Tuesday, April 23, 2013


As a Burlington, VT resident and train enthusiast, got nice information on a free one-way May 11 trip on National Train Day to Bellows Falls, then an old fashioned train ride back to a ceremonial event in White River Jct., then on your own with a $12 Vermont special on the northbound Vermonter available—unless you live in Burlington and Winooski.
While lots of small cities and locations get connecting bus service from Amtrak City, not the Queen City in Vermont, just seven miles from the Essex Amtrak Station.  National Train Day on a May Saturday occurs when during weekends there is seriously deficient Chittenden Country Transportation Authority (CCTA) service on one of their busiest routes—Burlington-Winooski-Essex (Amtrak Station). 
The CCTA connection “problem” is a systematic issue relating to all regional transit agencies which provide limited or no connections at all stations stops of the two Vermont  Amtrak-supported trains which now cost $7 million in State dollars support yearly.  Every additional person who takes a trip on Amtrak in from a Vermont station directly reduces state dollars required to support the service. Yep, the mainline track in Vermont even got a $52 million upgrade to 80 mph operating speed level last year, a half hour cut from the timetable between St. Albans and Burlington to Brattleboro and Bellows Falls—but from Burlington to Amtrak at Essex on weekends, “you can’t get there from here.”   Well, you can, but the taxi fare with tip can amount to $20.  A taxi fare of $20 compares to about a 300-mile roundtrip Burlington-Brattleboro at the Vermont regular promotional rate of $24. 
(The Burlington-Amtrak connection compares, unfortunately, to connecting by taxi from North to South Station for about $15—you would think Amtrak would operate a shuttle service there.)
Now air travelers and bus travelers get far better treatment by CCTA.  Service to the airport operates at convenient times for most Greyhound bus connections seven days a week.  A traveler can connect on Saturdays to the airport from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.  And for the mid-afternoon arrival and departure of Megabus service to Boston, CCTA provides easy connection at the UVM Davis Center on the University Mall route. 
Seems like a service on Saturdays should be possible—the train southbound a.m. is generally right on time about 9:20 a.m. now and returns—again with much better on time performance at 8:17 p.m.—17 minutes after the last CCTA departure from Amtrak to Burlington!   No problem on with three early bus runs in time to catch the southbound.  This suggests there could be a connection both ways on Saturday—perhaps one about 9 p.m. assuring accommodation of some northbound delay which a rider is willing to take a chance on—preferably just a dedicated bus which departs five minutes after the northbound train arrival.  Otherwise how many want to bet on making connection to a bus ride that costs a dollar or so versus a $15-20 taxi ride? 
On Sunday, no problem at all, no bus service at all by CCTA to Essex/Amtrak.  On Sunday a skeletal service—a single run in the a.m. to align with the southbound Vermonter, a noontime run to service local needs, and a third trip leaving within five minutes of scheduled Amtrak arrival. 
Meanwhile, I plan to celebrate National Train Day on the day before—Friday—with a day trip to Brattleboro.  Maybe CCTA could celebrate National Train Day…with a bus to Burlington from the northbound Vermonter!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Many U.S. and Canadian major cities and population centers make promotional efforts to potential visitors describing walker and bicycling friendliness, touting particular promenades and bikepaths, and suggesting these “active modes” make up niche in the community.   In just the last four years led by Montreal seasonal bike-sharing networks starting with rental bicycle kiosks sprung up in many metropolitan with surprisingly huge trip numbers and positive public response.  A new stream of initiatives arises from transportation and community efforts advocating walking, bicycling and public transit as a means of addressing among other concerns better health, global climate change and traffic congestion.
From another entirely different direction comes a wave of economic change driven by workers and employers alike which takes the form of locating work and residency in compact communities—we used to call them cities—where all services are available without a car and home-to-work trips occur primarily through one or more of the three non-car modes—walking, bicycling, and public transit.  The new trend involves living and working without the expense of car ownership.  Car share programs quickly arose to support a primarily non-car lifestyle.
