Robertson, James Allan (2012-07). A Traffic Operations Method for Evaluating Automobile and Bicycle Shared Roadways. Master's Thesis.
Shared roadways are a cost effective method for providing bicycle facilities in areas with limited right-of-way; shared roadways have automobiles and bicycles operating in the same traveled way. However, shared roadways may negatively affect traffic operations and there is limited guidance on appropriate shared roadways implementation. This thesis has three objectives: evaluate the impact of shared roadways on automobile quality of service, compare automobile quality of service to bicycle quality of service on shared roadways, and provide guidance on the implementation of shared roadways. The author hypothesizes that shared roadways should only be implemented when automobile Level of Service (LOS), bicycle LOS, and facility safety are "acceptable." The author accomplishes the objectives by generating data using microsimulation models. The author uses microsimulation model data to evaluate automobile quality of service on shared roadways. In the evaluation of automobile quality of service, the measures of effectiveness are automobile LOS threshold (the maximum automobile flow-rate before a change in automobile LOS) and automobile average travel speed (the average travel time divided by the segment length, a space mean speed). To compare automobile and bicycle quality of service, the author uses the bicycle LOS model in NCHRP Report 616 to generate bicycle LOS thresholds (the maximum automobile flow-rate before a change in bicycle LOS). After generating bicycle LOS thresholds, the author compares the bicycle LOS thresholds to the automobile LOS thresholds. Finally, the author uses the findings of the investigations to provide guidance on the implementation of shared roadways. In this thesis, the author finds automobile quality of service on shared roadways decreases as automobile free-flow speed, automobile volume, and bicycle volume increase. For most conditions, the author finds bicycle quality of service is better than automobile quality of service on shared roadways. Bicycle quality of service is lower than automobile quality of service with increases in unsignalized access points per mile, signalized intersection crossing distance, and heavy vehicle percent. The author provides guidance on the implementation of shared roadways based upon automobile quality of service.