Image by Montgomery County Division of Transportation Engineering.

Montgomery County is installing a protected intersection in downtown Silver Spring, the first of its kind on the east coast. It’s an important step toward building streets that are safer for vulnerable road users, like people walking and bicycling.

The intersection, currently under construction, is located at Spring Street and Second Avenue. The Montgomery County Division of Transportation Engineering Twitter account wrote a lengthy explanation of how it works, complete with some great gifs:

The agency says that the next step for the project is milling and paving, which will start around August 11. Readers: Have you used an intersection like this before? What are your thoughts?

Julie Strupp is Greater Greater Washington's Managing Editor. She's written for DCist, Washingtonian, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and others. You can usually find her sparring with her judo club, pedaling around the city, or hanging out on her Columbia Heights stoop.