Portland State University. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Christopher M. Monsere
Date of Publication
Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Bicycle commuting -- Oregon -- Portland -- Evaluation, Signalized intersections -- Oregon -- Portland, Traffic flow -- Measurement
1 online resource (ix, 94 pages)
Wider bike facilities intuitively accommodate a greater number of cyclists in the same amount of time, but specific queue discharge characteristics associated with varying widths and/or types of bike facilities have not been thoroughly documented.
The focus of this research analyzed queues of cyclists at four signalized intersections in Portland, OR with varying widths on the approach and downstream intersection legs. A total of 2,820 cyclists within 630 groups of queued cyclists were observed at five different intersection layouts in Portland, Oregon. The layouts consisted of: a standard bike lane six feet wide connecting bicyclists to a standard bike lane six feet wide, a standard bike lane five feet wide connecting bicyclists to two standard bike lanes each five feet wide, a buffered bike lane 12 feet wide connecting bicyclists to a standard bike lane 6.5 feet wide, a bike box 21 feet wide connecting bicyclists to a buffered bike lane 10 feet wide, and a bike box 15 feet wide connecting bicyclists to two standard bike lanes each five feet wide.
For each configuration, the following aspects were analyzed: average headway per cyclist within each queue, the time required for queues to enter the intersection, the time required for queues to clear the intersection, the number of cyclists within queues, the width of the bicycle facilities, the approach grade, and the utilization of a bike box at the intersection approach if it was present.
The first major focus of the analysis reviewed the average headway values associated with each observed queue of cyclists. The queue size with the lowest mean of the average headway was for groups of seven cyclists with an average headway of approximately 0.8 seconds per cyclist. For queues larger than seven in size, the mean of the average headway remained relatively stable until queues of 12 in size and started to slightly increase toward approximately 1.0 seconds for queues larger than 12 cyclists. In addition, it appears that utilization of a bike box has a potential relationship with a reduced average headway as compared to queues that do not utilize a bike box. The associated reduction in the mean of the average headway was approximately 0.2 to 0.3 seconds per cyclist for queues of three or more in size.
The second major focus of the analysis reviewed the queue discharge rate associated with each observed queue of cyclists. The results appear to potentially indicate that wider bike facilities approaching an intersection, wider receiving bike facilities, or utilization of a bike box generally discharge queues of bicyclists into the intersection over a shorter amount of time as compared to facilities that are narrower or underutilized. The installation of a bike box at one of the study intersections increased the approach width from five to 15 feet and resulted in consistently lower average discharge times for all queue sizes, a reduction of greater than one second for queues of two cyclists to as much as about four seconds for queues of nine cyclists.
The third major focus of the analysis reviewed the intersection clearance time associated with each observed queue of cyclists. The results appear to potentially indicate that wider bike facilities approaching an intersection, wider receiving bike facilities, or utilization of a bike box generally clear queues of bicyclists through the intersection over a shorter amount of time as compared to facilities that are narrower or underutilized.
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Paulsen, Kirk Thomas, "Cyclists' Queue Discharge Characteristics at Signalized Intersections" (2018). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4458.