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Designing highway facilities to encourage walking, biking and transit.
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  • Abstract:
    As outlined in Caltrans’ October 2, 2008, Deputy Directive 64-R1 (DD-64-R1), “Complete Streets—Integrating the

    Transportation System,” Caltrans is committed to addressing the safety and mobility needs of bicyclists, pedestrians

    and transit users in its highway facility designs. In addition, a team within Caltrans was charged in late October 2008

    with updating the Highway Design Manual (HDM) “to better communicate design guidance on bicycle, pedestrian,

    and transit user needs into its text.” However, Caltrans needs more information on the impacts that design—or

    specific design strategies—may have on travelers’ decisions to choose biking, walking and transit travel modes. This

    information will enable the department to focus on the most effective strategies.

    Caltrans staff proposed a research project aimed at documenting the “mode shifting” effects of particular highway

    design approaches; that is, increasing walking, biking and transit use. To support this proposed research project, we

    reviewed recent research, national guidance and related efforts of other state departments of transportation to


    • What state and federal standards exist for designing highways, streets and transit facilities (e.g., transit

    plazas) to encourage walking, biking and transit use?

    • What research is available or still needed to document the impacts of design changes on mode shifting and


    • What facility design features (and related factors) are most effective at encouraging higher levels of

    walking, biking and transit use?

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