Portland's Bike Boxes: Making Cars More Polite


"Wait Here." One of Portland's new bike boxes (Courtesy of www.BikePortland.org).

After recognizing the economic benefits of creating a network of bike paths on city streets, Portland, Oregon has unveiled a new traffic tool designed to ensure cyclists' safety in the city. The bike box is a bright green rectangle painted onto asphalt at intersections and reserved exclusively for bikes. By moving car traffic back several feet from intersections, space is created for bikers at the front of the line, giving them visibility and a measure of priority while waiting at streetlights.The bike box was created as a response to traffic accidents involving right-turning cars running over cyclists, known as a "right hook" accident. The bike box is meant to give bikers greater visibility by positioning them directly in front of waiting cars. Green-colored bike paths will also lead to intersections, and right turns will not be allowed during red lights. Oregon law requires cars to yield to bikes in bike lanes.

The bike boxes are being installed at 14 particularly accident-prone intersections, and the city plans to monitor the intersections to see how the bike boxes affecting cyclist safety. An educational campaign, including signs and billboards, is also planned.

For a first look at pictures of Portland's new bike boxes, check out this link at BikePortland.org. Also, check out the City of Portland's brochure explaining the bike box here.

Via:: The Oregonian

Tags: Biking | Portland | Traffic

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