The Tallahassee-Leon County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (BPMP) is underway!!
This Plan is being completed to make walking and bicycling more convenient and safer for citizens and visitors. Originally developed in 2004, the Plan needs updating since the City of Tallahassee and Leon County have implemented bike and pedestrians facilities including shared-use paths and bike lanes. Additionally, the CRTPA and Blueprint have projects and plans for expanding these systems in the region and Tallahassee/Leon County, respectively.
The Goal of the BPMP is to make traveling as a bicyclist or pedestrian safer and easier within Tallahassee and Leon County. Additionally, the Plan is to provide connectivity to other transportation systems, reduce vehicle conflicts, promote a healthier mode choice, and provide equity for transportation disadvantaged populations.
The major difference between the 2004 BPMP and the current project is the focus on local area trips to get from neighborhoods to activity centers, restaurants, and local events near those neighborhoods. With localized trips as a focus, the approach is to develop recommendations based on:
- Bicycle Comfort Level
- Neighborhood Network
- Public Input
- Evaluation Criteria
Bicycle Comfort Level
The Bicycle Comfort Level is a data driven analysis of the roadway network utilizing traffic volumes, number of lanes, speed, and existing bike facilities. The results of this analysis relates to a “Type of Cyclist“ that would use the road based on its comfort level. This analysis also utilizes the grade of the road to determine a potential best route.
Type of Cyclist
Type of Cyclist 1 – Elderly and Children (example map here)
This type of cyclist requires a facility completely separated from the road such as a Shard-Use Path.
Type of Cyclist 2 – Interested But Concerned (example map here)
Cyclists who would like to ride their bike but have fears which are usually caused by vehicles. This type of cyclist needs low speeds, low volumes, and a separated facility such as a buffered bike lane.
Type of Cyclist 3- Enthused and Confident (example map here)
Cyclists who feel comfortable riding along a corridor next to vehicles at lower speeds and with facilities such as a bike lane or signage.
Type of Cyclist 4 – Strong and Fearless (example map here)
Cyclists who will ride along a corridor regardless of the conditions. These users have no problem sharing the lane with a vehicle traveling at speeds greater than 40 mph.
The application of the data for the Bicycle Comfort Level will produce a map like this, to indicate where each type of the above type of cyclist is apt to ride.
This network consists of residential streets with low traffic volumes and low speeds so the priority mode can be given to bicycles and pedestrians. These streets make ideal connections between more defined on-street facilities and multi-use paths and may include:
- Uniform signage
- Traffic calming
- On-street markings
- Branding Opportunities
To date, the community outreach has included:
- Joint City/County Bicycling Workgroup
- Meetings with avid cyclists around the community
- City and County Staff
- FDEP Office of Greenways and Trails
Focus Area Workshops
- Market Square and Northeast Neighborhoods
- FAMU, Southwest Area Neighborhoods
- TCC, FSU, and Downtown Tallahassee
- Midtown and Central Area Neighborhoods
- Apalachee Parkway Neighborhoods
Community Open House – April 2019
The evaluation criteria is used to assess each project against how well it meets the standards set forth. Those projects that meet or exceed the evaluation criteria are viewed as excellent projects to move forward with. The criteria used for this effort includes:
- Safety – Focus on infrastructure improvements in known crash areas
- Connectivity – Connect users with destinations in and around the City
- Health – Promote healthier lifestyles through improved facilities and increased use
- Multimodal – Develop usable routes for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders while not limiting motorists
- Equity – Improve transportation options for disadvantaged populations and in underserved areas
The public engagement provided significant information regarding the routes that current riders utilize, existing condition issues that should be addressed, and new routes that would make significant connections and contributions to the system. This information was folded into the BCL analysis to produce several different types of improvements, including Sidewalks, the Neighborhood Network, Minor Projects, and Major Projects. These efforts are described on the following pages.
The City and County have a very robust network of sidewalks along with an extensive list of identified improvements that extends several years into the future. With an extensive list of projects and a process to prioritize sidewalks, the BPMP focused on providing shared-use paths which would be found in the Major Project component.
