Evaluation of an Innovative Application of the Bike Box

Source: Federal Highway Administration

"An innovative "bike box"--a right-angle extension to a bike lane (BL) at the head of the intersection--was installed with accompanying traffic signs but no extra traffic signals at a busy downtown intersection featuring two one-way streets in Eugene, Oregon, in summer 1998. The box allows bicyclists traveling to the intersection in a left side BL to get to the head of the traffic queue on a red traffic signal indication and then proceed ahead of motor vehicle traffic toward a right side BL when the traffic signal changes to green. Cyclists traveling through the intersection were videotaped before and after placement of the box. The videotapes were coded to evaluate operational behaviors and conflicts with motorists, other bicyclists, and pedestrians. Twenty-two percent of the bicyclists who approached in the left side BL and then crossed to the BL on the right side of the street (the bicyclists for whom the box was most intended) used the box. Many more bicyclists in this target group could have used the box (i.e., they had a red signal indication and enough time to move into the box). A problem with motor vehicle encroachments into the box likely diminished the frequency of use. The rate of conflicts between bicycles and motor vehicles changed little in the before and after periods. No conflicts took place while the bike box was being used as intended."

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