Written comments should be received at VHB at the address below by 5:00 PM Thursday, December 12, 1996. Comments may also be sent via E-mail to: BIKEPLAN@VHB.COM
Prepared for Federal Highway Administration and Massachusetts Highway Department/Bureau of Transportation Planning and Development
Prepared by VHB/Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., Transportation, Land Development, Environmental Services, 101 Walnut Street, P.O. Box 9151, Watertown, Massachusetts 02272
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES The existing roadway system is the key 1. Identify traffic flow and roadway Massachusetts Highway Department to establishing a comprehensive cross sectional characteristics that (MHD)/Bureau of Transportation Planning network of bicycle facilities. A affect bicycle travel within an and Development (BTP&D), Metropolitan constant challenge to transportation existing roadway corridor. District Commission (MDC), Regional planners and engineers is to identify Planning Agencies (RPAs), cities and and maintain a network of bicycle 2. Identify other agencies that use towns. facilities. A methodology to evaluate these traffic and roadway data for the accommodation of bicycles on planning and engineering applications. existing roadways is a useful step in identifying opportunities to improve 3. Institute a data collection and bicycle travel. management program that meets the needs of the methodology developed as part of Traffic flow and roadway cross section this Plan as well as the needs of other characteristics are the key parameters agencies. in identifying roadways with low bicycle suitability. A comprehensive 4. Compile existing data in database data collection program coupled with a format (inventory file) that meets the Geographic Information System (GIS) needs of all involved agencies. are useful in applying the methodology developed as part of this plan. 5. Tie this database to the Commonwealth's existing Geographic Information System (GIS). 6. Institute and fund a long-term roadway data collection and management program that meets the bicycle program needs.
It is important to identify roadways 1. Evaluate bicycle suitability of MHD/BTP&D, MDC, RPAs, cities and towns that are now less suitable for roadways in important travel corridors. bicycling and then evaluate treatments to better accommodate bicycle travel 2. Identify roadway segments with low on these roadways. A methodology to suitability in corridors of existing rate the suitability of roadways for and potential high demand for bicycling is a useful step in bicycling. identifying opportunities to improve bicycle travel. 3. Identify roadway improvements and other measures, including shoulder construction/widening, to address the needs identified in 2. Improve conditions for bicycling within these travel corridors, using state-of-the-practice design. Where these improvements are not feasible, explore other options. 4. Prioritize projects and implement in conjunction with on-going construction program.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES This plan provides a basic overview of In order to have a full understanding the status of trail development in of potential trail corridors available Massachusetts and explores potential in the Massachusetts, two courses of opportunities for developing a more action are recommended. extensive network of publicly owned Executive Office of Transportation and multi-use trails across the state. 1. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Construction (EOTC) and RPAs However, the Commonwealth does not should conduct a complete statewide have an up-to-date assessment of assessment of abandoned rail and other abandoned rail and other potential potential corridors. This study would corridors or a statewide trails plan. consist of a detailed inventory, Without this information, it is including map, of abandoned rail difficult to weigh the full benefits corridors and a thorough physical of individual trail development examination to assess the integrity of projects. each corridor (e.g., does the corridor remain intact or has development encroached on the corridor). The inventory should also address corridor ownership. A more extensive picture of the potential resources available for development of trails for bicycle Department of Environmental Management travel is the end result. The (DEM), MDC, Massachusetts Water information that a statewide corridor Resources Authority (MWRA), cities, and assessment will provide can help towns. determine where important missing links in a statewide network of multi-use trails exist and where the state may want to focus financial resources for trail development. 2. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts should prepare a State Greenways and Trails Plan. This plan will include an evaluation of routes within the state that can serve as trails including river, aqueduct, railroad, canal and utility corridors. This plan is another resource that will identify potential trails that can serve bicycle travel.
Rail corridor acquisition 1. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts EOTC, DEM, RPAs, local government should work to successfully railbank agencies, Regional Transit Authorities all railroad corridors that request (RTAs), MDC, and MHD. abandonment approval from the Surface Transportation Board (formerly known as the Interstate Commerce Commission), the federal agency that regulates Class 1 railroads. Once a corridor is preserved through railbanking, it can be evaluated for its usefulness as part of a statewide multi-use trail network and eventually developed as a rail-trail when appropriate. Even if a corridor is determined inappropriate for development as part of a statewide network of off-road transportation trails, the corridor may be appropriate as a trail for other purposes. Ultimately any railbanked corridor is preserved for future rail use. 2. Massachusetts General Law (Chapter 161) passed in 1973 authorizes the Commonwealth to acquire active and abandoned railroad corridors and requires that any railroad company intending to sell or dispose of a railroad corridor offer it for sale to the state before it is offered to the public. It is recommended that the Commonwealth act upon such offers when the corridor has the potential to become part of a statewide network of off-road multi-use trails.
