Non-Motorized Planning

MDOT Metro Region Non-Motorized Committee


Moving a pedestrian or bicycle improvement project forward can be a challenging and complex endeavor. Often this is due to the number of different ways a project can be implemented.

The most difficult part of getting a project moving is knowing where to start. Because every community may have different priorities as well as physical, fiscal and political considerations, the important thing is to just start somewhere.

— Bruce Burgess, Strategies for Implementing Pedestrian and Bicycle Plans and Projects

The following information has been excerpted from the Selecting Roadway Design Treatments to Accommodate Bicycles

Federal Bicycle Policy

The two basic policy alternatives are: (1) to accommodate current bicycle use and/or (2) to increase the level of use. A review of recent policy statements by Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration makes it clear that the Federal policy goal for bicycling is to accommodate current use and to encourage increased use, while enhancing safety.

Bicyclist Types

Cyclists % of total Characteristics Prefers
Type A Advanced 5%
  • Can operate under most traffic conditions
  • Majority of users on collector or arterials
  • Direct access to destinations using existing streets and highways
  • Operating at maximum speed with minimum delays
  • Sufficient operating space on the roadway or shoulder to reduce the need for
    either the bicyclist or the motor vehicle operator to change position
    when passing.
Type B Basic 95%
  • Casual or new adult and teenage riders
  • Generally less confident of their ability to operate in traffic
  • Comfortable
    access to destinations, preferably by a direct route, using either
    low-speed, low traffic-volume streets or designated bicycle facilities
  • Well-defined
    separation of bicycles and motor vehicles on arterial and collector
    streets (bike lanes
    or shoulders) or separate bike paths
Type C Children
  • Pre-teen riders whose roadway use is initially monitored by parents
  • Eventually accorded independent access to the system

Best Designs

Cyclists General Best Practice
Type A Design all roadways to accommodate shared use by bicycles and motor vehicles:

  • Establishing and enforcing speed limits to minimize speed differentials
    between bicycles and motor vehicles on neighborhood streets and/or
    by implementing traffic-calming strategies.
  • Providing wide outside lanes on collector and arterial streets built
    with an “urban section” (i.e., with curb and gutter).
  • Providing usable shoulders on highways built with a “rural section” (i.e.,
    no curb and gutter).
Type B and C Design a network of neighborhood streets and designated bicycle facilities:

  • Ensuring neighborhood streets have low speed limits through effective
    speed enforcement or controls and/or by implementing “traffic
    calming” strategies.
  • Providing a network of designated bicycle facilities (e.g., bike
    lanes, separate bike paths, or sidestreet

    bicycle routes) through the key travel corridors typically served by
    arterial and collector streets.

  • Providing usable roadway shoulders on rural highways.

Accommodating Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel: A Recommended Approach, a US DOT Policy

Bicycle Facilities Reference Guide, National Center on Bicycling and Walking

Transportation Prescription for Healthy Cities, Ian Lockwood, P.E.

On-Road Bike Facilties Funding

Transportation Enhancements (TE) Grants

Local CMAQ – The Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Program is a federal program with the purpose of helping states meet the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act. Grants are made based on applications from state and local agencies. This portion of funds goes to local road and transit agencies, other CMAQ funds go to MDOT and are part of the ?Trunkline total.

Trunkline CMAQ – This is a federal program with the purpose of helping states meet the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act. Grants are made based on applications from state and local agencies. Projects for this program occur mostly in MPO areas and can be found in the individual TIPS.

Local Highway Safety – The Local Safety Program is funded with a set aside of STP funds for local safety improvements selected on a competitive basis statewide. Project grants are generally about $200,000 per project plus match and are sometimes supplemented with other local funds.

Local Rail/Highway Crossings – The local rail crossing program is funded with a statutory set aside of state and federal funds for the purpose of improving safety at rail/highway crossings.

Recreation Heritage Routes – Woodward Avenue is a designated route.

Act 51 – All county road commissions, cities and villages in Michigan are required to spend 1% of their state fuel tax allotment on non-motorized facilities.

Bikes Belong – A bike industry organization

DALMAC Fund – A private funding source from a prominent cycling club

Cool Cities – An initiative from the Governor’s office

General Road Funding

Information on the Oakland County Federal Aid Task Force