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Why Salt Lake City Chose to Build the First Protected Intersection for Bicycling in the U.S.

“We looked at the entire range of possibilities, and this just made so much sense.”
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Salt Lake City

The latest innovation in bicycle infrastructure isn’t happening in Portland, Oregon, or New York City, or even Minneapolis. No, the newest thing in safer streets is being rolled out in a somewhat lower-profile bike venue: Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake, as I reported last year, has steadily been upgrading its non-automobile transportation system across the board. Mayor Ralph Becker’s administration has introduced a veritable buffet of new options, including a robust light rail network and a growing bike-share system, as well as a low-cost multimodal transit pass for city residents. Now, Salt Lake will be the first city in the United States to implement a protected intersection for bicycles (h/t to Streetsblog USA for highlighting this story). The innovative design will keep cyclists on two intersecting protected bike lanes safe and separated from motor traffic as they move across one of the city’s notoriously wide junctions. It is due to be completed this fall.