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Manhattan CB 4 Asks DOT for Safer Intersection Designs on Protected Bike Lanes

4:44 PM EDT on July 20, 2017

Instead of cyclists and turning drivers merging into the same space at intersections, the design prompts drivers to turn more carefully across the bike lane. Image: Reed Rubey

Community Board 4 has joined the ranks of Manhattan community boards calling on DOT to improve safety at intersections along streets with protected bike lanes. Last night, the board passed a resolution recommending the agency eliminate "mixing zones," where cyclists and turning drivers must negotiate the same space at the same time, in favor of a design that would encourage drivers to slow down and yield to passing cyclists before turning.

Volunteers Willow Stelzer and Reed Rubey have been making the rounds at community boards and building support for their intersection design concept since April. They were prompted by the death of Kelly Hurley, 31, who was struck and killed by a turning box truck driver while she rode in protected bike lane on First Avenue.

The concept extends the green paint of the bike lane through the intersection, adding plastic bollards to separate car traffic from bike traffic and compel motorists to take slower turns.

Bollards would be placed at intersections to increase physical separation between cyclists and motorists and slow turning drivers. Image: Reed Rubey
Plastic bollards would be placed at intersections to increase physical separation between cyclists and motorists and slow turning drivers. Image: Reed Rubey

CB 4 is the fourth Manhattan community board to express support for Rubey and Stelzer's concept, along with boards 3, 5, and 7.

DOT has publicly shown a few other concepts that would give cyclists more separation from traffic at intersections. In May, the agency announced plans to hire a full-time staffer tasked with coming up with safer intersection designs on protected bicycle routes.

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