Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan

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The Charlottesville Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is a document that describes in detail plans for multimodal infrastructure within the city of Charlottesville.

Charlottesville City Council most recently adopted the plan on September 8, 2015. [1] The Toole Design Group was paid to develop the plan. [citation needed] The plan built off of a complete streets resolution adopted by Council the year before.

The 2015 plan is an update of one adopted by Council in 2003. [citation needed]

An update on the plan was given to City Council in December 2017. [2]

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2015 update

"The 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Update aims to fill in the gaps left by the 2003 Plan and provide the City of Charlottesville with a series of implementable actions that will result in complete walking and bicycling networks," reads the introduction of the plan.

Bikeway facilities classifications

  • Shared Use Paths – Bi-directional paved routes used by people bicycling, walking, and other non-motorized modes of transportation. Shared use paths are often used as active transportation routes through parks or other recreational areas, while side paths are often built parallel to existing streets. Both types can be used for recreation or commute transportation. These paths generally require a minimum width of 10-12 feet.
  • Separated Bicycle Lanes – Separated bicycle lanes are on-road facilities that have separation from motor vehicle traffic. Vertical separation can provide visual separation or provide physical protection from motor vehicles, using features such as curbs, planters or parked vehicles. The separation increases the perceived sense of safety and can make bicycle routes less stressful. These bicycle lanes can be one-directional on each side of the road, or bi-directional on one side of the road. Separated bicycle lanes require a minimum width of 8-12 feet for a two-way configuration and 5-7 feet for a one-way configuration.
  • Bicycle Lanes – Bicycle lanes are one-way, on-road bike facilities that provide a dedicated space for people bicycling parallel to motor vehicle traffic. Bicycle lanes are often delineated with pavement marking stripes and, in some cases, may be fully colored for higher visibility, especially at intersections. Additional striping or hatching between a bicycle lane and vehicular travel lane is recommended to provide a buffer between the person bicycling and the person driving, where roadway widths allow. Bicycle lanes without a buffer require a minimum width of 5-6 feet and bicycle lanes with a buffer require 7-8 feet.
  • Contraflow Bicycle Lanes – Contraflow bicycle lanes are on-road bicycle facilities built on one-way streets that provide dedicated space for bicycling in the opposite direction of motor vehicle travel. These facilities help provide more direct connections for bicycling by transforming a one-way street for motorists into a two-way street for bicyclists. Contraflow bicycle lanes require a minimum width of 5-6 feet and the ability to add shared lane markings in the direction of travel.
  • Climbing Lanes – Climbing lanes are on-road bicycle facilities that provide a bicycle lane as dedicated space for people to bicycle in an uphill direction. Climbing lanes are often accompanied with shared lane markings in the downhill direction. Climbing lanes can also be used on flat road segments where the roadway is too constrained to build bicycle lanes in each direction. Climbing lanes require a minimum width 5-6 feet and the ability to add shared lane markings in the opposite direction of travel.
  • Shared Roadways – Shared Roadways are bicycle facilities that designate a vehicular travel lane as a shared space for people to drive and bicycle. This designation is demonstrated to all users through on-road pavement markings, known as “sharrows” or street signage indicating that people bicycling may use the full lane. These facilities do not provide any separation between people driving and bicycling and are best used on neighborhood streets or streets with a low level of bicyclist traffic stress. [3]


  1. Web. Charlottesville City Council Minutes for September 8, 2015, Council Minutes, City of Charlottesville, retrieved October 20, 2019.
  2. Web. Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Status Update, Report, City of Charlottesville, retrieved October 20, 2019.
  3. Web. Chapter 4: Network and Facility Recommendations, Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, City of Charlottesville, September 8, 2015, retrieved October 20, 2019.

External Links