Traffic Engineering: Bicycle Transportation
Visit Colorado Springs, Boston, LA, or any other major city and you’ll see a great deal of dedicated pathways for citizens who bike to-and-from their destinations. Visit Springfield, Missouri, and you’ll see areas where cyclists are trying to share the lanes with motorists, or rolling down the sidewalk in an attempt to stay safe. While the City of Springfield and Ozark Greenways have done a great job creating pathways for cyclists in some heavily trafficked areas of Springfield, there is always room for improvement. That’s where Bicycle Transportation Engineering comes into play.
Bicycle Transportation Engineering can show benefits to both those commuting to work by car, and those who choose to bike to work. When cyclists share the same lane as cars, it can either create traffic congestion due to the cyclist not being able to ride the speed limit, or it can create safety hazards because cars will drive in the lane of oncoming traffic to move around the cyclist. Either of these would be made better if some intentional transportation engineering focused on cyclists took place.
Traffic Engineering to create and implement cycling infrastructure can be done through studying routes that are most traveled by cyclists in Springfield, and creating bike lanes alongside car traffic lanes. Where this is done, the bicyclist has a small dedicated lane to ride in, as does the driver of the car. This creates a safer, more efficient way for drivers of cars and drivers of bicycles to share the roadways, as it is illegal for bicyclists to ride on the sidewalks.
These safer paths for cyclists could also be dedicated bike paths, meaning a trail where no motorists are allowed to drive. While these are most likely the safest, they’re not necessarily the most cost-effective in the middle of a city. These bike paths tend to be implemented near parks, where motorists are already not allowed to drive. Other areas that are better suited for bike paths are college campuses, where students either walk to bike to class.
If you’d like to look at implementing Bicycle Traffic Engineering in your city or tow, give Anderson Engineering a call. We’d be happy to discuss logistics and work with you to find a plan to make a safer commute for both motorists and cyclists.