This Intersection Design Will Save Lives

When thinking about cycling infrastructure we tend to focus quite heavily on what type of facility to provide (protected, painted, mixed traffic, pathways, etc.) without thinking much about the intersections themselves. Travelling around especially in the suburbs, you’re likely to notice a pretty good network of multi-use pathways starting to form. The problem, however, is that when these reach intersections, almost nothing is done to make them safer for people walking and cycling.

A multi-use pathway travelling through an intersection with no accommodation for people cycling

Intersections are where a disproportionate amount of bicycle injuries and fatalities occur, and therefore deserve much more attention. My favourite design of all is the Protected Intersection: a unique geometric design that offers many safety advantages for people walking and cycling. It’s very common in the Netherlands and has started to gain traction in Canada and the US. In particular, the City of Ottawa has heavily embraced this concept.

A Protected Intersection in Ottawa at Donald Street and St. Laurent Boulevard

In celebration of this progress and with hopes to share the concept more broadly, I teamed up with Oh The Urbanity! to make a YouTube video. Oh The Urbanity! traverses cities by foot, bike, and public transit and aims to make concise, informative, and (hopefully) entertaining videos combining streetscapes and demographic data. They have a particular interest in making cities more walkable, bikeable, and all around easier and safer to get around in.

So check it out, and be sure to spread it around!

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