycle facilities. Design and Planning Division personnel can provide further assistance in addressing project specific concerns on a case-by-case basis.

A typical lane, 12 ft. in width, can be used to accommodate both motorists and bicyclists with a minimum of conflict when the vehicle operating speed and the volume of traffic, including trucks, is low.

Paved shoulders can adequately serve the needs of bicyclists. This treatment is well suited for rural design. In some situations it may also be a viable alternative in urban areas. When paved shoulders are signed and marked for bicycle use, the “operating” width of the shoulder for the bicyclist will be 4 ft.

A bicycle lane is a portion of a roadway that has been designated by signing and pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists. Bicycle lanes are well suited where bicycle travel and demand are substantial and vehicular traffic and speed are high. These lanes are most useful when located on urban collector and arterial roadways.

A wide shared lane is a right through lane wider than 12 ft. A 14 ft lane is most common for shared use. This “wide” lane can allow vehicles and bicycles to comfortably operate side by side in the same lane. A lane wider than 14 ft may encourage the undesirable operation of two vehicles in the “wide” lane. This type of lane is well suited for urban and suburban roadways with low vehicular and low truck traffic in situations where bicycle lanes are not feasible.

A shared use path is a wide sidewalk, located outside the travelway usually beyond the clear zone, physically separated from vehicular traffic by an open space or a barrier. Preferably, it is located on independent right of way; however, if necessary it may be located within the right of way. A shared use path is appropriate in corridors not directly served by highways or streets, such as along rivers, lakes, parks, abandoned utility or railroad right of way. Cross movement by vehicle traffic must be minimal. A shared use path in the public right of way must satisfy ADA requirements for sidewalks if it is intended for use by pedestrians. Typical sections for shared use paths together with other design criteria can be found in the AASHTO document Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities and the FHWA publication Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access.

641.1.3 Costs

Costs for new bicycle facilities, including right of way, construction and maintenance can be funded by local jurisdictions, by other non-department sources, by the department itself (typically with Enhancement funds) or by a combination of sources. Enhancement funds cannot be used for maintenance of bicycle facilities. State funds will only be used for facilities located on MoDOT right of way. Funding arrangements for bicycle facilities must be addressed with a written agreement executed prior to the start of construction. Provision of bicycle facilities will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Existing bicycle facilities disturbed by any MoDOT improvement will be replaced at MoDOT’s expense, unless superseded by provisions of a previously executed agreement or permit. Normal right of way and construction costs for this restoration will be included as a project cost for the proposed improvement.

641.1.4 Agreements

Agreements with local jurisdictions or other sponsors are necessary to address funding and maintenance responsibilities for bicycle facilities located either on or off MoDOT right of way. Detailed information concerning the sequence for preparing and executing a project agreement is available in EPG 235.2.3 Project Agreements. These agreements must be in place prior to construction of the bicycle facility. MoDOT has legal liability for bicycle facilities located on MoDOT right of way. When others are responsible for maintaining a bicycle facility on MoDOT right of way, as provided in the agreement, MoDOT personnel will conduct regular inspections to ensure this maintenance is conducted. If the facility is not properly maintained, MoDOT personnel will take necessary steps to ensure needed maintenance is provided with the cost borne by the local sponsor.