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Table 1 Key terminology for describing transportation infrastructure used by cyclists

From: The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling injuries and crashes: a review of the literature

Term Description
On-road cycling/vehicular cycling When bicyclists ride on a roadway designed primarily for motor vehicles.
Wide curb lane The outer (curbside) lane of a paved multi-lane road is wider than the standard width and can accommodate cyclists, although there may not be signs indicating this.
Sharrows *
(suggested cycle lane†)
Symbols painted on the paved roadway indicating that bicycles can share the lane with motor vehicles. They are sometimes used on roads with high cyclist traffic that don't have enough width to accommodate a bike lane.
Bike route A paved residential or local road that is signed as being a "bike route", and may have cyclist-friendly crossings at major roads, such as traffic signals with push-buttons that are easily operated by cyclists.
Bike lane
(marked cycle lane†)
Part of the paved roadway marked with painted lines or a colored surface, to designate that it is reserved exclusively for cyclists. Bike lanes may terminate before an intersection, or continue through it.
Cycle track
(separated cycle lane†)
Paved lane, exclusively for bicycle use, next to a major city street or roundabout, but separated by a curb or other physical barrier.
Bike path Off-road paved or unpaved path or trail, for bicycles only.
Multi-use path Off-road paved or unpaved path or trail, shared with other non-motorized users (e.g. pedestrians, runners, or in-line skaters).
Sidewalk Off-road paved walkway for pedestrian use, located by the side of road; known as "pavement" in some parts of the world (e.g. UK and Ireland).
Speed bumps/humps * Raised ridge across the road designed to slow motor vehicle traffic ("traffic calming"), particularly in residential areas. Speed humps are easier than speed bumps for cyclists to ride over because they are less steep-sided and more broad.
Intersections Where two or more roads either meet or cross at the same level.
Junctions * May be road intersections, but the term is usually used to refer to the point where a laneway, path, or driveway meets a road.
Roundabout Intersection of arterial streets with a central circle of sufficient diameter that the road curvature accommodates all road vehicles, including trucks and buses. Roundabouts usually have splitter islands on the approaches, sidewalks around the edges, and crosswalks across the approaches set back from the intersection. Daniels et al. provide diagrams of different types of cycle facilities on roundabouts in the Netherlands [57]. Generally, entering traffic yields to traffic already in the intersection.
Traffic circle/rotary traffic island * Raised concrete circles placed in the centre of minor street intersections; there are no splitter islands and the design vehicle is a passenger car.
Bicycle crossing Distinct road crossings for cyclists that are sometimes raised or colored, and may have cyclist-operated traffic signals.
Bicycle box/advanced cycle stop line * A right-angle extension to a bike lane at the head of an intersection, which allows cyclists to wait at the head of the traffic queue on a red traffic signal and then proceed through the intersection ahead of motor vehicle traffic on green.
Traffic diverter * Bike-permeable barriers that require motor vehicle traffic to turn instead of traveling straight ahead through an intersection, or that prevent motor vehicles from entering a street.
  1. * These types of infrastructure were not investigated in any of the studies identified for this review.
  2. Terminology used in the "European Cycling Lexicon" (published by the European Economic and Social Committee at the Vélocity 2009 conference in Brussels). It gives a list of key cycling terms with corresponding photographs for cyclists and policy makers, in all 23 official European languages. It is freely available to download at: