Bike Lane Pilot Project

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As an extension of the Move DBQ Smart Parking and Mobility Study, the City of Dubuque and community partners are currently gathering information that will inform an upcoming Bike Lane Pilot Project. 

The project will include a temporary pilot bike lane on a downtown street from Jackson St. to Bluff St. The four streets being considered are 5th St., 9th St., 10th St., and 11th St. The temporary bike lane is expected to open in 2024.

To provide input, please take our short survey! We also invite you to learn more about bike lane infrastructure and biking comfort levels by exploring the sections below!

Types of Cyclists

Adult cyclists can be categorized into four major groups depending on their biking comfort level and stress tolerance. Which group most represents you?

  • Strong and Fearless
    You ride anywhere, anytime! You are comfortable riding with traffic and will use roads without bike lanes.

  • Enthused and Confident
    You feel confident riding on most streets, but prefer to ride in a bike lane when one is available. 

  • Interested, But Concerned
    You are interested in riding your bike more often, but you have concerns. Sharing the road with cars feels dangerous. You prefer off-street trails and quiet residential streets. If there were safe spaces to ride, you'd probably ride your bike more often, but riding in traffic doesn't suit you well. 

  • No Way, No How
    You aren't interested in biking for a variety of reasons — traffic, hills, winter — it just doesn't appeal to you.
Types of Cyclists

Low-Stress Bike Network

A low-stress bike network is a system of on-street and off-street bikeways on which people of all ages and experience levels can feel comfortable riding

A bike network is designated as “low stress” using the Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) methodology. This approach analyzes the comfort level of the cyclist and roadway characteristics that cause stress, such as the number of travel lanes and vehicle speeds. The results generate scores for roadways that range from  LTS 1 (least stressful) to LTS 4 (most stressful).

  • LTS 4 – High stress, suitable for few adults (about 4 percent of adults).
  • LTS 3 – Moderate traffic stress, for some adults (about 10 percent of adults).
  • LTS 2 – Low traffic stress, suitable for most adults (about 50 percent of adults).
  • LTS 1 – Very low traffic stress, suitable for most children.

To achieve a bike network that appeals to a broad segment of the population, levels of traffic stress (LTS) need to be reduced to low stress (LTS 2) or very low stress (LTS 1).

Types of Bike Lanes

Conventional Bike Lane

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Buffered Bike Lane

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Conventional and Buffered Bike Lanes

Conventional bike lanes dedicate exclusive space in the street for bicyclists to operate one-way on the roadway. They include a solid white stripe between the general travel lane and the bike lane and are marked by a bicyclist symbol and arrow indicating the direction of travel. 

A research review of the safety impacts of bicycle infrastructure generally finds that conventional and buffered bike lanes improve bicyclist safety; however, mixed results regarding collision reduction are documented because many studies do not account for factors such as exposure, maintenance, or differences in implementation.

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Shared Bike Lanes or Sharrows

Shared lane markings, also known as sharrows, are markings in the street that look like a bicycle and two chevrons. In shared lanes, bicyclists ride in mixed traffic, therefore their comfort and safety varies widely based on traffic operating speeds and volumes. 

Shared lanes can be a positive and affordable solution when designed correctly and used in the correct context; however, the vast majority of bike/car crashes in the U.S. occur in shared lanes that are applied to inappropriate contexts and environments.

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Advisory Bike Lanes

An Advisory Bike Lane defines a preferred space for bicyclists and motorists to operate on narrow streets that would otherwise be a shared roadway environment. Unlike dedicated bicycle lanes, motor vehicle use is not prohibited in the advisory bike lane and is expected on occasion. Advisory bike lanes are a relatively new treatment in North America.

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Bicycle Boulevards

Bicycle boulevards are low-stress bikeways primarily located on low-volume, low-speed local streets. Treatments such as shared lane markings, wayfinding signs, and traffic calming features are implemented to prioritize bicycle travel, including at crossings with higher volume arterials. Bicycle boulevards have a lower incidence of bicycle-involved crashes than parallel arterial routes. This may be because the parallel arterial routes often don’t have context-appropriate bicycle infrastructure.

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Cycle Track

A cycle track is an exclusive bike facility that combines the user experience of a separated path with the on-street infrastructure of a conventional bike lane. A cycle track is physically separated from motor traffic and distinct from the sidewalk. Cycle tracks have different forms but all share common elements—they provide space that is intended to be exclusively or primarily used for bicycles, and are separated from motor vehicle travel lanes, parking lanes, and sidewalks.

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Paved Shoulders

Research shows that continuous paved shoulders and bicycle lanes act essentially the same in terms of operations as bike lanes. A major factor in the safety of shoulders for bicyclists is the presence and design of rumble strips, which can present a crash hazard or render a shoulder un-rideable for bicyclists.

Safety Over Speed

Our bodies can only tolerate so much physical impact. Even small increases in vehicle speed significantly escalate risk of severe injuries and deaths. The average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10% at an impact speed of 16 mph, 25% at 23 mph, 50% at 31 mph, 75% at 39 mph, and 90% at 46 mph. 

The average risk of death for a pedestrian reaches 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph, 25% at 32 mph, 50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. Risks vary significantly by age. For example, the average risk of severe injury or death for a 70‐year‐old pedestrian struck by a car travelling at 25 mph is similar to the risk for a 30‐year‐old pedestrian struck at 35 mph. 

This data helps inform efforts to improve pedestrian safety, for example, by:

  • limiting traffic speeds to levels that are unlikely to result in severe injury or death in places where pedestrians and vehicles may encounter one another, 
  • creating physical separation of pedestrians and vehicles in places where higher traffic speeds are desired, 
  • and developing vehicle‐based systems that detect pedestrians and warn the driver or brake automatically when a collision is imminent.

Learn more about safety benefits of bike lanes.