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This Project Summary recaps the principal achievements in the "Evaluation of the Eugene Bikeways Master Plan". The primary objectives of the evaluation process are to analyze the relationship between bicycle accidents and the Eugene bikeway system, measure and evaluate bikeway usage, provide bicycle safety improvement programs, and to recommend improvements to and expansion of the bikeway system.

Details of the evaluation process, conclusions and recommendations are described in the respective chapters of this Project Report. A summary of this project is presented in the following sections.

  • Eugene's Bikeway System
  • Bikeway System Usage
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Bicycle Accident Reporting and Monitoring
  • Public Involvement and Input
  • Bikeway System Improvements
  • Evaluating and Updating the Bikeways Master Plan


The completed one-third (50 miles of 152 miles) of the Eugene Bikeway System effectively serves Eugene's population. A survey indicated that the existing bike routes serve over one-half of the trip lengths for 60 percent of the city's bicycle commuters. Completed bikeways include "street oriented" bike routes and "park oriented" bike paths.

Street oriented bike routes include:

  • Signed routes along existing streets
  • Striped routes on both sides of two-way streets
  • Striped routes on one-way streets
  • Striped routes on both sides of one-way streets with a "contra flow" lane for bicyclists
  • Sidewalk bike routes

Park oriented bike paths include:

  • Streets converted to bicycle use only
  • Separate paths for bicyclists and pedestrians only

Each bikeway route was evaluated during the course of this project. The evaluations included: measuring the usage, studying the accidents, riding each route, and noting areas for improvements or revisions.


Chapter II describes bikeway system usage. Most bicycle routes throughout the City of Eugene are used significantly, while the University and downtown area routes are the heavier used routes. A Bicycle Volume Map (see Figure II-3) shows the recorded 1978 bicycle counts on the existing bicycle routes in the bikeway system.

Route usage was determined by 24-hour machine counters, and 8-hour manual counts factored to 24-hour counts. The 1978 bicycle counts indicate a 76 percent average increase over similar counts taken in 1971. Count stations are identified in Figure II-3, and an annual bicycle count program is planned to measure, record, and analyze annual usage variations on the bikeway system. (see also Chapter VII-Evaluating and Updating the Bikeways Master Plan).

A permanent recording station (installed by the OOHS on the North Bank Bicycle Path) was used to measure seasonal variations in ridership. Bikeway usage data from this station was noted to triple between winter and summer months.

Weekly machine counts on bicycle routes in Eugene were taken to measure daily usage variations. Significant numbers of bicycles were recorded during each day of the week. A daily, usage variation pattern was not apparent during this survey, as the data was fairly constant.

Bikeway usage factors are used to determine the rate of occurrences of bicycle accidents. (see Chapter III-Bicycle Accidents).


  1. Install and monitor permanent bicycle traffic counters at selected locations on bicycle paths. Use this data to improve usage variation and accident rate determinations.
  2. The Bicycle Volume Map should be updated annually, as new bikeway data becomes available from the machine counts.


Chapter III describes the analysis of the 391 bicycle accidents reported to the police in the five-year period of 1974 through 1978. Accident types, accident locations, and accident causes were identified.

The annual frequency of occurrence of accidents (Table III-1) nearly doubled in the five-year study period. Of the accidents reported, 92% involved injuries to the bicyclist.

The accidents were classified into 32 accident types (Table III-2). Motorists turning right or left across the path of bicyclists traveling on a parallel path, and motorists driving from a driveway or signed intersection into a bicyclists' path are the most frequently occurring accident types. There were only two reported accidents of bicyclists striking open car doors.

Accidents along specific routes were also studied (Table III-3). Bike lane striping has reduced accidents on Agate, Alder, and 11th Street. Problems related to striping are identified on Pearl Street and Harlow Road. Signing streets as bike routes does not reduce bicycle accidents. Accidents have occurred more often on 15th Street, since the street was signed; however, bicycle volumes have increased appreciably to account for the increase. Provisions for bicycling on sidewalks has increased bicycle accidents on Willamette Street and Coburg Road.

The rate of occurrence of bicycle accidents has been determined for striped lanes (Table III-4), signed streets (Table III-5), and sidewalk routes. However, accident rates were not determined for the separate paths, because there were no accidents reported.

