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Designing for Nonmotorists: Shared Use Paths. Trails for Transportation Christopher Douwes, Trails and Enhancements Program Manager, Federal Highway Administration. Designing for Nonmotorists Course Overview. Part 3: Off-Road Facilities Shared Use Paths Recreational Trails Motorized Trails

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designing for nonmotorists shared use paths

Designing for Nonmotorists: Shared Use Paths

Trails for Transportation

Christopher Douwes, Trails and Enhancements Program Manager, Federal Highway Administration

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

designing for nonmotorists course overview
Designing for Nonmotorists Course Overview

Part 3: Off-Road Facilities

  • Shared Use Paths
  • Recreational Trails
  • Motorized Trails

Part 4: Resources

  • Training, Publications, and Websites
  • Credits

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths
Shared Use Paths

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

what is a shared use path
What is a Shared Use Path?
  • The term “shared use path” means a multi-use trail or other path, physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier, either within a highway right-of-way or within an independent right-of-way, and usable for transportation purposes.
  • Shared use paths may be used by pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, equestrians, and other nonmotorized users.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

sidewalk or trail
Sidewalk or Trail?

What is the difference between a sidewalk and a trail? Part function, part location.

  • If it acts like a sidewalk, it’s a sidewalk.
  • If it acts like a trail, it’s a trail.
  • If it is in between…..
    • Facilities on park land parallel to streets.
    • Doesn’t matter who maintains (parks or streets department). The function matters.
    • People will always argue fine details……..

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

provisions
Provisions

If you build a shared use path….

  • Make sure it works for all users.
    • Accommodate pre-existing legal users, including equestrians.
  • Ensure Accessibility: to be covered in the Accessible Design course.
  • Ensure construction to guidelines: Verify!

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

good examples
Good Examples

Oregon integrates recreational trails and transportation facilities: Portland Esplanade

Trails connect parks and recreation: MKT Trail, Columbia MO

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

bad example
Bad Example

What do these curves do?

  • Landscape architect vs

Engineer?

  • Practical vs pretty?
  • Transportation vs recreation?
  • Opposite side of the road from a high school and other origins or destinations; no crosswalks.
  • It may be part of a larger plan.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths guidelines
Shared Use Paths: Guidelines

American Association of State Highway

and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

  • Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities: 1999.https://bookstore.transportation.org/.
  • The 2010 version is under final review.
  • Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities: 2004.https://bookstore.transportation.org/

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths surface
Shared Use Paths: Surface

Surface: Firm and stable.

  • Must accommodate wheelchairs.
  • Accommodate narrow-tire bicycles.
  • Accommodate people pushing baby strollers (good “test equipment”).
  • Slip resistance desired, but not required.*

* Required for public rights-of-way (PROW).

  • Pavement is not required. Pavement may not be appropriate in some settings (rural).

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths surface1
Shared Use Paths: Surface
  • There are no Federal laws or regulations that require a shared use path to be paved.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths surface2
Shared Use Paths: Surface

Firm and stable.

  • Some crushed aggregates can be firm and stable.
  • Rotational Penetrometer:

Measures firmness and stability of

ground and floor surfaces.

www.beneficialdesigns.com/surfaces/surface.html#rotational

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths surface3
Shared Use Paths: Surface

Pavement

  • Asphalt or Concrete?
  • Asphalt often cheaper to construct, but may suffer water, frost, and tree root damage.
  • Concrete may be cheaper in the long run: may better withstand flooding, frost, roots, etc.
  • Concrete: use “saw cut” for joints.
  • Check for accessibility and a smooth surface.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths tread obstacles
Shared Use Paths: Tread Obstacles

Tread Obstacles: Avoid, Minimize, and Prevent.

  • Prevent roots, rocks, ruts, bumps, cracks, etc.
  • Maintain a smooth path: sweep, fix irregularities.
  • Exception: Detectable warnings at crossings.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths gaps
Shared Use Paths: Gaps

Gaps: Avoid, Minimize, and Prevent.

  • Keep drainage grates off the trail.
  • Minimize: openings, pavement and bridge joints, open bridge decks, railroad crossings, boardwalks.
  • Openings shall not permit passage of a 0.5 inch / 13 mm diameter sphere.
  • Elongated openings should be perpendicular or diagonal to travel direction.
  • Some exceptions for boardwalks: 0.75 inch/19 mm.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths speed
Shared Use Paths: Speed
  • Design Speed: AASHTO Guide is 20 mi/h.
  • Draft 2010 AASHTO Guide proposes 14 mi/h.
  • REASON: Most bicyclists are slower than the “design bicyclist”, pedestrians, other users.
  • Consider not having completely straight paths:
    • May encourage excessive speed.
    • May result in speed variation conflicts.
    • Boring experience.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths width
Shared Use Paths: Width
  • How much use will there be?
  • 8 foot minimum for low-use facilities:
    • Connectors between cul-de-sac neighborhoods.
    • To avoid inviting cut-through motor vehicles.
  • Prefer 10 foot minimum, recommend 12 foot, more if needed.
  • Avoid designing only

for the minimum.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths width1
Shared Use Paths: Width
  • High use facilities: Consider separating “heels and wheels” on two separate paths.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths width2
Shared Use Paths: Width

Passing Space

  • Accessibility requirement: At least 60 inches (1525 mm) width within 1,000 foot (300 m) intervals.
  • Usually not an issue for Shared Use Paths.
  • Avoid designing only for the minimum.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths slope
Shared Use Paths: Slope

Slope: Accessibility is the primary consideration.

  • Based on Outdoor Developed Areas Guidelines.
  • Access Board to propose stricter guidelines:
    • Either Public Rights of Way (PROW), or
    • Outdoor Recreation Access Routes (ORAR).
  • At highway crossings: Highway slope is trail cross slope, highway cross slope is trail slope.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths slope1
Shared Use Paths: Slope

Slope: <5% to the extent feasible.

Slope ORAR Trail

1:20 (5%) any length any length

1:12 (8.33%) up to 50 feet up to 200 feet

1:10 (10%) up to 30 feet up to 30 feet

1:8 (12.5%) no up to 10 feet

Trail: No more than 30% of the total trail length shall exceed 1:12 (8.33%).

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths slope2
Shared Use Paths: Slope
  • Avoid abrupt grade changes:
    • Not only annoying, they can be dangerous.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths rest intervals
Shared Use Paths: Rest Intervals

Rest Intervals: A place to stop and rest.

  • Where running slopes exceed 1:20 (5%), at intervals no greater than the lengths permitted under running slope.
  • Size: 60 inch (1525 mm) length, at least as wide as the widest trail segment adjacent to the rest area.
  • PROW Level Landing: 2%.
  • ORAR: 3% (5% if drainage needs).
  • Trail: 5% (exempt if not possible).
  • Rest area may be off to the side.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths cross slope
Shared Use Paths: Cross Slope

Cross Slope: <2% on paved surfaces.

PROW ORAR Trail

General: 2% 3% 5%, 3% preferred

Exception: 5%* 5%** 10%**

* At street crossings without stop control or at midblock.

** If needed for drainage on an unpaved surface.

Superelevation? Accessibility trumps.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths vertical clearance
Shared Use Paths: Vertical Clearance
  • Accessibility: 80 inches minimum.
  • Equestrian Use: 10 feet minimum.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths vertical clearance1
Shared Use Paths: Vertical Clearance
  • Maintenance vehicles: 12 feet? More?
  • Provide warnings or barriers for low overhead clearance: detectable by people with visual impairments.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths protruding objects
Shared Use Paths: Protruding Objects
  • Avoid protruding objects in the treadway:
    • Poles, wires, signs, other objects.
    • Tree branches, hanging vines.
    • Mark unavoidable objects with retroreflective markings.
    • Covered in Accessible Design Course.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use path crossings
Shared Use Path Crossings
  • Use Public Rights-of-Way Guidelines.
  • Treat as an intersection.
  • Who gets the right of way? Where is the volume?
  • Include detectable warnings.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

trails in freeway rights of way
Trails in Freeway Rights-of-Way

QUESTION: Can trails be built along an Interstate or other freeway right-of-way?

ANSWER:

  • Yes! There are examples.
  • Ensure barrier separation between the trail and freeway lanes.

www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/freeways.htm

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths near railroads
Shared Use Paths Near Railroads

QUESTION: Can Shared Use Paths (or other trails) coexist with railroads?

ANSWER:

  • It depends.
    • Right-of-way.
    • Safety
    • Security
    • No trespassing!

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

shared use paths near railroads1
Shared Use Paths Near Railroads
  • Many factors to consider.
  • See FHWA/FRA Rails-with-Trails: Lessons Learned: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/rwt/index.htm
  • Trail may reduce trespassing on railroad property.
  • Trail is easier to use than walking on tracks.
  • Use a barrier:
    • Fence or vegetation.
    • Ditch.
    • Vertical grade.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

rails to trails
Rails-to-Trails
  • Good examples of shared use paths.
  • Low grade, good sight lines, wide, stable base.
  • It could handle trains, it can handle bicyclists and pedestrians!
  • Access points must be accessible.
  • Pay attention to property rights issues.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

bollards a bad idea why
Bollards: A Bad Idea. Why?

What are some possible problems?

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

bollards a bad idea
Bollards: A Bad Idea
  • Bollards should never be a default treatment.
  • Bollards are a potentially fatal safety hazard.
  • Unjustified bollards can create liability exposure.
  • Bollards, gates, fences, or other barriers can slow emergency response access.
  • Bollards are often ineffective: people go around, or damage the bollards or area.
  • A landscaped median is better.
  • Don’t use unless intrusions are documented.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

bollards a bad idea1
Bollards: A Bad Idea

If installed, bollard, gates, fences, or other barriers:

  • Must not restrict access for people with disabilities.
  • Must be easily visible in low light conditions.
  • Have enough sight distance so users can adjust speed.
  • Should permit passage, without dismounting, for adult tricycles, bicycles towing trailers, and tandem bicycles.
  • Accommodate all users legally permitted to use the trail.
  • Must be easily removable for emergency vehicle access.
  • Never use even numbers of bollards, possibly creating head-on collisions….. (see previous examples).

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

environmental impacts
Environmental Impacts
  • Shared use paths may qualify for Categorical Exclusions, but they can impact:
    • Drainage patterns and wetlands.
    • Wildlife: threatened and endangered species.
    • Historic, cultural, archaeological resources.
    • Privacy perceptions for adjacent properties.
    • Light pollution.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

bridges essential links
Bridges: Essential Links

Bridges are needed for any transportation network.

  • Union Street Railroad Bridge, Salem OR.
  • A half-mile span over the Willamette River.
  • The project improved bicycle and pedestrian safety and access, and provided a critical link in local, regional, and State transportation and trail networks.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

bridges essential links1
Bridges: Essential Links
  • Be creative.
  • Reuse historic bridges.
  • Reuse railroad flatcars.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

rail bridge to trail bridge walkway over the hudson poughkeepsie highland ny
Rail Bridge to Trail BridgeWalkway Over the HudsonPoughkeepsie – Highland NY

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

big dam bridge near little rock ar
Big Dam BridgeNear Little Rock AR

Over Lock & Dam.

Built and managed by

by Pulaski County.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

tunnels and underpasses
Tunnels and Underpasses

Design for the tallest likely user:

  • Maintenance vehicles
  • Equestrians
  • Snow level

Think about

maintenance.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

tunnels and underpasses1
Tunnels and Underpasses

Design for Perception of Security

  • Good visibility through the underpass:
    • No hiding places.
    • Lighting if needed.
  • Highway underpasses:
    • Underpass approach

grade may be easier than

a bridge over.

    • Drainage issues.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

signs
Signs

See MUTCD Chapter 9: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

support facilities
Support Facilities

Trailside and Trailhead Facilities

  • Rest rooms, water.
  • Benches along trails, hitching posts, bike racks.
  • Buildings and built site facilities must meet accessibility guidelines for built facilities.
  • Not our job: Park amenities: picnic pavilions, campgrounds, ball fields, boat launches, etc.
  • Not our job: school running tracks, lighting.

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

motorized use on shared use paths
Motorized Use on Shared Use Paths
  • Generally prohibited. Exceptions:
    • Motorized wheelchairs
    • Snowmobiles or electric bicycles at State or local option
  • See Framework for Considering Motorized Use on Nonmotorized Trails and Pedestrian Walkways
  • www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/framework.htm
  • Electric vehicles: currently not allowed (except electric bicycles at State or local option).

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

motorized use or larger vehicles on shared use paths
Motorized Use or Larger Vehicles on Shared Use Paths
  • Coming soon to a trail near you?

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

critique
Critique?
  • What do you see that you like?
  • What do you see that you don’t like?

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS

questions comments etc
Questions, Comments, etc.

?????

CONSTRUCTION & PROJECT MANAGEMENT DESIGN GENERALIST PAVEMENT & MATERIALS