San Francisco’s First Protected Intersection Elevates Street Design for Biking and Walking

San Franciscans may now enjoy the city’s first protected intersection, navigating curb-protected bike lanes, raised crosswalks and new sidewalks to overhaul a confusing intersection with a history of crashes.

These improvements at Ninth and Division Streets are part of new design standards being adopted around the country to elevate street infrastructure for people who bike and walk. Protected intersections clearly designate where people cross when two streets meet through paint, curbs and raised surfaces, offering dedicated, protected spaces for people biking and walking to wait when stopped at a light. This sort of smart street design also calms traffic at intersections, slowing speeds by requiring wider turns by people driving. Speeding is by far the number-one cause of collisions resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.

“We need to see more complete protected intersections designed and built along high-injury corridors throughout San Francisco for the health and safety of everyone who walks, bikes and drives,” said Brian Wiedenmeier, executive director of the SF Bicycle Coalition. “With streets like Geneva Avenue and Folsom Street undergoing major redesigns, protected intersections should be considered there and wherever possible in the City’s ongoing efforts to deliver safe streets.”

New curbs help separate all modes and calm traffic at Ninth and Division Streets.

New curbs help separate all modes and calm traffic at Ninth and Division Streets.

Already popular in the Netherlands, the design approach taken for this new protected intersection at Division and Ninth is one of less than 10 such intersections in all of North America. In California alone there are three protected intersections, including the first in the United States built in Davis in 2014 and another just completed in Berkeley this month, thanks to the advocacy of Bike East Bay members and staff.

Members of the SF Bicycle Coalition make it possible for San Franciscans to enjoy innovative approaches to the City’s delivery of safe streets. If you bike here, but are not yet a member, today is an excellent time to join and ensure that our advocacy for you rolls strong into 2017.

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