Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Cycle facilities are designated spaces within the street that are specifically designed for the movement of cyclists. Providing these facilities is fundamental to accommodating cyclists of all ages, abilities, and confidence levels. Cycle facilities in certain contexts may also be designed to provide comfortable cycle lanes for cargo bikes, cycle rickshaws, and other such variations.

Evidence shows that where comprehensive cycle facilities are extensively installed throughout the entire street network, the modal share of cyclists dramatically increases and crashes decrease, making streets safer for all users. A variety of facilities can contribute to the overall network, including cycle lanes, cycle tracks, and cycle streets.

Curb Zone

When adjacent to sidewalks or pedestrian spaces, cycle facilities should be physically separated for the comfort of both pedestrians and cyclists.

The sidewalk buffer discourages pedestrians from walking in the dedicated cycle facility and discourages cyclists from riding on the sidewalk.

The curb zone can also host important cycle infrastructure elements such as cycle racks, wayfinding maps, and cycle share stations.


If no sidewalk buffer is provided, cycle facilities should be grade separated.

When cycle tracks are raised from the roadbed, a minimum curb reveal of 5 cm should be provided between the cycle lane and the pedestrian area.

Cycleway Clear Path

The cycle clear path should provide a smooth, continuous cycling path that is free of obstructions. This clear path may vary from 1.8–2 m for unidirectional paths and may increase in areas of greater demand.

Buffer Zone

The buffer zone provides a separation between the cycleway and vehicular traffic or parked cars.

Buffers can be raised or at grade and should be no less than 1 m wide.

Physically separating the cycle clear path with vertical objects or a raised median maximizes the safety and comfort of people bicycling and driving and should be designed in every street with vehicular speeds more than 30 km/h or with high vehicular traffic.

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.