CRC Index: Compatibility of Roads for Cyclists in Rural and Urban Fringe Areas

Source: Transportation Research Board 2003 Annual Meeting

In Quebec province, cycling has been growing in popularity in recent years. Projects such as « La Route Verte » were created so that local authorities could develop and improve their bicycle networks. Decisions must increasingly be taken in rural areas concerning the designation of bicycle routes and associated roadside improvements. However, no tool adapted to Quebec conditions has been developed to identify the most compatible routes for cyclists on the road network. This research aims to build a safety and compatibility index for rural and urban fringe areas, using a combination of parameters (ex. speed, traffic, and layout). The resulting CRC Index (Compatibility of Roads for Cyclists) is an innovative tool: it allows the evaluation of both existing and potential routes, and of modifications that may be needed. The index is built on the results of a survey to evaluate a variety of rural sites by cyclists, and to understand their perceptions of comfort and safety relative to different elements of bicycle routes and the characteristics of rural roads. This decision-aid tool should be easy to use both by planners and bicycle coordinators. Also, the CRC Index goes further than previous tools using cartographic analysis to identify the most bicycle-compatible parts of the road network, and can target priority locations for interventions.

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