Regional Bicycle Transportation Network Updates

The Met Council is now considering proposals from local and state government agencies in the seven-county metropolitan area to update Regional Bicycle Transportation Network (RBTN) corridors and alignments.

Change request process

This application process is for Twin Cities Metropolitan Region agencies that have responsibility for bicycle system planning and facility development within their jurisdictions.

This update process will consider the following changes or additions:

  1. New corridors or alignments that connect to existing RBTN corridors or alignments
  2. Extensions of existing corridors or alignments
  3. Proposed shifts or realignments of existing corridors and alignments

Please note that requests to designate an alignment that runs within and along an already established RBTN corridor may not require a formal application through this process. If you have a specific alignment designation within an existing corridor in mind, please contact Met Council planning staff to determine the appropriate next steps.

The online application to propose additions or changes to RBTN corridors and alignments is linked below. Agencies will need to submit one application for each change or addition proposed.

Regional Bicycle Transportation Network Change Request Form

Changes accepted through this process will be added to the maps adopted for use in scoring applications for the 2022 Regional Solicitation and included in the Transportation Policy Plan.

The submission period to add, extend, or realign RBTN routes is April 23 through May 28, 2021 by 5 p.m. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered through this process.

New evaluation measures

A recent study of RBTN measures and guidelines created a new set of measures to facilitate evaluation of RBTN change proposals. These include measures of route directness, corridor spacing, connectivity, social and economic equity, and proximity/density. Detailed descriptions for each measure, along with guidelines for their application, are provided in the Measures Summary Table below. For more information about the development of these measures, please see the RBTN Guidelines and Measures Study, Phase I Technical Memorandum.

Phase I Technical Memo (PDF)

Measures summary tables

Destination Proximity
Measure: Net change in proximity to regional destinations and transit nodes.
Proximity measured using a 1/10-mile buffer for alignments and includes points within the corridor bandwidth (½-mile in core cities, 1-mile bandwidth outside core) for corridors.
Evaluated based on overall impact to regional destination connectivity, ranging from high benefit to none or adverse impact.
Regional Destinations and Transit nodes:
  • Metropolitan Job Centers
  • Regional Job Centers
  • Subregional Job Centers
  • Colleges & Universities (2000 + enroll)
  • Large high schools (2000+ enrolled)
  • Major Sport & Entertainment Centers
  • Highly-visited Regional Parks (> 400k/yr)
  • Existing transitway stations
  • Planned transitway stations
  • Park & rides (200+ spaces)
  • Bus transit centers
  • Bike & ride centers
Out-of-Direction Ratio
Measures two RBTN route distances relative to each other to indicate comparative efficiency of two routes.
Ratio = proposed RBTN route length divided by nearest existing RBTN route length.
Recommended maximum ratio = 2.0

Spacing Buffer Method
Compares buffers of existing and proposed routes to determine the extent to which the proposed route overlaps with buffers of existing parallel routes, or fills existing gaps between RBTN routes. RBTN route buffers are based on preferred minimum spacing distances between RBTN alignments and corridors that vary with Met Council community designation types.
  • Significant overlap should not occur (except in cases where routes converge like in CBDs or suburban development centers)
Preferred minimum spacing between RBTN routes1:
  • Urban Center cities: ½ mile
  • Urban cities: ¾ mile
  • Suburban communities: 1 mile
  • Rural areas: 2 miles

1 As determined through meetings with the RBTN Guidelines and Measures Study's technical advisory work group.

Connectivity to Regional Bicycle Barrier Crossings: Number of new direct connections to existing/planned regional barrier crossings with proposed RBTN change.
  • Additional connections are viewed favorably
  • Net number of direct connections should not be reduced for RBTN shifts
Continuity between Adjacent City or County Bikeway Networks: Number of newly connected city/county bikeway networks with proposed RBTN change.
  • Additional connections are viewed favorably
  • Net number of direct connections should not be reduced for RBTN shifts
Connectivity with Local Bikeway Networks: Number of new intersections with local bikeway networks with proposed RBTN change.
  • Number of intersections should not be reduced
  • Net change in networks accessed should not be reduced for RBTN shifts
Connectivity with State and Regional Trails: Number of new intersections with state and regional trails; does not include intersections with other RBTN routes (e.g., regional trails already designated on the RBTN).
  • Number of intersections/connection points should not be reduced

Access to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and People in Poverty: Measures BIPOC and below poverty threshold populations within 1 mile of existing & proposed RBTN routes to determine net difference with the proposed change.
  • Measure only applies to proposed RBTN shifts
  • BIPOC and below poverty threshold populations with access to RBTN should not be reduced
Qualitative Agency Self-Assessment of Benefits to Disadvantaged or Vulnerable Populations:  Qualitative measure of benefits to BIPOC, people in poverty, seniors, youth, & disabled individuals resulting from proposed RBTN addition or change.    
  • Proposals that improve access or conditions for BIPOC communities and people in poverty are viewed favorably
  • Access and conditions for these communities should not be reduced

Proximity to Population & Jobs: Measures the sum of existing and planned (i.e., projected) population and jobs per square mile within a ½-mile of the proposed RBTN alignment or corridor centerline.
  • Measure applies Urban Center, Urban, Suburban, Suburban Edge, and Emerging Suburban Edge communities
  • Initial target guidance based on empirically derived values and Council/BPPDG input
Minimum recommended densities:
  • Urban Center cities: 5,000 pop. + jobs per square mile
  • Urban cities: 3,000 population + jobs per square mile
  • Suburban group communities: 1,300 pop. + jobs per square mile
Activity per Mile Ratio: Measure assessed for proposed extensions & additions connecting suburban communities and/or rural centers through rural areas. The activity ratio equals the sum of jobs and population within a ½-mile of the proposed alignment or corridor centerline divided by the length of the route.
  • Measure only applies where significant route segments are proposed through rural areas
  • Initial target guidance based on empirically derived values and Council/BPPDG input
Minimum recommended ratio:
  • 800 population + jobs per linear mile


Steve Elmer, Bicycle Planner