The US National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has issued a set of guidelines incorporating the best practices for next-generation designs for street intersections.

The new manual on the best practices aims to save lives and make walking and biking more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities.

NACTO is a coalition of the Departments of Transportation of 71 major cities in North America. It said that the new guidance, ‘Don’t Give Up at the Intersection’, expands on the organisation’s ground-breaking ‘Urban Bikeway Design Guide’.

NACTO executive director Corinne Kisner said: “Our cities are facing the urgent task of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and making biking safer and more comfortable is key to a climate-positive future.

“People will bike if they have safe places in which to do so. Making intersections safer is essential for creating inviting bike networks for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.”

The manual contains detailed diagrams of intersection design treatments and signal strategies, which will help decrease vehicle-bike and vehicle-pedestrian conflicts.

Sponsored by Knight Foundation, the guidance uses three principles. These are reducing turning speeds, making bikes and pedestrians visible, giving bikes the right of way. This is intended to enhance safety at the intersection, where conflicts between street users are most frequent.

In addition, the design guide comprises diagrams depicting best practices for protected intersections, dedicated intersections, as well as minor street crossings.

The manual also describes signal phasing strategies which will boost safety, while maintaining or improving street capacity and compliance on all modes.

NACTO strategy director Kate Fillin-Yeh said: “A bike lane is only as good as its weakest intersection. Our newest guidance product helps officials, planners, and engineers design safe, comfortable facilities at the most difficult points.”