Massachusetts has in place an 1. The Commonwealth should continue to EOTC effective mechanism intended to use this general law to preserve the preserve abandoned railroad corridors physical integrity of abandoned that are not railbanked. railroad corridors that have the Massachusetts General Law (Chapter 40) potential to become part of a network passed in 1975 provides that no local of publicly owned multi-use trails. building permit can be issued for a structure to be built on land formerly used for a railroad corridor without a public hearing and permission of the Secretary of Transportation Rail-with-trail opportunities 2. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts EOTC should explore, with railroad companies and mass transit agencies, the possibility of developing rail-with-trails along active rail corridors where appropriate. In order to take advantage of the 3. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts EOTC and Executive Office of opportunities available for rail-trail should develop a "How To Guide" for Environmental Affairs (EOEA) development, the issue of a trail trail development. delivery system needs to be addressed. Who will own these corridors, where will the funding for rail-trail development come from, who will build the trail and who will mange the facility? These questions need to be answered so that as railroad corridors become available, an organizational structure is in place to convert them into multi-use trails.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Land use planning is accomplished 1. Review state and federal land use EOEA-Conservation Services and MEPA under a variety of programs. These planning programs with the objective of Unit; Department of Housing and include facility and property reuse improving their support for bicyclists. Community Development, General Services plans, disposition plans, regional Administration, and RPAs plans, local master plans, local 2. Encourage local governments to facility system plans, and targeted undertake such a review relative to local area plans. Local area plans their land use planning laws, programs include those addressing open space and actions. and recreation, economic and community development districts, enterprise 3. Prepare literature on how land use zones and downtown revitalization planning can positively influence programs. In addition, land use bicycle facility planning. Incorporate planning proposals are frequently in related literature as appropriate. included in federal, state and locally mandated environmental review 4. Distribute the literature through processes. All the above programs existing state agencies and include requirements, guidelines, and associations such as the Massachusetts "best practice" procedures. Some Municipal Association, the include mention of bicycles and Massachusetts Federation of Planning bicycle facilities, while others do and Appeals Boards, the Massachusetts not. All appropriate programs that Planning Directors Association, and deal with land use planning should be regional planning agencies. Notices reviewed with the goal of giving and articles can be incorporated in the proper recognition to bicycle facility regular publications of these issues and needs. Consideration organizations as well. should be given to introducing or amending specific provisions that recognize the role of bicycles in supporting important social objectives in land use, transportation, economic development, energy savings, health and fitness, and recreation.
Transportation Mangement Associations 1. Find successful examples where EOTC, MHD/BTP&D, RPAs, CARAVAN, and (TMAs) and other business partnerships bicycle facilities have been installed Transportation Management Associations that deal with transportation are in downtowns and other commercial areas (TMAs) increasing in numbers in and office and industrial parks. Massachusetts. These voluntary Properly publicize these examples with partnerships of businesses have appropriate media. considerable resources and can often Department of Housing and Community tap public as well as private funds to 2. Distribute the literature to Development. undertake programs with broad benefits existing TMAs and business partnerships to members and the public. TMAs are in Massachusetts. Follow-up this created explicitly to deal with distribution with an offer to send transportation problems. Business materials to interested heads of TMAs partnerships are created to deal with and business partnerships. RPAs and TMAs a number of issues that often include transportation. TMAs have created bus 3. Contact and work with public services, parking and access roads. officials that have programs that TMA Business partnerships have created and business partnerships use, e.g., parking and access improvements. Both highway and transit matching fund types of organization have the programs and downtown revitalization potential to create bicycle and economic development programs. facilities. For example a system of Primary contacts are the Mass. Highway bicycle paths and related bicycle Department, Executive Office of MHD/BTP&D, RPAs, and TMAs parking facilities could be created in Transportation and Construction, Mass. an industrial or office park or area. Department of Housing and Community Bicycle racks could be installed in Development, and Mass. Office of various strategic locations in Business Development. downtown or commercial areas through the efforts of business partnerships. 4. Present the material at various Two advantages these organizations regular meetings of TMA and business offer is that they have ready access partnership officials, and continue a to business funding, which can be program of public education, focused on substantial in the case of large how business partnerships and TMAs can corporations, and they are led by promote the creation of bicycle business leaders, who are often very facilities, and the benefits of these influential in their communities. facilities for the businesses and their Bicycle facilities, because they are employees. relatively low in cost, and are relatively visible and attractive, may have a special appeal to business leaders as progressive, effective and responsible investments.