This transition from the auto age—the millennium represents a nice reference point—to the new urban “community transportation age” forces a look as to where we are now heading and those nations—principally Western Europe—where the three key modes already account for 40-50 percent of urban trips, about four times the U.S. 13 percent share of U.S. urban total trips by foot, bicycle and public transit.  By knowing the comparative modal shares, the infrastructure required to support larger shares for non-car trips quickly becomes apparent.
Since a growing segment U.S. urban transportation “consumer” already abandoned the car for other modes, the needs for alternative mode infrastructure—equality with that of the car—can not longer be ignored.   And, a look at the comparison of the U.S. and Canada urban travel by mode to those nations with well established and continuing modal share reveals a truly momentous gap.  
First let’s look at the modals shares for urban trips using the median number of seven Western European countries:
Walking           29%
Bicycling          12%
Public Transit   12%
Median Total Walking, Bicycling and Public Transit:  53%
The U.S. and Canada walking and bicycling urban trip shares are very similar: 
    Walking: Canada 10%  U.S. 9%.
    Bicycling:  Canada 1%   U.S. 1%
    Public Transit: Canada 14%  U.S. 3%
These numbers for the European group versus the U.S. are clear:  European group walking mode shares three times the U.S., and bicycle mode share ten times the U. S.  Ditto for the European group versus Canada.  For public transit modal share, again the European group, 12%, four times the U.S. share, 3%.  The U.S. and Canada similarity in walking and bicycling shares are noteworthy as Canadian gasoline prices are about $2.00 more a gallon and incomes somewhat below U.S. levels.  The point is that modal shares for walking and bicycling are not just a product of gas prices and income—though they do a play a role—but also infrastructure to support those modes.  Note that European gas prices are four to five dollars more a gallon than the U.S. and incomes in some of the nations in the European group (Germany and some of Scandinavia for examples) are higher than the U.S.
The public transit comparison does present a surprise.  The U.S. number, 3% urban trip modal share for public transit is dwarfed by a number four times as large, 12%, for the European group.  But in the case of Canada, 14% of the urban trips are by public transit, two percent above the European group median.  Suffice to say the three major Canadian metropolitan areas—Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver—all feature extensive public transit systems with both Montreal and Toronto possessing subway and commuter rail as well as miles of walker undergrounds.
Clearly North American laws, education, and encouragement related to bicycling and walking modes require advancement.  But regardless of those three areas, without modern infrastructure little change in the modal shares can be attained.  One cannot get to half the West European modal shares—five times the current bicycle modal share here now and half again the walking mode share—through simply cheerleading, better transportation law, and more traffic tickets.  This target, for example, represents shifting more than one in seven urban trips to walking and bicycling.
The infrastructure barriers to more U.S. walking and       bicycling:  cycle track, roundabouts and shared space
The major barrier to increased bicycling and walking numbers in urban North America can easily be identified as Europe which came into the auto age late, had to react to protect a once dominant and safe walking and bicycling increasingly unsafe and repressed by cars.  The reaction came in two forms—traffic calming (increasingly in the form of roundabouts) and cycle track, both developments coming into their own in the last quarter of the 20th century.  Roundabouts literally invented in the U.K. in 1966 began to find its way into North America in the 1990s and today there about 14,000 roundabouts here—and Americans now have at least occasional first-hand experience with this technology.  And traffic calming in one form or another has become widespread.  Cycle track—protected onstreet bike lanes using curbing or planters--only now is beginning to be recognized with Chicago in the process of installing 100 miles of cycle track and Montreal with several curb separated miles of cycle track dating from early in the last decade.  Shared space—a no signs, no signals, no curbs—represents a fusion of roundabouts and traffic calming elements taking advantage of the fact that drivers operating at a few miles and hour will, essentially, interact with human traffic in a friendly way and yield to walkers and bicyclists.  Shared space gets employed primarily in busy retail and tourist contexts. 
If U.S. urban areas aim to multiply their walking and bicycling modal shares, then extensive investments in cycle track, roundabouts (with walker crossings and for bicyclists multi-use paths or bikepath crossings) and shared space infrastructure holds the key. 
How this infrastructure works with the other key mode, public transit, gets addressed in the next post.

Friday, April 12, 2013




The sudden and unprecedented shift of Vermonters from traveling to work in cars to other modes between 2000-2010—about 9,000 workers or three percent of the workforce—demands attention and demonstrates the changed face of transportation needs today in all builtup areas, from small village centers to Vermont’s one metropolitan area centered in Burlington.

Vermont—and national—lack of infrastructure for walking and bicycling modes smothers these modes and in turn depresses public transit usage.  Vermonters quitting car use (nationally driver licensing among the under-30 crowd dropped ten percent in the last decade or so) unmasks the huge deficit in walking and bicycling infrastructure and indirectly public transit demand, particularly for intercity and commuter rail passenger services.

While most developed nations urban modal share for bicycle trips tops ten percent, Vermont and the U.S. even with substantial growth over the past decade remains at slightly over one percent.  While U.S. and Canada walker and bicycle mode shares of about 9 percent and 1 percent respectively, Canadian urban dwellers public transit trips top 12 percent compared to the U.S. 3 percent.  Total U.S. walking, bicycle, and public transit share of urban travel amounts to 13 percent, a little more than half that of Canada and about a third of the typical Western European nation. 

But with Vermont and the nation now experiencing a revolution in urban travel a substantial, inevitable move toward European modal shares bubbles just below the surface.  A harbinger of Vermont change comes not just from the 50 workday bus commuter runs started since 2003-2004 between Burlington and three other job centers—Middlebury, Montpelier and St. Albans—now serving almost over 400 commuters, but also from the fact three of the largest Burlington employers also started providing reduced or no cost bus access as part of a program to reduce solo commuting.    Employers taking a lead in encouraging non-car travel reflects the economic benefits which accrue to their workers, better health which arises from use of the “active modes” of bicycling and walking, and direct economic benefit to the employer as well through reduced need for allocating resources to expensive employee parking spaces.

The trends from a flat or declining statewide car travel (for example year-to-year Vermont total registered cars and pickups declined 0.1 as of February 2013) suggesting the real potential for commuter rail along the commuter corridors out of Burlington are matched by consistent statewide public opinion surveys for decades showing low support for more highways and strong support for more bicycling, walking, public transit, and passenger rail investments.  The drop in car traffic along major entry streets to downtown Burlington is instructive as declines date from about 1990 with decreases of 8 to 28 in daily traffic along representative points of Main Street, the Northern Connector (VT 127), Pearl Street and Pine Street—trends continuing based on traffic data reports in recent years.

Meanwhile an unusual convergence of the interests favoring walkable, bikable and drivable communities as well as public transit suggests there exists a simple nexus meeting the needs of all four groups.  Note urbanologist  Peter Calthorpe stresses for successful transit there first must be a “walkable” community.

For walkability two infrastructure forms are sufficient—sidewalks which in most cases are already in place along street segments and roundabouts at intersections which assure comfort and ease of crossing and a reduction of up to 90 percent in injury rates.  The roundabout also reduces delay and improves safety for all users, particularly for car occupants.  Drivability absolutely depends on the presence of roundabout infrastructure in downtowns as well as along commercial and retail corridors.  Middlebury’s Adirondack Circle, Montpelier’s Keck Circle and the new three-roundabout corridor in Manchester Center (slated to be Vermont’s first “all roundabouts and no signals” community)—are town center roundabouts reducing traffic speeds and delay over a distance of three to four blocks.  These roundabouts reduce delays for all users and have greater capacity to move vehicles.

