Ford Mobility and Team Better Block Launch Open Call for Build A Better Barrier Challenge

Spin – the micro-mobility unit of Ford Mobility – and Team Better Block have launched an open call for individuals or teams around the world with experience in design, planning, and an interest in creating safer streets to design lane barriers that protect and separate bicyclists, pedestrians and other non-drivers from vehicles. “Build A Better Barrier Challenge” is seeking barriers used by cities for bike and mobility lanes that will encourage social distancing and the greater use of bikes and scooters.

The barrier design must fulfill the following requirements:

  • provide a protective physical buffer from motor vehicles for mobility lane users;
  • improve the aesthetic of the street;
  • be low maintenance;
  • be highly durable;
  • require little to no engineering on site for installation;
  • be affordable for communities to use; and,
  • be able to be produced using sustainable materials/processes.

Eleven judges will select three barrier designs as finalists which will then be built by Team Better Block in partnership with Spin. Of these three, a top design will be selected as the grand prize winner, the winner will receive $500 US cash, and the barrier will be fabricated and installed in future projects across the country.

“With fewer cars on the road and a clear need for open spaces to allow people to safely exercise and move around their communities, many cities are looking to affordably and quickly re-purpose road space. It’s clear that as cities plan to gradually reopen, bikes, e-scooters and other forms of solo transportation will be critical to continuing physical distancing,” said Kay Cheng, director of infrastructure initiatives at Spin. “Now more than ever, it will be important for cities to prepare for an increase in use and even encourage other modes of transportation by dedicating safe space on our streets. We hope the Better Barrier Challenge will provide interested cities with a barrier that better meets their needs in creating protected spaces for all forms of active transit, from walking to scooting and biking.”