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Elements of Sustainable Transportation

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Bike Lanes

A bike lane is an on-street facility for bicycles, designated by visual separation (a painted line).


Example of a bike lane.  A bike lane should be at least 5 feet wide- as the amount of adjacent motor traffic and speed increases, the width of the bike lane should increase.  If motor speeds are routinely above 30mph and volumes are above 10,000 cars a day, then a separated cycle track is preferable.  A city engineering department almost always has speed and volume data.  Volume data is usually on a public web site.

Color adds distinction to a bike lane- and also slows down cars. All it took for a makeover on this street was some paint. Note where the old lines use to be (Sandnes, Norway).  Many travel lanes (a lane designated for motor vehicles) have been built overly wide over the last few decades.  A travel lane optimum width is about 10'- in some cases 9' is adequate (slow streets with lots of walk and bike activity) and in some cases 11' is more appropriate (roads with speeds preferred above 30mph).

This bike lane (in England) has a signal for the cyclists.

Here is a bike lane near Cambridge, MA. A sudden car door opening can put the cyclist in trouble.  This is a poorly designed bike lane.

Unmaintained bike lanes are ineffective. This one in Missoula, because of the slush, forces a cylist to ride in the blind-spot of motor vehicles.

A community is faced with tradeoffs in accommodating all modes of transportation. Slimmer lane widths for cars, bikes, and pedestrians can prevent the need to tear down buildings and vegetation- but may compromise safety. (near Stavanger, Norway)

As this bike lane heads to the right, a 'slip', in the shape of a triangle, appears for left turning cyclists.



The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) at Rutgers University

'Together we make biking better'

Bike Portland- To Inform and Inspire

International Bicycle Fund 

A non-governmental, nonprofit, advocacy organization, providing information and resources promoting sustainable transport and international understanding to make this planet a healthier and happier place to live

VÈlo QuÈbec- Pedaler. Agir. Transformer

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