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Land use development is controlled 1. Prepare model zoning and EOEA, RPAs, Department of Housing and most firmly at the local level. subdivision provisions which require Community Development Zoning and other land use controls appropriate bicycle features in such as subdivision regulation are suitable projects (such as bicycle enforced by local officials, racks at retail stores), and which frequently involving extensive review provide the opportunity to negotiate of projects. Under zoning, the review for additional bicycle facilities (such process is becoming even more as lockers, showers and clothes extensive. For example, site plan changing rooms at office parks, and review and special permit requirements bicycle paths at industrial parks). allow for a negotiation process which Negotiation incentives could include could include bicycle facilities where such items as increased allowable appropriate. Bicycle parking densities, or reduced dimensional facilities can also be required under requirements such as road frontage or general parking provisions for any building setbacks and heights. appropriate land use such as commercial and industrial 2. Package model provisions in developments. More extensive engaging materials and formats and facilities, such as lockers, showers, distribute to local and regional and changing rooms, can be negotiated officials throughout the state. Use for a project, as can paths or lanes both direct mailing and mailings to for bicycles as part of proposed associations of local and regional developments under review. officials. Subdivision regulations and other non-zoning land use controls can also 3. Convene a conference of local and include provisions requiring bicycle regional planning, zoning and facilities, along with design subdivision review officials, and standards for these facilities. Model provide examples of successful bicycle bylaws can be drawn from current facility improvements created through experience for the purpose of local zoning, subdivision and other facilitating the process for regulations. municipalities wishing to enact pro-bicycle regulations. 4. Continue a program of public education, focused on how local government can require and promote the creation of bicycle facilities.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES A variety of curriculums and 1. Implement a comprehensive, Department of Education, Massachusetts approaches are being used to educate statewide school-based bicycle safety Department of Public Health (MDPH). children in the Commonwealth about education program for children. A Governor's Highway Safety Bureau (GHSB) bicycle safety and the importance of bicycle safety education program Community Traffic Safety Programs helmet use. They include school integrated into school health and/or (CTSPs), school PTSAs, local health assemblies, videos, bicycle rodeos, physical education curriculums has the departments and prevention centers, public service announcements (PSAs), greatest potential for reaching all hospitals, HMOs, and police helmet promotion programs, and various Massachusetts children. For maximum departments. safety materials such as posters and effectiveness, the program should fliers. There is a need, however, for include on-bicycle as well as classroom a more consistent and comprehensive instruction. It would be part of a educational effort, reaching a greater comprehensive traffic safety education number of children. program that would begin in the primary grades with school bus and pedestrian There is also a need to educate safety and progress through bicycle teenage and adult bicyclists. safety education for older elementary Education efforts here should focus on and middle school students to driver's following the rules of the road when education for teenagers. riding in traffic, being visible, and use of appropriate safety equipment including helmets. 2. Develop and evaluate a model GHSB, CTSPs, PTSAs, and bicycle program for adult bicyclist safety organizations training and education. A variety of efforts will likely be needed to reach adult bicyclists. Possible approaches include distribution of safety materials at bicycle shops, "bicycle to work" and "family bicycle ride" events that also provide opportunities for education, inclusion of bicycle safety messages on local bicycle maps, articles or letters to local newspapers, involvement of local bicycle clubs, etc. Local law enforcement officers can also play a role in educating (and motivating) adult bicyclists. A bicyclist education campaign directed at adults would be tied to a larger motorist education and public awareness campaign, as well as to greater enforcement of traffic laws for bicyclists and motorists. One recommendation would thus be to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a model program at the local level for improving the skills and riding practices of adult bicyclists.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Almost every person interviewed 1. Develop a "Share the Road" MHD, GHSB, Massachusetts Bicycle Safety mentioned that it is often difficult campaign. Perhaps one of the most Alliance (MBSA), Registry of Motor to ride a bicycle in Massachusetts due effective recommendations that can be Vehicles (RMV) and private sector to the aggressive attitudes of many made is to increase motorist education motorists. There is a need to educate through a "share the road" campaign. motorists in ways to share the road Such a campaign could be started at the with bicyclists state level and then extended to communities. PSAs, brochures, billboards and a variety of other media could be used to carry out the campaign. This could be centrally organized by the Massachusetts Bicycle Safety Alliance (MBSA) so that many state and local agencies and coalitions could join. Support from television and radio would be needed, and use of incentives should be considered. 2. Educate motorists through the driver license process and driver training programs. Another method of reaching motorists is through information contained in driver's license manuals and through incorporating bicycle safety and "share-the-road" messages into statewide driver education training. Both the manual and the training should include questions relating to bicycling as well as more specific information on operating a motor vehicle on roadways with bicycles. Reminders in the form of posters or brochures can also be placed in the information centers at RMV offices. Materials could be included with any mailings from the RMV. 3. Enforce traffic laws. Enforcement Police departments of traffic laws will lead to greater understanding of the laws by motorists.