Standards and Guidelines

AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 4th Ed.  Standards engineers typically are required to follow.  Available for purchase from American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).  AASHTO supports the use of on-road bicycling facilities in many situations, even when there is a sidepath next to the road; see here for some relevant fair-use excerpts on that topic.  The various types of bicycling facilities can “supplement,” and “should not be used to preclude” each other.

AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Bicycle Facilities  Rails-to-Trails Conservancy posts this free downloadable DRAFT version of AASHTO’s guide, dated February 2010, on their web site

Best Design Practices for Walking and Bicycling in Michigan  Free download from the Michigan Dept. of Transportation.  Practices not in the MMUTCD require Federal Highway Administration approval.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Terminology  Definitions and illustrations of essential terms used in non-motorized planning; from MDOT.  Explains difference between commonly misunderstood terms such as “bike lane” vs. “bike route.”

“Bike Friendly” Award Criteria: League of American Bicyclists  Many bike friendly awards can be earned: communities, businesses, universities and even states are eligible; this LAB page contains links to the application forms, which contain criteria.   Click here for an overview.

Bike Route Wayfinding Signage and Markings System  Section of larger Urban Bikeway Design Guide that applies specifically to bike routes.  From the National Association of City Transportation Officials, but refers to other standards from AASHTO, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, with an especially useful set of links to comprehensive bike route design guides adopted by various US states and cities.

BFK Route Planning Guidelines 121111 web version  Preliminary guidelines for BFK’s route planning volunteers.

Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares   Free download from AASHTO.  Requires adding it to your “cart.”

Developing Safety Plans: A Manual For Local Rural Road Owners  “In 2009, 56 percent of highway deaths occurred on rural roads and the fatality rate was 2.6 times higher in rural areas than in urban areas.” This FWHA guide can help road agencies with jurisdiction in rural areas develop local plans to integrate “the 4 E’s of Safety – engineering, education, enforcement and emergency services.”

Establishing Realistic Speed Limits  Guide to the reasons for setting realistic speed limits and the process involved for doing so.  This document may be of special interest to jurisdictions such as townships, which must work with other authorities to change and post established speed limits.

Guidelines for Stakeholder Engagement – MDOT  The Michigan Department of Transportation’s recommended process for getting input from those most likely to be impacted by, or have useful information about, MDOT’s plans and projects.  “Stakeholder engagement is a key aspect of practicing Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS).”

How to Become an Even More Bike Friendly University-College-Community College   How to become a more bike friendly institution of higher learning.   Drawn from the League of American Bicyclists’ 2012 Bike Friendly University Award application.

Illustration of Approved Bicycle Signs – FHWA   Scroll for commentary and additional useful links on the Federal Highway Administration’s site

Institute of Transportation Engineers  Browse site to find Designing Walkable Thoroughfares guide.

Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study  A key central planning authority in our greater community; KATS is our Metropolitan Planning Organization.

MDOT Letter of Support for “Map 7” Commuter Bike Route Signs  Letter dated June 9, 2017 outlining general principles that will guide MDOT’s signs on roads in their jurisdiction within the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study’s metropolitan planning organization.

MDOT Traffic Sign Design, Placement, and Application Guidelines  “This manual provides guidance to administrative, engineering, and technical staff.”  Includes sections on signing priorities and principles, among many others.  Dated March 2017.

MDOT State Long Range Transportation Plan 2005-2030: Nonmotorized Technical Report  Comprehensive report covering the types of non-motorized facilities under their jurisdiction, user profiles, benefits, funding sources and their legal context, among many others.

MDOT U.S. Bicycle Route Sign Guidance – Unofficial   Document used by MDOT when considering how to sign the U.S. Bicycle Routes that are being set up across the State of Michigan; such routes use the M1-9 / M1-9 alternate sign.

Michigan Compiled Law 247.660k  Covers mandates and details related to expenditure on non-motorized facilities, namely as “…an amount equal to at least 1% of the amount distributed to the state transportation department or the county, city, or village, whichever is appropriate, from the Michigan transportation fund…”.

Michigan Compiled Law 247.660p  Covers mandatory relationships among governmental units, the State Transportation Commission, road commissions and road agencies related to Complete Streets policies, and the need to take them into account on certain road and right of way projects.

Michigan Complete Streets Coalition   Group working to help ensure streets accommodate needs of non-motorized and motorized users.

