Countywide Bikeways Design Guide

Purpose of This Design Guide

The Countywide Bikeways Network creates a vision for a cohesive, consistent, and connected network of high-quality bicycle facilities throughout Alameda County. On December 1, 2022, the Commission approved an All Ages and Abilities (AAA) Policy and set of Design Expectations for the Countywide Bikeways Network. The Design Expectations identify the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Contextual Guidance for Selecting All Ages and Abilities as the framework to determine which types of bike infrastructure meet an AAA standard for specific road conditions, including vehicle traffic volume and speed. Additionally, the Design Expectations set goals for modal separation, durable materials, intersection protection, transit coordination and prioritization, and accessible design. With the goal of building design consistency across Alameda County and supporting local designers, this resource library includes specific design guidance citations for each design expectation.

All guidance in these resources should be applied in a context-sensitive manner, and project implementation will vary depending on a variety of location-specific factors. All bikeways should be designed to at least the minimum requirements in the Caltrans Highway Design Manual Chapter 1000 and DIB 89.

How to Use This Resource Guide

This guide provides general direction for common technical challenges encountered by advancing AAA Bikeways in Alameda County, with sensitivity to the wide range of local contexts and conditions across the county. The Design Resource Guide is organized around the Countywide Bikeways Design Expectations principles. Users should begin with AAA facility selection, then explore the content relevant to the specific context of their bikeway facility. The resource guide offers a “look inside” national guides, helping orient designers and community members to available best practice guidance.

About the Resources

The Alameda CTC All Ages and Abilities Policy and Design Expectations, approved by the Commission in December 2022, sets the highest expectation for safety and comfort on the Countywide Bikeways Network to ensure people of all ages and physical abilities are safe and feel safe walking, biking, rolling, and riding transit. The policy also encourages a planning framework that prioritizes transit throughout the network and acknowledges the complicated nature of corridor planning and multimodal tradeoffs. The All Ages and Abilities Policy does not apply to projects funded or submitted for funding prior to the approval of the policy by the Commission in December 2022.

This guide cites a set of nationally-recognized organizations and agencies with expertise in low-stress bikeway design. Developed with input from a working group of local jurisdiction staff, the resources are a compilation of content that designers have found most useful and supportive in implementing All Ages and Abilities bikeways. This guide cites existing guidance including from the Federal Highway Administration, the National Association of City Transportation Officials, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Alameda CTC will continue to update this guide in conjunction with issue-focused white papers developed by Alameda CTC to help fill gaps in guidance.

Countywide Bikeways Facilities Design Expectations