Bike Infrastructure

Bicycle infrastructure not only encourages active transportation (biking, walking, or rolling) but slows down vehicle traffic by narrowing travel lanes. Slower streets are safer streets!

What bike infrastructure can be found in Lancaster City?

Lancaster City streets have a number of bicycle infrastructure amenities including conventional and separated bike lanes, bike boulevards, sharrows, bike boxes, and rectangular flashing beacons. Learn more about these different types of infrastructure below!

Bike lanes are shown to reduce bicyclist deaths by

Marshall, W. E., & Ferenchak, N. N. (2019). Why cities with high bicycling rates are safer for all road users. Journal of Transport & Health, 13, 100539.

A whole new way to experience Lancaster!

Bike It Lancaster, our bike share program, is a convenient, low-cost way to move around Lancaster City by bike.

Learn More about Bike It Lancaster

A whole new way to experience Lancaster!

Bike It Lancaster, our bike share program, is a convenient, low-cost way to move around Lancaster City by bike!

Learn More about Bike It Lancaster

Conventional Bike Lanes

Identified by pavement markings and striping, conventional bike lanes are designated as exclusive use lanes for bicyclists. These bike lanes enable bicyclists to ride at their preferred speed without interference from traffic conditions. Typically, these bike lanes are located next to motor vehicle lanes, flowing in the direction of travel.

Separated Bike Lanes

Like a conventional bike lane, a separated bike lane is distinguishable by either a physical or painted buffer to separate the bicycle traffic from moving or parked motor vehicles. Bike lanes such as these have a reduced frequency of bicyclists encountering doors suddenly being opened, as well as not having to overtake vehicles. These benefits make the separated bike lane an attractive facility for bicyclists of all levels and ages.

Bicycle Boulevards

Naturally by design, bicycle boulevards are intended to reduce traffic, by implementing signs, pavement markings, and countermeasures that encourage low volume and low speeds. These techniques make it conducive for people traveling by bike or foot, making this style of street optimal for bicycle traffic. Motorized traffic is discouraged on bicycle boulevards, not at all restricting motorists from accessing them while traversing throughout the city.


Sharrows, or shared bike lanes are typically identified by two chevrons on top of a bicycle symbol. It is designed to be shared by both motorists and bicyclists. Normally, sharrows will be on low speed/low volume roadways where the speed does not exceed 35mph. Bicyclists can ride in the middle of the travel lane on sharrows, to avoid the door zone of parked cars. Follow the rules of the road: yield to pedestrians, obey traffic signs and signals, and ride with the traffic flow.

Bike Box

Bike boxes are a form of bicycle facility that ensures a safe ride around the community and encourages drivers to increase their sense of awareness. It is a distinct 10- to 16-foot-deep bright neon green pavement facility, with a white stop line at the rear. The design is purposeful, allowing increased visibility and accessibility for bicyclists.

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon

The irregular flashing amber lights found supplementing existing intersection treatments are known as Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs). This active flashing beacon’s light patterns are like emergency vehicles and have the capacity to be manually activated by a push button, or passively through detection. Commonly, these beacons are used to supplement existing warning signs at unsignalized intersections or midblock crosswalks.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bike Infrastructure

Yes. The Lancaster City Bike network is a combination of on-street and off-road bicycling facilities connecting neighborhoods, parks, schools, and places people work, shop and visit. Facilities include shared lanes and bike boulevards, conventional bike lanes, separated bike lanes, multi-use paths, bike parking, and bike share. It is designed make both the daily commuter and the casual cyclist feel comfortable and safe.

No. Pennsylvania law does not require bicyclists to use bike lanes. Bicyclists are encouraged to ride where they feel safest and most comfortable. For more information about Pennsylvania bicycle laws check out the PennDOT website and review the Pennsylvania Bicycle Rider’s Manual.

The safety of all users – people walking, driving, and bicycling – of the street is the most important factor in designing facilities to safely accommodate bicycling. All facilities are being installed using the latest design standards from NACTO and FHWA. A study of New York City’s protected bike lanes (Protected Bicycle Lanes in NYC, New York City Department of Transportation, September 2014) showed that total injuries – pedestrians, cyclists and drivers – dropped by 20% after protected bike lanes were installed, without reducing travel times. As part of the study process during the development of the FHWA Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide, a safety data analysis was conducted showing separated bike lanes reduce the likelihood of crashes (Rothenberg, H., D. Goodman, and C. Sundstrom, “Separated Bike Lane Crash Analysis”). Furthermore, a combination of nationally approved signage and pavement markings would be installed and maintained in accordance with the FHWA Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

Yes! Road diets and other traffic calming techniques including bike lanes, are intended to slow traffic. The posted speed limit on most city streets is 25 mph. With the wide lanes, vehicles tend to exceed the speed limit. Traffic volume and speed analyses are done prior to implementing the separated bike lane on Walnut Street. A traffic volume and speed count done in 2018 on the 700 block of E Walnut Street showed that over one half of all drivers were exceeding 28 mph, with about 15% driving faster than 33 mph. Traffic volume and speed counts conducted in 2020 and 2021 are inconclusive because of the effect Covid-19 has had on driving patterns.

A report by the U. S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT HS 809 021 October 1999, Final Report) on speeds and pedestrian injuries found that “only 5 percent of pedestrians would die when struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 miles per hour or less. This compares with fatality rates of 40, 80, and nearly 100 percent for striking speeds of 30, 40, and 50 miles per hour or more, respectively.”

Street sweeping will continue to clean the curb and gutter area as is the current practice, in accordance with the existing schedule.

Leaf collection will follow the seasonal schedule each fall beginning in October.

Snow and ice will be removed and treated as needed. Following snow or ice events, streets are cleared first. Parking lanes will be cleared per street cleaning schedule. Bike lanes will be cleared as part of street clearing to the greatest extent possible. During snow emergencies, snow emergency route streets with bike lanes would be no different from other snow emergency route streets, where all vehicles must be removed when a snow emergency is declared, opening the entire street to emergency vehicles and snow plows.

On most streets with bike lanes, there is no significant change to on-street parking. However, parking restrictions near intersections is being enforced to maintain clear sight distances, which is how far a driver, someone walking, or a cyclist can see as they are entering an intersection.

On streets with parking protected separated bike lanes, on-street parking on the side of the street with the bike lane will be moved away from the curb. There will be a clearly marked and painted bike lane and buffer area.

Colored pavement within a bicycle lane increases the visibility of the facility, identifies potential areas of conflict, and reinforces priority to bicyclists in conflict areas and in areas with pressure for illegal parking. Colored pavement can be utilized either as a corridor treatment along the length of a bike lane or cycle track, or as a spot treatment, such as a bike box, conflict area, or intersection crossing marking. Color can be applied along the entire length of bike lane or cycle track to increase the overall visibility of the facility. Consistent application of color across a bikeway corridor is important to promote clear understanding for all users.