The city of Davis in California has finished work on a Dutch-inspired protected intersection to make travel safer for cyclists – the first such infrastructure in the United States.
Built with the help of Dutch consulting firm Mobycon, the design enables drivers and cyclists to easily make eye contact when approaching an intersection without looking over their shoulders.
The infrastructure is based on a protective traffic island on each corner of the intersection. It makes turning into a cycle path impossible for cars, and the tight angle forces drivers to reduce their speed.
The modified intersection layout in Davis also includes a forward waiting line to allow cyclists a head start when stationary at traffic lights.
‘What did surprise me was how intuitive the intersection is,’ Davis bicycle co-ordinator Jennifer Donofrio said on the first day of its use.
‘Observing people use the intersection, they are able to use it without any sort of education or any sort of guidance.’
Other US cities are planning similar bicycle infrastructure. Austin expects cyclists to start using two protected intersections as part of a new development in the next few months, while Salt Lake City is opening its own in October.