Bicycle Level-of-Service Metric (Bicycle Report Card)

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Posted 11/18

Increasing bicycle ridership has the potential to reduce roadway congestion, minimize deterioration of the roadway system, and lower pollutant emissions from motor vehicles. Creating a safe and comfortable bicycle environment is important to encourage increased bicycle travel within the Boston region. The first step is to identify elements of the Boston region’s bicycle environment that need improvement. Toward this goal, the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) staff developed the Bicycle Report Card (BRC), which grades a given route segment on the quality of bicycle travel it provides. The BRC assigns a grade to route segments in accordance with the goals set by the MPO for bicyclist safety, bicycle infrastructure, connectivity of the bicycle transportation network, and enhancing economic vitality in the region. MPO staff also established a methodology using demographic data to identify the level of need for bicycle facilities at a given location. Municipalities can use the BRC results to identify deficiencies in the bicycle network and prioritize bicycle infrastructure improvements. This memorandum presents a review of resources related to bicycle level of service (LOS) and then addresses existing Central Transportation Planning Staff work tied to bicycle LOS. The memo then presents an overview of BRC development by MPO staff with descriptions of the performance measures selected for the development of the BRC tool. In conclusion, the memo demonstrates the efficacy of the BRC by using the tool to evaluate sample route segments.

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