The Highway Capacity Manual's Method for Calculating Bicycle and Pedestrian Levels of Service: the Ultimate White Paper

This paper concerns the methods for calculating Pedestrian Level of Service (PLOS) and Bicycle Level of Service (BLOS) as they are presented in the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM). To calculate PLOS or BLOS is to assign a grade, A through F, to a portion of roadway. This grade is meant to correspond to the perceived level of service that that roadway provides to pedestrians or bicyclists. PLOS and BLOS comprise a portion of the HCM’s Multimodal Level of Service methodology (MMLOS). The HCM MMLOS has been a black box for many practitioners. It is difficult to simply open the HCM and quickly understand how PLOS and BLOS work, what variables they take into account, and how important each of these variables is in determining the final grade. The authors provide a guided tour of the PLOS and BLOS methods. They carefully explain the four formal units of analysis employed by the HCM: the intersection, link, segment, and facility. For each of these and for each of the modes (pedestrian and bicycle), the authors describe in detail what variables are included and the process, definitions, and formulas that produce the final score. The relative contribution of each variable in determining the final score under a variety of cases is examined. In many cases a sensitivity analysis also is included, setting all inputs to reasonable default values and varying a single variable. The authors also make note of variables to which PLOS and BLOS are not sensitive despite their importance to planners and policymakers. These allow the reader to understand what drives the PLOS and BLOS scores and thus to better interpret the final grade.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 62p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01548756
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2014 4:08PM