The Neighborhood Network utilized the BCL to identify routes that are typically within neighborhoods that can connect to parks, activity centers, schools, businesses, or even within a neighborhood to walk or ride a bike. These roads are low volume and low speed that can give priority to bikes and pedestrians.
While the BCL provides a categorization for all streets, further refinement was necessary to identify the routes that provided the best Neighborhood Network linkages. This was accomplished using the slope of the facility to identify the ideal connections.
This network (an example map here) also makes ideal connections to more defined on-street facilities and shared-use paths and at some point, the Neighborhood Network will potentially require the crossing of roadways or intersections. These types of improvements were classified as Minor Projects. Due to the complexity and sheer number of projects, the Neighborhood Network and Minor Projects, have been grouped and assigned route numbers.
Both the Neighborhood Network and Major Project process took into consideration key north/south and east/west connections within the network and were developed in concert with the existing Leon County Bike Network, and the Greenways Master Plan.
There are a lot of existing facilities in Tallahassee and Leon County to build from and connect to. This network (example map here) includes:
- Buffered Bike Lanes
- Shared-Use Paths
- Wide Shoulders
- Bike Lanes
- Service Roads
Sharrows are not considered to be a component of the existing system because these facilities are outside of the BCL 3 and 4 target group.
Combined Neighborhood Network, Major Projects and Existing Facilities
Ultimately, the BPMP network combines the Neighborhood Network, Major Projects, and the Existing Facilities to create the bike and pedestrian system. (example here)
After developing the project lists, the Evaluation Criteria was applied to the Neighborhood Network and Major Projects to produce a score for each project. The projects were then placed into three (3) tiers.
The Neighborhood Network projects were scored and then placed in tiers to build north/south and east/west networks. Therefore, some Neighborhood Network projects that a higher score were placed in lower tiers to build up the north/south and east/west corridors. The flexibility of the tiers provides opportunities to move forward with projects based on the funding available to complete the projects. Additionally, the cost of the Neighborhood Network is substantially less than the Major Project list and therefore, inexpensive to initiate.
The Major Projects list is straight forward in terms of the highest scoring project being in the first Tier, followed by the next highest scored project, etc.… until all the Major Projects were in Tiers 1, 2 or 3. These projects are less likely to move around tiers due to the capital investment to complete them.
After developing the project lists and the criteria the projects needed to have a cost associated with the improvements. The cost standards were developed in conjunction with City Underground Utilities and Tallahassee Leon County Planning Department for the Neighborhood Network, Minor Projects and Wayfinding. Major Project costs were developed from Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) transportation costs.
Neighborhood Network Costs
The Minor Project tiered list includes a project description, the cost of the Neighborhood Network (sharrows, signage, and traffic calming), details of any associated Minor Project, and the total cost of the project, with and without 20% contingency costs.
The total cost of this network ranges from $3M to $5.4M and includes almost 74 miles of signed, marked Neighborhood Network routes. Not all Neighborhood Network projects had associated Minor Projects and those that did are detailed in the Minor Project Information section.
Major Project Network Costs
The Major Project tiered list includes the project name, project limits, the type of improvement, length and cost that is provide in low, medium and high estimates, with and without 20% contingency costs.
The cost for these improvements ranges from $26M to $86M and would create 80 miles of new bike and pedestrian facilities. The costs related to Major Projects varies due to the unknown cost for right of way. However, these costs will be refined based on initial Feasibility Studies to determine if the facility can and should be moved forward. Lastly, the addition of right of way purchases will increases the cost of these facilities.
There are four layers included in the Draft BPMP Map including the Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan, Committed Projects, Existing Bicycle Facilities and the Regional Trail system. Once this map is finalized a link will be provide for access.
Here is a helpful hint, when you click on the link and the website and map will pull up, click on “Content” and turn off “Leon County Roads” and “Leon County”. Zoom into the area you are interested in and then turn on “Leon County Roads” and the roads and names will appear.
The Final BPMP Report will include a project page for each Neighborhood Network and Major Project. Here are examples of the project pages:
Once the report is completed, all of the project will be included.
You can also keep up with the project on Facebook at: TLC Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan