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Contributing to Changes in National Standards

The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, or MUTCD defines the standards and guidance used by transportation professionals nationwide to design and maintain traffic control devices on public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel. The MUTCD is published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and states are required to conform with its provisions. The MUTCD is THE book when it comes to traffic control.

Recently, the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) issued a recommendation to the FHWA to add/revise content in the MUTCD relative to Bike Box facilities. This recommendation is based on advancements in the state of the art through studies of early bike box deployments in the United States. EMH&T’s 2012 design and evaluation of the experimental Milton Avenue Bike Box was one of the research studies cited by the NCUTCD as a basis for their recommendations.

The first Bike Boulevard in Columbus, the Milton Avenue Bike Boulevard was designed by EMH&T’s Traffic Division. This project links heavily used sections of the Olentangy Trail shared use path through existing neighborhood streets. An experimental “Bike Box” was designed as part of the bike boulevard at the E. North Broadway/Milton Avenue intersection. EMH&T developed and executed a regulatory evaluation of this experimental treatment in conjunction with FHWA and the City of Columbus. EMH&T evaluated 3 different bike box treatments in addition to the pre-existing control condition, and we studied driver and bicyclist behavior at multiple times over a 6 month period. In total over 6,500 interactions between motorists and bicyclists were studied, and the resulting data contributed to a better understanding of the application and effectiveness of bike boxes.

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