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Center Identification Number:  77937

Project Title: A Guide to Design, Policies, and Operational Characteristics for Shared Bicycle/Bus Lanes 

Principal Investigators:

Edward Hillsman

Phone: 813-974-2977
Fax: 813-974-5168


Sara Hendricks

Phone: 813-974-9801
Fax: 813-974-5168

Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida

External Project Contact:     

Robert Quigley, P.E.
Florida Department of Transportation
Roadway Design Office - Criteria and Standards
Phone: 850-414-4356

Start and End Dates

Start Date:  February 2011               Expected End Date: February 2012

I.  Project Objective/Problem Statement

Travel time for bicycles and buses can be improved with dedicated shared bicycle/bus lanes, so that neither is hindered or endangered by congestion from auto traffic. Shared bicycle/bus lanes are sometimes used in central business districts or urban areas where room for exclusive bicycle lanes is limited, and where motor vehicle congestion warrants a separate facility for buses. A recent bicycle design manual (Bicycle Design/Best Practices Manual, prepared by Alta Planning + Design for the City of San Diego, Appendix B, 2009, p.24.) lists the following a potential locations for bicycle/bus lane implementation: congested streets with no existing bicycle lanes and with moderate or long bus headways; streets with no existing bicycle lanes and with moderate bus headways during peak hours; or places that provide no reasonable alternative routing alignment.

Shared bicycle/bus lanes are presently not in common use in the U.S., although they do exist in some cities in California, Oregon, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington state, and Arizona. Such lanes also exist in Ottawa, Canada; Queensland, Australia; and some cities in The Netherlands and Ireland. As the concept becomes established, there exists some variation in definition of terms, and there is a range of designs that are considered to be shared use, including bicycle boulevards, bicycle/bus lanes, roadways restricted to bus and bicycle traffic only, and bicycles that can use bus-ways.

Because there can be a significant difference in operating speeds between bicyclists and buses, the design and operation of shared use facilities need to address the potential conflicts and safety issues arising from bus/bicyclist interaction, changing conditions, intersections and complex traffic situations (Bicycle Design/Best Practices Manual, prepared by Alta Planning + Design for the City of San Diego, Appendix B, 2009, p.24.)

II. Objectives/Tasks

The objectives of the proposed study are to:

1. Identify and describe the state of art and practice in the design, implementation, operation and use of shared bicycle/bus lanes 2. Evaluate the benefits and barriers to implementing these types of shared bicycle/bus lanes and 3. Develop recommendations for Florida to consider the use of shared bicycle/bus lanes on the State Highway System.

The deliverable will be a guide describing the operational characteristics of these shared bicycle/bus lanes, and recommendations for shared bicycle/bus lane design and policies.

Task 1: Kick-off meeting (required of NCTR projects) and project management

A kick-off meeting shall be scheduled to occur within the first 30 days of execution by the university. The preferred method for the kick-off meeting is via teleconference or video conference. As a minimum, the project manager and the principal investigator will attend. The Research Center staff must be advised of the meeting and given the option to attend. Other parties may be invited, as appropriate, such as the Florida State Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)Public Transit Office staff (central and district offices). The subject of the meeting will be to review and discuss the project’s tasks, schedule, milestones, deliverables, reporting requirements, and deployment plan. A summary of the kick-off meeting shall be included in the first progress report.

Task 2: Literature Review

A literature search would review relevant research and provide information about how cities are presently providing bicycle/bus lanes. This will include the review of design principles from the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) Green Book and AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Some states (and local municipalities) have their own highway design manuals with minimum criteria, standards and/or guidance that address shared bicycle/bus lanes, and these will be reviewed as well. Descriptions of other state and city approaches will be detailed, including definition of terms (consensus or variation in meanings), design principles, facility classifications, standard treatments, facility dimensions, treatments for multi-lane intersections (including turn lanes and signal operation), signage, design speeds and posted speed limits, curbing, lane width, pavement markings and use of colored pavement (especially in areas of high probability of vehicle conflict), treatments at the shared lane termini, and operational rules, such as for merging with traffic, passing vehicles, and crossing or turning at intersections. The literature review will also include Florida’s design criteria and standards presented in the Plans Preparation Manual, Design Standards, along with Florida’s laws regarding the operations of bicycle and bus on roadways, so that any recommendations made will be Florida-specific.

Ms. Hendricks will be primarily responsible for the literature review, with assistance from a graduate student assistant and contributions from Dr. Hillsman.

Task 3: Develop Resource Network

CUTR will conduct a search for states, cities, consulting firms, and other organizations that have experience in setting policy for, designing, establishing, or operating shared bicycle/bus lanes. This will include contacting FDOT district offices to identify examples of such lanes in Florida, but it also will include examples from other states and countries. CUTR staff will draw upon their professional networks, knowledge of significant organizations, and online resources, to help identify examples of such lanes and persons familiar with them. This task will help determine the scope of the literature review (which states and cities need to be contacted) and will run concurrently with Task 2. This task also will help identify contacts for Task 4, which will look beyond standards and specifications, to understand experience with designing, implementing, and operating shared bicycle/bus lanes.

Dr. Hillsman will be primarily responsible for the resource network development, with assistance from Ms. Hendricks and the graduate student assistant. A project assistant will organize the contact database.

Task 4: Assess experience with shared bicycle/bus lanes

Following approval by the University of South Florida’s Institutional Review Board, the CUTR study team will conduct telephone interviews, in as many as 8 cities, with engineers and designers in state and local transportation departments and operations managers of public transit agencies (the exact number of cities will depend on the effort required to complete the interviews, and the number of persons who need to be interviewed in each organization). The purpose of these interviews will be to determine experience and level of use of existing shared bicycle/bus lane facilities since established, crash histories, perceived advantages/disadvantages of the facility design, and any considered or planned alterations in design and operation. The interviews will also seek to identify experience with supporting services such as training for bus operators, education for bicyclists and law enforcement, and provisions of integrated bus route/bicycle route maps for travelers.

The study team also will interview staff at design firms; organizations active in planning bicycling facilities or promoting their use; and organizations active in planning transit facilities or promoting their use. CUTR staff will use professional networks to identify the appropriate firms and organizations, and plans to conduct up to 8 interviews with them. These interviews will help ensure that the study identifies and considers issues important to bicyclists and bus drivers who would use such shared facilities.

The study team is aware of some training materials used to teach bus drivers how to operate safely in the presence of bicyclists. The team will review such materials to identify situations that create safety or other operational problems, and opportunities for designing new bicycle/bus lanes to reduce or eliminate these risks, and will incorporate the results of this review into its recommendations.

Some cycling behaviors such as wrong way riding, or riding without adequate lighting at night, greatly increase the risk of a crash. Therefore, the team will evaluate designs for their support of predictable and safe operating behaviors by all intended users. The team also will attempt to determine how the performance of these shared lanes is affected by bicycle, bus, or adjacent car traffic volumes. Where data are available and where implementation of shared bicycle/bus lanes has required reducing the number of lanes available for general motor vehicle traffic, the study team also will consider impacts to adjacent travel lanes and facility congestion.

The study team may be required to perform one site visit (at the approval of the Department) to one of the cities with shared bicycle/bus lanes in operation, to collect additional data and assess the operational characteristics and performance of these shared lanes.

As a result of the literature search and interviews, the study team will develop recommendations for Florida to consider the use of shared bicycle/bus lanes on the State Highway System.

Dr. Hillsman will lead the effort in the conduct of interviews, the site visit, the review of materials, consideration of impacts, and the development of recommendations. Ms. Hendricks will assist with an interview outline, conduct of telephone interviews, materials review and in the development of recommendations. The graduate student assistant will provide assistance in the collection, review and evaluation of information materials and available data.

Task 5: Draft final report

The CUTR study team will draft a final report summarizing its findings, including a guide describing the operational characteristics of these shared bicycle/bus lanes, and recommendations for shared bicycle/bus lane design and policies. This will include diagrams of alternative designs using common format and symbols. CUTR will submit the draft final report to the project manager at least 90 days prior to the end of the performance period to allow for review.

Dr. Hillsman will lead the effort in preparation of the draft final report with assistance from Ms. Hendricks. The graduate student assistant will assist with fact checking, and in the collection and preparation of diagrams, photos, and graphics. A technical editor will edit the draft final report. Two CUTR senior faculty will provide an internal review of the draft final report. The project assistant will assist in report formatting.

Task 6: Final report

Following receipt of review comments on the draft final report, the CUTR study team will revise the draft final report and submit a final report.

Task 7: Project Closeout Meeting

A closeout meeting shall be conducted to review project performance, the deployment plan, and next steps. Attendees shall include, as a minimum, the project manager, the principal investigator, and the Research Center performance coordinator. This meeting is to occur prior to the expiration of the contract and subsequent to the approval of the draft final report (i.e., it should be scheduled for sometime during the final 30 days of the project).

Work not included in this scope of service is not to be performed and will not be subject to compensation by the Department.

III. Deliverables

Progress Reports The university will submit quarterly progress reports to the Research Center. The first report will cover the activity that occurred in the 90 days following the issuance of the task work order.

Reports should be submitted within 30 days of the end of the reporting period. Reports are due even if little or no progress has occurred (in which case, the report should explain delays and/or lack of progress). Progress reports should be sent in MS Word to Sandra Bell, .

Progress reports must include the following information: 1. Contract number, task work order number, and title 2. Work performed during the period being reported 3. Work to be performed in the following period 4. Anticipated modifications (i.e., to funding, schedule, or scope). This section is for reporting/informational purposes, not for officially requesting an amendment.

Note: To request an amendment to a contract, the contractor must provide the project manager with the appropriate information (i.e., what is being requested with justification) in the required format. If the project manager concurs with the request, he/she shall forward it with his/her approval and commentary, as appropriate, to the Research Center for administrative review and processing (pending available funds, etc.)

5. A progress schedule updated to reflect activities for the period being reported.

Failure to submit progress reports in a timely manner may result in termination of the work order.

The Draft Final Report is due 90 days prior to the end date of the task work order. The draft final report will be submitted to Sandra Bell, It should be edited for technical accuracy, grammar, clarity, organization, and format prior to submission to the Department for technical approval. The Research Center expects contractors to be able to provide well-written, high-quality reports that address the objectives defined by the scope of service. Draft final reports must be prepared in accordance with the “Guidelines for Preparing Draft Final and Final Reports” posted at This document provides information on all report requirements, including format, the technical report documentation form, disclaimer language, and so forth.

Final Reports Once the draft final report has been approved, the university shall prepare the final report. The university will deliver a minimum eight (8) copies on CD or DVD – seven (7) CDs should contain the final report in PDF format, one (1) CD should contain the final report in PDF format, MS Word format and a Summary of the Final Report. The CD/DVDs should be labeled in a professional manner and include at a minimum the contract number, task work order number, project title and date. The final report is due no later than the end date of the task work order and should be delivered to the following address:

The Florida Department of Transportation

Research Center, MS 30 605 Suwannee Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450

 IV. Project Schedule


V. Project Budget

Total Lump Sum Amount            $86,767.56

Cost Reimbursable Subtotal      $450.00

Indirect Cost (subtotal x 10%)     $45.00

Total Project Cost                          $87,262.56


VI. Equipment

No equipment will need to be purchased for this project.

Reimbursement will only occur upon receipt of and only for the amount of the purchasing invoice for the subject equipment.

The university, upon receipt of any purchased equipment, shall forward to the Research Center a copy of the purchase invoice/property description as detailed in Exhibit C – Budget/serial number and receipt. The Department will prepare and forward inventory control label(s), which the university shall have affixed to the property.

VII. Travel

In support of the work of Task 4, the study team may be required to perform one site visit (at the approval of the Department), to one of the cities with shared bicycle/bus lanes in operation, to collect additional data and assess the operational characteristics and performance of these shared lanes. It is anticipated that such work can be accomplished by the PI during a trip of two days’ duration. The budget contains an estimated cost for travel, based on a visit to Jacksonville. However, the choice of any site to visit will depend on what is learned during the project, and will be subject to approval by the FDOT Project Manager.

All travel shall be in accordance with Section 112.061, Florida Statutes. FDOT employees may not travel on research contracts.


VIII. Use of Graduate Student(s) and Other Research Assistants

The project will use one graduate student to assist in identifying cities that have shared bicycle/bus lanes; contacting organizations in these cities to obtain information; reviewing and organizing information received about these shared lanes; drafting a consistent set of diagrams of different lane designs; and drafting the draft final report. Ideally, the student would be in a master’s program in civil engineering, geography, or planning/community design, and would work half-time (maximum of 20 hours per week). CUTR offers students a rate of compensation adequate for the student to pay tuition.


IX. Project Team

Principal Investigators: Edward L. Hillsman is principal investigator for this project. A senior research associate at CUTR, Dr. Hillsman holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Iowa. He specializes in transportation demand management, climate change, and the role of information in transportation systems and choices. Prior to joining CUTR in 2008, Dr. Hillsman worked on transportation demand management for the Washington State DOT, and a broad range of research topics as a research staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. For this project, Dr. Hillsman will assist with the literature review, but he will lead in developing the resource contact network, conducting the interviews and site visit, reviewing materials and impacts, developing recommendations, and drafting the final report. He also will handle project management.

Sara Hendricks is co-principal investigator for this project. Ms. Hendricks holds a Master of Regional Planning degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She specializes in land use planning policy and institutional arrangements for the delivery of transportation demand management strategies. She is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) assigned to the Transportation Demand Management Team in the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida. As Co-Principal Investigator for this project, Ms. Hendricks will support the administration and management of the project, lead the literature review, assist in developing a contact network for identifying bicycle/bus shared lane treatments in other cities, assist with the development and conduct of interviews, participate in the evaluation of alternative designs, write portions of the final draft report and provide key support to the review process and final report preparation.

Program Assistant: Jennifer Iley will assist the principal investigators in contract administration, scheduling, tracking, and compliance with institutional requirements. She also will assist in managing the contact network and scheduling interviews; in formatting and editing the final draft report; and in other programmatic and clerical assistance needed for the project.

Reviewers: Joel Volinski is the director of the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) program at CUTR. He will provide internal review of the draft final report, and oversight throughout the project period. While his effort is small on this project, his expertise is essential to this project and the program. The budget figure reflects his estimated input to the project.

Philip Winters is the director of the TDM program at CUTR. Mr. Winters will review the draft final report for this project, focusing on communicating the usefulness of the project results. Graduate Research Assistant: A graduate research assistant (from civil engineering, geography, or planning and community design) will assist in identifying cities that have shared bicycle/bus lanes, and in collecting, reviewing, and organizing information about these shared lanes. The student also will draft a consistent set of diagrams of different lane designs, and assist in drafting the final report.





National Center for Transit Research · at the Center For Urban Transportation Research · University of South Florida · 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 · Tampa, FL 33620-5375 · (813) 974-3120 · (813) 974-5168 · · Comments: