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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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