Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System


Adding medians and consolidating driveways to manage access. Illustration by Michele Weisbart, Model Design Manual for Living Streets

Illustration from Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide, Oregon DOT Driveways built like intersections encourage high-speed turns.
Illustration from Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide, Oregon DOT


Illustration from Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide, Oregon DOT Driveways built like driveways encourage low-speed turns and encourage motorists to yield to pedestrians.
Illustration from Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide, Oregon DOT



Driveway Improvements

Consideration for bicyclists' needs should cover from the trip origin to the destination. Every driveway and street connection is a potential conflict point among motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Therefore, managing the number, spacing, access, directional flow, and other aspects of driveway and side street connections protects those traveling along the corridor from conflicts with those entering or leaving the corridor.

Driveway design affects sight distance for both motorists and bicyclists accessing roadways, as well as the speed and perhaps care with which drivers enter or leave the roadway. Several driveway design characteristics may cause safety and access problems for bicyclists, including driveways with large turning radii, multiple adjacent driveways, driveways that are not well defined, and driveways where motorist attention is focused on finding a gap in congested traffic.

Examples of driveway improvements include narrowing driveways, tightening turning radii, and improving driveway definition. Smaller driveway radii of 15 to 20 feet are most compatible with bicyclist movements because motorists have to slow down to complete the turn. However, the presence of on-street parking and bike lanes can increase the effective driveway radius, so care should be taken to consider these factors when selecting a radius.

Closing (consolidating) driveways or converting driveways to right-in-right-out are additional design strategies to reduce the number of conflict points with bicyclists. The trade-off is between providing direct access and promoting through movement. For example, the main purpose of freeways and arterials is to move through traffic, and access should be restricted to necessary interchanges. Local streets should generally serve all destinations and access should not be limited.

Stop bars, signs, and other measures may be useful at commercial driveways, but sight distance should not be impaired with too many or improperly-placed signs. Driveway rights-of-way should also be kept cleared of foliage and other objects that obscure visibility.


Driveway improvements provide good visibility for motorists and bicyclists accessing the roadway and reduce conflicts between those traveling along the corridor and those entering or leaving the corridor. They slow motor vehicles entering/exiting the roadway and establish pedestrian right-of-way. They also reduce the chances of a bicycle-only fall or turning error when bicycles enter or leave the roadway.


  • Local landscape ordinances and other driveway guidelines may be needed to establish clear zones for driveway rights-of-way, and to maintain sight distance and roadway surfaces.
  • Driveway crossings of sidewalk corridors should be wide enough to provide a level pedestrian crossing and a suitable ramp to the street.
  • Consider whether the street's intended function is primarily to move through vehicles (freeways, arterials, collectors) or to provide direct access (neighborhood and local streets).
  • Providing for free-flow of traffic by reducing connections may result in increased travel speeds.

Estimated Cost

No additional costs when incorporated into original plan and construction.


To view references for this countermeasure group click here.

Case Studies

Seattle, Washington