Bicycle Lanes:

Bike lanes indicate a preferential or exclusive space for bicycle travel along an arterial street. Bike lanes have been found to provide more consistent separation between bicyclists and passing motorists. Marking bicycle lanes can also benefit pedestrians—as turning motorist slow and yield more to bicyclists, they will also be doing so for pedestrians.

Bike lanes are typically designated by striping and/or signing. Colored pavement (e.g., blue or red surfaces) is also used in some locations, although it is not yet an accepted MUTCD standard. If the addition of bike lanes results in fewer motor vehicle lanes, safety may be enhanced for pedestrians crossing the street. Bicycle lanes also provide a buffer between motor vehicle traffic and pedestrians when sidewalks are immediately adjacent to the curb. On high-speed, high-volume roads, it may be more appropriate to provide a multi-use path to physically separate both bicyclists and pedestrians from motor vehicle traffic. However, the application of this treatment requires that care be taken to minimize the conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians.



  Purpose
• Create on-street travel facilities for bicyclists.
• Narrow the roadway to encourage lower motor vehicle speeds.
• Provide additional separation between pedestrians and motor vehicles.
• Adding on-street bike lanes reduces the distance pedestrians must travel to cross automobile lanes.
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  Considerations
• All roads should be evaluated for on-street bicycle facilities.
• Provide adequate space between the bike lane and parked cars so that open doors do not create a hazard for bicyclists.
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  Estimated Cost
The cost of installing a bike lane is approximately $3,100 to $31,000 per kilometer ($5,000 to $50,000 per mile), depending on the condition of the pavement, the need to remove and repaint the lane lines, the need to adjust signalization, and other factors. It is most cost efficient to create bicycle lanes during street reconstruction, street resurfacing, or at the time of original construction.
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  Case Studies
Boulder, CO 
Allegheny County, PA 
Grand Junction, CO 
Tempe, AZ 
University Place, WA 
Portland, OR 
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Typical optional word and symbol pavement markings for bicycle lanes. Adapted from MUTCD

Photo by Cara Seiderman
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ITE Pedestrian Bicycle Council
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U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration