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Bikeability Assessment Guide for Communities


chicago0139The Bikeability Assessment can be completed easily by following the guide as presented. Some might find it more effective to have someone "coach" you through the project. Contact the League of Michigan Bicyclists ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to find a "coach" to work with your Bikeability Assessment Team.

This guide can be used to help your community leaders develop a non-motorized master plan for the community or it can be used by a bike club, bike shop or community organization to provide information on bicycling in the community.

The end result should be a series of bike routes that connect population centers with community assets. Over time these "main" routes can be further refined by developing connectors to neighborhoods and other assets.

 

PHASE I

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

1) Assemble an Assessment Team - this is the most critical step in the process. A team that is representative of all the stakeholders is crucial to success. Recruiting this Team should begin with identifying people you know in each of the categories below that might be willing to serve. Once they are asked and agree to serve, they become resources to help fill the other categories.

a) Local bike shop
b) Local bike club and/or bicyclists (at least 2)
c) City/township road person
d) Other resources

2) Asset Identification - In this step you will identify where you want to get to by bicycle. It is best to take a map and plot out where these assets are. As a natural grouping of assets and facilties emerges you will be able to identify corridors for potential bike routes.

ASSETS
marketa) Downtown shopping
b) Parks, beaches and other recreation areas
c) Schools
d) Shopping malls
e) Landmarks
f) Other

3) Population Identification - In this step you need to identify where your major population centers are. Use a map of your community map2to identify these general areas. This will help in identifying corridors to reach the assets.

 

4) Bike facilities - Members of your team will have the knowledge to complete this analysis. Setting down with a map will allow team members to identify streets, roads and trails that team members believe to be suitable for bicycling. These should 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 facility.

bike-lanea) Roads/streets with striped shoulder or bike lane
b) Trails
c) Low traffic residential streets



5) Overly all Maps - Once you have identified your asset locations, your populations centers and your bike facilities you need to overlay all of this information onto one map. This will begin to give you an idea on corridors to assets from population centers. This will help you in narrowing down which streets to field test.

PHASE II

If you have a lot of corridors with lots of miles you may want to recruit more volunteers. The more volunteers you have the easier this task is, but on the other hand the continuity from corridor to corridor will not be the same. The volunteers should be broken into teams of at least two volunteers. It is best done with them actually riding their bicycles over the "potential bike routes."

1) Field test bike routes - during the field testing the testers will need a map of the route, a note pad, pencil and camera. 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 (or mile section if a rural road) on the route. When the field test is done one person from each testing group should compile the information and overlay it on a single map of the "potential bike route" they field tested.

a) Infrastructure issuesInfrastructure

- Bridges/overpasses/underpasses
- Blind curves
- Road/trail surface
- Signalized intersections
- Visibility at intersections

b) Traffic issues

- Speed limits
- Traffic volume
- On-street parking

 

PHASE III

It is during this phase that the Assessment Team needs to pull together all the data from the analysis gathered in Phases I and II. The team should spend some time reviewing the data and identifying and prioritizing corridors and facility needs based on the data gathered. This is also a good time to begin to discuss strategies to reach the team's goals.

1) Report - the report is a summary of the Team's findings, with recommendations needed to develop potential bike routes. The reportReport should identify first the potential routes that are acceptable and need only to be mapped or signed. The second group of routes should be those that with minimal cost and work could be developed. Examples of these might be routes that need a simple connector to complete them. The final group to be addressed in the report is those routes that need major work to become safe bike routes. This group needs to include a review of the rationale of why they are important.

a) Identify potential bike routes
b) Identify safety and infrastructure issues that need attention
c) Identify road treatments that would be beneficial

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

 

 

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.


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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.

 

 

SECTION ONE – BIKEABILITY ASSESSMENT

 

PHASE I
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.

 

 

PHASE II
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
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

 

PHASE III

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.

 

SECTION TWO – OPTIONS FOR SAFE BICYCLING
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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