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Bikeability Assessment Guide for Schools

A guide for schools to assess their bikeability landscape.

Specifically designed for school communities to incorporate student bike safety countermeasures into SR2S action plans/funding applications.


The Bikeability Assessment can be conducted  by following the guide below. If you are not sure about the process you may want to contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. program to find a "coach" to work with your Bikeability Assessment Team.

This Guide is set up in to two sections. The first emphasizes the analysis and reporting the bikeability landscape. The second section discusses potential options available to your community. Each school is unique, but in most cases these steps can help a school in the development of a SR2S or community action plan.





This is the data collecting phase and can be completed in one or two meetings with your assessment team.

A.) Assemble an Assessment Team – it is critical that the assessment team is representative of the key stakeholders. Recruiting this Assessment_TeamTeam should begin with identifying people you know in each of the categories below that would be willing to serve. Once they are asked and agreed, they can act as resources to fill the categories when you don’t have a contact.

1) School staff member
2) Local bike shop
3) Local bicyclists (at least 2)
4) Parents
5) Law Enforcement
6) City/township road persons
7) Other resources

Additional additional information about forming a team is available in the SR2S Handbook.

B.) Site Analysis – this is an analysis of the bike facilities around the school. Most of this will be known to the parents and school Site_analysisstaff on your team and is easily recorded. The topic of "identifying issues needing to be addressed" will need your team to reference the SR2S Survey that was conducted as well as some general discussion about the issues.

1) Safe Bike parking
2) Accessibility by street and/or sidewalk
3) Policies concerning bicycling
4) SR2S Survey - Identify issues needing to be addressed (ie., Parents “concerns” of letting their child bike to school)

C.) Geographic study of population that would use bicycling routes – analyze the addresses of the students living within 1-2 miles of the school site. Or you can use a distance that you feel is bikeable for your community based on the age of students or the willingness of parents to support "bike trains." Check with your school to see if the geographic study has already been plotted on a map. Merge the addresses within your study area to get a picture of where students live.This can be done using online mapping tools. These are two options you might like to check out: www.communitywalk.com or www.batchgeocode.com. Overlaying this data with the routes you have indicated will help give you the potential bike routes.

D.) Safe routes within 2 miles of site – members of your team should have the knowledge to complete this analysis. Sitting down with a map of the area around the school will allow team members to identify routes that they are familiar with and what their suitability is. These PhaseIMapreviewshould be marked with color pens or pencils. Later when we do the field testing in Phase II we will go into more detail on each route. For this analysis, a map of the study area and a colored pen are needed. First identify the streets that are safe to ride by a school age child to school. (This is a subjective determination based on the group’s experience.) Then routes that have sidewalks. If a you completed a Walking Audit at your school, this analysis of sidewalks has already been done. Your team should have access to that report. (Note: Trails can be indicated on either or both maps) The following types of facilities should be indicated on your maps.

1) Trails
2) Roads with striped shoulder or bike lane
3) Low traffic residential streets
4) Sidewalk availability (if you did a Walking Audit, this information should already be available to you)

After your maps are marked up a quick review by your team will enable you to identify potential corridors within your study area that could be safe bicycling routes.



In this phase we will field test the potential safe routes using 4-6 volunteers. (They don’t have to be members of the Assessment Team.) The volunteers should work in teams of 2. It is best done with them actually riding their bicycles over the “potential bike routes” so that they get a true feel of the safety of the route.

A.) Field test safe routes – the field testers will require a map of the route, a note pad, pencil and camera. Decide if the field testing team will look at both sidewalks and streets or if you will have a separate team for each. The field testers need to ride the route looking at it as a child would. They need to be cognizant of infrastructure, traffic and safety issues. A sample checklist for the field testing is included as an addendum to this guide. It is probably best to do a separate checklist for each block on the route. When the field test is done one person from each testing group should compile the information and overlay it on a map of their “potential bike route.”

Infrastructure issuesInfrastructure
1) Bridges/Overpasses/underpasses
2) Blind curves
3) Road/sidewalk/trail surface
4) Hilly
5) Signalized intersections
6) Visibility at intersections
Traffic issues

1) Speed limit
2) Volume
3) On street parking

Safety issues

1) Dogs
2) Railroads tracks FieldTestMap
3) Overgrowth
4) Drain grates
5) Neighborhoods
6) Maintenance
7) Signage



It is during this phase that the Assessment Team needs to pull together all the data from the analysis gathered in Phases I & II. The team should spend some time reviewing the data and prioritizing both facility and program opportunities based on the data gathered.

A.) Report - the report is a summary of the Team's findings, with recommendations needed to make potential bike routes safe. From the analysis the report could indicate that there are no safe routes, potential safe routes with changes needed or routes that are currently safe for bicycling to school. The report also needs to address the Site Reportissues identified in Phase I.

1) Identify potential bike routes
2) Identify safety and infrastructure issues that need attention
3) Address Site Analysis issues
4) Issues identified from the SR2S survey
5) Distribute to appropriate entities

It is important that this report gets presented to the appropriate entities. These would include the school board, city planners, road commissions and other associated groups. Both a written and oral presentation should be given.

The report will have two emphasis, a facility tract and a program tract. Depending on which group you are presenting to you might want to highlight one tract more than the other. For example if you are presenting to a parents group you will want emphasize the programs for safe bicycling you will be doing first and then the facility needs. On the other hand if you are tallking to the local road commission you will want to emphasize the facility needs first and then the program needs. Tailor the report to your audience.

Use this report to determine what programs, activities and improvements should be included in your SR2S Action Plan.


Use this chart to determine what programs, activities and improvements should be included in your SR2S action plan and federal funding application. You should include this chart as a part of your submitted funding application.




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