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Even though the Massachusetts bicycle 1. Continue to promote public GHSB, MDPH, Massachusetts Bicycle helmet law for children ages 12 and awareness and acceptance of the current Safety Alliance (MBSA), the Department under has had widespread positive statewide helmet use law. When the of Education, and others. impact, some parents and children initial helmet law was passed, little remain unaware of the law, thus funding was made available for reducing its overall effectiveness in promoting public awareness and preventing deaths and reducing head acceptance of the law. Despite limited injuries from bicycle crashes. There funds, GHSB, the Massachusetts is a need for continued and expanded Department of Public Health, and the education for children as well as Massachusetts Bicycle Safety Alliance their parents about the state's have all led active campaigns to bicycle helmet law. In addition, there promote helmet use and make helmets is a need to continue to promote more available and affordable to helmet use among bicyclists of all children. These efforts will need to be ages. continued and even expanded in the future, as many children still are not An important component of any law is being protected by helmets. Educating enforcement. Currently the parents about the importance of their Massachusetts bicycle helmet law child always wearing a helmet when carries no penalty for non-compliance. riding should be a key component to the For greatest impact, the law needs to campaign. Pediatricians and other incorporate some penalty and provide medical professionals can assist in the law enforcement officers some options effort. for enforcement. 2. Promote helmet use among bicyclists of all ages. The majority of bicyclists injured and killed in traffic collisions are teenagers or adults, and helmets can protect these riders as well. Efforts to promote the voluntary use of helmets by bicyclists not currently covered by the statewide helmet law should be expanded. This might include, for example, developing posters and fliers that target adult riders, working with colleges and universities to promote helmet use among students as well as staff and faculty, and working with bicycle shops to make available a greater variety of low-cost helmets. 3. Work to strengthen the state helmet law. Although the current law has had a significant positive impact on children's wearing of bicycle helmets, it would be improved if it included some penalty for non-compliance.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES There is a need for enforcement of 1. Provide training to law enforcement GHSB, MDPH, State Police; and local rules-of-the-road when bicycles and officers. State and local law police departments and planning motor vehicles are operating on the enforcement agencies should be agencies. same or intersecting roadways and encouraged to incorporate bicycle other facilities. From the variety of enforcement into their training and people interviewed, it appears that education programs. Programs should little bicycle enforcement is being address the rights and responsibilities done. Bicycle enforcement pertains not of both bicyclists and motorists as only to the rules-of-the-road road users, along with effective maneuvers made by cyclists, but also approaches for bicycle law enforcement. to the way motorists share the road Training videos such as the helmet with cyclists. Helmet use by child video produced by the Newton Police bicyclists is another enforcement Department (with GHSB funding) or the issue. League of American Bicyclist's "The Law is for All" video can help to educate The vast majority of bicycle law as well as motivate law enforcement enforcement has to be done at the officers. local level and requires commitment by community law enforcement. There is a 2. Educate bicyclists about their need for educating law enforcement responsibilities. Along with authorities, including State Police, education, law enforcement can also about the need for bicycle law play an important role in educating enforcement as well as the rights of bicyclists about their responsibilities bicyclists using the roadway. as road users. Bicyclists need to feel that it is important for them to "do the right thing," i.e., obey traffic laws. 3. Review current status of Massachusetts General Laws pertaining to bicycling. If needed, push for changes in the statutes to make them easier and more compelling to enforce. Develop information sheets that summarize and clarify the law for motorists and bicyclists as well as law enforcement officers. Publicize the fact that the $20 fine designated for bicycle offenses is retained by the local jurisdiction for bicycle safety activities. Consider waiving any fine for bicyclists who complete an Effective Cycling or similar course.
1. Promote police-on-bicycles GHSB, MDPH, State Police; and local programs. The concept of police departments and planning police-on-bicycles seems to be growing agencies. in popularity in Massachusetts. More communities have established police bicycle units. The Massachusetts State Police have police officers on bicycles, as does every town on the Cape. Police-on-bicycles can be a very effective way to enforce rules-of-the-road for both bicyclists and motorists. They may also help to support community policing activities. 2. Involve local police in bicycle facility planning. A final recommendation is to involve local police whenever bicycle facility planning is being done within a community. Local officers tend to know where bicycle-motor vehicle crashes occur and the underlying conditions, and are thus in a position to make informed comments regarding facilities. Involving local police in bicycle facility planning can also help educate and motivate the officers concerning bicyclist needs and safety.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Bicycle injury and bicycle-motor 1. Strengthen statewide reporting of MHD/BTP&D, State Police, local police, vehicle crash data should be examined bicycle-motor vehicle crashes. A MDPH, RMV, and GHSB. at both the state and local levels to uniform crash report form is used identify needs and help guide statewide. Although there is known countermeasure and program underreporting of single vehicle development. The data may also be used bicycle crashes, this is true in every for program evaluation. state. It is recommended that periodic contact be made with police agencies to maintain consistency of bicycle crash reporting. 2. Track bicycle crashes. It is recommended that the MHD Bicycle-Pedestrian Program staff obtain annual summaries of bicycle crashes occurring in the state and examine the data to detect trends, new problems, and possible countermeasures. The same process could be applied to certain local jurisdictions where there is considerable bicycling. Encourage local agencies to use crash typing techniques to further enrich the data. 3. Supplement crash data with hospital injury data. Highway departments have traditionally relied on police-reported motor vehicle crash data for information on the safety of their roadways. However, a majority of bicyclists' injuries result from falls or other non-collisions that do not involve a motor vehicle. To better understand the safety needs of these bicyclists, it is recommended that hospital discharge data be examined and tracked along with the statewide crash data. Hospital data can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of state and local safety and helmet promotion activities.
