COVID-19: Transportation Response Center
Better bike networks need safer intersections.
Since the publication of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide in 2011, cities across North America have expanded their protected bike lane mileage by more than 600%, opening the door for a dramatic increase in the number of people biking. However, amidst this growth, design strategies for intersections remain a crucial, underdeveloped part of the bikeway design toolbox.
Intersections are the place where the most vehicle-bike conflicts occur. In 2017, 43% of urban bicyclist fatalities occurred at intersections. On many streets, large turn radii and wide lanes encourage drivers to make sweeping, fast turns. These design decisions increase exposure and risk for people walking and biking, reduce the safety and comfort of the bike network, and discourage cycling. As cities work to make streets safer and more welcoming for bicyclists of all ages and abilities, intersection design is key.
Don’t Give Up at the Intersection expands the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, adding detailed guidance on intersection design treatments that reduce vehicle-bike and vehicle-pedestrian conflicts. This guidance covers protected bike intersections, dedicated bike intersections, and minor street crossings, as well as signalization strategies to reduce conflicts and increase comfort and safety. Used in concert with NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide and Designing for All Ages and Abilities, this guidance provides the tools cities need to build comprehensive, connected, safe bike networks.
Physically separated crossings that provide a high degree of comfort and safety for people of all ages and abilities. This design can reduce the likelihood of highspeed vehicle turns, improve sightlines, and dramatically reduce the distance and time during which people on bikes are exposed to conflicts.
People on bikes can be given a dedicated path through the intersection even where there is not enough space for a full bike setback. By providing excellent visibility and low turn speeds, dedicated bikeway intersections provide key improvements over conventional bike lane intersections.
A transition zone between a moderate-speed, signalized traffic environment and a very-low speed street. A well-designed minor-street intersection gives everyone—people driving, biking, and walking—a clear indication that bikes and pedestrians have the priority when crossing the minor street.
Adapted from the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, published by Island Press.