Wiki Wednesday: Bike Boulevard

The inclusion of $825 million for Transportation Enhancements in the stimulus package should help pay for a lot of bike projects. Writing for Citiwire
this week, transportation analyst Sam Seskin suggests investing a chunk
of that stimulus money in bicycle boulevards, as opposed to bike lanes
or cycle tracks. What are bike boulevards? This week’s StreetsWiki entry explains:

berk-bike-boul.jpgBicycle boulevards are lightly-trafficked streets that prioritize bicycles. Although many routes have
no bike lanes, bicyclists are free to use the middle of the street,
sharing road space with cars. Motorists on these routes expect to see
bicyclists and therefore travel with caution. Designated streets should
be distinguished with uniformly colored signs and bold pavement
markings.

For novices or younger riders, bicycle boulevards
provide a transition between bike paths and high-traffic shared roads.
But they are also quite useful for experienced riders because of their
reduced traffic and connectivity.

The cost of implementing a bicycle boulevard network is significantly less than constructing bike paths or trails.

In Portland and Berkeley, transportation planners have created bike boulevard conditions by diverting automobile through-traffic and slowing down the cars that remain. The resulting bike-friendly corridors are a key component of Portland’s strategy to increase bicycle mode share and expand the appeal of cycling beyond the "young and fearless" demographic.

  • I really like the Bike Blvd concept. Want to know more about it and see some type of plan created to implement a network here.

  • I dunno. I don’t see the difference between a bike blvd and a bike “route”. For example, in the valley, one can bike along the orange line bike path, or one can bike along Chandler Blvd, which is an east-west street that is very wide with a land-scaped median. It is a designated “Bike Route” with signage starting at Van Nuys and going east, and for most of the way there are no bike lanes.

    I think it’s a bike route because that street is not as busy as, say, Burbank or Ventura Blvds, and because they put some signs up. Works great, but I don’t really see why it should be getting any special funding other than what it costs to put up some signs and maybe paint some bike lanes.

    *shrug*

  • Bike boulevards, yeah, they’ll get to 4th street one day.

    Here is a another good quick description-

    http://www.planetizen.com/node/37385

    “Rethinking quiet streets as bicycle boulevards…..Yes — the bike boulevard. It means a not-too-busy street where cars and bikes share the roadway, moving at safe speeds.”

    If you look around LA, you may find we already have a few nascent bike blvds already, or roads that can be treated as such…and not just 4th Street.

    Lexington bike blvd anyone?

    or even simpler than that…. SHARROWS anyone?

  • Alan Thompson

    Not everybody thinks of Bike Boulevards the same way, which leads to confusion. My understanding of what a bicycle boulevard is, is different from David’s. Which is more correct? I don’t know.

    The good news is that the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) based out of Portland State University, along with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and Alta Planning,is in the process of creating a Bicycle Boulevard Design Guide.

    This guidebook will be a resource for urban and transportation planners, landscape architects, designers, engineers, advocates, and others involved with bikeway planning and design. Hopefully, we may see it incorporated into State Highway Design Manual, now being called the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (the ever expanding length of titles and acronyms).

  • bikerider

    David:
    The difference between a Bike Boulevard and Class III Bike “route” is that the Boulevard is not a through street for automobiles.

    Bollards, traffic signals, concrete curbs, and other measures are used to divert automobile through traffic, while at the same time allowing bikes to proceed normally.