Visalia seeks first of its kind protected intersection

City of Visalia Administration building entrance from sidewalk along N. Santa Fe St.(Kenny Goodman)

Visalia is moving forward with adding the first protected intersection and asking residents if they want more

VISALIA – The city of Visalia is on track to revolutionize transportation in the Central Valley. Amid the hundreds of thousands of intersections in California, only about 30 are protected, with none in the Central Valley. Visalia plans to change this statistic.

Protected intersections offer distinct paths for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, enhancing safety through physical separation. Notable features of these intersections include corner islands for bike lanes and setback zones that increase the visibility of bicycles to turning drivers. The National Association of City Transportation Officials has lauded this design for its potential to reduce vehicular conflicts.

The city is reaching out to residents for their input on this transformative initiative. A survey, available in both English and Spanish, is open to residents at through Nov. 10. Spanish-speaking participants can change the language by selecting the ‘Espanol-Mexico’ option after clicking the globe icon.

The intersection of Riggin Avenue and Giddings Street in northeast Visalia is the proposed location for this pioneering design. Chosen for its proximity to an elementary school, Riverway Sports Park, shopping areas, and its role in the second phase of the Riggin Widening Project, the intersection represents an opportunity for significant improvement in traffic safety and flow.

Diego Corvera, city of Visalia civil engineer, stressed the importance of community feedback. “Incorporating local input is critical to ensure our designs resonate with the community’s needs,” Corvera said. “This initiative offers an opportunity to encourage more residents to opt for biking or walking, which can have far-reaching benefits for traffic and the environment.”

While the current focus is the Riggin and Giddings intersection, the feedback will help shape decisions on future protected intersections throughout Visalia. The city hopes to harness the myriad benefits of the design, including the potential reduction in traffic congestion and overall improvement in air quality.

Residents are encouraged to participate in the survey and contribute to shaping Visalia’s transportation landscape.

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