1. Implement GIS techniques. MHD/BTP&D, State Police, local police, Massachusetts Highway Department MDPH, RMV, and GHSB. personnel indicate that the state level system is somewhat antiquated and in the process of being overhauled. Personnel are also interested in using GIS techniques with the available data. Bicycle program staff are encouraged to use the GIS system to input data regarding bicycle crash locations, facilities, and other kinds of data. 2. Provide training related to crash reconstruction and typology.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Currently there are many "players" 1. Update and widely disseminate GHSB, MDPH, MBSA, and MHD/BTP&D engaged in bicycle safety education bicycle safety resource kit. This kit and enforcement activities in was developed by MDPH. The update Massachusetts. They include the should include the latest information Governor's Highway Safety Bureau, on key agencies, organizations, and Massachusetts Department of Public individuals engaged in bicycle safety Health / Injury Prevention and Control activities, and be made available Program, the Bicycle Safety Alliance, "on-line" so that it can be easily and a variety of local agencies and modified and expanded. programs including the Boston Childhood Injury Prevention Program, 2. Establish an on-line user group for two SAFE KIDS coalitions, the quick and easy sharing of bicycle Lexington Bicycle Safety Program, safety information. THE GHSB is Kiwanis, and others. developing a Web site in Federal fiscal year 1997 that will include bicycle There is clearly a need to facilitate safety information. The user group timely communication and sharing among might be modeled after the Bicycle these various groups -- to benefit Coalition of Massachusetts' on-line from each other's experiences and group, and used for (a) describing new expertise as well as to pool resources programs, activities or materials, (b) and talents. The Bicycle Safety announcing upcoming meetings, Alliance has fulfilled this role in conferences, or other events of the past, but additional resources are interest, (c) providing updates on needed to expand its activities. pertinent legislation, (d) posing questions for others in the group to answer, (e) identifying funding opportunities, (f) seeking collaborators, etc. 3. Host an annual bicycle safety conference. The assumption here is that nothing is more effective than "face-to-face" networking and sharing of ideas and programs.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Massachusetts is distinct from other 1. Several approaches could be taken Massachusetts General Court, Governor's states in that its bicycle coordinator to improve overall program coordination Office, GHSB, MDPH, MBSA, and MHD/BTP&D is not directly responsible for safety and leadership. One approach might be programming. This is because the to formalize and expand the role Massachusetts Highway Department has already being played by the traditionally focused its attention on Massachusetts Bicycle Safety Alliance. roadway and facility issues, while The Alliance should have a paid education and safety issues have been executive director able to work the province of GHSB and MDPH. This full-time on bicycle safety issues. has contributed to the situation where This person would be responsible for there is not a single focal point for coordinating bicycle safety activities bicycle safety education and by the Massachusetts Highway enforcement activities in the state. Department, Governor's Highway Safety More importantly, there is not an Bureau, and Department of Public advocate at the state level who is Health, and would provide overall responsible solely for bicycle safety. leadership, direction, and continuity At both the Governor's Highway Safety to the program. Bureau (GHSB) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), bicycle safety programming must "compete" with other program areas: pedestrian safety, alcohol, safety restraint programs, etc. at GHSB; violence prevention, teen pregnancy, child abuse prevention, etc. at MDPH. There is a need for a more defined focal point for the state's bicycle safety activities, with a committed leadership that can provide longevity and continuity to its myriad of bicycle safety activities.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES There is a need to revise/clarify the 1. Revise MGL Chapter 90E: Bikeways Massachusetts General Court. definitions of bicycle facilities and other Chapters of the MGL where contained in the Massachusetts General appropriate, as described below: Laws (MGL) to recognize multi-use. The MGL defines a "bike path" as "a a. Incorporate in Chapter 90E the route for the exclusive use of following definition from the AASHTO bicycles separated by grade or other guide: physical barrier from motor traffic." This definition does not recognize the Bikeway - Any road, path, or way which reality that these paths are used by in some manner is specifically pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, designated as being open to bicycle in-line skaters, and others not on travel, regardless of whether such bicycles. Failure to recognize the facilities are designated for the multi-use character of these paths can exclusive use of bicycles or are to be lead to design and operational shared with other transportation modes. problems. b. Revise other definitions as needed to be consistent with expanded definition of a bikeway. c. Expand definition of "public way" to include multi-use paths and other bikeways that are not part of a roadway right-of-way. There is a need for uniform guidance 2. Continue to recognize the Guide for MHD/BTP&D and other state and local in the design of bicycle facilities. the Development of Bicycle Facilities agencies (AASHTO, 1991) as "the primary design reference for designing bikeways". This document is in the process of being revised. When the new Guide is available, obtain copies and distribute to all town/city engineers and public works departments, as was done with the 1991 Guide. 3. Develop additional bicycle facility MHD/BTP&D design guidance.
