Today at TRB: Wednesday

Nathan McNeil of Portland State University presents research on protected bike lane buffer types Wednesday, Jan. 14 at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.

Today marks the last full day of presentations at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board and the final day of NITC lectern and poster sessions.

The NITC project Lessons from the Green Lane continues to resonate, with the data spinning off four papers -- three of them presented today -- at TRB. Nathan McNeil delves into greater detail about buffers that separate cyclists from motor-vehicle traffic, and which define protected bike lanes. He presents the paper "Influence of Bike Lane Buffer Types on Perceived Comfort and Safety of Bicyclists and Potential Bicyclists" at 2:45 p.m.

McNeil broke down users and potential users of different bike facilities into groups defined in the Four Types of Transportation Cyclists categories. He analyzed the increase in comfort a user experienced in a protected lane over a standard bike lane.

The biggest increase came in the "interested but concerned" segment seen as key to getting more people to use bikes. "If something is physically separated, 'interested but concerned' people feel much more comfortable," McNeil said. "It suggests that the market that's typically in demand, that most cities want to attract, are the people for whom the kind of buffer makes a difference.

While physical separation was seen as important, the type of separation -- whether it was plastic flexposts, curbs or planters -- didn't make as much of a difference, McNeil said. "Even just the presence of a flexpost was enough to achieve a very high increase in reported comfort," he said. "It was basically as high as a curb-separated or planter-separated buffered bike lane.

"It can be done cheaply and quickly and still make a big difference," McNeil said. "It doesn't have to be a large infrastructure project to make that difference."

McNeil's presentation is No. #15-3701 in the TRB Interactive Program Search. The poster session begins at 2:45 p.m. in Hall E.

Also presenting at the same poster session from Green Lanes data are Chris Monsere, with "User Behavior and Perceptions at Intersections With Turning and Mixing Zones on Protected Bike Lanes" (#15-1178) and Nick Foster, with "Level of Service Model for Protected Bike Lanes" (#15-0349). Jennifer Dill presented "Can Protected Bike Lanes Help Close the Gender Gap in Cycling? Lessons From Five Cities" (#15-3481) Tuesday evening.

Apart from the Green Lanes research, a nonmotorized traffic count lectern session starts the day at 8 a.m. Krista Nordback and Bryan Blanc, both of Portland State, each present. Nordback offers "Creating a National Non-motorized Traffic Count Archive: Process and Progress" while Blanc presents "Leveraging Signal Infrastructure for Non-Motorized Counts in a Statewide Program: A Pilot Study."

For a full list of our NITC program presentations download the TREC/NITC guide to TRB.

Return to our TRB main page for feature stories and full coverage of our activities.

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