Bicycle right turn safety – 200 site pooled study.

by | Mar 4, 2021 | All Posts, Bicycle Safety

MicroTraffic, together with leading cities and bicycle researchers in Canada and the US, are participating in FNI’s 200-site cross-sectional surrogate safety study of right turns at bicycle lanes that aims to provide quantitative clarification and optimization of design guidance for these conflict locations.

If you are a traffic safety engineer or a cyclist, you know that any location where vehicles turn right across a bike lane can be a serious injury crash waiting to happen.

In response to a 600% increase in protected bicycle lanes over a 10 year period in the US, NACTO released “Don’t Give Up at the Intersection“, which is a free resource outlining treatments that can make the right turn vs bicycle lane conflict zone safer. Many other ITE and NCHRP resources have recently come out summarizing practices and strategies in this area. However, there is a serious lack of empirical data on the quantitative elements that would guide design decisions at different facility types and traffic volumes. One of the NACTO guide team members reached out to us to start generating surrogate safety data to fill this data gap, leading to the current study.

Fireseeds North Infrastructure (FNI), using MicroTraffic technology, is now leading an independent, pooled fund, and open source study to solve the empirical data deficiency around the bike right-hook safety problem. With participating cities and industry partners, we are creating a massive open source cross-sectional database of near-misses across at least 200 locations with bicycle lane vs right turn vehicle conflicts. This database will be shared with NACTO, University groups, all participating cities, all current and future NCHRP project panels working on bicycle safety, and with connected / automated vehicle companies.

We are happy to share that Krista Nordback and Taha Saleem from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center have joined the project steering committee. We are also happy to welcome Dylan Passmore from the City of Vancouver (co-author of NACTO’s Don’t Give Up at The Intersection). We are also happy to share that People for Bikes and Vélo Québec have agreed to appoint members to the steering committee.

The study is in the midst of agency recruitment phase with 46 of 200 locations recruited. For participating cities, there is a participation fee of $30,000 USD plus in-kind costs of about $10,000 USD (video collection, steering committee input time). The total participation fees of $600,000 across 20 cities will be used for producing the surrogate database and for researcher’s time. FNI, the study leader, is working to arrange sponsorships through third parties for cities who can cover the in-kind costs but who cannot pay the participation fee.

To learn more about this study, please download the 1-page overview or watch a 60 minute webinar on the study below.

The 60-minute webinar above covers the following:

  1. Overview of the magnitude of the right hook-cyclist conflict problem in North America (Krista Nordback, UNC Highway Safety Research Center & Study Steering Committee Member)
  2. Challenges faced by public agencies designing for cyclists and the value of conflict data (Dylan Passmore, City of Vancouver & Study Steering Committee Member)
  3. Value of participating in this study (John Lower, MicroTraffic)
  4. Initial Results from Vancouver / Research Plan (Craig Milligan, FNI / MicroTraffic)
  5. Study structure and agency participation information (Amanda Pushka, MicroTraffic)
  6. Q&A Period

Please use the expression of interest form at this link to state your interest in participating or to be kept appraised of the study results.

SPONSORSHIPS: If you are a city that would require third-party sponsorship to cover your participation fees, please contact Fireseeds North Infrastructure will need a email from you by May 5th stating your intent to cover in-kind costs with an estimated value of $10,000 USD / $12,500 CAD (video collection time and equipment use, steering committee input time). This email will help us apply for but does not guarantee third party sponsorship. Because sponsorships are limited, any city that can pay their own participation fees should do so.

For more information on this study, please contact one of the following individuals /