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Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress map

We created a tool that helps transportation planners, street designers, neighborhood residents, and developers make our roadways more comfortable for cyclists.

We developed a Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress (BLTS) score for each street segment in the City. The score measures the traffic stress that bicyclists experience on the road. 

The resulting citywide map of existing BLTS clarifies what needs to be done to improve bicycle facilities on city streets. The map:

  • highlights gaps in the bicycle network, and
  • identifies segments with unacceptably high-traffic stress.

Reducing traffic stress on bicyclists is critical to increasing cycling commuters. This is a goal of Go Boston 2030, the City’s long-term transportation plan.

What is BLTS?

Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress (BLTS) assigns a score for every road segment in Boston. The scores show how stressful a roadway's traffic is on bicyclists. The scoring ranges from 1, the least stressful, to 4, the most stressful.

BLTS Table

The BLTS score for each road segment is based on:

  • traffic speed
  • average daily traffic volume
  • presence of bike lanes and parking lanes, and
  • conflict factors such as bus lanes and school zones.

The table linked above shows how each of these measures impacts BLTS. More traffic, faster vehicles, and more conflict factors mean more traffic stress for cyclists.

How will BLTS BE USED?

As traffic stress on bicyclists increases, more protective measures are needed to make biking safer for everyone. Developers and City project planners are required to improve roadways in their study area to at least a level of traffic stress of 2, or a level that is comfortable for most cyclists. 

Bicycle LTS Map

View the bicycle level of traffic stress map.

View the map
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