Pedestrian and Bicycle Level of Service on Roadway Segments

af Søren Underlien Jensen


The Danish Road Directorate sponsored a study to develop methods for objectively quantifying pedestrian and bicyclist stated satisfaction with road sections between intersections. The results provide a measure of how well urban and rural roads accommodate pedestrian and bicycle travel.

In order to determine how existing traffic operations, geometric conditions, and other variables affect pedestrians’ and bicyclists’ satisfaction, 407 randomly selected Danes were shown video clips from 56 roadway segments filmed by a pedestrian walking and a bicyclist riding along the road. Respondents rated roadway segments on a six-point scale ranging from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. This resulted in 7,724 pedestrian and 7,596 bicyclist ratings. Roadway segments and video clips were described by 150 variables.

Pedestrian and bicyclist satisfaction models were developed using cumulative logit regression of ratings and variables. The models include variables, which relate significantly (p ≤ 0.05) to the satisfaction ratings. Motorized traffic volume and speed, urban land uses, rural landscapes, type and width of pedestrian and bicycle facilities, number and width of drive lanes, volumes of pedestrians, bicyclists and parked cars, and also presence of median, trees and bus stops significantly influence the level of satisfaction.

Models return percentage splits of the six levels of satisfaction. These splits are then transformed into a level of service (LOS). The models provide traffic planners and others the capability to rate roadways with respect to pedestrians’ and bicyclists’ satisfaction, and may be used in the process of evaluating existing roads, designing new roads or redesigning existing roads.


Over the years, the national Road Directorate and local Danish road administrations have occasionally surveyed road users about their perceptions and experiences, and attempted to identify connections between road conditions and user perceptions. However, none of methodologies developed to describe pedestrian and bicycle level of service (LOS) or to offset priorities for pedestrian and bicycle facility construction has been widely accepted. The objective of this study was to develop a rigorous methodology that would systematically describe pedestrians and bicyclists experienced LOS on roadway segments, i.e. road sections between intersections.

Over the past decade, some American studies have been undertaken in order to develop systematic means of measuring pedestrians and bicyclists experienced LOS (1-6). Even though these studies use various study designs, model development techniques and LOS criteria, the produced models each have a high validity. These studies provided a solid methodological base for the Danish study.

Since these studies were based on an American context, it was important to develop models taking Danish conditions into consideration. Some important differences are that Danes walk and cycle more than Americans, the presence of pedestrian and bicycle facilities are more common in Denmark, and the design of some of these facilities are different compared to facilities in the United States of America. The paper includes a comparison of the Danish and American models. 

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