Talking about urban planning and street engineering can kill a party faster than carbon monoxide poisoning. But it's a vital, if wonky, part of the long play of making our city streets safer for everybody. We are slowly undoing years of car-first street design, which as we have painfully learned serves only a narrow range of uses and transportation needs.
Two videos making the rounds in the past week show innovative approaches to making intersections safer for bicyclists. What's better (and the reason we're sharing them), these videos are understandable even by people not fluent in plannerspeak. We know how best to do a straight bike lane: separate it from vehicular lanes. But what happens when you get to the intersection? That takes better design.
This slick video explains in easy-to-understand language one way to redesign an intersection such that car-bicycle conflicts are minimized.
[Protected Intersections For Bicyclists from Nick Falbo on Vimeo.]
If you prefer your video footage live action and your narrators European, this second video explains how the Netherlands manage their impressive bicycle volumes at intersections:
Philadelphia has its own challenge jawns as a city, and designs that work elsewhere may not work here. But even if you'd rather asphyxiate than talk about signal timing, check out these videos. Being introduced to new ideas about how to design our streets makes us more creative and thoughtful with our own city.