Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System


Bicycle lane placed between curb and transit stop platform, Seattle, Washington Source: Michael Hintze, Toole Design Group

Bike lane provides a buffer for pedestrians.




Bicycle Lanes

Bicycle facilities provide a shared or exclusive space to indicate where bicyclists can predictably travel along streets. Shared bicycle and motor vehicle travel lanes, as well as bicycle lanes, are typically designated by striping, symbols, and/or signage. Physically separated facilities such as cycle tracks (facilities for bicycle use only) or a shared use path for pedestrians and bicyclists are a great way to encourage more bicycling and often follow former railroad rights-of-way or may be desirable as sidepaths along high-speed, high-volume roads. Design and countermeasure details for bicyclist travel are provided in the AASHTO Bicycle Design Guide,1 the BIKESAFE Guide,2 the FHWA MUTCD,3 and the NACTO Guide.4


Designing streets for bicycle use helps create a more predictable traffic environment by reducing conflicts between all modes of travel, whether the conflict is between bicyclists and motor vehicles or pedestrians and bicyclists. Dedicated bicycle facilities (e.g. bicycle lanes) on the roadway also help provide a buffer between pedestrians and motor vehicle traffic, encourage lower motor vehicle speeds, and reduce pedestrian exposure to motor vehicles at crossings.


• Sidewalks may be appropriate for low-speed (less than 5 mph) bicyclists such as children while providing on-street bicycle facilities such as bike lanes may encourage higher speed bicyclists to not ride on sidewalks, thus reducing conflicts between pedestrians and bicyclists on sidewalks.
• Marked crosswalks should be extended across the bicycle lanes to let bicyclists know they must yield to pedestrians. Dashed bicycle lane markings may be continued through intersections or across turning lanes to indicate to drivers that vehicles must cross bicyclists’ path.
• When designing facilities such as contra-flow bicycle lanes and cycle tracks, consideration should be given to alert pedestrians and motorists of where to expect bicyclists.
• When a cycle track is located on the same side of the road as transit stops, cycle tracks may be routed behind the stop; pedestrian waiting areas should be provided between the cycle track and the roadway; and crosswalks should be installed across the cycle track to reduce conflicts between bicyclist and pedestrians accessing the transit stop.
• For off-street facilities such as shared use paths and sidepaths all users should be encouraged to stay right. An exception may be paths along waterways or other features that draw pedestrians-in such cases markings and/or signage may be used to indicate pedestrians to stay on the side of the path closest to the attraction to reduce conflicts associated with pedestrians crossing the pathway.
• Placing the bicycle facility between the curb and bus stop waiting area, and providing clear messaging to for pedestrian crossings (e.g. marked crosswalks and pedestrian crossing warning signs) reduces conflicts between bicycles and pedestrians and improves transit operations.

Estimated Cost

The cost of installing bicycle facilities depends on the type and scope of a project, whether it be restriping, resurfacing, or reconstruction. The cost of striping a bike lane and markings on existing shoulders costs approximately $1,000-11,000 per mile. Retrofitting bicycle lanes by restriping pavement markings, using techniques such as lane diets or road diets (See Countermeasures 9. Roadway Narrowing, or 10. Lane Reduction for more information) can range from approximately $5,000 to $50,000 per mile, depending on the condition of the pavement; the need to eradicate and install new pavement markings, adjust signal timing, and add bicycle signal heads; as well as other site-specific factors.

Moving curb lines to create bicycle lanes or cycle tracks can be much more expensive then restriping. If shoulders must be added, the cost can be approximately $150,000-500,000 per mile (for both shoulders). Many times there are opportunities to “piggy-back” bicycle facility projects with resurfacing or reconstruction projects in order to optimize funds; bicycle lanes should be considered for all projects, especially during street reconstruction, street resurfacing, or during new developments.

Case Studies

Allegheny County, PA
Tempe, AZ
University Place, WA
Arlington County, VA
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
New York, New York
Tampa, Florida
Seattle, Washington