Salt Lake City’s Groundbreaking Protected Intersection Is Open

The second protected intersection in the country is open in Salt Lake City, another milestone for American bike infrastructure.

Using paint and concrete islands, the intersection of 200 West and 300 South lowers the stress level for cyclists, makes them more visible to drivers, and reduces turning conflicts:

Image: Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City’s protected intersection comes two months after Davis, California, rolled out the first one in America in August.

Alta Planning led the design of the project, and you can see a few scenes of people biking, walking, and driving through it in their clip above.

Salt Lake City's new protected intersection. Photo: Alta Planning
Salt Lake City’s new protected intersection. Photo: Alta Planning

  • Matt Hardy

    Great to see this type of infrastructure going in. Salt Lake City has streets that are very wide with a lot of ROW (you can make U-Turn in a wagon the saying goes). I believe this availability of ROW makes it a little easier to do such treatments in SLC.

    Do not short-change what is happening in Chicago, however, with the City and the State DOT. The intersection of Division Street and Orleans contains some of the first Dutch style protected-intersection elements in the country. It has been opened for a year or two. It worked really well when I took folks on a bike tour of it in September.

  • Gezellig

    Looks really good! This one adheres to the better practice of having a truly separate bike lane (as opposed to the Davis one which is a shared multiuse path). Looks like it doesn’t have bike-specific signalization, however.

    Still, a really encouraging development. It’s getting hard to keep track of all these now in planning or under construction. In California alone there are 3 cities that have either built and/or are planning similar setups that I know of (Davis, Menlo Park and Sacramento) and there are probably more coming up.

  • Hi Matt, I write for Streetsblog Chicago and I want to set the record straight about that intersection.

    The elements you refer to are actually still under construction (it started this summer) and should be finished when bike traffic signals are installed by November.

    The intersection isn’t that protected, though, at many of the corners because the curbs start or stop prematurely. Only the eastbound Division to southbound Orleans direction of travel has a fully protected through-way and turn.

  • I’m happy that Salt Lake City is rapidly building bicycle infrastructure. I ride it on my annual visit to the city, and rode on some of the protected bike lanes leading up to this intersection earlier this year.

    I’m confused why they introduced a different hazard for cyclists, that of the high and hard curb that separates the green bike lane from the pedestrian area. The Dutch sometimes have curbs between the bike and pedestrians pre-crossing areas, but they almost always use low, mountable curbs.

    The mountable curb is what they mean when they say “forgiving infrastructure”. If you make a mistake and don’t see the curb, you shouldn’t have to “pay for that mistake” by having your wheel turned, stopped, and you fall down.

  • BBnet3000

    As far as I can tell they’re using the pre-existing roadbed and curb. That’s fine in my book, but I certainly hope this path eventually ends up elevated slightly from the road and with the forgiving curb as you have mentioned.

  • Matt Hardy

    Things were working when I was there a few weeks ago. I realize it is not a complete intersectiom but only elements throught a portion of the corridor and intersection. Good that the city and State DOT are working together on it. It will be interesting to see how cyclists and drivers adapt to the infrastructre. When I used it in late September I had to slap a couple of beer trucks delivering kegs and avoid getting hit by car making a left from a praking lot into the right turn lane. The driver saw me (we made eye contact); she just did not stop.

  • carfreecommuter

    ADA perhaps? You would want the blind to detect a designated pathway.

  • They are using pre-existing roadbed and curb for the surface and sidewalk-side edge of the bikeway, but the little divider between the bikeway and crosswalk by the refuge islands is new and I’m pretty sure that’s what @stevevance:disqus is talking about. That’s also a critique I completely agree with. There’s no reason why that as well as the curbing around the island couldn’t have a more rounded or angled profile on the sides that the face the bikeway.

  • Drivin’ Here!

    Where are the Notch Brothers?? We need them to help stop this from spreading around the country.

  • They could use detectable tiles to indicate an edge, I think.

  • Artie Bonney

    Could it serve 2 potential purposes? 1) ADA separation from pedestrian zone 2) Foot rest for waiting at the light (like in Netherlands)? just my $.02

  • I think it’s Copenhagen that’s know for the foot rests. I built and installed the first one in the USA (in Chicago). I see it being a little useful for that purpose but to be sufficiently useful it should be taller.

  • I’ve never seen footrests anywhere in The NLs, that’s the Danish that have them. The Dutch do more to keep bicyclists from having to stop at all than they do for making the stop comfortable.

  • Its been a year, is this still in the process ?