Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Caltrans Backs Innovative Street Design Guidelines to Promote Biking and Walking

In an effort to support the construction of more multimodal local streets and roads, Caltrans recently endorsed the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ (NACTO) guidelines that include innovations such as buffered bike lanes and improved pedestrian walkways.

The announcement makes California the third state in the nation to endorse these new design guidelines. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) also supports this flexible approach to bike and pedestrian transportation design.

All streets within cities and towns may use the new guidelines. In addition to endorsing the new guidelines for local streets and roads, these guidelines can be referenced for city streets that are part of the state highway system. Caltrans is also evaluating the guidelines for future updates to the Highway Design Manual, the standard for building on the state’s highway system.

Some of the new design features that cities could implement under these new guidelines include buffered or separated bike lanes to separate cyclists from traffic, like this one: 

Bike boxes, which allow cyclists to queue during congested traffic and improve left turn access:

 And flexibility in pedestrian access and sidewalk design to enhance quality of life:

Caltrans’ endorsement of the NACTO guidelines is part of an ongoing effort to integrate a multimodal and flexible approach to transportation planning and design to provide Californians with more transportation choices.

For more info, check out the Caltrans news release here and the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide here.