Michigan Design Manual (for Road Design)   Chapter 12.2 (2013) presents “Bicycle Facilities,” covering Attorney General Opinions, References, Types of Bicycle Facilities, Non-Motorized Transportation Project Review, Agreements-Shared Use Paths, and Design Features for Shared Use and On-Road Facilities.

Michigan Legislature – Act 283 of 1909 – Chapter IV Covers county road law, including among other contents: the board of county road commissioners (election or appointment), regular term, benefits, powers and duties.

Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices  Engineers must follow these standards in Michigan (aka, MMUTCD); download sections of most interest using this menu or see here for the entire manual (33+MB).  See below for link to MMUTCD Part 9, which pertains to Bicycle Facilities.

National Organization of City Transportation Officials  Browse site to find free downloadable Urban Bikeway Design Guide.  NACTO’s guides contain a number of innovative designs not yet formally adopted by AASHTO, yet may be considered and potentially used as per published guidance by FHWA in August 2013.

Protected (and Buffered) Bicycle Lanes: Detroit, Chicago, New York and Vancouver (CA).  Our area is actively exploring the use of protected and buffered bike lanes to increase safety and feelings of security on some key arteries.  These articles from a variety of resources define and describe examples of these relatively new but increasingly popular bicycling facilities, and where they make sense to include in the broader network.

Public Participation Plan In Transportation Decision Making  This document outlines the process by which input is obtained from stakeholders in the type of projects funded through the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study.  It is updated on a regular basis, so this link will change over time; this is the 2017 edition.  “Realizing an efficient transportation system can only come from a true understanding of citizens’ diverse and far-ranging needs, KATS is committed to involving and collaborating with the region’s citizens in a public involvement process that is grounded in mutual problem solving and understanding.”

Ride With GPS Quick Tips   Brief tips on how to use the online route planning tool “Ride With GPS,” which BFK is using to help ensure a common platform for the creation, access, and sharing of route planning files.

Road Commission of Kalamazoo County  Has jurisdiction over much of Kalamazoo county’s road system that is not under the jurisdiction of cities and villages with so-called Act 51 authority.

School Area Traffic Control Guidelines  MDOT’s basic principles and standards to be followed in design, application, installation, and maintenance of all traffic control devices and other controls required for the special pedestrian conditions of school areas.

Sidepath Application Criteria Development for Bicycle Use  Explores “Michigan residents’ bicycle facility preferences and attitudes and behaviors toward bicycling, and to conduct primary research to understand bicycle crash characteristics along sidepaths in the service of better sidepath design guidance.” (MDOT, 2018)

Sidepath Intersection and Crossing Treatment Guide  This MDOT Guide “lays out a straightforward process and provides guidance for integrating highquality bikeways into a proposed roadway project or as a stand-alone project.”  (2018)

Southwest Michigan Bikeway – Letters of Support   Letters of support for signing the Southwest Michigan Bikeway using the M1-8a bike route sign and associated destination/direction/distance and turn arrow signs recommended by the Kalamazoo Region Bike Route Committee as received from the: City of KalamazooVillage of Paw Paw, Village of Vicksburg, City of Portage, Discover Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, Trikats, Paul Runnels, Ed Sackley, Jennifer Johnson, Open Roads Bike Program, the Chain Gang Bicycle Club and Marc Irwin.

State Transportation Commission Policy on Complete Streets Michigan’s policy statement.  MDOT has adopted “Complete Streets” and now takes it into account when modifying and building elements under its jurisdiction.  Local adoption is optional; it varies by jurisdiction and the degree to which Complete Streets vision is codified.

Standard Highway Signs and Markings  The Federal Highway Administration has developed design details for these signs and markings.  Links on this page lead to detailed sign layout specifications available in PDF and EPS formats.

Traffic Control Devices For Bicycle Facilities (MMUTDC Part 9)  Contains key standards, options, guidance and supporting references for the traffic control devices for bicycle facilities in the State of Michigan.  Excellent figures throughout present sign and lane markings, illustrate placement.  Be alert for occasional updates to the Manual which may be found elsewhere.

Transportation Design Guidelines: City of Vancouver (Canada)  The City of Vancouver has documented 10 rules of thumb to keep in mind when designing bicycling facilities it classes as “AAA,” namely, those designed to make cycling safe, convenient, comfortable and fun for all ages and abilities, including families with children, seniors, and new riders.

Van Buren County Road Commission  Has jurisdiction over much of Van Buren county’s road system that is not otherwise under the jurisdiction of cities and villages with so-called Act 51 authority.