The revised MassHighway Design Manual, MHD to provide additional design MHD/BTP&D, cities, and towns in draft form at the time of this guidance as follows: writing, contains the following provision: 1. Clarify the minimum and preferred bicycle accommodation in terms of the 12.1.3 Shared Roadways. Shared total width of the outside lane roadways are highways where a bicycle including shoulder and offset. Offsets lane is not designated, but where are recommended from curbs as well as bicycles are legally allowed to use guard rails, walls, etc. the highway. To accommodate bicycles, at least 0.75 meters (2.46 feet), or 2. Provide the option of a 3.25 meter preferably 1.25 meters (4.1 feet) of (10.67 foot) travel lane in combination usable shoulder must be paved. with a 1.25 meter (4.1 foot) shoulder as minimum bicycle accommodation. If these accommodations for bicycles can not be provided, a design waiver 3. Recommend 1.75 meter (5.74 foot) request must be submitted at the 25% usable paved shoulder where motor stage. vehicle speeds are greater than 80 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour) There is a need to clarify the above guidance to include offsets where 4. Provide direction on the process required and the width of the adjacent for granting design waivers when the travel lane. This clarification minimum or preferred bicycle should prescribe the minimum and accommodation is not provided. This preferred bicycle accommodation in additional direction should recognize terms of the total width of the environmental and right-of-way outside lane including shoulder and constraints and seek to strike a offset as this is the total lateral balance when bicycle related space shared by a bicycle and motor improvements are clearly advancing vehicle. Where an offset is not public safety goals and improving required, minimum bicycle environmental quality. It may be accommodation is 4.5 meters (14.76 possible to increase the lateral space feet) and preferred accommodation is available to the motorist and bicyclist 5.0 meters (16.4 feet). Where an with minimal impact on adjacent offset is required, minimum bicycle properties. The MHD Bicycle and accommodation is 5.0 meters (16.4 Pedestrian Program staff should provide feet) and preferred accommodation is support to MHD Districts when projects 5.5 meters (18.04 feet). that would improve on-road bicycle accommodation enter the design waiver Direction is also needed on the process. MHD should seek to build process for granting design waivers consensus among the various when the minimum or preferred bicycle stakeholders using a mediation accommodation is not provided. approach.
Most actuated traffic signal systems 1. The Massachusetts Highway MHD/BTP&D, MDC, cities, towns, and in the Commonwealth do not detect Department (MHD) and others should other appropriate agencies bicycles. When no motor vehicles are adopt standards for the detection of present at a leg of an intersection bicycles by actuated traffic signal where a bicyclist is waiting, the systems. traffic signal is not actuated. The MHD/BTP&D, municipalities, and other bicyclist choices are to wait for a 2. Bicycle detection should be agencies who own and operate traffic motor vehicle to arrive to actuate the specified in new and retrofit projects signals on public ways in the signal or to run the light. This involving actuated traffic signal Commonwealth. situation is inconsistent with systems, based on standards to be Massachusetts General Laws which developed by MHD. MHD/BTP&D, municipalities, and other recognize bicycles as vehicles and agencies who own and operate traffic afford bicyclists the same rights as 3. Where warranted, existing actuated signals on public ways in the motorists. traffic signal systems should be Commonwealth. redesigned to detect bicycles. These designs should be based on standards to be adopted by MHD. The AASHTO Guide notes that bridges 4. Provide appropriate treatments to MHD/BTP&D, MDC, local Departments of can serve an important function by improve bicycle travel across bridges. Public Works, and other agencies with providing bicycle access across Such treatments may initially include bridge design/construction/maintenance barriers. Some bridge features, signage to alert bicyclists to surface responsibility. however, may be unsuitable for conditions. Other longer term bicyclists; these are, according to treatments may include: retrofitting AASHTO, "open grated metal decks found existing bridges to improve surface on many movable spans" and "certain conditions for bicycling; and bridge types of expansion joints that may construction and reconstruction cause bicycle steering difficulties." projects that incorporate surfaces more compatible with bicycle travel, specifically in bicycle travel paths, and provision of greater operating space.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Bicycles need to be safely 1. Develop bicycle oriented MHD, Massachusetts Water Resources accommodated in construction areas. construction checklists, which address Agency, utility companies, cities and the following items: towns, state and local police, bicycle smooth travel path and adequate lane organizations width bicycle consideration in detour route selection and construction area signage physical barriers from debris metal trench plate surface treatment and asphalt ramping shim or ramp raised catch basins restrict access to off-road facilities during construction. 2. Develop, implement, and enforce utility practices, such as jointless patches, that consider bicycles 3. Train construction personnel about the needs of bicyclists. 4. Train utility companies and designers to consider bicycles in utility placement. Provide standard roadway repair practices. Update standard specifications. Foster partnering between utility companies, planners and designers in all stages of project design. 5. Provide public training and information on bicycling in construction areas.
