Enhancing Multi-Modal Networks with Bicycle Accommodations

The Bicycle as Critical Network Gap-Filler

Shane Farthing, Executive Director Washington Area Bicyclist Association www.waba.org

The Multi-Modal Commute in the Washington Area

Union Station
• • • • • • Rail: Amtrak, VRE, MARC Metro Red Line Bicycle Parking, Bicycle Station, Capital Bikeshare Metrobus & Circulator Bus (Greyhound nearby) Taxi Access (Limo on-call) Motor vehicle parking

Union Station Bicycle Facilities

Lines, Hubs, and Gaps
• Line: a relatively static and predictable transportation route taken by a carrier (bus, rail, etc.). • Hubs: where modes & lines intersect and passenger or cargo transfer is possible. • Gaps: everything else.

Filling the Gaps
• The Key Challenge: Unless traversing the gap is easy, affordable, and predictable, travelers with the means will often revert to personal motor vehicles. • The Complicating Factor: Actually shrinking the gaps by increasing the number of lines and hubs is highly costly—both in capital and operating costs.

Filling the Gaps
• A Solution: Focus on filling the gaps rather than shrinking the gaps. • Gap fillers:
– Walking – Taxi – Carshare – Bike!

A Closer Look at the Bike Model

A Closer Look at the Bike Model
• What gaps are we filling?
– Access to transportation lines/hubs – Access to residences/neighborhoods – Access to jobs/destinations

Plotting A Solution

Plotting a Solution

Implementing the Improvement
• These heat maps were generated to determine optimal locations for Capital Bikeshare stations, but • They show—with minor tweaks—optimal spaces for network gap-filling of any sort.

Implementing the Improvement
• Bike improvements provide affordable, environmentally friendly options for traversing larger gaps. • Best practices:
– Dedicated space/facilities such as bike lanes, cycletracks, trails – Secure bike parking – Next steps: bikesharing

Bottom Line
• Bicycle planning should focus on functional transportation. • Filling the gaps is more efficient that shrinking the gaps, and leads to improvements in livability. • Biking and walking fill the gaps in the most cost-efficient, affordable, sustainable manner. • Comparing sustainable modes: biking can fill larger gaps than walking.

Bottom Line
• But combined: biking and walking as modes receive only 1.2% of transportation funding.

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