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Trail Enhancements

Best Practices Synthesis and Guidance in At-Grade Trail-Crossing Treatments

September 1, 2023

Best Practices Synthesis and Guidance in At-Grade Trail-Crossing TreatmentsDownload

At-grade trail crossings have frequently been the sites of bicycle, pedestrian, and snowmobile crashes in Minnesota and throughout the nation. To date, many resources exist for use in the design of trails and intersections, such as the MnDOT Bikeway Facility Design Manual, while guidelines of traffic control at roadway-trail crossings are covered in the MN MUTCD. Resources on comprehensive guidance for safety treatments at roadway-trail crossings, however, are limited. The goal of this document is to synthesize best practices observed statewide in Minnesota and nationally in order to provide engineers and other transportation professionals with guidance on safety treatment applications at trail crossings. Following discussion of principles of user-friendly trail-crossing designs, this document provides a toolbox of categorized treatments which are widely used in the U.S. with discussion on each treatment. Importantly, a decision tree-based treatment selection methodology is developed for fast look-up and selection of appropriate treatments based on the conditions at a particular trail crossing. These conditions include urban/rural setting of the crossing, number of lanes of the crossed roadway, whether the crossed roadway is divided or undivided, the speed limit and average daily traffic (ADT) of the crossed roadway, and whether the crossing is a midblock or parallel path crossing. Each end node of the decision tree leads to a specific toolbox in table form containing all appropriate treatments for the conditions of the study trail crossing. Final treatments for the study site can be simply chosen from the table, combined with site-specific requirements and engineering judgment.

Author: Minnesota Department of Transportation

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