Provide appropriate signage and 1. Use wet skid-resistant pavement MHD, MDC, other state agencies, cities, striping during construction and as markings. Consider bicyclists in the towns, and others involved in signage part of ongoing maintenance. selection and location of signage. and striping. 2. Develop guidance for maintenace and replacement of signage and striping. Provide periodic evaluation. The needs of bicyclists should be 3. Develop standards for evaluating State, local, and other roadway/trail accommodated in sweeping, drainage, the recurring needs for sweeping and maintenance agencies. vegetation, and winter maintenance implement accordingly. More frequent policies and practices. sweeping may be required depending on bicycle volumes and local conditions. 4. Modify current grate replacement program to incorporate bicycle-safe grates. Ensure proper cleaning of catch basins to avoid the formation of standing water and surface irregularities. 5. Modify mowing programs to include consideration of bicyclist sight line requirements, especially at intersections with off-road facilities. 6. Provide proper vertical and horizontal clearances to ensure safe bicycle passage. Provide proper trimming of vegetation to ensure visibility of signage, proper sight lines, and safe/secure areas for users. 7. Identify problem areas and implement preventive measures, such as root barriers, to limit root damage to trail pavements. 1. Address bicycle needs in snow/ice State, local, and other roadway/trail removal policies and practices. agencies. Improved railroad crossings can better 2. Train railroad and other personnel Railroads, state and local roadway accommodate bicycles. to consider bicycle use in agencies design/maintenace of railroad crossings. Provide design guidance on railroad crossing treatments to accommodate bicycles. Provide for the safety of trail users 3. Where warranted, provide trail DEM, MDC, cities and towns during hours of darkness. lighting. Provide mechanisms for bicyclists to 4. Establish a dedicated hotline for State and local roadway agencies, and report roadway and trail maintenance reporting maintenace needs. bicycle organizations needs. 5. Establish a clearinghouse to receive, evaluate and implement suggested improvements. Develop a tracking system.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Bicycle tourism has been shown to be a 1. Update, print and distribute State MOTT, RTCs, the tourism industry, source of substantial revenue in Bicycle Map. cities, towns, chambers of commerce, several states. The industry is in and others. the developing stages in 2. Develop a multipage brochure as a Massachusetts, and there are a few companion piece to the State Bicycle companies in the state which are Map that is oriented to the needs and realizing part of the business interests of the bicycle tourist. The potential of bicycling. Other brochure could include information on businesses outside the state are also lodging, bicycle attractions and tour involved in bicycle tourism in operators in each region, and bicycling Massachusetts. Developing a stronger safety. It could also incorporate bicycle tourism business within the information already available from state would increase revenues realized several regional tourist councils by the Commonwealth. (RTCs) on bicycling and other outdoor activities in their region. State tourism promotion offices in Massachusetts geographically is a other states have developed materials, relatively small state, and different programs and organizations for regions can be visited during the time marketing bicycling attractions period of a typical vacation. This throughout the state. Other states publication could highlight the major have also developed a non-profit bicycling attractions in the state, organization, sponsored by businesses without requiring a vacationer to and other organizations, which contact several separate RTCs for promotes bicycling and tourism in the information. state. The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) can play a 3. Broaden contacts with appropriate prominent role in increasing the tourism representatives to focus on visibility of Massachusetts as a bicycle tourism and potential for bicycle tourism destination and in further organization. capturing the revenue that it offers. These promotion efforts could attract 4. Continue to feature bicycling in funding from bicycle shops, tour existing tourism promotions and operators, lodging, and other publications, and to highlight businesses which stand to gain from bicycling in regional tourism more bicycle tourists coming to activities. Massachusetts.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES Bicycling is a highly efficient means The promotion of bicycling entails a MHD, other state agencies with of transportation, as well as a comprehensive program that addresses transportation and air quality healthy, enjoyable activity for people facility needs, safety education and responsibiliities, CARAVAN, the of all ages. The National Bicycling law enforcement, as well as transportation management associations and Walking Study has set a goal of encouragement. The recommendations (TMAs), Smart Routes, regional transit doubling the percentage of trips made below relate to areas not already authorities (RTAs), and the BayState by bicycling and walking, at the same covered elsewhere. Roads Program. time reducing by 10 percent the number of bicyclists and pedestrians killed 1. Work with local communities, and injured in traffic crashes. To businesses, academic institutions or support this goal, Massachusetts will other agencies and organizations to need to carry out its own statewide sponsor and promote bicycle to work effort to make bicycling a more days, community bicycle rides, and attractive transportation option for other events to attract and encourage more of its people. new bicyclists. 2. Produce state and local bicycle maps to help riders identify safe and efficient routes for bicycling to desired destinations. 3. Conduct a statewide multi-media campaign promoting bicycling. This might be linked to other efforts, such as the share-the-road campaign. 4. Encourage designation of MHD MHD Districts, RPAs, cities, and towns District, regional, and local agency bicycling contacts and the establishment of bicycle advisory committees. 5. Develop best practices publications MHD, DEM, GHSB, MDPH, Baysate Roads covering 4E activities (education, Program, and others enforcement, encouragement, and engineering,) of potential value and application to state, regional, local, and other agencies. 6. Develop a Clean Air/Bike-to-Transit EOEA, Regional transit authorities pilot program, emphasizing reduced cold (RTAs), RPAs, TMAs, cities and towns. starts. Evaluate and expand as appropriate.
