Lane Configuration Guide to Support Safe Bicycling and Vehicular Travel

Source: Kentucky Department of Transportation (DOT)

This guide was established as a quick reference for professionals working in the pavement resurfacing program. It shows potential lane configurations that support a Complete Street concept, allowing for safe, compatible traffic conditions for automobiles and bicycles. It is not meant as an authoritative guide about striping, signing or marking.

Each project will be unique and its design will warrant individual consideration to choose the appropriate typical cross section. In some cases, there may be a need for multiple cross sections along a corridor where the width, parking conditions, or traffic volumes vary.

Guidelines were written to cover most urban and suburban conditions. Travel lane widths vary between 10 and 12 feet. It must be clear that research has shown that there are no negative safety effects and minimal capacity effects by using a 10-foot travel lane (as opposed to 11- or 12-foot), especially on roadways with speeds equal or less than 35mph.

The recommended width of a bicycle lane is five feet from the face of curb. In cases of higher speeds or traffic volumes, or when an uneven joint between the pavement and gutter pan exists, a six-foot bicycle lane is preferred. Next to onstreet parking, the recommended width of a bicycle lane is six feet, when possible. It is suggested that exceptions to these recommendations be reviewed by the KYTC Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator.

This guide primarily addresses curb and gutter roadway sections. The conceptscan also be applied with no or minor modifications on roadways without curb.

On urban and suburban streets and (non-freeway) highways, rumble strips
should not be used. Curb drainage inlets should include bicycle-safe grates
where the openings are either diagonal or transverse to the direction of travel. Minor widening may be considered on roadways without curbs to achieve safe lane configurations.

On high-speed roadways (urban and rural), it is recommended that paved
shoulders be 6' or wider to safely accommodate bicyclists.

Intersections can provide a challenge to incorporating bicycle lanes. This guide provides an example of how to correctly include a bicycle lane when a right-turn lane exists.

For further information or technical assistance on a project, please contact the Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator within the KYTC Division of Planning.

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