[Talk-us] Bicycle boulevards

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Tue Jun 9 19:44:10 BST 2009

I'm curious if bicycle boulevards would qualify as living streets, given
that a living street would most closely describe a bicycle boulevard in
OSM terms, though a bicycle boulevard might lack pedestrian facilities.
 Frequently, these are not streets you would want to let the kids play
in, as the volume of fast-moving, near-silent vehicles would present a
very real collision hazard at peak traffic times.  This kind of way has
sprung up only in the last 10 years or so, and almost all of them were
formerly highway=residential prior to becoming bicycle boulevards.

Bicycle boulevards are more major than residential streets
(intersections with residential streets have the residential streets
facing stop signs, to minimize the need for bicycles to stop),
intersections with larger (tertiary or better) ways typically have
restrictions preventing motorists from doing anything but making a right
turn from the bicycle boulevard and/or motorists from the major way from
turning onto the bicycle boulevard, and as often as not have traffic
signals (with more heavily traveled bicycle boulevards changing in favor
of the cyclists in advance, particularly in Portland's Little Bohemia).
 At large roundabouts, the bicycle boulevard typically has a cutout
through the central island, with YIELD TO BICYCLES signs on the central
ring of the roundabout (through bicycles typically do not have to stop
or yield, and have the right-of-way over vehicles already in the
roundabout).  The restrictions on motorists make bicycle boulevards
unsuitable for rat runs.

Typically, cycle maps I've seen that are aware of these ways show them
at a much higher priority than they would on your average street map,
with the larger way de-prioritized, in some cases quite severely,
depending on traffic flow and bicycle facilities (such as US 30 Bypass
in Oregon, a primary, typically being shown as a minor through street
like most of the streets intersecting it on cycle maps, with the bicycle
boulevard a few blocks off shown as the primary way across Northeast

I am aware of bicycle boulevards existing in at least three states and
one province, and I'm sure there's more out there, so I'm a little
surprised this hasn't been tackled.

(Please don't CC me when replying; I get the list, and I don't need two
copies (plus this defeats unsubscribing if someone later wants to leave
the conversation).  Please use your mailer's reply-to-list feature or
check your To: and CC: headers!)

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