Salt Lake City to Install Nation’s First Protected Intersection for Bicycling

Salt Lake City has plans to install the first protected intersection for cyclists. Image: Salt Lake City via
This intersection design Salt Lake City plans to install minimizes potential conflicts between cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians. Image: Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is on track to implement America’s first protected intersection for bicycling this summer.

The intersection design is based on a Dutch template that minimizes potential conflicts between people biking, driving, and walking. For example, it allows cyclists to make a left turn in two stages without crossing against oncoming car traffic. It will be part of a protected bike lane running a little more than a mile through a central portion of the Utah capital.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials said that to the best of its knowledge, this will be the first protected intersection design in the United States.

This intersection treatment is best known from Dutch streets. Last year, Portland-based Nick Falbo campaigned to introduce the basic template to America and submitted a protected intersection design to a competition at George Mason University. His video is a great introduction to how protected intersections work. Falbo and the team at Alta Planning + Design were consultants on the project working with Salt Lake City transportation officials.

The new Salt Lake City bike lane on 200 West will include just one protected intersection. Construction will start in August and will take about two months, local news station KSL reports.

The intersection of 300 South and 200 West in Salt Lake City is on track to be the first protected intersection in the U.S. Image: Salt Lake City
The intersection of 300 South and 200 West in Salt Lake City is on track to be the first protected intersection in the U.S. Image: Salt Lake City

Hat tip to Jacob Mason.

Updated: (5/7/15 at 3:08 p.m.) to include information about Alta’s involvement in the project. 


159 thoughts on Salt Lake City to Install Nation’s First Protected Intersection for Bicycling

  1. The point being? Lots of useless text. Dutch style infra has been proven safe. Look up accident rates. Almost none in the Netherlands. Clearly the Americans have it all wrong.

  2. It’s truly despicable when cyclists lobby against bicycle safety improvements. Biking should be safe for everybody, not an exclusive boy’s club for fearless athletes. Our car-centric intersections with their “mixing zones” where cyclists merge into the blind spot of vehicles, and sandwiched in by vehicles on all sides is stupid and dangerous and it’s where most bike fatalities occur. When cyclists lobby against safer bike infrastructure, they’re endangering the lives of 99% of all the other cyclists out there just so they don’t have to spend a few extra seconds coping with protected infrastructure.

  3. You are wrong about safety. Failure to take control of the lane at times is much more dangerous. ‘Coping with protected infrastructure.’ You are admitting it can be dangerous. My safety should suffer so people can feel better? I am not against bike infrastructure, I am against bad street design. I am against the wrong~headed idea that fear, overwhelmingly, should be used to promote safety. That not enlisting the people who ride bicycles the most, ride the most miles, seems a way to failure. If a bike program doesn’t get cyclists on its side, what is it really? Bike safety is about BEING AWARE, not being blissful in a private idaho. I love riding on some bike paths, but won’t be relegated to just that. Crouched in a corner on the road will not make cars more aware & respectful of bicyclists. It is the ones that are out there riding on the roads that are making the world, the roads, safer for all bicyclists, because drivers will better respond the more they encounter cyclists. That is what is making it less car~centric. Bicyclists saying, ‘We are here!’ ‘Sharing the Road’ means just that. & design should follow that philosophy, not a lowest common denominator, everywhere. Saying that, I am not against drastic design. Bike paths with no motorized vehicles~ or maybe even without pedestrians! Roads for cars. {God forbid!} Shutting down some roads for walkers. Small downtown citycapes. Small wooden bridges over intersections. Putting parks in towns & cities. Yet, with safe design to its goal. Cars go too fast because of road design. Putting barriers in the road is an amazingly blind~sighted idea. No less, the failure to mark these! They are a danger to cyclists, too. What of the wheelchairer, who has to go over these speed bumps?! Get the government to spring for well made roads that are truly safe, not poor quick fixes that are resented by a majority of the population. How is that making bicycling popular? Have you read anything in the papers & on the Internet? We need more anger in the World, in America? Why can we not try to get along? Why can we not try to achieve the result with proper design that isn’t a hazard? Good design is safe design.

  4. You’re claiming I’m wrong about safety? Get your facts straight! Protected bicycle lanes result in both a reduction in collisions and a huge boost in usage.

    Protected bicycle intersections are fundamentally safer because they force vehicle and bicycle traffic to cross at perpendicular angles where everyone can see one another. Our current ‘mixing zone’ concept is inherently flawed and dangerous because it forces blind spot merging, and it’s why most bicycle fatalities occur at intersections. No amount of fearless riding or taking of the lane can overcome the reality that none of us are perfect cyclists or drivers; every one of us will make a mistake at some point. Protected bicycle intersections like this provide a greater margin of safety so that mistakes can be made without sending cyclists to the morgue. Their design concept and safety track record is well proven in other countries. Protected bike lanes and protected bike intersections are not only significantly safer, but they’re effective in getting a magnitude more people to bike than would otherwise.

  5. No, they do not. A driver that sees a bicyclist slows down & gives greater passing room. Use your fear about morgues on someone else. I have seen a greater number of bicyclists on the road, without protected lanes, so, an increase may just be an incidental increase. It is hardly fearless riding, it is confident riding. People who drive cars have to take a test based of knowledge & skill or they are not allowed on the roads. If someone still does not have the skill to ride a bicycle on the street, they should not be riding on those streets that are busy enough to be a danger, as they are more vulnerable to being injured. Additionally, they are creating a hazard for others that are using the streets as they designed. Which is why jutting barriers out into the road with no markings are utterly foolish. Which is why they are so marked up, because they are a bad design. We do not want bad drivers on the road, why would we want bicyclists that do not know what they are doing on busy roads? People walking may have the right of way, but a car is significantly larger, a bicycle is going faster. A person needs to take their own safety into mind & be wise. Depending on a law to stop physics may make someone feel good, but it endangers their lives, as well as others. It is how much harder to not walk into the front of a moving car? Walking in front of a car may cause the driver to turn, killing someone else, killing themselves to avoid collision. There is no need to be unsafe. The traffic engineers admit that they are using fear to try to slow people down by making the roads more dangerous. That is the fact. They have admitted it & put it on record with the government. There are thousands upon thousands of small side roads in America. Go use them & bike. Learn how to be comfortable riding a bicycle. No one is stopping you. You might see a handful of cars in an hour. If that is too frightening for you, choose another sport, like fly fishing.

  6. Actually there is some cultural differences from one country to another. The education for traffic rules in Amsterdam is much more strict with less rules being broken vs US. Watch these videos and you can clearly see the difference in rule breaking in the US vs Amsterdam:


    Another prime example is how in Europe you tend to see a lot of people using their turn signals and slower vehicles staying in the right lane whereas the US it’s quite the opposite experience.

  7. Part of that difference is due to how car-centric (or not) each society is. Dutch traffic treats people outside of cars way better than American traffic does, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see that fewer Americans thumb their nose at traffic controls when they aren’t in a car.

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