An Examination of the Impact of Commercial Parking Utilization on Cyclist Behavior in Urban Environments
Hurwitz, David S.
Abadi, Masoud Ghodrat
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There is little research on the behavioral interaction between bicycle lanes and commercial vehicle loading zones in the United States. These interactions are important to understand, to preempt increasing conflicts between truckers and bicyclists. In this study, a bicycling simulator experiment examined bicycle and truck interactions. The experiment was successfully completed by 48 participants. The bicycling simulator collected data regarding a participant’s velocity, lane position, and acceleration. Three independent variables were included in this experiment: pavement marking (white lane markings with no supplemental pavement color (white lane markings), white lane markings with solid green color applied to conflict areas (solid green), and white lane markings with dashed green color applied to conflict areas (dashed green)); signage (with and without a truck warning sign); and truck maneuver (no truck in the load zone, truck parked in the load zone, and truck pulling out of the load zone). The following bike-truck interactions were observed from the simulation. Bicyclists had the highest mean velocity when there was a white lane marking and no warning sign, and had the lowest mean velocity when there was a solid green pavement, no warning sign, and an exiting truck. Of the three independent variables, truck maneuvering had the greatest impact by decreasing mean bicyclist velocity. Bicyclists had the least lateral divergence when there was a white lane marking, a warning sign, and no truck. Of the three independent variables, truck maneuvering (parked and exiting) increased lateral movements, while solid green pavement markings decreased lateral variability. Bicyclists had the highest acceleration when there was a white lane marking, no truck, and a warning sign. Of the three independent variables, truck maneuvering had the greatest impact by increasing bicyclist acceleration. The results showed that truck presence does have an effect on bicyclist’s performance, and this effect varies on the basis of the engineering and design treatments employed. The findings of the current study showed that when a truck is present in a loading zone, solid green pavement causes bicyclists to have a lower velocity and lower divergence from the right edge of the bike lane, and employment of a warning sign causes a higher divergence from the right edge of the bike lane.