High-Visibility Intersection

  • Intersections in urban areas are full of distractions and potential collision points between motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and people using new modes of transportation like scooters and mopeds. Raising the visibility of intersections and designating safe zones for vulnerable road users can help reduce accidents and save lives.


intersection road design

Increase the Visibility of Intersections to Improve Urban Safety and Mobility.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), over 50% of fatal and injury crashes happen at or near an intersection.

Solutions for Improving the Visibility of Intersections

Easy-to-implement, effective, and low-cost solutions can improve the visibility of intersections in urban areas. By designing complete streets that are forgiving and intuitive for everyone sharing the roads, we can help reduce conflict points, prevent wrong-way driving and collisions, and improve urban safety. 

  • cross road intersection design
    Curb Extensions

    Extended curbs or curb bump-outs marked by high-visibility pavement markings, signs, and delineators can help calm traffic and designate safe zones for pedestrians and cyclists to wait to cross the road, protected from motor vehicle traffic.    

  • how to make roads safer with intersection road markings
    Pedestrian Crossings

    Highly visible crosswalks marked with pavement markings and retroreflective signs alert pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to designated pedestrian crossing areas and help give drivers enough time to react to pedestrians in the road.

  • intersection of two roads
    Divided Traffic Lanes

    Channelizers that divide lanes or designate left-turn lanes can help reduce conflict points between vehicles at intersections. Add highly visible retroreflective sheeting to channelizers to help drivers see them in a range of conditions, including at night or in the rain.  

  • types of road intersections and how to improve the visibility of intersections in urban areas
    Designated Mobility Hub

    Designating bus stops, pedestrian zones at crosswalks, scooter zones, vehicle parking zones, bike boxes, etc., can help reduce conflict points at intersections. High-visibility markings, symbols and legends on the sidewalk or road, retroreflective traffic signs and channelizers can all provide visual cues and help increase the safety of these zones.


The Problem with Intersections: The Conflict Points Add Up

Any time two paths cross — like a pedestrian crossing the street as a vehicle approaches — there’s a potential point of conflict. With vehicles travelling in multiple different directions, vehicles turning left and right, varying intersection angles, cyclists and vehicles sharing turn lanes, pedestrians trying to cross the street and buses stopping for passengers, a typical intersection has 32 potential conflict points. 

  • intersection road sign and pedestrians crossing the street

    Building Safer Roads in Growing Urban Areas

    In 2018, about 4.2 billion people lived in urban areas around the world. That number is expected to grow by an additional 2.5 billion by 2050. This rapid rise in urbanisation has many benefits, but it also comes with challenges for city planners and transportation engineers working to promote safe, accessible, and efficient transportation in their cities. Learn more about the steps you can take to improve safety and mobility on urban roads.  


Graphic of urban intersection with pedestrians, bicyclist and vehicles using crosswalk, protected bike lane and road.
Helping You Design More Visible Intersections

Traffic Safety Products for High-Visibility Intersections

3M traffic safety devices are engineered to be highly visible, more rugged and more versatile for a range of applications on your urban roads.

  • 3M pavement markings can help improve traction for pedestrians and vehicles
    Pavement Markings

    Increase the visibility of lanes, crosswalks, and designated zones in urban areas with high-performing retroreflective pavement markings and raised markers. Markings with skid particles can help improve traction for pedestrians and vehicles, particularly when it’s wet and rainy.

    3M™ Stamark™ High Performance Pavement Marking Tape Series 380AW

  • ideas to make roads safer include using 3M pavement markings for on-road symbols and legend
    Symbols and Legends

    High-visibility pavement marking for on-road symbols and legends. Clearly mark stop bars, crosswalks, bike lanes, turn lanes, and channelising lines to help drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists safely navigate urban intersections.

    3M™ Stamark™ Pavement Marking Symbols and Legends Tape Series L380

  • use 3M reflective sheeting and protective fims for intersection road signs
    Reflective Sheeting and Protective Films

    Brighter signs, safer roads. You can make a difference during the day, and especially at night, by using 3M Diamond Grade DG3 Reflective Sheeting to make signage brighter and more visible, giving drivers more time to react.

    Learn more about traffic signs


Need Help Designing and Building Safer Urban Roads?

Our 3M experts are here to show you cost-effective and easy-to-apply traffic infrastructure solutions that can help you improve traffic safety and mobility.

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