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7 CHAPTER 1 ESTIMATING BICYCLE FACILITY COSTS IDENTIFYING COSTS are grouped in the cost model as described in the following subsections. Purpose The purpose of the cost analysis is to provide transporta- On-Street Facilities tion planners with a tool to estimate costs of different types of bicycle facilities. The facilities described herein are generic On-street bicycle facilities include bike lanes, wide shoul- and independent of specific locations. The description there- ders, wide curb lanes, shared streets, and signed routes. For fore provides preliminary cost estimates. As more specific cost estimation, this application describes the following con- information is gathered about a proposed facility, the planner struction activities: or engineer can develop more refined estimates to reflect these specifics or replace them with more detailed project- Full Depth Pavement. Full depth construction includes specific estimates. The preliminary cost estimates can be used either a new road or complete reconstruction of an existing as part of initial planning efforts to identify project funding road. Full depth construction may extend the width or length and develop project support. of an existing road. The cost of including a bike lane or addi- tional width for bicycles is considered as part of the larger full depth construction roadway project. Cost Elements Overlay. Overlay pavement applies a new layer of bitumi- Costs for infrastructure projects are commonly broken into nous concrete pavement to an existing paved surface. The two major categories: capital costs and operating costs. Cap- overlay pavement also may add paved shoulders over an exist- ital costs are expenditures for constructing facilities and pro- ing gravel shoulder. curing equipment. These are viewed as one-time costs that have both a physical and economic life of multiple years. Cap- Striping. Striping includes removing, changing, or adding ital facilities and equipment have a multi-year life, and there- street striping to provide a designated roadway space for bi- fore are assets whose value can be amortized over time and cycles. The space may be used exclusively for cyclists (e.g., a financed over time with instruments such as municipal bonds. separate bicycle lane) or shared (e.g., a wide curb lane). Road- For bicycle facilities, capital costs include all costs needed way paving is typically not required. Travel lanes may be to construct a facility or install equipment. Major elements of removed, moved or narrowed to provide space for a bicycle capital costs include facility design, equipment procurement, lane or wide curb lane. real estate acquisition, and construction. Other elements in- Roadway striping is usually an element of paving projects. clude planning, administration, and construction inspection. As a freestanding project, roadway striping can be imple- Operating costs generally result in no tangible asset. Such mented in a relatively short time period and at a relatively recurring expenses are commonly funded through annual low cost compared with roadway construction projects. Lo- budgets. Operating costs for public facilities include mainte- cal public works or streets departments can conduct striping nance such as cleaning, landscaping, equipment repair, secu- using agency staff or a contractor. rity and safety, and supplies needed to conduct these activi- ties. Some or all of these operating costs may be subsumed Signed Route. A signed route applies directional signs to into public agency operating budgets and be difficult to iden- an existing roadway, identifying a single or series of bicycle tify as discrete project-specific costs. routes. A signed route is often located on a street with low traf- In this report, bicycle facilities are divided into three cate- fic volume or a route that connects two or more desirable des- gories: on-street, off-street, and equipment. A bicycle facility tinations. Route signs may be placed in intervals as needed. A project may include one category or more. There are differ- signed route may be included as part of a larger full depth ent facility types within these categories. The facility types construction, overlay, or striping project.
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8 Off-Street Facilities ically installed in public locations such as transportation cen- ters or city properties, and in private locations such as com- Off-street bicycle facilities are separate from the motor- pany parking lots. The typical design of a locker unit has vehicle oriented roadway and often are shared use paths or capacity for two bicycles. trails. The trails may be adjacent to the roadway, or on an abandoned railroad ROW, or on another separate facility Conveyance. Conveyance equipment is the equipment such as through public parks. The three types of path surfaces needed to transport bicycles on public transit. Typically, this reviewed were stone dust (fine crushed stone), bituminous equipment is a bus rack, which holds up to two bicycles. concrete, and portland cement concrete. The cost of off-street Variations include bus racks that hold three bicycles and inte- facilities varies widely based upon the pre-construction con- rior racks on rail systems. dition of the ROW and the elements that may be included in the project. Preparing an individual site can be expensive if the path is through an overgrown ROW with rocky or poor Bicycle Facility Cost Research draining soil or less expensive if on ballast of an abandoned rail bed with rail and ties removed. To identify and develop input data for the bicycle facility Other elements that can cause costs to vary widely are cost model, the team reviewed a broad range of data sources. bridges, drainage, and fencing. For each of these elements The objective was to identify unit costs for the project ele- the costs can range from zero with natural drainage and no ments previously described. bridges, fencing, or lighting to substantial amounts for mul- tiple custom bridges, a piped storm drain system, and a fully fenced and fully lighted ROW. Landscaping can also vary Data Sources from low-cost loam and seed to more expensive planting of shrubs, trees, benches, water features, and interpretive signs There were three principal sources used to collect bicycle typical of an urban park. facility cost data. Other elements of off-street facilities such as striping and signage are described in the On-Street Facilities subsection. Transportation Professionals. A survey of transporta- tion professionals and suppliers was conducted to collect information on costs of bicycle facilities and equipment. The Equipment following groups or persons were contacted: Bicycle facilities also include several types of equipment. · Bicycle coordinator/planners at all state DOTs, and in Installation costs will vary depending on the type of equipment. federal agencies, · Selected local and regional transportation planners, Signs. Signs are the principal cost of bicycle routes. Sign bicycle program managers, and transportation project types include regulatory signs, warning signs, and guide managers, signs. Signs are typically placed in accordance with the Man- · Advocacy organizations such as the Rails to Trails Con- ual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) (2). servancy, and · Requests for information distributed to the following Traffic Signals. Typical traffic signals include pedestrian email lists: walk signals. Cost estimates are provided for two- and four- Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals leg intersections. (APBP), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)--Pedes- Barriers. Protection for bicycles and other vehicles may trian and Bicycle Council, be provided with gates or bollards at trailheads and fencing Bicycle Transportation Committee of the Transporta- along roads or trails as needed. tion Research Board (TRB), and "Centerlines"--the bi-weekly e-newsletter of the Parking. Bicycle parking equipment includes racks, National Center for Bicycling & Walking. lockers, and rooms. Bicycle racks vary in size and price and can be customized to a particular location. For cost estima- Literature Review. A review of literature was conducted, tion purposes, the "ribbon" or wave rack is used. It is impor- with a strong focus on available cost information through an tant to mention, however, that in some cases this type of rack extensive Internet search. often leads to misparked bicycles which limit its capacity. The advantage is that this rack can be installed in lengths as Industry Information. Researchers reviewed construc- needed. In some settings, an inverted "U" type rack is con- tion industry data sources to identify unit prices for common sidered more of an industry standard. Bicycle lockers are typ- construction elements such as bituminous or concrete paving.