Friend us on Facebook

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bike Boxes: The Next Cyclist Revolution?

Bike Boxes

A bike box is a colored area at a signalized intersection that allows bicyclists to pull out in front of waiting traffic. Designed to be used only at red lights, the box is intended to reduce car-bike conflicts, increase cyclist visibility and provide bicyclists with a head start when the light turns green.

Of particular concern is the "right hook" collision that can happen when drivers turn right as a bicycle starts straight through an intersection. In the U.S., right hook collisions are implicated in 4.7% of bike crashes, 11% of which are fatal, and 3.6% are Right Turn On Red collisions, of which 6% are fatal. BIke boxes have been shown to be most effective when paired with a brightly colored bike lane that extends through the intersection, to remind motorists that cyclists may be traveling straight. Bike boxes are called "advanced stop lines" in Europe and Asia, where this safety device was first employed. The concept is now gaining popularity in cities in the U.S.A.

History of Bike Box Use

Bike boxes have been in use since the late 1980's in Europe and Asia, and less widely in the U.S. and Canada since 2000. They were officially allowed in Belgium as of 1992 and in the U.K. beginning in 2002. Danish road engineers published one of the first significant studies regarding the use of bike boxes in 1994. 

As of early 2008 at least 60 bike boxes had been installed in New York City. Portland, Oregon was planning 15 bike boxes in 2008, at a total cost of $150,000. A few scattered bike boxes can also be found in San Francisco and Berkeley, California; Eugene, Oregon; Madison, Wisconsin; and Cambridge, Mass. Portland launched its program in 2008 following the deaths of two bicyclists in 2007. Both fatalities resulted from right hook collisions involving large trucks.

Are Bike Boxes a Good Thing?
With nearly 40% of daily commuter trips taken by bike Copenhagen, Denmark is generally considered the world's most bicycle-friendly city. Having been working with bike boxes for nearly 20 years, studies by Danish road engineers and transportation planners have found that bike boxes significantly reduce the number of crashes between right-turning motorists and bicyclists going straight through......

For the original article, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment