In 2012, Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) issued the Bicycle Policy & Design Guidelines in an effort to achieve a consistent statewide approach to bicycle facility design. This includes bike lanes and bike-related signs and pavement markings. Ultimately, SHA wants to create a statewide bicycle network that is safe for all roadway users. This network will increase motorist awareness and acceptance of bicyclists as legitimate roadway users and actively promote safe bicycling along Maryland’s highways. SHA sought assistance in creating a library of potential bicycle facility locations that complies with its 2012 guidelines on its extensive roadway data.
JMT Technology Group developed a reliable and repeatable method for analyzing SHA roadway data to find road segments suitable for bicycle facilities. Editing procedures clearly define how to consolidate disparate datasets and address overlapping segments and missing or incorrect mile point attribution. A custom ArcGIS desktop toolbar facilitates the proper placement of proposed bicycle facilities and indicates the placement of features with respect to nearby intersections. Proposed bicycle facilities are shared with the district transportation engineers via SHA’s Enterprise GIS (eGIS) Portal.
SHA is achieving a consistent approach to bicycle design across the state using this solution. Staff research time was reduced and providing access to the bike library in the eGIS Portal enables staff to visualize proposed facility locations from their desk. Street views can be accessed using the VisiData system, and informed decisions can be made regarding the application of bike facilities. The bike library assists those in the field by providing crews with hard copy maps that contain facility locations and location descriptions.