Cycle routes will inevitably need to interact with motorised traffic and/or pedestrians at some point. Intersections create a higher risk situation for cyclists than when travelling along a midblock facility. Choosing and designing an appropriate intersection to accommodate people cycling requires careful consideration of a number of factors such as the type of facility between intersections and the target users of the facility.

The key planning principles for accommodating cyclists at intersections are outlined in Planning a cycle network or route.

Intersections Driveways Interchanges Roundabouts Signalised intersections Priority or uncontrolled intersections

Guidance is provided for:


Intersections and driveways in urban areas are by far the highest risk areas for people on bikes; refer to Safer Journeys for people who cycle.(external link)The following excerpt shows the proportion of fatal and injury crashes involving cyclists at different types of intersections.

Given these statistics designing the interaction between cyclists and other road users at intersections is key to a successful cycle network. The Safer Journeys for people who cycle(external link) report calls for a shift away from designing intersections for motor vehicles and more consideration of cyclists. The report states that large safety benefits could be achieved by treating intersections alone.


The success of any cycling network is dependent on having appropriate intersection and crossing treatments and overall route continuity. This is even more critical for the interested but concerned target audience. There are six different sections to be considered when designing for cycling. These are:

  1. midblock
  2. transition
  3. approach
  4. storage
  5. through
  6. departure.

Five of these six elements (numbers 2 to 6) relate to intersections, highlighting the importance of intersections (as opposed to midblock locations) in good facility design. The sections are illustrated below (sourced from ‘A framework for bicycles at intersections [PDF, 164 KB]’).