TxDOT planning protected intersections for pedestrians, cyclists

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Friday, November 11, 2016
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New protections at intersections for pedestrians, cyclists

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Along the Katy Freeway in the Energy Corridor, there are sidewalks but walkers and cyclists don't always feel safe crossing busy intersections like the one under construction at I-10 and Dairy Ashford.

The Energy Corridor District and TxDOT have teamed up to create a protected intersection for that spot. It's a special design which uses islands to protect walkers and cyclists as they cross, and slows vehicles making right turns.

Clark Martinson is the Executive Director of the Energy Corridor District.

"They can ride their bike along the new sidewalk and when they get to the intersection they'll have a safer crossing, separate from the pedestrians," said Martinson.

These kind of intersections are common in the Netherlands and are often called Dutch Junctions, but they're rarely used in the U.S.

"You'll have a protected island built into the corner that will separate the pedestrians and cyclists from the automobile traffic that's turning," said Martinson.

"I think it's a tremendous idea," said avid cyclist, Neil Douglas. The Energy Corridor is welcoming hundreds of Shell employees, moving from downtown, in the new year.

"I do see a lot of people commuting out there, they work in the Energy Corridor, from the Memorial area they're riding out there," said Douglas.

The Dairy Ashford intersection is one of several receiving upgrades and construction should be finished this spring.