For this project, the rate of occurrence of bicycle accidents is defined as the number of accidents per 100,000 bicycle miles per year. Average accident rates of 0.7, 0.6, and 1.8 accidents per 100,000 bicycle miles were identified for striped lanes, signed streets, and sidewalk routes respectively. The accident rate on sidewalks was nearly three times the rate for striped lanes and signed streets.

Table III-6 identifies intersections with bicycle accident problems.

Bicycle operator error was the primary cause of two-thirds of the bicycle traffic accidents (See Table III-7). Improper passing and sidewalk riding are the most common causes of bicycle accidents.


  1. Improvements for problem routes and intersections are listed in Bikeway Improvement Chapter VI.
  2. It is recommended that the information about the most common types and causes of accidents be used for education programs to improve bicycling skills.


The level of reporting and monitoring of bicycle accidents is described in Chapter IV.

Almost all bicycle injury accidents not involving a motor vehicle go unreported, while 25% of the accidents involving a motor vehicle are also unreported. Injured bicyclists will provide a description of their accident if it is convenient to do so.

Most injured bicyclists are treated in the emergency rooms at Sacred Heart Hospital, Eugene Hospital and Clinic, and University of Oregon Student Health Center. Bicycle accident injuries usually require the immediate treatment available at these locations.

The accident descriptions volunteered by bicyclists identified many of the isolated problem locations. This information was used to prepare the bikeway system improvement program.

An effective bicycle accident recording system (Figure IV-2) has been implemented, and the 1974-1978 accident data has been transferred to this new system. Accidents are listed by the street on which the bicyclist was riding.

The new card filing system of accidents is useful for determining accident rates along bikeways and for evaluating bikeway system improvements. The format used for this evaluation is shown in Figure IV-4.


  1. It is recommended that the voluntary bicycle accident survey be continued. A descriptive reporting form is proposed for this continuing reporting program (Figure IV-3).
  2. It is recommended that bicycle accident records be updated monthly, and route evaluations conducted annually.


Chapter V describes a public hearing, and the citizen questionnaire used to learn of citizens' concerns about Eugene's bikeway system.

Many improvements suggested by the public are included in the Bikeway System Improvement Chapter. There has been increased citizen concern for improving: bicycle education, traffic law enforcement, and bicycle facility maintenance.

The citizen questionnaire established effective ways to encourage bicyclists to ride more often. The effective ways included the following:

  • provide more bicycle routes
  • provide lighting on the separated bikeway facilities
  • allow bicyclist to "yield" at STOP signs
  • provide more covered secure parking
  • improve the maintenance and sweeping of the bike paths

The exercise and convenience of bicycling, and the increasing cost of using an automobile, are the most important reasons why bicyclists ride in Eugene. Bicyclists estimated their average transportation cost savings over $400 per year.


Chapter VI lists recommendations for the bikeway system designed to improve safety and increase ridership.

Specific recommendations are listed for 23 routes and 6 intersections. Bikeway System Improvements include: eliminating the sidewalk bicycle routes, striping or restriping bicycle routes, removing fixed object hazards, improved signing, improved surfacing, and the installation of grade separated crossings.

Routes important for improving safety, ridership and continuity of the bikeway system have also been identified.

The maintenance concerns expressed are specific problems. In general, overall maintenance of the bikeway system is fair. Improving communications about the specific problem conditions to the Public Works Department will improve the bikeway maintenance program.

Efforts to provide lighting along the bike paths will improve nighttime riding conditions, and a corresponding increase in ridership. Bikeway illumination standards are listed in Table VI-1.


  1. The recommended improvements for specific routes and intersections should be made as soon as possible. The addition of new bicycle routes to continue and expand the bikeway system should also receive priority. Continuing efforts to improve bikeway maintenance and lighting should be stressed.


Chapter VII describes the process for continued evaluation of the bikeway system, and for annual updating of the Eugene Bikeways Master Plan.

An evaluation of this project is used to illustrate the evaluation procedure. In addition, a format is included for future evaluation to measure safety and economic benefits of Bikeway System Improvements (Figure VII-1).

An Annual Work Program for Bikeways Master Plan evaluation and updating is presented in Table VII-1. The Work Program lists specific tasks to be performed during certain times of the year, and estimates the number of man-hours needed to complete each task.


  1. Continue to evaluate bicycle facilities, and continually direct efforts to improve safety and increase ridership on Eugene's bikeways.

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Last modified September 23, 2002