Evidence-based design of off-street paths and cycleways: Fundamental traffic engineering parameters for bicycles and micromobility devices

Diverse government initiatives aim to shift travel away from automobiles to active travel modes such as walking and cycling, motivated by climate change, public health, cost, and equity. Despite broad agreement that high-quality infrastructure is critical to attract and safely accommodate active travel, transportation engineering still lacks fundamental information about designing for travel by non-automobile modes. The long-term objective of this research program is to generate the knowledge needed for evidence-based design of active transportation facilities such as off-street/multi-use paths and cycleways. Bicycles and electric-assist “micromobility” devices such as electric scooters require a dedicated design approach. They have different mechanics of power, guidance, and control than automobiles, and their performance is more heterogeneous and rider-dependent. The short-term research goal is to generate new theoretical and practical knowledge for geometric design of transportation facilities considering the unique performance characteristics of travellers on bicycles and micromobility devices. The short-term objectives are to determine three key factors used in geometric design: 1) operating space, 2) stopping sight distance, and 3) cornering performance. Ultimately, we will build on these short-term knowledge gains to investigate other important factors used in intersection, traffic control, and pavement design.