A “Dutch Junction” With Glow-in-the-Dark Bike Lanes Now Exists — in Texas

Officials from the Texas Transportation Institute built this "Dutch-style" unsignalized intersection with solar power-generating bike lanes in College Station, Texas. Photo: TTI
The Texas Transportation Institute built this Dutch Junction on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. Photo: TTI

It’s America’s first unsignalized “Dutch Junction” — a type of intersection with protected space for cycling. It even has solar luminescent bike lanes. And here’s the kicker — it’s in the heart of Texas.

The Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M led the design and installation at a campus intersection in College Station. The Dutch Junction is designed to keep bicyclists out of the blind spots of turning motorists, preventing right-hook collisions.

The bike lanes use a special solar material that emits light at night. Photo: TTI
The bike lanes are marked with a special material that emits light at night. Photo: TTI

The concept is similar to the “protected intersections” that have been installed in Davis, California, and Salt Lake City. But this intersection is controlled by signs, not traffic signals, which makes it unique in the United States, according to TTI.

The bike lanes are also coated with a material that absorbs solar energy during the day and transmits it into light at night to keep the path visible.

The intersection gets a lot of bike and pedestrian traffic, writes TTI. Students in the college’s engineering and design programs will study the effects of the new design as part of their coursework.

Here's another view of the intersection. Photo: TTI
Here’s another view of the intersection. Photo: TTI
  • mckillio

    No nighttime photos?

  • Carter O’Brien
  • Kar Kei

    Sorry to say, this intersection is going to look terrible after a few months.

  • LevelHead

    We need this in Denver, safer for everyone

  • Kenny Easwaran

    Wow, I had no idea they were doing anything like this! I commute by bike to campus several days a week, but don’t go through this intersection very often. I had noticed some construction activity that might be increasing bike space, but I hadn’t realized this was the goal. I’ll have to check it out.

    Now we have to do something about all the other poor bike infrastructure on campus – contraflow lanes on one-way streets that end halfway to your destination; “coathanger” bike racks that hold only about 2/3 as many bikes as the apparent number of slots; bike racks on side walks with no curb cuts to access them; 8 lane state highways on 3 of the 4 edges of campus.

  • Alicia

    Even if the paint fades, the barriers remain.

  • Good to see that people are realizing that these can be used at intersections without signals too. Many unsignalized Dutch examples do exist, but the Dutch also are quite willing to switch signalized intersections to flashing mode whenever traffic levels are low enough, meaning that even signalized ones can become more like stop/yield signs at a moment’s notice.

  • Rob Reiter
  • Kenny Easwaran

    I biked through it yesterday evening. I decided to do the Copenhagen left, by following the bike lane all the way around, instead of doing a vehicular left like I usually do on the rare occasions when I go through that intersection. It felt a little clumsy, but it worked. It was hard for me to see whether there were relevant stop signs though.

    I also saw yesterday morning a bunch of new bike racks piled up near the gym – but it appears that they’re installing a lot more of the coathanger racks, rather than the inverted-U racks that they’ve installed in the past few years.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Four Cities Race to Finish the Country’s First Protected Intersection

|
Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets. Sometimes, change builds up for years. And sometimes, it bursts. Fifteen months after American bikeway designer Nick Falbo coined the phrase “protected intersection” to refer to a Dutch-style intersection between two streets […]

Vote for the Best Urban Street Transformation of 2015

|
It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2015, which means we’re about to hand out Streetsies to recognize achievements for walking, biking, and transit in American cities this year. Earlier this month we asked readers for nominations for the Best Urban Street Transformation of the year, and here are the standouts from your submissions. It’s a great batch and […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Ed Glaeser on Why So Much Infrastructure Spending Is Wasted (Vox) Adie Tomer: It Will Take More Than Light Rail to Fix U.S. Transit (NextCity) Anthony Foxx Says He Expects Automakers to Voluntarily Comply with New Safety Guidelines (Reuters) Planners Will Try to Fix a Sprawling Section of Suburban Maryland (NYT) Mexico Bets on Gondolas (Japan Times) […]