Part of: Design Principles of Cycling [Draft Version]

Unprotected Intersections

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Although segregated bike lanes and bike paths are safe and comfortable for cyclists, they can cause problems at intersections unless the geometric design is carefully assessed.

In Denmark, a country with many cyclists and a well-developed bike path system, the most common crash between cars and cyclists occurs at right-turns by motorized vehicles. When approaching an intersection (or entrance to a parking facility), cyclists and drivers move in parallel to each other, each in their designated lane. However, when cars make a right-turn at an intersection, drivers can quite easily fail to see a cyclist, who has the right of way. In particular this happens when the vehicle’s sides are closed off, as in the case of trucks and vans, where drivers rely exclusively on their rear-view mirrors to see cyclists before turning.

Conflicts like this should never come as a surprise to road users and should always be perceived in advance.

Concept drawing of an unprotected intersection.
Concept drawing of an unprotected intersection.