A Technical Guide for Conducting Bicycle Safety Assessments for California Communities

Source: University of California, Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies

Improving bicycle safety has become increasingly important to California communities, yet remains a challenge for many agencies to accomplish. Bicycling is a distinct mode of transportation that has specific concerns related to speed regulations, collision patterns, human behavior, conflicts with other roadway users, and the potential for more fatalities and severe injuries because cyclists lack the physical protection that motorists have in vehicles. With funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Technology Transfer Program of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (Tech Transfer) began offering free Bicycle Safety Assessments (BSA) to California communities in 2013. A BSA helps identify safety concerns and offers suggestions for improvement.

This document describes the California BSA process and provides guidelines for BSA evaluators to conduct BSAs. It synthesizes current best practices and research on bicycling safety and provides guidelines for bicycling safety applications tailored to meet the needs of local communities in California. While this book targets California communities, the methods described are applicable outside California. Users of this guidebook outside of California should substitute national or locally adopted standards, practices, or references as needed. This guidebook is intended for use by transportation professionals, not the general public.

This guidebook is based on material contained in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) report, Bicycle Road Safety Audit Guidelines and Prompt Lists, incorporating elements from additional resources as deemed appropriate for California practice. It is modeled after the Technical Guide for Conducting Pedestrian Safety Assessments for California Communities, produced by the University of California, Berkeley's award-winning Pedestrian Safety Assessment program.

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