JPD 01 - 16 - 2010

Traffic intersections are the busiest and most active parts of a city. Intersections are a place where vehicles and pedestrians converge. Turning vehicles. Honking. Crossing pedestrians. Traffic. It is a short moment of mayhem. However, good intersections safely and efficiently 'separate' vehicles and pedestrians. Barcelona's intersections are fairly different from those of the United States. Street corners and buildings are chamfered providing better visibility and a much more open crossing. Many of the chamfered corners function as parking, supplying more spaces within the city. In addition to the bent corners, most if not all pedestrian crossings are set back from the intersections. This setback adds an extra cushion between moving vehicles and crossing pedestrians. In a typical American city, turning vehicles must wait in an intersection for pedestrians, prohibiting cars behind to proceed. Barcelona's setback allows one or two turning vehicles to exit the intersection, enabling vehicles behind to continue through. The extra distance also gives drivers more time to anticipate and locate crossing pedestrians, adding to the safety of the intersection. Both the chamfered corners and setback crosswalks maximize traffic flow, while still providing a safe interaction between pedestrians and vehicles.

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