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Section 4: Bicycle Facilities

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Overview

The Texas Legislature has directed TxDOT, in Texas Transportation Code §201.902, to enhance the use of the state highway system by bicyclists. Administrative rules adopted by the commission in 43 TAC §25.50–25.55 affirm TxDOT’s commitment to integrating this mode of travel into project development.

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Guidance for Bicycle Facilities

The AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities is the guide for planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of bicycle facilities. There are two types of bicycle facilities described in the guide. These are bicycle lanes and bicycle paths. A bicycle lane is defined as a portion of a roadway which has been designated by striping, signing and/or pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists. A bicycle path is defined as a bikeway that is physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier, either within the highway right of way or within an independent right of way, that can also be used by pedestrians, skaters, joggers, wheelchairs, and other non-motorized users.

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Design Exceptions and Design Waivers for Bicycle Facilities

If the minimum requirements give in the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities for bicycle lanes cannot be met, these variances will be submitted as design exceptions to the Roadway Design Exception Committee. For new shared lanes on a signed, designated bicycle route, the minimum lane width shall be 14 ft [4.2 m]. Proposed widths less than 14 ft [4.2 m] will require approval by the Roadway Design Exception Committee.

If the minimum requirements given in the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities for bicycle paths cannot be met, these variances will be handled by design waivers at the district level.

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