As a final act of 2015, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Division of Design issued guidelines for Separated Bikeways/Cycle Tracks (Design Information Bulletin #89). These guidelines will help cities and agencies throughout California begin to develop networks of elite bikeways which help to encourage new cyclists to ride. Separated Bikeways, also called Cycle Tracks or Dutch Intersections, have been used extensively in European countries for decades and are held up by bicycle advocates as the best design to ensure safety for cyclists and through that safety, encourage new riders to begin to cycle. While this form of bicycle infrastructure has existed across the pond for many years, this design concept is just beginning to take hold in the United States. In 2015, the first protected intersection in the US was constructed in Davis, CA and was followed closely by the construction of the second protected intersection in Salt Lake City, UT. Austin, TX gained their first protected intersection as part of a new development and Boston, MA has plans to construct a protected intersection on Commonwealth Avenue.
This design concept makes bicycling and walking safer at intersections and creates a more attractive bicycling environment for new riders. With this design getting the green light from Caltrans and other agencies, it will surely begin to appear in more and more cities across the country.