Keynote 2: Challenging the Asserted Unsafety of Separated Bicycle Paths and Planning Low-Traffic-Stress Bicycling Networks

Ballrooms A & B September 22, 2017 9:30 am - 10:30 am

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Peter G. Furth

Until about 2011, American bikeway planning held to the doctrine that separated bicycle paths – bicycle paths along roads that are physically separated from vehicular traffic – are inherently dangerous and should be avoided. Flaws in the limited body of research used to support this doctrine are exposed and contrasted with research and science in support of physical separation from fast and heavy vehicular traffic. The legacy of past American practice is that many so-called bicycling facilities involve high traffic stress, and that in many cities, the collection of low-stress bike routes does not form a coherent network, meaning there is no low-stress connection between most origin-destination pairs. Methods for defining and evaluating low-stress connectivity are described and illustrated using the experience of selected American cities in planning for connected low-stress bike networks.