Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System


Example of back-in angle parking with shared-lane markings. - Carl Sundstrom

Illustration from Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide, Oregon DOT Example of parking removed from one side to add bike lane.
Illustration from Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide, Oregon DOT




Parking Treatments

Certain policy, design, and configuration practices for on-street parking for motor vehicles can facilitate safer bicycling conditions. Removing parking is one option for reducing conflicts between bicyclists and vehicles driving into and out of parking, or with motorists entering or exiting parked cars. Removing or narrowing a parking lane on one or both sides of the roadway is also an option for gaining usable space for bicyclists, for example, to create a bike lane. Also, eliminating or reducing parking will improve sight distance along a corridor and may be particularly useful for segments with numerous busy driveways or conflict areas.

Diagonal on-street parking consumes significant roadway width and may also be hazardous to bicyclists since motorists typically must back into traffic. Diagonal parking may be redesigned to a parallel parking configuration, with a typical loss of less than half the spaces. If angled on-street parking is currently provided and maintaining current on-street parking levels is a priority, another option is to reverse the angle direction and require motorists to back in when entering the parking space. Motorists are then facing forward when re-entering the roadway and better able to view both oncoming bicyclists and other motorists (see case study).

Policies that may help reduce parking demand or maximize efficient use could be considered if on-street parking is reduced.

Other options are discussed more fully under traffic calming. For example, parking may be configured in a chicane-like pattern by alternating spaces from one side of the street to the other. This treatment forces motorists to shift laterally and slows travel speeds if properly designed (see chicanes).

If on-street parking is unable to be reduced, consider wider bike lanes (AASHTO recommends six to seven feet in width), buffered bike lanes, or shared lane markings.


Design configuration treatments reduce conflicts between bicyclists and parking-related incidents (pulling into and out of parking spaces, opening doors); provides more space or facilities for bicyclists on the roadway; and improves sight distance along a roadway.


  • Overall parking demand and space must be evaluated in light of the community's other needs and values. A number of factors should be considered, including the function of the streets to move people and goods safely, the desire to reduce single-vehicle auto use, the need to promote bicycling or transit use, and the need to accommodate business and residential parking demand.
  • Space used for on-street parking may provide useable space for bicyclists. Demand for motor vehicle parking could be reduced if sufficient modal shifts occur.
  • On-street parking, if carefully designed, does not inherently conflict with safe bicycling and may help slow vehicle speeds and improve the safety of the street.
  • Creative solutions to meeting parking demand such as timed sharing of public and private facilities may be required.
  • Removing parking might result in an increase in vehicle travel speeds if other measures do not compensate.

Estimated Cost

Costs may involve only restriping expense. More extensive work such as adding curb bulb-outs to enclose parking spaces and provide landscape space may increase the cost of parking treatments.

Safety Effects

A summary of studies that have looked at the safety effects of parking treatments can be found here.


To view references for this countermeasure group click here.

Case Studies

Vancouver, Washington