A Mineta Transportation Institute study focuses on the development of measures of low-stress connectivity that can be used to evaluate and guide bicycle network planning. For a bicycling network to attract the widest possible segment of the population, its most fundamental attribute should be low stress connectivity.  It should provide routes between people's origins and destinations that do not require cyclists to use links that exceed their tolerance for traffic stress, and that do not involve an undue level of detour.

The study proposes a set of criteria by which road segments can be classified into four levels of traffic stress (LTS). LTS 1 is suitable for children; LTS 2, based on Dutch bikeway design criteria, represents the traffic stress that most adults will tolerate; LTS 3 and 4 represent greater levels of stress.

The report uses San Jose, CA as a case study, classifying and mapping the LTS of every street in the city.  Maps in which only bicycle-friendly links are displayed reveal a city divided into islands within which low-stress bicycling is possible, but separated from one another by barriers that can be crossed only by using high-stress links.