Improving Cyclist and Pedestrian Environment While Maintaining Vehicle Throughput: Before- and After-Construction Analysis

Reallocating road space to enhance bicycle and pedestrian access is frequently a contentious issue in many American cities. This resistance to the redesign was characteristic in Eugene, Oregon, where a key street segment adjacent to a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly university was retrofitted to accommodate nonmotorized vehicles better. The intention was to expand pedestrian and bicycle access, so a bicycle lane was actually removed in one direction in favor of implementing a shared lane, and physical barriers between an existing contraflow bicycle lane and a one-way automobile traffic lane were also removed. In addition, two-sided parallel parking stalls were replaced with single-sided, back-in angle parking stalls (a first for Eugene), and sidewalks were widened to better accommodate high pedestrian volumes. Video footage to record behavior along this block before and after the redesign was used to study traffic volume changes by mode and changes in behavior. The results demonstrated that bicycle volumes increased, pedestrian crossing volumes increased, and vehicular traffic volumes showed little change after the redesign. The integration of bicycle and vehicular traffic lanes and removal of physical barriers improved safety for nonmotorized vehicles because the rate of traffic conflicts remained low, no collisions occurred, and the redesign provided new ways for convenient navigation around blockages. Despite a perceived increase in chaos, given increased nonmotorized traffic volumes, this block became no less safe after redesign even though nonmotorized traffic volumes and adaptive use of the space greatly increased. Examination of the particular elements of this redesign provides insight into ways that other multimodal traffic streams could be improved.


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  • Accession Number: 01518433
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309287173
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 13-2900
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 18 2014 1:13PM