Assessment of the Effectiveness of Narrow Separators on Cycle Lanes
Roading authorities desire to better provide for existing people cycling, and to encourage more people who wish to cycle but are discouraged due to safety concerns. There is widespread acknowledgement (supported by a substantial body of research) that providing increased physical separation between motor vehicle and bicycle space will help address these concerns and lead to an increase in cycling.
A wide variety of physical devices and delineators are available to provide separation. This research covers on-road trials of a 100 mm wide raised bicycle lane separator in Christchurch. ViaStrada was commissioned by VicRoads to design the empirical study, and evaluate and report on the findings. Christchurch City Council provided site support and Canterbury University helped to analyse the results.
Separators were placed in two locations where motorists were commonly encroaching into exclusive bicycle lanes. Road user behaviour was observed before and after installation, and qualitative feedback was also sought from site users.
The results show a significant effect on motor vehicle encroachments following installation, particularly when separators were supplemented by vertical posts. Very positive feedback was also received from existing cyclists. Some recommendations for best practice guidance on the most appropriate treatment locations and layouts are also suggested.