The Maryland Department of Transportation Releases First Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) Analysis

In Case You Missed It!

Figure 1 – Photo of bicyclists and bike lanes, courtesy of MDOT.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently announced the release of a statewide bicycle level of traffic stress (LTS) analysis.  A goal of the 2019 Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, the LTS analysis scores how bikeable a roadway is based on the type of bicycle facility, traffic volumes, and speed. The LTS results help provide a basis for understanding how accessible Maryland’s road and trail networks are for various cycling audiences.

The LTS rating scale ranges from 0 to 5 (shown below), which reflects the suitability for a particular bicycling audience. A facility with an LTS rating of “0” represents the most comfortable bicycle experience, such as road-separated, shared-use paths – suitable for bicyclists of all ages and abilities. A higher LTS score indicates higher levels of motorized traffic interaction, which is less inviting for most people.  

Figure 2 – Chart describing LTS rating scale, courtesy of MDOT.

To view MDOT’s Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) Map, click here. It is also available for download on iMap, Maryland’s GIS Data catalog, in two datasets: 

  • The road-separated bike routes file contains all shared-use paths, rail trails, and side paths. This file contains all LTS 0 and some LTS 1 facilities. 

Also available online is the MDOT LTS Technical Memo (2022), which describes the methodology, data development, and the uses and limitations of the data.

Figure 3 – Sample map from the LTS analysis, courtesy of MDOT.

The LTS analysis will help MDOT identify bicycle network gaps and improve connectivity, as well as help local agencies and stakeholders assess and prioritize network needs. MDOT invites local partners and stakeholders to use the LTS data in their planning and project development efforts. Based on nationally accepted standards, the LTS will be updated as more and better data become available. 


MDOT invites you to take a look at their new Bicycle Level of Stress resources and to reach out with any comments or questions by emailing: 

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