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The effect of road lane width on cyclist safety in urban areas

  • Schramm, Amy J.
  • Rakotonirainy, Andry
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2009
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
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Research has shown that road lane width impacts on driver behaviour. This literature review provides guidelines to assist in the design, construction and retrofitting of urban roads to accommodate road users' safety requirements. It focuses on the impacts of lane widths on cyclists and motor vehicle safety behaviour. The literature review commenced with a search of library databases. Peer reviewed articles and road authority (local, state and national) reports were reviewed. The majority of studies investigating the effects of lane width on driver behaviour were simulator based, while research into cycling safety involved data collected from actual traffic environments. Results show that marked road lane width influences perceived task difficulty, risk perception and possibly speed choice. The positioning of cyclists in traffic lanes is influenced by the presence of on-road cycling facilities and the total roadway width. The lateral displacement between bicycle and vehicle is smallest when a bicycle facility is present. Lower, or reduced, vehicle speeds play a significant role in improving bicyclist and pedestrian safety. It is also shown that if road lane widths in urban areas were reduced, to a functional width that was less than the current guidelines of 3.5m, it could result in a safer road environment for all road users.

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