Friday, 8 April 2011

The Dummies' Guide to Junction Design

If you work for whatever level of Government is in charge of local roads, there is no shortage of information on the Internet about encouraging cycling and walking and increasing their modal share. There is also plenty of material about the benefits of doing so. Some of the material is of high quality and some not so. One example is published by the Commonwealth Government and I had a good moan about it some time ago.

The Dutch Fietsberaad has plenty of high quality information, a lot of which is in English. The site contains a knowledge bank of articles in pdf format on everything from the design and maintenance of infrastructure to preventing theft.

Sometimes though the easiest place to go to is the blog of David Hembrow and Mark Wagenbuur. In their most recent post, they discuss new guidelines for bicycle infrastructure published by the National Association of City Transport Officials in the US (NACTO). One focus is intersection design which, under the NACTO guidelines, involves cars crossing a bike lane to turn right (left in Australia) and cyclists having to wait on a narrow painted line between the two lines of motorised traffic - much like you get here.

Here is the sort of junction design we have come to know and love in Adelaide:

Making a decent junction that is safe for everyone is surprisingly easy once it is explained. And, importantly, it does not require any extra space nor road being "taken away" from motorists. It is explained in the 3 minute video below. I predict we will see this video being posted all over the place:

Note how cyclists can comfortably and safely make a turn right (our left) even if cars have to wait. If there are no pedestrians, there is no reason they should not be allowed to turn. The intersection is made even safer with separate traffic lights for cyclists. If motorists are permitted to turn, cyclists should be required to stop to avoid conflict and risk.

It's not rocket science.


  1. No it's not rocket science, but when most people don't know the difference between their or there, we're in a spot of bother.

  2. True. Did I make that error? I know I do sometimes.