Adaptive Protected Bike Lanes

Last Updated: 7-17-2017Print page

Protected bike lane with a planter

Adaptive protected bike lanes (PBL) provide separated space for bicycle operation on-road, delineated by a horizontal buffer and vertical element between bikes and cars.

Striped PBLs consist of paint markings to designate bicycle lanes and buffers combined with temporary vertical elements such as flexible bollards, planters, or parked vehicles to restrict motorist access. The vertical elements should be a minimum of 28 inches and a maximum of 36 inches in height and offset a minimum 12 inches from the edge of bike lane. They differ from permanent PBLs in that there is little to no permanent civil construction elements or alteration to drainage infrastructure.

Striped protected bike lanes may only be installed by SDOT. SDOT may initiate these projects at high priority locations identified by the Bicycle Master Plan, where high incidences of bicycle and motorist conflicts have been identified, to establish short, all ages and abilities connections to destinations such as parks or schools, or where bicycle safety might otherwise be improved by such treatments.

Design Guidance

  • Adaptive PBL geometry should follow the same design standards as a permanent PBL (see Protected Bike Lane Design Standards).
  • Vertical separation can be achieved with flexible delineators, large planter boxes, concrete/stone barriers, or parked cars. Vertical elements should be tall enough to be visible to motorists, yet not so large that bicyclists are obscured or otherwise unable to see approaching motorists. Bike signals may be necessary at intersections depending on the degree of complexity and whether the PBL carries bicycles in one or two directions.
  • For sidewalk-level¬†protected bike lanes where provision of dedicated buffer space between the bike lane and sidewalk is not possible, separation can be defined by an edge treatment that provides visual contrast and a detectable surface for visually impaired persons.