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SF debuts first protected intersection

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Finally

Over near the abominable intersection at Ninth and Division, the one next to Fitness SF, things have gotten a little less distressing. Mayor Ed Lee and the SF MTA both unveiled the city’s new and very first protected intersection.

“Division and Ninth had a clear need for this type of safety improvement,” says Paul Rose of SF MTA. “The intersection is on the City’s High-Injury Network—the 12 percent of streets where 70 percent of severe and fatal crashes happen—and is a hot spot for collisions between turning drivers and bicyclists. More than 200 bicyclists pass through this intersection in the peak hour, making up 25 percent of all traffic heading in that direction in the morning rush hour.”

Graphic via SF MTA

The new intersection will hopefully lead to lower turning speeds, better visibility of people pedestrians and cyclists, and a buffer between different modes of transportation.

The new configuration will feature concrete islands placed at the corners, which, in part, will “position turning drivers at an angle that makes it easier for them to see and yield to people walking and biking crossing their path.” The former design led to too many high-speed right turns.

The city of Berkeley also received a new protected intersection this week.

To learn more about protected intersections, check out urban planner Nick Falbo’s video: