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Prototyping Cycle Tracks in Auto Dominated Cities

The National Association of City Transportation Officials defines a cycle track as an exclusive bike facility that combines the user experience of a separated path with the on-street infrastructure of a conventional bike lane. Wide use of these in America has been slow to come due to the perception of bicycles as recreation and not a form of transportation and fear of transforming auto lanes into dedicated bike facilities. The Better Block approach of temporarily prototyping cycle track designs is removing the fear of change and allowing communities to quantify the placemaking potential of changes to streets.

Andrew Howard, now of Team Better Block, painting the first cycle track at the original Better Block in Dallas April 2010. I guess cycle tracks have always been a part of Better Block!

During the City of Wichita, KS Bicycle Master Plan, Team Better Block built a cycle track and pedestrian plaza with the community. This empowered the plan to look beyond shared lanes and bike lanes.

Citizen lead Better Block in Kansas City prototyped a Grander Grand Ave with cycle tracks. Traffic? Not a problem they reported.

A New Face for an Old Broad was a community lead project in Memphis that tested a transformation of Broad Street with cycle tracks and angled parking. The city liked it so much the paint has stayed and plans are in-place for permanent infrastructure.

Team Better Block working with the City of Saint Paul and Toole Design Group applied a two way cycle track to a State Highway in Saint Paul, MN. The result, more kids and moms rode, traffic speeds reduced from 37mph to 25mph and crosswalks became safe.

Sanctioning these demonstrations with city officials is now becoming easier because of past efforts to measure and document the positive outcomes.

Sample chart of measurements from a Better Block.

What is the value of cycle tracks unless there is a place to bike or walk to? Placemaking and pop-up shops show the value of transforming a block. The Better Block quantifies the economic impact of improved bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Cycle tracks are more than just getting people from A to B. They create a level of safety that everyone can appreciate. You really got to try one to fully appreciate it! Want to test cycle tracks in your city?We can give you tips on how to create a successful project, email andrew@teambetterblock.com