Bicycles and Traffic

by Harold C. Munn, (M.ASCE), Sr. Planning Engr.; Div. of Structures, State of California DOT, Los Angeles, Calif.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 4, Pg. 753-762

Document Type: Journal Paper


The bicycle as a mode of transportation and recreation has attracted wide attention in recent years. The incidence of bicycle/motor vehicle accidents has increased dramatically with increasing bicycle usage and is largely due to the careless behavior or lack of understanding on the part of bicyclists themselves. Increased efforts to provide: (1) Education in safe riding technique; and (2) a higher level of traffic law enforcement are the key elements in diminishing bicycle/motor vehicle accidents. Construction of separate paths for bicycles, although desirable, is not generally feasible because of cost and the limited availability of rights-of-way. In general, providing adequate outside lane and shoulder width on the existing or proposed streets and highways to accomodate both bicycles and motor vehicles on a shared-use basis is the most practical and cost effective option available. Minimum outside lane widths and clearances to fixed objects are given for various conditions of traffic.

Subject Headings: Traffic accidents | Bicycles | Traffic management | Traffic safety | Highway and road shoulders | Recreation | Education | Laws

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