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Bicycle and Pedestrian Program


Bicycle and Pedestrian Terms

Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)—Federal law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. Requires public entities and public accommodations to provide accessible accommodations for people with disabilities.

Bicycle—Every vehicle propelled solely by human power upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, except scooters and similar devices. The term “bicycle” for this publication also includes three- and four-wheeled powered vehicles, but not tricycles for children.

Bicycle Facilities—A general term denoting improvements and provisions made by public agencies to accommodate or encourage bicycling, including parking and storage facilities, and shared roadways not specifically designated for bicycle use.

Bicycle Lane or Bike Lane—A portion of a roadway which has been designated by striping, signing and pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists.

Bicycle Path or Bike Path—See Shared Use Path.

Bicycle Route System—A system of bikeways designated by the jurisdiction having authority with appropriate directional and informational route markers, with or without specific bicycle route numbers. Bike routes should establish a continuous routing, for a combination of any and all types of bikeways.

Bikeway—A generic term for any road, street, path or way which in some manner is specifically designated for bicycle travel, regardless of whether such facilities are designated for the exclusive use of bicycles or are to be shared with other transportation modes.

Crosswalk—That part of a roadway at an intersection that is included within the extensions of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the roadway, measured from the curbline, or in the absence of curbs from the edges of the roadway. Also, any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere that is distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.

Curb Extension—A section of sidewalk extending into the roadway at an intersection or midblock crossing that reduces the crossing width for pedestrians and may help reduce traffic speeds.

Curb Ramp—A combined ramp and landing to accomplish a change in level at a curb. This element provides street and sidewalk access to pedestrians using wheelchairs.

Detectable Warning—Standardized surface feature built in, or applied to, walking surfaces or other elements to warn pedestrians with vision impairments of hazards on a sidewalk and or loading platform, such as the curb line or drop-off.

GRADE-SEPARATED CROSSING—A facility such as overpass, underpass, skywalk, or tunnel that allows pedestrians and motor vehicles to cross each other at different levels.

Median Island—An island in the center of a road that physically separates the directional flow of traffic and can provide pedestrians with a place of refuge and reduce the crossing distance between safety points.

Pedestrian—A person afoot or in a wheelchair.

Rail-Trail—A shared use path, either paved or unpaved, built within the right-of-way of an existing or former railroad.

Roadway—The portion of the highway, including shoulders, intended for vehicular use.

Rumble Strips—A textured or grooved pavement sometimes used on or along shoulders of highways to alert motorists who stray onto the shoulder.

Shared Roadway—A roadway which is open to both bicycle and motor vehicle travel. This may be an existing roadway, street with wide curb lanes, or road with paved shoulders.

Shared Use Path—A bikeway physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier and also be used by pedestrians, skaters, wheelchair users, joggers and other non-motorized users.

Shoulder—The portion of the roadway contiguous with the traveled way for accommodation of vehicles, for emergency use and for lateral support of sub-base, base and surface courses.

Sidewalk—A paved pathway paralleling a highway, road, or street intended for pedestrians.

Sight Distance—The length of roadway visible to a driver or pedestrian; the distance a person can see along an unobstructed line of sight.

Signed Shared Roadway (Signed Bike Route)—A shared roadway which has been designated by signing as a preferred route for bicycle use.

Traveled Way—The portion of the roadway for the movement of vehicles, exclusive of shoulders.

Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, AASHTO, 1999.
Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities, AASHTO, 2004.