New Bike Lane Design Could Save Lives
Cyclists are vulnerable to death and injury. According to the CDC, almost 800 bicyclists in the United States were killed in 2010 — the year of the most recent data — and an estimated 515,000 showed up in emergency rooms due to bicycle-related injuries.
With urban bike-sharing programs popping up all over the country, some cities are devoting more roadway space to bicycles. But even protected bikes lanes that buffer riders from moving vehicles using curbs have a weak spot: the intersection. Portland, Ore.-based urban planner Nick Falbo thinks he has a solution.
His proposal for the 2014 Cameron Rian Hays Outside the Box Competition outlines a way to build protected intersections for dedicated bike lanes. It’s modeled after designs used by in the Netherlands, where gasoline is about nine bucks a gallon and bicycles are king.
Falbo’s Protected Intersection concept has four main components: a corner refuge island, forward stop bar for bicycles, setback bicycle crossing and bicycle friendly traffic signals. (Wired has a great explanation of these four points.)
Many cities have adapted at least one of these four solutions, Falbo says, but he wants to combine them all at particularly busy intersections.