Regional Bicycle Transportation Network Facility Guidelines & Measures Study

The Regional Bicycle Transportation Network (RBTN) represents the metro area’s long-range vision to develop on- and off-street bikeways for daily bicycle travel. The network’s inclusive corridors and alignments are used as project selection criteria for federal transportation funds distributed through the Regional Solicitation.

Before each funding cycle, local and state agencies have the opportunity to propose changes to the network. Proposed changes have traditionally been evaluated on their consistency with the RBTN guiding principles. While primarily qualitative, these evaluations had been adequate for the relatively minor changes submitted for the network.

The RBTN, however, needs to develop and evolve to best serve a growing region. To meet these needs, the network will require more significant, regular updates than allowed through the formal Transportation Policy Plan process. To make sure that these updates can happen efficiently and effectively, these proposals needed their own process to consider and adopt changes into the network. That process needs to capture the intent of the guiding principles and measure the potential effectiveness of a proposed change. The Regional Bicycle Transportation Network Guidelines and Measures Study was designed to meet this need.

Study goals

  1. To develop recommended, quantifiable measures and guidelines for their application to assist the Met Council evaluation of proposed RBTN corridors and alignments
  2. To provide planning-level recommendations for preferred facility treatments on RBTN alignments in urban, suburban, and rural areas that host segments of the RBTN.
Phase I of the study, which addresses the first goal, is complete and has developed methods and guidelines for 11 new measures that examine:
  • Corridor spacing
  • Route directness
  • System connectivity
  • Social and economic equity
  • Proximity to development
Phase II of the study, to be completed later this summer, aligns with the second goal and will focus on developing guidelines for identifying facility treatment types for RBTN alignments.

Study outcomes