Global Street Design Guide

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Global Street Design Guide

Protected Cycle Track

One-way cycle tracks are protected from vehicular traffic by a parking lane or a raised buffer. The track can be at road level, raised fully to sidewalk level, or partially raised with an intermediate mountable curb. Provide 2 m cycle lanes for cyclists to pass one another and a 1 m minimum buffer to reduce the risk of conflict with vehicle doors being opened in parking-protected cycle tracks.

Bidirectional Cycle Tracks

Bidirectional cycle tracks can be located either on the side or in the center of the street. The two cycling directions are separated by a painted dashed line. Two-way cycle tracks are typically assigned to one side of the street, but may be complemented on both sides of wide streets with high cycling volumes or local access needs.

Raised Cycle Track

Often called Copenhagen style cycle tracks, these facilities are vertically separated from motor vehicle traffic, raised either to the sidewalk level or an intermediate level. A mountable curb with a 4:1 slope is provided for safe entry and exit. Protection strategies between cyclists and pedestrians may include street furnishings or low vegetation. The overall width should be at least 1.8 m, with a preferred minimum of 2 m.

Curbside Buffered Cycle Lane

An exclusive clear path of at least 1.8 m provides a dedicated path with pavement markings and signage adjacent to the curb. An additional buffer space of a minimum of 1 m, and ideally 1.2 m, is marked between the cycle lane and the roadway. It is most applicable when speeds are below 40 km/h. As speeds or volumes increase, vertical separation increases safety and comfort. Cyclists remain visible to adjacent motorists and flexible bollards may be added in some cases.

Buffered Cycle Lane

These are cycle lanes paired with a marked buffer separating the cycle lane from adjacent motor vehicles. A total cycle lane width of 3.2 m is recommended to provide adequate buffers between parked cars opening doors on one side and moving vehicles on the other.

Conventional Cycle Lane

Exclusive space for cyclists is designated through the use of pavement markings and signage. The cycle lane is located adjacent to vehicular traffic and flows in the same direction, next to the parking lane. A minimum width of 1.8 m should be provided, with a total minimum width of 4.3 m between the curb and the outer edge of the cycle  lane. It is most applicable when speeds are below 40 km/h.1 The conventional cycle lane is preferable to  no facility at all, but it would be greatly improved by the provision of marked or physical buffers.

Cycle Street

Also known as a Cycle Boulevard, Fahrradstraße in Germany and Fietsstraat in the Netherlands are quiet streets that accommodate high cycle flows and are accompanied by very low motorized traffic. Cars are invited to use the street as guests, and in some areas they have limited motor vehicle access. Cycle streets can be applicable where street width restricts dedicated cycle facilities.

Contraflow Cycle Street

Contraflow cycle streets are one-way streets in which cyclists are allowed to ride in both directions. Contraflow cyclists can either ride on a dedicated or an exclusive facility. They are most applicable for small-scale streets in which vehicular speeds are low. These facilities encourage more people to cycle, as they allow cyclists to use safe routes and direct routes, avoiding unnecessary detours. Contraflow cycle streets have been proven to be safer than other one-way streets.2


1. National Association of City Transportation Officials, Bikeway Design Guide (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2012).
2. Cara Seiderman, “Contraflow Bicycle Lanes on Urban Streets,” accessed June 7, 2016,

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.

Cycle Facilities at Transit Stop

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Cycle Facilities at Transit Stop