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Multi-Modal Level of Service Toolkit

Charlotte Multi-Modal [Bicycle/Pedestrian] LOS

Overview In 2007 the City of Charlotte, North Carolina, developed a methodology to assess design features that impact pedestrians and bicyclists crossing signalized intersections. This methodology can be used as a tool to assess and improve pedestrian and bicyclist levels of comfort and safety through intersection design features. The results can be compared with those for auto LOS of an intersection and weighed according to user priorities.

Bicycle LOS Bicycle LOS examines auto speeds, intersection geometry, signalization, space allocated to bicycles and conflicts with turning vehicles. Bicycle LOS includes:  width of bicycle travel way  speed of adjacent traffic  signal features (i.e., left-turn phasing)  right-turning vehicle conflicts  right-turn on red  crossing distance

Pedestrian LOS Pedestrian LOS examines intersection geometry, signalization, pedestrian treatments and conflicts with turning vehicles. Charlotte’s pedestrian LOS includes:  crossing distance  signal phasing and timing  corner radius  right-turn on red  crosswalk treatment  adjustment for one-way street crossings

Calculating LOS LOS for both pedestrians and bicycles is calculated based on a point system (found in Appendix B of Charlotte’s Urban Street Design Guidelines [USDG]). For each of the factors above, Charlotte Department of Transportation provides a table assigning points to certain characteristics. The sum of the points accumulated for each mode establishes the LOS, with LOS A receiving a high number of points and LOS F receiving a low number of points. LOS Thresholds Charlotte bases bike/ped LOS thresholds on two factors: auto V/C ratios and type of facilities at the intersection. Charlotte identifies the following functional street classifications:  Local  Main Street  Avenue  Boulevard  Parkway

For a full explanation of LOS thresholds, refer to Charlotte’s USDG, Appendix A.

Street Type intersecting w/ Avenue

Local Main Street Avenue Boulevard Parkway

Pedestrian LOS Objective

Bicycle LOS Objective











Table 1: Example of LOS calculations based on types of intersecting streets and auto V/C ratios. Source: Charlotte USDG, Appendix A.

Potential Applications Development review Transportation Master Plans


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Pedestrian Master Plans General Plans


Relatively few data inputs required Focuses on street geometry and design Intersection-level analysis improves comparison with auto LOS

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Does not address transit LOS Not all bicycle and pedestrian travel is at intersections

Sample Applications The City of Charlotte has integrated bicycle and pedestrian LOS measurements into its USDG, which won an EPA National Smart Growth Award in 2009.

Charlotte calculates bicycle and pedestrian LOS for intersections where auto improvements have been identified. If two or more nearby intersections are identified for possible changes, the scope of the analysis is broadened to include the appropriate corridor or area. Mitigation solutions that do not degrade pedestrian and bicycle level of service will be preferred. If auto improvements degrade pedestrian and bicycle LOS, then mitigations for pedestrian and bicycles will be pursued or alternative capacity enhancements will be considered.

Data Requirements

Signal phasing o RTOR o Left-turn conflicts o Pedestrian phasing o Countdown timer

Intersection measurements: o Crosswalks o Lane widths o Curb radii o Presence and width of bicycle lanes

Traffic speeds

Figure 1: Sample layout for Main Street, accommodating multiple modes. Source: Charlotte USDG, Appendix A.

MMLOS Toolkit- Charlotte