OPPORTUNITY/NEED RECOMMENDATION PROPOSED AGENCIES There is an opportunity to increase 1. Assess the bicycle suitability of RTAs, all agencies who own and maintain both bicycle and transit use by primary roadways leading to transit public roads that provide links to improvements in three primary areas: stations and stops and other intermodal transit centers, Massport, and Mass facilities, and where suitability is Aeronautics bicycle access to transit stations and low, improve roadways to better stops accommodate bicycles. Ensure that new bicycle parking at transit stations roadways leading to transit stations and stops and and other intermodal facilities are conveyance of bicycles on transit designed to accommodate bicycles. RTAs and all agencies that construct, vehicles own, or maintain bikeways. 2. Ensure that all new bikeways and An increase in bicycling and transit transit centers provide connections use will advance broader goals of the between these facilities. Improve RTAs, RPAs, cities and towns Commonwealth, including improved air connections between existing bikeways quality, mobility, and quality of and transit/intermodal centers. life. 3. Provide/update inventories of There are also opportunities to bicycle parking facilities at all improve bicycle linkage with other transit centers and major bus stops. modes and modal centers. These modes Survey the numbers of bicycles parked include commuter ferries and other at or near these facilities during peak maritime services, and periods of bicycle use. Assess the airports/airlines. Intermodal sites demand for bicycle parking at these include park and ride lots, and facilities based on existing use data existing and proposed intermodal and an evaluation of potential demand. centers, such as South Station in Boston. 4. Install additional bicycle parking RTAs, RPAs, local police, cities and facilities at transit centers and major towns bus stops based on demand. At transit centers such as commuter rail and subway stations, bicycle racks should be provided in a secure and convenient location. Bicycle lockers should be considered especially at locations that are not continuously populated, such as at some suburban commuter rail stations in the Boston area. Large secured bicycle parking facilities (e.g., the covered, fenced, and locked bicycle parking facility at Mass General Hospital in Boston) may be more appropriate where warranted. There is an opportunity to increase 1. Provide safe, secure, and adequate MHD, RTAs, RPAs, Massport, use of alternative modes of bicycle parking facilities at Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, and transportation by improvements in park-and-ride lots, airports, and other others bicycle parking at intermodal intermodal facilities. facilities. Bicycle theft is a deterrent to 2. Increase monitoring of parking RTAs, RPAs, local police, cities and increasing intermodal bicycle use. sites to reduce vandalism and theft. towns Locate parking facilities to increase surveillance. There is an opportunity to increase 3. Continue to increase the Massachusetts Bay Transportation both bicycle and transit use by convenience of transporting bicycles on Authority (MBTA) improvements in conveyance of bicycles trains as was done on October 1, 1996 on transit vehicles when the MBTA expanded the number of outlets for obtaining Bikes on the T permits and hours when bicycles are allowed on trains. AMTRAK and private bus companies 4. Increase the convenience of transporting bicycles on Amtrak trains RTAs and on private buses. 5. Increase the number of RTA buses equipped with bicycle racks, using as a Ferry and other maritime operators model programs implemented by the Nantucket RTA and the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority. 6. Increase the convenience of transporting bicycles on ferries and other maritime services 7. Investigate potential adaptation of RTAs, other transit, and ferry existing rolling stock and other operators equipment to better accommodate bicycle conveyance. 8. Assess bicycle/transit usage on a Responsible agencies regular basis to determine how system improvements can be provided.
Worcester Tuesday, November 12 Central Mass Regional Planning Commission 20 Washington Square, Suite 300
Northampton Wednesday, November 13 Municipal Office Building (behind City Hall) Top Floor, Council Room 212 Main Street
Boston Thursday, November 14 City Hall, Room 801 (use Congress Street entrance) Government Center
Dennis Tuesday, November 19 Dennis Senior Center (downstairs meeting room) 1045 Route 134
Taunton Wednesday, November 20 Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission 88 Broadway
Andover Thursday, November 21 West Middle School Cafeteria 100 Shawsheen Road
Pittsfield Tuesday, November 26 Berkshire County Regional Planning Commission 10 Fenn Street