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Texas A&M University deploys USA’s first Dutch-style unsignalized intersection

Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) and Texas A&M University Transportation Services have completed construction of a first-of-its-kind in the USA non-signalized, Dutch-style bicycle-friendly intersection.

The Texas A&M University’s protected intersection also includes bright green solar luminescent pavement markings used to delineate the bicycle pathways, which is also a first use in the USA. In this innovation, the illuminating green pavement marking keeps the pathways lit for the cyclists by storing solar energy during the day and emitting light during nighttime. The Dutch Junction, which was developed in the Netherlands and refined in other locations, moves cyclists in front of vehicles at the intersection, increasing cyclists’ protection. The key to its design are the islands at the intersection corners, which separate cars and cyclists turning right, and which also move cyclists traveling straight into the view of automobiles and away from their blind spot.

The protected intersection with solar luminescent bike lanes is located at the corner of Bizzell and Ross Streets, an unsignalized on-campus crossing with high pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle volumes. With nearly 70,000 students, faculty and staff traveling to and from campus daily, the intersection will enhance the safe flow of vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic in this area. This most recent project is another step taken by the university to ensure the safety of cyclists on campus. In the autumn of 2015, Texas A&M gained recognition for its overall effort to create a more bike-friendly environment by garnering the prestigious Bike Friendly University designation.

The solar pavement markings are one of the first implementations under the TTI’s Campus Transportation Technology Initiative, which explores new technologies to advance campus transportation operations and future planning priorities. The goals of this initiative include greater mobility, improved safety, enhanced connectivity and more efficient services. More than 3,000 engineering students will use the implementation as a case study, and will have the opportunity to go through the intersection as a motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist and answer a short survey about their opinions on the design and delineation. The university will also perform a project on the effectiveness of the Dutch junction on intersection safety and mobility for cyclists and pedestrians.

“The marriage of the Dutch Junction design and explicit delineation of the bike lanes, with advanced materials that are highly visible both day and night, embodies the concept behind the technology initiative – to enhance the safety and mobility options across the Texas A&M University campus,” said Robert Brydia, senior research scientist at TTI. “This is the first of many implementations and technology demonstrations planned over the next year.”

Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering, added, “This is an excellent example of opportunities for real-world, high-impact learning that we provide to our students. This innovative transportation approach is being deployed for the first time in the United States, and our students will play a critical role in the implementation.”

October 7, 2016

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