America's Second Protected Intersection Now Open

The first protected intersection opened in August in Davis, Calif., a university town with the nation's highest percentage of bike commuters. Salt Lake City's new protected intersection is explained on NPR's "Here & Now" report with audio and videos.

2 minute read

October 5, 2015, 10:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

Here & Now’s Robin Young gives an excellent introduction to protected bike lanes and the protected bike intersectionmentioning the rise in bike fatalities and recent controversies:

  • "In 2013, there 743 bicycle fatalities across the country," and the controversy in some bike lanes, including
  • the recent removal of a small stretch of protected bike lanes in Boulder, Colo.

"'Protected intersections,' designed to prevent car-bicycle collisions, have long existed in the Netherlands, but they are just catching on in the U.S.," states Young. She credits "a young, former video designer named Nick Falbo (who) made a video that urban planners understood" for the recent interest.

That video is available here in an earlier post on the protected intersection. Four key elements of Falbo's design are posted here


YouTube fly-through of protected intersection, 200 West at 300 South - Link

Credit: SLC Moves: Transportation - 200 West Improvement Project

If you had problems following the Falbo video, particularly with left turns, click on the above link for an aerial simulation. Some cyclists may prefer to "take" or share a left-turn lane in one "unprotected turn" versus two protected crossings of traffic. [See my comment under the Davis "Dutch Junction" post as it is referred to locally.]

The Salt Lake City intersection is the third and final phase of the 200 West Improvement Project that was scheduled to open in October. It appears to have opened early!

Young discusses the protected bicycle intersection—which protects pedestrians as well, with

  • Robin Hutcheson, transportation director for Salt Lake City. 
  • Jennifer Dill, director of the National Institute for Transportation & Communities at Portland State University.

Dill notes proudly that Falbo was a one of her students.

Hat tip to The AASHTO Daily Transportation Update (Oct. 1).

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in WBUR

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