Shared-Use Path Level of Service Calculator and Users Guide

The purpose of this guide is to introduce practitioners and others to: 1) the findings of our study on the quality of service on trails; 2) a new analytical tool called the Shared-Use Path Level of Service (LOS) Calculator, and 3) potential implications for trail design.

by Federal Highway Administration

This guide is intended primarily for trail planners, designers, and managers, which include professionals from a wide variety of disciplines—planners, landscape architects, transportation engineers, bicycle and pedestrian transportation specialists, and park and recreation planners and managers. It may also be useful for trail, bicycle, and pedestrian advocates; elected officials; planning and park commissioners; and other members of the public—especially those who find themselves involved in trail planning efforts or in situations involving trail user conflicts that stem from high volumes and diverse mode mixes. These conditions are increasingly common on trails located in urban, suburban, and high-use recreational areas.

The purpose of this guide is to introduce practitioners and others to: 1) the findings of our study on the quality of service on trails; 2) a new analytical tool called the Shared-Use Path Level of Service (LOS) Calculator, and 3) potential implications for trail design.The tool can be used for a variety of trail planning tasks, where quantitative evaluation is needed to assist in solving design or management problems.

About the Author


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), part of the US Department of Transportation, provides expertise, resources, and information to improve the nation's highway system and its intermodal connections. The Federal-Aid Highway Program provides financial assistance to the States to construct and improve the National Highway System, other roads, bridges, and trails.

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