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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Public Roads - January/February 2003

Training Update

NHI Offers New Courses in Bicycle and Pedestrian Facility Design

The National Highway Institute (NHI)

901 N. Stuart Street, Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22203

Bicycle Facility Design (course #142046) and Pedestrian Facility Design (course #142045) are examples of 22 new courses that the National Highway Institute (NHI) developed and added to its course catalog during 2002. Both courses are directly linked to accessibility, safety, and design issues in transportation.

Bicycle facility design is an emerging subject. The availability of Federal, State, and local transportation funding for bicycle facilities that serve transportation and recreational users is resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of facilities being planned and built. Although there are no Federal design standards for bicycle facilities, many States and localities are using the newly adopted American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities—or a modification thereof—as the design guide.

Designing bicycle facilities requires not only the use of the AASHTO guide (a copy is provided for each course participant) and other documents, but also the application of engineering judgment where specific information is not provided. The course will assist planners and designers with applying the existing standards and dealing with other technical issues. Upon completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • List the needs of bicyclists as facility users
  • Identify common roadway and traffic conditions that affect bicyclists
  • Describe the characteristics of a roadway and a shared-use path that are designed to accommodate bicyclists
  • List the benefits to the transportation system of accommodating bicyclists with varying abilities
  • Recognize opportunities to accommodate bicyclists during the planning, design, construction, and operational phases of a project

NHI developed the Pedestrian Facility Design course to provide information and application opportunities for those involved in the design of pedestrian facilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires newly constructed and altered sidewalks to be accessible and usable for people with disabilities. To emphasize the importance of planning for pedestrians, the course centers on two case examples, one involving corridor design and the other on intersection design. Course attendees hear lectures, participate in discussions, watch video demonstrations showing problem areas in corridors and intersections, and break into small groups to identify problems and develop design alternatives. Upon completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • List the characteristics of motorized and nonmotorized traffic that influence pedestrian facility design
  • Apply the concepts of universal design and applicable design reference material to redesigning an existing location and/or designing a new location that meets the needs of motorized and nonmotorized users
  • Use the reference manual provided in the course to support design decisions for the case examples
  • Identify potential conflicts between pedestrians and other traffic and propose design options that improve access and safety
  • Analyze the network for improvement options to meet the needs of pedestrians and other traffic

For more information about the course, contact NHI's Training Program Manager Mila Plosky at 703-235-0527 or For scheduling information, call 703-235-0528 or e-mail


NHI's new Bicycle Facility Design course provides designers with the tools to create bicyclist-friendly facilities like this one in Florida.