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What is a Bikeway?

MdMUTCD Definitions

TITLE 21 Definitions

"Bikeway" is a general term for any trail, path, part of a roadway, surfaced or smooth shoulder or any other travel way that in some manner is specifically designated for bicycle travel; it may be designated for the exclusive use of bicycles, or it may be shared with other transportation modes. The Maryland Bikeways Program will support the provision and upgrade of many types of bicycle facilities, including these types of facilities:


Shared-Use Path/Transportation Trail/Multi-Use Trail - a bikeway that is physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier.  It may be within a roadway right-of-way or within an independent alignment. Shared-use paths are generally open to pedestrians (including skaters, users of manual and motorized wheelchairs, and joggers) and other non-motorized users. Shared-use paths may follow utility corridors, historic rail corridors, natural features, or other available rights-of-way. In some cases, a hiker-biker trail may be established over natural terrain, through environmentally sensitive areas, and may be designed with a focus on the outdoor experience. These considerations require flexibility in the design of shared-use paths, while also preserving safe, comfortable conditions for cyclists and others traveling for transportation purposes.

Cycle Track (protected bikeway) – an exclusive bicycle facility that is physically separated from motorized vehicle traffic and pedestrians. A cycle track combines the user experience of a separated path with the on-street infrastructure of a bicycle lane. Cycle tracks take different forms but share common elements: exclusive or primary use by bicyclists, as well as separation from motor vehicle travel lanes, parking lanes, and sidwalks. Cycle tracks may be one-way or two-way, and may be at street level, sidewalk level, or at an intermediate level. If at sidewalk level, a curb or median separates them from motor traffic, while different pavement color/testure separates the cycle track from the sidewalk. If at street level, they can be separated from motor traffic by raised medians, on-street parking, bollards, or flexible posts.

Bike Lane or Bicycle Lane – a portion of a roadway or shoulder which has been designated by striping, signing and pavement markings for the one-way preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists. A bike lane is distinguished from a cycle track in that it has no physical barrier (for example, a median, bollards, or raised curb) that restricts the encroachment of motorized traffic. 

Shared Lane - a roadway lane that is open to both bicycle and motor vehicle travel, without assigned space for each. 'Sharrows' (shared lane markings) and/or signage may be used to provide positive guidance for drivers and bicyclists allowing them to share the same lane.

Designated Bike Route - a system of bikeways connecting two or more points that is deemed most desirable for bicycling. A bike route is designated with appropriate wayfinding and informational route signs and pavement markings. A bike route may include any of the various types of bikeways, or a combination thereof. Signs are typically placed at decision points along bicycle routes - typically at the intersection of two or more bikeways and at other key locations leading to and along bicycle routes. 

Unpaved Trail – a path or track that is not surfaced with asphalt, concrete or other pavement material. An unpaved trail is within an independent alignment. Unpaved trails are generally open to pedestrians, horses, bicyclists, and other non-motorized users.  



MD MUTCD (Sect. 1A.13)


22. Bicycle Facilities—a general term denoting improvements and provisions that accommodate or encourage bicycling, including parking and storage facilities, and shared roadways not specifically defined for bicycle use.

23. Bicycle Lane—a portion of a roadway that has been designated for preferential or exclusive use by bicyclists by pavement markings and, if used, signs.

24. Bikeway—a generic term for any road, street, path, or way that in some manner is specifically designated for bicycle travel, regardless of whether such facilities are designated for the exclusive use of bicycles or are to be shared with other transportation modes.

25. Buffer-Separated Lane—a preferential lane or other special purpose lane that is separated from the adjacent general-purpose lane(s) by a pattern of standard longitudinal pavement markings that is wider than a normal or wide lane line marking. The buffer area might include rumble strips, textured pavement, or channelizing devices such as tubular markers or traversable curbs, but does not include a physical barrier.

50. Designated Bicycle Route—a system of bikeways designated by the jurisdiction having authority with appropriate directional and informational route signs, with or without specific bicycle route numbers.

189. Shared Roadway—a roadway that is officially designated and marked as a bicycle route, but which is open to motor vehicle travel and upon which no bicycle lane is designated.

191. Shared-Use Path—a bikeway outside the traveled way and physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier and either within the highway right-of-way or within an independent alignment. Shared-use paths are also used by pedestrians (including skaters, users of manual and motorized wheelchairs, and joggers) and other authorized motorized and non-motorized users.







Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. ง 21-101  (2017)

(c) Bicycle path. -- "Bicycle path" means any travelway designed and designated by signing or signing and marking for bicycle use, located within its own right-of-way or in a shared right-of-way, and physically separated from motor vehicle traffic by berm, shoulder, curb, or other similar device.

(d) Bicycle way. --

   (1) "Bicycle way" means:

      (i) Any trail, path, part of a highway, surfaced or smooth shoulder, or sidewalk; or

      (ii) Any other travelway specifically signed, marked, or otherwise designated for bicycle travel.

   (2) "Bicycle way" includes:

      (i) Bicycle path; and

      (ii) Bike lane.

(e) Bike lane. -- "Bike lane" means any portion of a roadway or shoulder designated for single directional bicycle flow.