For bicycles the needs are somewhat similar to those of walkers.  First along busy streets a grade separated “cycle track”, protected lanes, providing safety and enabling higher speeds comprises the key to urban bicycling.  Cycle track can be described as a one or two-way “bicycle highway” on a roadway employing curbing or bollards where no parallel bikepath or multi-user path is available.  (A route comprised of a mix of cycle track and bikepaths is a common treatment in Europe.)  Second, where possible, intersections with roundabouts feature a separate bikepath side by side with crosswalks or a multi-user path as the crosswalk.  With cycle track and intersection provisions, the bicycle gains equality as a mode with walking and car travel.  Cycle track also protects drivers from bicycles.  For motor vehicles, roundabouts at busy intersections mostly improve safety, reduce travel times, and provide greater capacity.  In sum, for a walkable, bikable and drivable town and village centers as well as all built up areas, cycle track and roundabouts offers a ready solution to the current infrastructure deficit.   

A European import, cycle track is new in North America with one extensive set of corridors already in place in Montreal. But where to get the five to ten feet for cycle track remains difficult even with allocated parking for the purpose on one side of a busy street.  However, since roundabouts handle traffic quite easily compared to signals, many turn lanes can be eliminated in part or altogether enabling cycle track along approaches to an intersection.  Some tradeoff of parallel parking along one side of a street may be made to accommodate cycle track.

The safest environment for bicycling and walking can be found in “shared space” at the heart of retail districts—like the cross street intersections in Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace The new Burlington Marketplace/waterfront plan—PlanBTV—proposes a cycle track along Main Street connecting the Marketplace to the waterfront.  Shared space can be applied in a few areas and one of its features is providing safe access to all persons with a handicap.  

         The need today: “CPR” to revive downtowns as well as town and village centers

“CPR”—cycle track, passenger rail and transit, and roundabouts represent the three infrastructure and service challenges in Vermont requiring substantial investments so community transportation in all aspects can be brought to life.  These infrastructure needs require tens of millions of investments each year over a decade or so to begin to meet the needs throughout Vermont.  Yet the benefits of the first investments can be observed and measured from the completion of each project with the roundabouts in downtowns and village centers living proof of both the transportation and economic benefits.  Consider these investments—including intercity and commuter passenger rail—as bringing to the builtup areas of Vermont towns and cities the same scale of transportation change as engendered by the interstate highway system completed at the end of the 1970s.  Unlike the interstate system CPR leads to a sustainable transportation system and the substantial reduction in the role and usefulness of motor vehicles in the builtup areas and between population centers served by passenger rail. 

Each mode—walking, bicycling, motor vehicle and public transit—must be treated equally and each must be provided for—a community with equal treatment of all modes becomes one with cycle track on most of its busy streets, roundabouts at almost all its intersections, and commuter and/or intercity rail at either traditional and/or new station locations.  Passenger rail services fully integrate into an overall bus and rail based public transit network.  This completes a public transit system where the basic regional bus networks in great part already exist.

In sum, quality transportation in builtup areas in Vermont and throughout North America  (with some noticeable exceptions in isolated nodes, intersections, and areas) does not currently exist, mostly due to large deficit in infrastructure in one or more of the modes, primarily bicycle, walking, and rail passenger transit.   

Up to the advent of the roundabout and cycle track there existed appeals for integrated and balanced transportation in U.S. law and transportation policies—but just what integrated and balanced transportation looked like in real life was unclear.  With the magic of CPR—cycle track, passenger rail, and roundabouts--the vision of quality transportation for all modes becomes a reality.  The next steps involve using CPR to bring the current critically ill patient--transportation in built up areas--back to a renewed and vibrant life at a far higher level than ever achieved in the past.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013


In a Vermont Digger comment today on their article on opposition by trucking interests to the size of the diesel tax increase now being considered by the Vermont Legislature, the following response to a comment supporting the tax because of the damage to roads from heavy trucks--which I agree with--below, was posted.  Note that since 1990 car travel growth slowed and probably flat lined during the last decade while truck traffic, particularly larger and heavier truck traffic, increased at a far higher rate nationally and presumably in Vermont as well.  Trucking interests in Vermont remain big winners, assuming these trends occurred with middle class drivers increasingly paying a larger and larger subsidy to the heavy truckers.   You have to give the Vermont trucking industry credit, they have stonewalled and prevented any cost allocation study which would very likely increase their fuel taxes while lowering relatively for those who travel on four wheels.

Here is the response posted today on the Vermont Digger article:

"Peter correctly points out the damage trucks do--a loaded truck does a 1000 times the damage of a car to pavements, a major cost of maintaining highways.

However, he touches a nerve--the Governor and the two Transportation Committees continue--on purpose--to be like the three blind mice.  The last cost responsibility study showing what each type of vehicle ["cost"in terms of maintenance and new highway facilities]  (cars, dump trucks and the ubiquitous tractor trailer) was in 1989--it needs to be done now and with software now available can be easily updated [every year or so] in house by AOT.  That 1989 study showed a trend towards under taxing heavy vehicles.  So the three blind mice go merrily on totally ignorant (and politically intentiionally ignorant) of how much to charge trucks.  Would it not be a surprise to find out they are severely undertaxeed?  Note also the AOT study which showed about a thrid of all tractor trailers entering Vermont from Canada never stop in Vermont--can you guess if these folks are paying their damage to the interstate highwys?

Oh well, as they say, ignorance is bliss."

Tony Redington   Blog:  TonyRVT.blogspot.om

Thursday, April 4, 2013


The IKEA retail outlet in New Haven, Connecticut occupies a large lot on a strip of land squeezed between the rail complex and the rail station and I 95 which houses warehousing, wholesale firms, a medical center, and a few services including a restaurants and motel.

Beside the IKEA entrance is a sign touting bicycling and a simple two sided bike rack with a capacity of about eight bicycles...with one side against the wall so only four bicycles can easily be docked.  No matter when I went by there were zero bikes there.  Then there are the rows of parking,up to 16 rows of up by 50 cars each, all told about 1,000 parking spaces.  The bus stop on either side of the four-lane frontage road is about 150 yards from the IKEA entrance and another 50 yards further from the exit doors.

This situation represents the pinnacle of car dominance and condition no longer sustainable.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013



Americans know first hand cars still dominate urban transportation—and anyone who travels to other advanced nations, particularly Western Europe, experiences what our transportation system could offer—sensible and safe walking, bicycling and public transportation along with supporting infrastructure for each mode.  

While ten percent of urban trips here are walking (nine percent) and bicycling (one percent), European urban trip shares typically amount to double digits for each non-car mode.  Public transit share of urban trips here?  Just three percent.  Even Canada with similar walking and bicycling shares reaches 13 percent public transit share and almost double the U.S. total of walking, bicycling and public transit share of urban trips of 13 percent.  America today truly presents a picture of un-transportation.

The solution to the urban U.S. un-transportation can, thankfully, follow the discoveries and applications of treatments now decades old in Europe.  Europe always did have an excellent rail passenger train network now featuring a new plateau of service provided by high speed rail lines which criss-cross the continent and extend to the British Isles through the Chunnel.  (The Europeans actually copied the first major high speed rail line, built in Japan, which has yet to experience a single fatality in more than a half century of operation.) 

There exist three major walking and bicycling innovations in Europe which provide both mobility and safety even on busy streets and thoroughfares.  For street sections sidewalks remain the key to the walking mode.  But for bicycles the invention of the cycle track—bicycle lanes protected from parked vehicles and travel lanes by curbs, cones or planters—provide an equality of the bicycle enjoyed by only cars and walkers in the past.   Cycle tracks emerged towards the end of the last century as a solution to the growth of car travel in Europe which caused ever increasing fatalities to bicyclists and in many cases crowding the bicycle off busy streets altogether.  (The story of cycle track in the Netherlands at UTube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBdf9jYj7o  provides an excellent history of cycle track emergence and applications.)

The second innovation dates from 1966 in the U.K.—the modern roundabout.   With over 3,000 roundabouts in the U.S. and Canada now this intersection device performs magic—it cuts serious injuries and fatalities upwards of 90 percent, reduces delay for all users and cuts both gasoline consumption and pollutants by sizeable amounts.  While walkers and car occupant injury studies found indisputable benefits for both, bicyclist safety impacts were mixed.  For bicyclists smaller roundabouts do provide a modest safety gain—and now on/off ramps are being introduced, a treatment aimed at less expert bicyclists.  Further, the provision of a separate bicycle path or multi-use path at intersections assures a definite increment of safety for bicyclists at single lane roundabouts and likely one at multi-lane roundabouts.  A pathway for bicyclists at roundabouts needs to become standard practice.  For bicyclists, cycle track along street segments combined with roundabouts with a separated pathway present an infrastructure improvement unlocking the bicycling mode in urban America.

The overall category “traffic calming” represents the third innovation in bicycling and walking infrastructure, again a set of evolving treatments first developed in Europe and quickly adopted in the United States starting in the 1990s with the first emphasis  here their use on local streets.   Speed humps/tables/bumps, bulb-outs, median diverters, and also roundabouts are just examples of literally dozens of traffic calming designs.  Speed constraints on traffic provide a safer and more comfortable environment for walking and bicycling.   Traffic calming provides that environment.   For example, vehicle yielding to walkers reaches 100% when speeds at intersections are in the range of 0-10 mph.  The safest environment for walking and bicycling—again, a European innovation—is “shared space” where a number of traffic calming treatments are applied in a defined area where walkers and bicyclists retain the right of way over vehicles.

The three innovations—cycle track, roundabouts and traffic calming—apply to the walking and bicycling modes.  But efficient and effective public transit depends on a walkable, bikable community.  U.S. urban designer Peter Calthorpe emphasizes a walkable community must be in place for successful public transportation services.

Making a transportation system in the United States means investing heavily for the first time in the infrastructure for walking and bicycling at a rate of tens of billions of dollars yearly for a decade or so—that is just the federal level of funding required.  That level of funding leads to lower support costs for existing public transportation but also a much greater demand for new public transportation routes and services, particularly commuter rail and light rail. 

The payoff for these investments is clear.  First these investments promise reduced injury and fatality rates for all modes.   Car dependency declines along with associated urban congestion, improved air quality, and reduced energy consumption.  Health benefits from more walking and bicycling occur.  And perhaps most important, higher levels of urban density arise which in turn reduces car travel and fosters greater use of public transportation and the “active modes” of walking and bicycling.  The American economy benefits from the presence of an efficient transportation system and the disappearance of our current urban carcentric “un-transportation.”

Monday, April 1, 2013


 What is Cycle Track and Why it is the IPhone/IPad/IPod of Urban Street Bicycling?

The generic term “cycle track” can take different forms, it can be described as Luis Vivanco did in his just released book, “Reconsidering the Bicycle” as “protected bike lanes separated from motorized vehicles by cones, curbs or planters.” 

A UVM associate professor, Vivanco describes in the first paragraph of text Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmuel’s plan to complete 100 miles of cycle track (“protected bike lanes”) by the end of his first term less than two years from now in 2015.

A treatment primarily for busy urban streets, cycle track protects bicyclists from cars and at the same time as was reported from a DC update session perhaps protecting cars from bicyclists.  At its root, cycle track facilitates safe mobility for the bicycle mode, a mode which recently has advocates from a number of disciplines who call for more bicycling to address the problems of urban congestion, pollution, energy use, transportation affordability, citizen health and obesity, and higher density land uses which are incompatible with car travel.

