Protected Intersections For Bicyclists (video)

Protected bike lanes are the latest approach US cities are taking to help their residents get around by bike. But these protected lanes lose their buffer separation at intersections, reducing the comfort and safety for people riding.

What the protected bike lane needs is the protected intersection.

This proposal for the George Mason University 2014 Cameron Rian Hays Outside the Box Competition presents a vision for a safe, clear intersection design that improves conditions for all users. Proper design of refuge islands, crossing position and signal timing can create a safe intersection that people of all ages and abilities would feel safe in.

Learn more online at

Matty Lang

About Matty Lang

Matty Lang has been interested in land use, transportation, and cities since he fell in love with Paris, France while studying there in 1998-1999. He is a filmmaker living in Minneapolis. He loves film, bicycling, and basketball. Follow him: Vimeo | @MattyLangMSP | Facebook

9 thoughts on “Protected Intersections For Bicyclists (video)

  1. Sean R

    This doesn’t look like it would work on a truck route. it’s entirely dependant on drivers stopping behind the stop-line, which seems nearly impossible in a normal intersection.

  2. Tim

    I feel like this is way to unnecessary. As a cyclist you should learn how to be comfortable driving on a road or don’t go on main roads. There are many smaller bike routes like the bicycle boulevards that can be made without adding cycle-tracks by taking away valuable lanes (Example the Park, Portland disaster).

    What we should be doing is encouraging cyclists to ride on bike boulevards by actually providing advantages to riding on these streets like more traffic calming methods and weight sensors that change the lights on big streets when a bike is stopped there.

    Putting bike lanes on bigger streets isn’t a problem but you should realize that there is more danger in these streets and bike according to your skill level. Example: Beginning skiers not starting out on black diamonds

  3. Eric SaathoffEric S

    My experience of people not stopping at the stop line is most often because they want to inch forward in order to make a “safe” right on red. I assume this intersection design would prohibit right on red.

    Is the left turn lane even further back to provide space for left-turning cars that are approaching?

    1. Froggie

      The left turn lanes are probably farther back like that because the bulb-outs make it harder for trucks to make right turns. Sean’s right in that this probably wouldn’t work on a truck route.

      1. Matt SteeleMatt Steele

        I’m curious how big of a deal trucks are on urban streets… Most trucks I see during the day are box trucks. I occasionally see semis during off-peak areas, parked on the street to supply restaurants.

        1. Froggie

          Depends on where in town you’re referring to. The Twin Cities in general have long been a trucking center, with numerous trucking firms located in the metro. There’s also still a fair amount of industrial property both along the river and in Northeast.

  4. Ron

    I’m always going to have a hard time passing cars on the right no matter how “protected”. To me it’s a cardinal sin of riding. That said, these are a big improvement.

    1. Ron

      I should mention the no turn on red part of this design seems pretty key to achieving the safest possible intersections.

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