• Pushing the Envelope on Pavement Markings: Intersection Crossings

    by  • November 28, 2011 • Traffic Control • 1 Comment

    Bike Lanes in Intersections

    Source: National Association of City Transportation Officials

    Most bicycle crashes happen at intersections.  Bicyclists are required by law (and/or common sense) to bicycle at the right side of roads while high speed motorized traffic whizzes by on their left.   Irrespective of whether there is a striped bike lane, a shoulder or nothing at all, bicyclists are exposed to “right hooks” (when a car traveling the same direction as a bicycle user overtakes the bicycle on the left and then abruptly turns in front of the bicycle user causing a collision) and “left crosses” (when a car traveling in the opposite direction of a bicycle user suddenly and unexpectedly turns left into or in front of the cyclist causing a collision) at intersections.  Crashes caused by these vehicular turning movements at intersections are one of the most common causes of bicyclist fatalities.

    To ameliorate this problem and reduce the number of rights hooks and left crosses, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) recommends the use of bicycle pavement markings through an intersection, driveway or ramp.  This marking

    Reinforces that through bicyclists have priority over turning vehicles or vehicles entering the roadway (from driveways or cross streets).

    Reduces conflicts between bicyclists and turning motorists.

     Raises awareness for both bicyclists and motorists to potential conflict areas.

     Reduces bicyclist stress by delineating the bicycling zone.

    Intersection crossing markings were discussed extensively at Bike Delaware’s recent discussion of 2012 priorities. In Delaware, 90% of roads and streets are are controlled by DelDOT and DelDOT’s version of the MUTCD.  Unfortunately, however, at the present time the Delaware MUTCD does not include any intersection crossing markings for bicyclists.  In order to bring this pavement parking to Delaware, it will need to be added to the Delaware MUTCD.

    If you have any questions about intersection crossing markings; or about whether bringing this marking to Delaware should be a Bike Delaware priority; or you would like to help bring this pavement marking to Delaware, please let us know:

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    Source: National Association of City Transportation Officials


    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He serves on the board of directors of Delaware Greenways and the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance and as the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever.

    One Response to Pushing the Envelope on Pavement Markings: Intersection Crossings

    1. April 26, 2016 at 8:12 am

      better than me

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