As in the case of traffic calming and roundabouts, one can only see the future in Europe.  Urban trips in the U.S. and Canada total 1% by bicycle and 9% walking while the numbers for bicycle/walking percentages for the Netherlands are 27/19 and for Germany 10/27.  Every European nation numbers for bicycling and walking mode shares of urban travel dwarf those of North America. 

Cycle track came to Europe mostly as a response to the growth of cars—the high volumes of bicycling and walking were already there but the competition for road space resulted in escalating bicycle/car conflicts along with increases in bicyclist injuries and fatalities.   The story of cycle track in the Netherlands (see UTube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBdf9jYj7o  ) represents a classic bottom up call for action  led by parents as more than 400 children a year died in bicycle crashes in the before cycle track and other treatments were introduced—as the UTube report states youth bicycle fatalities declined to 14 after the urban areas were supplied with cycle track facilities.

We in the United States come to the need for cycle track from the opposite direction—in order to enable the growth of urban bicycle travel, safe facilities are needed otherwise efforts to grow bicycle travel face a very low potential.  While skilled bicyclists may relish the challenge for busy urban arterials--young, old and less skilled bicyclists by nature cannot (and should not!) attempt to travel on busy streets because, simply, it is not safe for them to do so.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Chicago initiative, one can look to the Montreal example of an installed lengthy east-west (a block from Rue St. Catherine) and north-south cycle track.  The cycle track/car lane separation in Montreal is accomplished through using a domed curb about four inches high and perhaps eight inches wide.  When the cycle track enters the Town of Westmount the treatment turns to four-foot high flexible stands (like those use to delineate fire hydrants or other obstructions during the winter).  Those delineators are pulled up in the winter.  A section of the Westmount routing includes a standard bikepath through Westmount Park.   Dorset Street, South Burlington, VT, features forms of cycle track.  On the east side there is a separate sidewalk and bikepath configuration, while on the west side of the street there is a sidewalk and merely a seam signifying an adjacent lane as being dedicated to bicycle use.  Another form of cycle track is a curbside lane, then a four-five foot painted area, then a parking lane—the four-five foot parking/bike lane assures no “dooring” danger to the cyclst.
Cycle track can be single lane or two-way—two-way being the most efficient us of the roadway space.        The rapid success of Montreal’s cycle track occurred just before the invention of the “bixi bike”, a Quebec bicycle and docking station system designed for bikeshare (started mid-year 2009 in Montreal)  ( bixi.com ).  In just four years has been exported to Washington, DC, Melbourne, New York, Boston, Toronto, and other urban areas worldwide.  The Quebec bixi bicycle continues to exceed even the most optimistic numbers of trips in most locations where it has been introduced along with its unique solar-powered terminals which handle all transactions with either a prepaid membership which includes a key or credit card for the public at large.  Like a canary, the roaring success of the bixi-bike based shared bicycle systems unmasked the demand for bicycle travel of all types in larger urban areas.  That success now poses a challenge all cities and built up areas to provide the infrastructure to support safe bicycle transportation for those of any age and any skill level.   

An initial study of cycle track safety performance in Montreal—the rates of injuries on the track versus rates onstreet bicycle injury rates on comparable streets—found a significant lower injury rate on cycle track. 

Clearly establishing cycle track infrastructure involves an overall initiative similar to that which Vermont and its regions went through in creating town and region bicycle plans during the 1990s.  Some cycle track may be installed in a “no regrets” fashion where the need exists and the likely routing of bicycle traffic is self-evident—as were certain bikepaths at the beginning of the “bikepath age” in the 1990s.  Still, for built up areas, downtowns and village centers many cycle track developments requires removal of scare parking spaces (or relocation), reduction in available street lanes, and other actions which constrain the movement of motor vehicles.   Like the provision of handicap access to streets and buildings, local public works and state agencies will face both opportunities and difficulties in developing cycle track—really true urban bicycle networks.  But there exists a substantial payoff in the form of less traffic, increased health, lower demands for expensive parking, and improved mobility for all.